It’s something they dreamed of growing up and now they have a chance to make it a reality.
Pats forward Sam Steel and defenceman Josh Mahura have both been invited to the World Junior selection camp, the last step they need to take before being named to Team Canada.
This is the second invite for Steel, who didn’t make the team last year despite a standout season with the Pats.
“It would be a huge honour and it’s definitely a team I want to be on,” Steel said. “I came pretty close last year.”
Steel’s absence on the roster last year had many scratching their heads including his own head coach, but Steel said he’s learned from the experience and hopes it will help him make the team this year.
“It’s just a team that I really want to be on. Everybody does in Canada. It’s not going to be easy but I just got to go there and give it all I got,” he said.
This is the first invite for Mahura who said while he tried to keep the World Junior’s out of his mind so he could focus on the Pats, it was hard not to have thoughts creep in throughout the season.
“As a kid in Canada growing up, you watch that and you go to the outdoor rink after watching games and pretend like you’re playing in them. Just everything about it would be an awesome experience,” Mahura said.
Elsewhere in the province, Moose Jaw Warriors forward Brett Howden and Swift Current Bronco Tyler Steenbergen – the WHL’s top scorer – were also invited to attend.
And representing Shaunavon, Sask., Kelowna Rockets forward Kole Lind will take his shot at making the team.
In total 32 players were invited to tryouts from Dec. 12-15. Ten players will be cut to form a 22-man roster for the tournament which begins on Boxing Day.