Coldstream’s Jace Weir, 16, has been selected to attend Hockey Canada’s virtual U17 development camp July 19-25. Weir, who played in 2019-20 with the Okanagan Rockets of the B.C. Major League, is looking to land with the Western Hockey League’s Red Deer Rebels, who hold his bantam rights. (Photo submitted)

Coldstream defenceman warrants U17 camp call

Jace Weir, 16, of the Okanagan Rockets one of 113 players picked for Hockey Canada virtual camp

It was a phone call Coldstream’s Jace Weir wasn’t expecting.

But he happily answered it.

Weir is one of 113 players invited to Hockey Canada’s virtual national Under 17 Development Camp July 19-25.

“I was kind of shaken, honestly,” laughed Weir, 16, about the phone call he received Wednesday, June 24. “I didn’t know they had been looking at me. It’s nice to be recognized. It’s pretty special.”

Weir, a six-foot-one, 188-pound defenceman, spent last season with the Okanagan Rockets of the B.C. Major Midget League. He compiled seven goals and 15 assists for 22 points in 36 games with the league-best Rockets. The season was shut down in the playoffs because of COVID-19.

Hockey Canada announced the roster of 113 players to be invited to its virtual national U-17 development camp as well as the coaching staff that will lead Canada’s national men’s U-17 teams at the 2020 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

With 12 goaltenders, 37 defensemen and 64 forwards the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge will be split into six teams for the week-long virtual camp5. Players will participate in a variety of sessions with a focus on player development through online education.

“It should be fun. There will be a lot of growing as a player,” said Weir, whose Western Hockey League rights are owned by the Red Deer Rebels. Red Deer selected Weir in the second round, 38th overall, of the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft.

“The goal this year is to get to Red Deer,” said Weir of his hockey plans, which are on-hold due to COVID-19. He may start the season again with the Rockets but would love to play at some point in the Dub with the Rebels.

Former North Okanagan Knights head coach and Vernon Vipers assistant Kris Mallette, now head coach of the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets, has been named as one of the assistant coaches for Team Canada Red at the 2020 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

Mallette was named head coach of the Kelowna Rockets in March 2020, having joined the Rockets as an assistant coach ahead of the 2014-15 season. Mallette was drafted 62nd overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft.

READ MORE: Four from Vernon-based Kings go in WHL Bantam draft

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