Bowen Byram suited up for 11 games with the Giants last season, including this game against Portland. (C.J. Relke/Vancouver Giants)

Langley’s Giants head to camp, picked as World prospects

Three Langley-based hockey players are vying for spots on Canada’s team.

A foursome of Langley players have been handpicked for Hockey Canada’s development camps.

Word came out Tuesday that three players from the Vancouver Giants will join 108 others in Calgary next month for the national under-17 development camp.

It means Bowen Byram, Trent Miner, and Harrison Blaisdell will be vying for a spot on Canada’s team for the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John this fall.

In the meantime, Tyler Benson will be attending the national junior summer camp hosted by Hockey Canada. He’s one of 42 players invited to the junior camp.

This Edmonton native previously represented Canada at the World Under-17 Challenge, the Under-18 World Championships, and the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup.

“For about three-and-a-half weeks in July and August, we get to see all of the players in our program concentrated in two locations, which gives our management team, coaches, and staff a chance to develop, first and foremost, what we feel is our top talent in Canada, and evaluate those players as we look to put together winning teams throughout the upcoming season,” said Scott Salmond, Hockey Canada’s vice-president of hockey operations and national teams.

“It’s a great opportunity for these players who are working towards earning a chance to wear the Team Canada jersey, and I want to thank Ryan [Jankowski] and his team for the diligence they’ve put into helping us identify this group of players,” Salmond added.

Benson was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers at 32nd overall in the 2016 NHL draft and signed his first pro contract with the team on Dec. 30.

The 19-year-old scored 11 goals and 31 assists in 33 games for the Giants last season. He also represented the WHL at the 2016 CIBC Canada Russia Series.

As for the other three, Byram scored five goals and 24 assists in 20 games with the Yale Hockey Academy’s Midget Prep team in 2016/17.

He was also named the top defenceman in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League’s Midget Prep Division.

Byram suited up in 11 WHL games for the Giants last season.

Vancouver drafted the Cranbrook native with the third overall pick in the 2016 WHL bantam draft.

Miner, a Brandon, Man. product, was drafted by the Giants with the 20th overall pick in the 2016 WHL bantam draft.

The 16-year-old netminder posted a 2.64-goals-against-average and a 0.911-save percentage in 25 games with the Brandon Wheat Kings Midget AAA team in 2016/17.

He attended Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence Goaltending camp earlier this month.

Blaisdell was selected by the Giants in the second round of the 2016 bantam draft.

The 16-year-old forward finished the regular season with 20 goals and 21 assists in 40 games for the Regina Pat Canadians of the Saskatchewan AAA Midget League.

Blaisdell went on to help the Pat Canadians to a berth in Canada’s national midget championship and the Telus Cup, tallying 15 points in 22 post-season games.

Tickets are already on sale for the 2017-18 Vancouver Giants season, which will play out on home ice at the Langley Events Centre. Info: 604-444-2687.

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