Cranbrook native Bowen Byram is back to play for Team Canada for the second straight year at the 2020 World Junior Championship in Edmonton. Trevor Crawley photo

Cranbrook native Bowen Byram is back to play for Team Canada for the second straight year at the 2020 World Junior Championship in Edmonton. Trevor Crawley photo

Cranbrook native to suit up for Team Canada

Bowen Byram looks for second gold medal in as many years with Team Canada at World Juniors

An NHL prospect from Cranbrook is ready to skate for Team Canada in the upcoming World Junior Championship set to get underway in Edmonton on Friday.

Bowen Byram, drafted 4th overall by the Colorado Avalanche last year, will be gunning for back-to-back gold medals in the annual U-20 tournament as teams begin to converge on Edmonton. Byram was named assistant captain on Dec. 18, along with Dylan Cozens of Whitehorse, while Kirby Dach will lead the team as captain.

Byram, a Cranbrook-born defenceman spent the entirety of his major-junior career with the Vancouver Giants.

“On behalf of the Vancouver Giants organization I would like to congratulate Bowen for being named to the leadership group for Canada’s World Junior team,” said Giants GM Barclay Parneta on Twitter.

“His experiences at last year’s tournament, along with spending time in the NHL playoff bubble will be invaluable to help with this year’s efforts to repeat as champions.”

He set league records in his draft year for overtime winners, scoring six, while also earning accolades as the top scorer in the 2019 WHL post-season, scoring eight goals and tallying 18 assists in 22 games.

Byram rode out a two-week shutdown at training camp after it was was halted on Nov. 26 because two players and one staffer tested positive for COVID-19.

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.

Another familiar face has been named to the same team, as Winnipeg Ice captain Peyton Krebs (formerly of the Kootenay Ice) was also named the Canadian squad. Krebs, a late cut from the team last year, earned his spot this time around, and has previous international experience with Team Canada at the U-18 World Championship and the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.

Krebs was drafted 17th overall by the Vegas Golden Knights in 2019.

Christmas Day features three games before Canada kicks open its defence of its gold medal on Boxing Day against Germany at 3 p.m. PT.