Some of the former Giants reporting the NHL training camps (Giants graphic)

Some of the former Giants reporting the NHL training camps (Giants graphic)

Giants in the NHL: players from WHL team at training camps

Among 223 current and former WHL players to be invited

Vancouver Giants defenceman Bowen Byram didn’t have much time to recover from playing in the gold medal game that saw Canada lose 2-0 to the the U.S. at the world junior hockey championship in Edmonton on Tuesday night, Jan. 5.

Byram was immediately on a plane, bound for the Colorado Avalanche training camp.

The 19-year-old two-time MVP with the Langley-based team has a lot of company, with nine other current and former Giants getting the call to show their stuff.

Byram is looking for a berth with the franchise who selected him fourth overall in the 2019 NHL draft, has yet to play in an NHL game. But even so, he gained invaluable experience during the summer months when he joined the Colorado Avalanche inside the Edmonton playoff bubble.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Giants win silver with Team Canada at world juniors

Tyler Benson, who was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in Round 2 of the 2016 NHL draft and is looking to stick with the Oilers full-time in 2021. Benson made his NHL debut last season, appearing in seven games with the Oilers where he managed one assist. Over the past three seasons, Benson has registered 71 points in 120 games with the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors.

Kevin Connauton joined the Florida Panthers on a PTO contract in late December and is hoping to secure a spot on their blueline for the 2020-21 campaign. Last season Connauton played a majority of his games with the AHL’s Colorado Eagles, but also appeared in some regular season and playoff games with the Avalanche. Connauton’s NHL career has also included stops in Dallas, Columbus and Arizona for a total of 314 regular season games.

Fresh off a six-year contract extension with the only NHL team he’s ever known, Brendan Gallagher is raring to go for his ninth season with the Habs. The Giants all-time leading scorer has suited up in 547 career regular season games with Montreal since 2012 and an additional 49 playoff games. He’s 27 goals shy of reaching 200 for his career and will no doubt be a focal point of Montreal’s attack as he looks to surpass the 20-goal mark for a fourth consecutive season.

Evander Kane is heading into his 12th NHL season and his third full season as one of the undisputed offensive leaders of the San Jose Sharks. Kane has surpassed the 20-goal mark in each of his past five NHL seasons and is just 43 points shy of reaching 500 for his NHL career that in has spanned 713 regular season games and an additional 29 in the playoffs. Kane was the fourth overall pick of the Atlanta Thrashers back in 2009 and has since suited up for the Thrashers, Jets, and Sabres before signing a lengthy contract in San Jose.

The 26-year-old Brett Kulak is gearing up for his third full season with the Montreal Canadiens. The defenceman from was originally a fourth-round pick of the Calgary Flames back in 2012 and has since appeared in 214 NHL games with Calgary and Montreal. Kulak is in the second season of a three-year contact extension that he inked with the Habs back in 2019, and should have the inside track on securing a top-six spot on Montreal’s blueline in 2021.

Andrew Ladd suited up in one regular season game with the Vancouver Giants during the 2001-02 season before ultimately joining the Calgary Hitmen for his final two WHL seasons. Since then, he’s gone on to enjoy an NHL career that has spanned 950 games. Ladd was a fourth overall pick by the Carolina Hurricanes in 2004 and has gone on to capture two Stanley Cups (Carolina, 2006 and Chicago, 2010). Currently Ladd is with the New York Islanders organization. Last season he appeared in four regular season games with the Isles and one playoff game.

READ ALSO: A welcome return to the ice for Langley Rivermen

No former Vancouver Giant has played more NHL games than Lucic, who sits 42 games away from 1000 as he readies for his second season with the Calgary Flames. Originally selected by the Boston Bruins in 2006, Lucic went on to secure a Stanley Cup with the Bruins back in 2011. His career has also included stops in Los Angeles, Edmonton and now Calgary. This will mark season 14 in the NHL for the Vancouver native and he’ll look to play a big role for the revamped Flames in 2021.

The 28-year-old Jordan Martinook is 26 games shy of reaching 400 for his NHL career which began in 2014-15 with the Arizona Coyotes. The Brandon, MB native was drafted to the NHL by Arizona in Round 2 of the 2012 draft, and is now entering his third season with the Carolina Hurricanes. For his career, Martinook has managed 43 goals and 60 assists for 103 points and has appeared in 18 playoff games for the Canes.

Ben Thomas played his final WHL season (2015-16) with the Vancouver Giants. After an early season trade, Thomas joined the Giants and tallied eight goals and 17 assists for 25 points in 60 games. Since then, Thomas has gone on to play the next four full season in the AHL with the Tampa Bay Lighting. He has yet to make his NHL debut, but given all of the uncertainty and roster flexibility that is going to be required this season by NHL teams – It may not be a huge stretch to suggest that Thomas’ NHL debut could be imminent this season.

The Giants are among 223 past and present WHL players competing at NHL training camps in preparation for the 2020-21 NHL season, which is scheduled to begin Wednesday, January 13.

The Vegas Golden Knights lead the way with 16 WHL alumni receiving invites, followed by the Calgary Flames with 15, and the Edmonton Oilers with 13.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

LangleyVancouver GiantsWHL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Vancouver Giants defenceman Bowen Byram could be playing for Colorado when the NHL resumes play. (Rik Fedyck/file)

Vancouver Giants defenceman Bowen Byram could be playing for Colorado when the NHL resumes play. (Rik Fedyck/file)

Just Posted

The business case for bringing SkyTrain to Langley has been finalized but some are pushing for another rail method. (Black Press Media file)
LETTER: Rail expert continues to lobby for light rail over SkyTrain to Langley

SkyTrain the most expensive option for rail through communities South of the Fraser, writer argues

The speculation and vacancy tax declaration must be filled out by the end of March. (Black Press Media files)
SVT declaration packages en route to homeowners in Langley

A penalty will apply to those, not exempted, who don’t pay by due date

oOties mini donuts served fresh treats at the grand opening of Lantern Park in Aldergrove last fall. (Special to the Aldergrove Star)
Free oOties mini donuts for Aldergrove residents on Valentines Day

Joti Steeves and the VIP team will bring in the food truck between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Feb. 14

R.E. Mountain Secondary School parent volunteer Lorraine Baldwin and her daughter Jessica visiting the Thompson Rivers University campus in the fall. Jessica is a Grade 12 student at R.E. Mountain Secondary.
Online fundraiser aims to create memorable grad year for Langley students

R.E. Mountain Secondary School targets $10,000 goal for Grade 12 dry grad

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

The SACH Community Hub team, from left to right: Upkar Singh Tatlay, Gary Thandi, Allysha Ram, Jassy Pandher, Harman Pander. (Submitted photo)
There’s help for South Asian men wrestling with drug addiction in Surrey

South Asian deaths related to toxic drugs increased by 255 per cent between 2015 and 2018

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) is looking into the death of man discovered Jan. 11 in east Maple Ridge. (Black Press files)
B.C.’s police watchdog investigating man’s death in Maple Ridge

Man was found dead Jan. 11 after recent contact with police

Chilliwack Law Courts. (Black Press file)
Man sentenced to 20 months for sexual offences involving a minor in Mission

Will Laws Clark was 22 and victim was 13 at time offences began

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

Most Read