A pair of North Vancouver hockey players will zoom onto the national team scene as participants in an upcoming Hockey Canada virtual development camp for under-17 players.
Forward Connor Bedard and defenceman Mats Lindgren were two of the 113 players invited to the virtual training camp that will see players connect with national team coaches and training staff July 19-25 for a series of online sessions focused on player development.
Bedard was the youngest player invited to the session, a position he is well accustomed to following years of playing against older competition. He is the only 2005-born player invited to the development camp, with all other players born in 2004. This spring the West Van Warriors academy player became the first ever player granted early entry into the Western Hockey League and was subsequently picked No. 1 overall in the WHL bantam draft by the Regina Pats.
Lindgren, who played for the Burnaby Winter Club academy team in 2019-20, was picked in the first round, seventh overall, by the Kamloops Blazers in the 2019 WHL draft. His name will sound familiar to many hockey fans as his father, also named Mats, played seven seasons in the NHL with the Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders and Vancouver Canucks.
The under-17 development camp is the first introduction for most players to Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence.
“It is a great opportunity for them to develop as players and learn what it takes to wear the Maple Leaf,” said Scott Salmond, senior vice-president of national teams with Hockey Canada. “We know our coaching and support staffs will embrace the opportunity to guide the development of the top young players in Canada.”