Vancouver Giants defenceman Bowen Byram will play for Canada at the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Juniors for a second straight season.
Vancouver Giants, in conjunction with Hockey Canada, announced Friday, Dec. 11 that Byram is among 25 players and nine current WHL players named to Canada’s roster.
It comes after a 26-day selection camp in Red Deer that was interrupted by a mandatory two-week quarantine that saw several players sent home as a precaution against the coronovirus.
Byram, the two-time reigning MVP of the Langley-based Giants, now playing in the NHL, was one of six returnees invited to the camp who helped Canada capture gold at the 2020 World Juniors.
With him is Giants head coach Michael Dyck who will be serving as an assistant coach with Canada at the World Juniors which will operate under the same bubble concept that was successfully deployed by the NHL and the NBA.
In seven games last season at the World Juniors, Byram notched two assists en route to a Gold Medal victory.
In 188 career regular season games with the Giants, Byram posted 46 goals and 104 assists for 150 points which ranks him third all-time in franchise scoring for defencemen. Additionally he’s suited up in 29 playoff games, where he added 11 goals and 22 assists for 33 points. He was drafted by the G-Men third overall back in 2016. During the 2018-19 season, Byram set a new single season team record for goals by a defencemen with 26, and he set a new single season WHL record with six overtime winning goals.
Internationally, Byram has also donned the Maple Leaf at the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
Team Canada spokesperson Alan Millar said it was an “unconventional ” camp from the outset with the number of players invited and the length of camp, along with the schedule adjustment due to our two-week shutdown, “but we feel we have selected a group that will give us the best chance to defend our gold medal on home ice.”
The 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship begins on Christmas Day with three games before Canada kicks off its tournament schedule on Dec. 26 against Germany at 6 p.m.
Canada has captured 18 gold medals at the IIHF World Junior Championship.