Vancouver Giants top coach and one of its top players will be part of Canada’s World Junior team.
Langley’s major junior ice hockey team will have a significant presence in the 2021 World Junior Championships taking place in Alberta, according to Scott Salmond, senior vice-president of national teams for Hockey Canada, who made the announcement earlier this week.
Giants head coach Michael Dyck has been named to Canada’s coaching staff. He’ll be sharing the assistant coach title with Saskatoon’s Mitch Love, and working under the tutelage of head coach Andre Tourigny from Ottawa.
In the meantime, for a second straight year, Giants defenceman Bowen Byram has been invited to participate in Hockey Canada’s National Junior Team summer development camp from July 27 to 31, hoping to ultimately represent the country again at next year’s IIHF World Junior Championships.
“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 Salmond.
Byram is one of 41 players – 15 WHL’ers – invited to participate in the summer camp.
This virtual event will help Hockey Canada officials evaluate the top Canadian talent ahead of next year’s competition in Edmonton and Red Deer.
Last season, Byram was one of six WHL players to represent Canada at the 2020 World Juniors.
Byram and his teammates earned a gold medal in a 4-3 victory over Russia back on Jan. 5, in the Czech Republic. He finished the 2019-20 season with 14 goals and 38 assists for 52 points in 50 games.
Bowen Byram is the two-time reigning most valuable player of the Giants, and he has accumulated 46 career goals and 104 assists for 150 points in 188 career regular season games. He’s added 11 goals and 22 assists for 33 points in 29 career playoff games. He was drafted fourth overall by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2019 NHL draft and signed an entry-level contract with Colorado in July 2019.
Per Hockey Canada’s announcement earlier this week, five goaltenders, 10 defencemen, and 26 forwards will attend the five-day virtual camp, participating in a variety of sessions with a focus on player development through online education.
Byram won’t be the only Giant representing at the worlds. He’ll be in familiar hands of his own head coach, Dyck, who is taking an assistant coach role with the team in summer camp and at next years championships.
Over the course of two seasons, Dyck has led the Giants to an overall regular season record of 77-39-7-4.
In 2018-19 he led the Giants to Game 7 of the 2019 championship series and was named the WHL’s Western Conference coach of the year.
Internationally, Dyck most recently served as Canada’s head coach for the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, which took place last August. Additionally, he has represented Canada in both the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge (2010 + 2012) and the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games.
“To have the chance to coach for Canada at the world juniors is one of the greatest honours a coach can receive, and I’m very grateful and excited for the opportunity,” Dyck said.
“I look forward to working with Andre Tourigny and the rest of our staff as we strive to earn another gold medal for Canada this winter.”
Giants GM Barclay Parneta commended Dyck, and was excited by the announcement.
“Michael is very deserving of this honour and has earned this opportunity thanks to his great work with the Vancouver Giants. On behalf of our ownership group. management team, staff, players and fans, we want to congratulate him,” Parneta said.
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