Prince George Cougars netminder Taylor Gauthier is one of 15 WHL players who have been invited to Hockey Canada’s virtual National Junior Team Sport Chek Summer Development Camp set for July 27-31.
The group of WHL talent is led by 2020 WHL Player of the Year Adam Beckman (Minnesota Wild) of the Spokane Chiefs and features seven forwards, five defencemen and three goaltenders. Defencemen Bowen Byram (Colorado Avalanche) of the Vancouver Giants, Kaedan Korczak (Vegas Golden Knights) of the Kelowna Rockets and Matthew Robertson (New York Rangers) of the Edmonton Oil Kings, as well as forwards Dylan Cozens (Buffalo Sabres) of the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Peyton Krebs (Vegas Golden Knights) of the Winnipeg ICE, represent the five other players selected in the 2019 NHL Draft.
Eight WHL players attending the camp are eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft, including Prince Albert Raiders defenceman Kaiden Guhle, who is ranked eighth among North American skaters according to NHL Central Scouting’s Final Rankings.
Braden Schneider of the Brandon Wheat Kings, Seth Jarvis of the Portland Winterhawks, Ridly Greig of the Brandon Wheat Kings, Connor Zary of the Kamloops Blazers and Jack Finley of the Spokane Chiefs ranked within the top-40 skaters in North America, also earned camp invitations. Dylan Garand of the Kamloops Blazers landed sixth among North American goaltenders with Taylor Gauthier of the Prince George Cougars ranking 19th. Netminder Sebastian Cossa of the Edmonton Oil Kings is the lone WHL prospect at the camp eligible for the 2021 NHL Draft.
The Blazers, Chiefs, Oil Kings and Wheat Kings lead the WHL contingent with each Club boasting a pair of players invited to the camp. Seven other WHL member Clubs are represented by a single player.
The WHL will also be represented on the team staff with six WHL personnel. Alan Millar (Moose Jaw Warriors / Tottenham, Ont.) will serve on the Management Group along with Michael Dyck (Vancouver Giants / Lethbridge, Alta.) and Mitch Love (Saskatoon Blades / Quesnel, B.C.) as assistant coaches for the camp. Jason LaBarbera (Calgary Hitmen / Burnaby, B.C.), Brian Cheeseman (Edmonton Oil Kings / Mount Pearl, N.L.) and Dr. Barry Wiens (Red Deer Rebels / Red Deer, Alta.) will perform as the goaltending coach, team therapist and team physician, respectively.
“We are excited to begin preparations for the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship with this group of 41 players and our full staff at our online camp, as we believe we have a good mix of veteran leadership and young talent that are eager to represent Canada during the holiday season,” said Scott Salmond, senior vice-president of national teams for Hockey Canada. “We are also pleased to have Michael and Mitch round out the coaching staff, as their Canadian Hockey League and international experience will compliment André Tourigny’s leadership while we work towards defending our gold medal on home ice.”
The 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship returns to Canadian ice this December, with Edmonton, Alta. and Red Deer, Alta., set to co-host the annual holiday tradition. Games will be played at Rogers Place, the home of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers and the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings, and at the Westerner Park Centrium, home of the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels.