Surrey-raised hockey player Caleb Reimer (left) in a photo posted to oilkings.ca on June 24.

Virtual Hockey Canada camp for Surrey’s Reimer and other U17 players

Meantime, BC Hockey says it will be operating a zone program for the 2020-2021 season

Surrey’s Caleb Reimer is among 113 players invited to Hockey Canada’s virtual national under-17 development camp from July 19-25, as the road to the 2020 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge begins.

He’ll be joined by several other South Fraser-area athletes, including North Delta’s Niall Crocker and Tyson Jugnauth of Richmond.

The list of invited players includes 35 from Western Hockey League (WHL) teams.

The group, comprised of 12 goaltenders, 37 defencemen and 64 forwards, will be split into six teams for the week-long virtual camp, participating in a variety of sessions with a focus on player development through online education, according to a WHL news release.

“The national under-17 development camp is the first stage in introducing these athletes to the Program of Excellence, and 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.

“Our three under-17 teams are very fortunate to have these nine experienced coaches, and we know our coaching and support staffs will embrace the opportunity to guide the development of the top young players in Canada.”

The plan is for Canada’s national men’s under-17 teams to compete at the 2020 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Charlottetown and Summerside, P.E.I., in November.

The 2004-born Reimer, a forward, signed a WHL Standard Player Agreement with Edmonton Oil Kings in May of 2019, after playing for Delta Hockey Academy Bantam Prep (Green) during the 2018-19 season. He was drafted 18th overall in the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft.

“Caleb is a big forward with a lot of upside and someone we’re very excited to have him join our group,” Oil Kings Director of Scouting, Jamie Porter, said at the time. “Caleb possesses excellent puck skills and is a highly coveted power forward for our future.”

In the same bantam draft, Crocker was picked by Prince Albert Raiders at 22nd overall.

Hockey Canada’s virtual camp will also include Vancouver Giants prospects Joshua Niedermayer (Penticton) and Bowden Singleton (Calgary).

In other hockey news, BC Hockey says it will be operating a zone program for the 2020-2021 season, putting to rest rumours that the program would be scrapped during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A concerted effort is underway to ensure that it is delivered in a manner that will fully comply to the Provincial Health Authority’s guidelines,” BC Hockey said in an email Wednesday (June 24).

“The programming may look different during the 2020-2021 season due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The initial stage of the program will focus on skill development and off ice training. As the Public Health Authority allows, game play may be introduced regionally at the onset, and moving to a Provincial League model only when it is safe to do so. The BC Hockey Board of Directors have mandated an elite level training program through each stage of the Zone Program Return to Play protocol.”

The BC Hockey Zone AAA/AA Program provides elite-level development for players aged 13 to 18. The focus of this program is to prepare them for the next level of hockey through expanded draw zones.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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