For the second straight year, the Steinbach Pistons will be sending two of its players to the Team Canada West Selection Camp.
Forwards Kyle Bettens and Carter Loney will represent the Pistons and the MJHL at the 2019 Canada West camp from December 1-3 in Calgary for the upcoming 2019 World Junior A Challenge in Dawson Creek, British Columbia.
Bettens is the Pistons’ leading scorer this season with 10 goals and 27 points, good enough for 7th on the MJHL scoring list. The Bemidji State University commit will be headed to Calgary for the second straight year after attending last year’s selection camp, and will be coming with a different mindset.
“Just heading in with more confidence,” he said. “I think last year was a great camp, but I think this year I will come in more ready and more confident.”
Loney is behind Bettens on the Pistons with 9 goals and 22 points this season, and is tied for 2nd in MJHL rookie scoring. The first-year Piston and future University of Minnesota-Duluth commit is excited for the upcoming challenge ahead.
“One of the goals I set for myself this year was to get invited to Team Canada West Camp,” he said. “Receiving the call and finding out that I got the invite was super exciting. Getting the opportunity to compete with the best players in junior hockey and a chance to represent your country is something I have always wanted to do.”
The two are looking forward to competing with each other and the other 42 hopefuls for a spot on the roster. “Loney has really good IQ on the ice, thinks the game well, and skates well,” Bettens said of his rookie teammate. “He’s obviously one of the best rookies in our league and deserves to be at this camp. He’s also been a really good friend and person off the ice.”
“The first thing you notice about (Kyle) is his size, and then you watch him play and his combination of size and skill along with his shot is what puts him amongst some of the top players,” Loney complimented. “The way he can just hold guys off and explode out of the corners is something you do not see too often for a player his size.”
Along with Bettens and Loney, Pistons Head Coach and General Manager Paul Dyck will also be headed to the Canada West Selection Camp as a Guest Coach. This will be the fifth time that Dyck will be attending the event, serving as a Guest Coach three times (2013, 2014, 2016) and winning a gold medal as an Assistant Coach with Canada West in 2015.
“It’s an honour to be selected to be a part of the camp,“ Dyck stated. “I have had the privilege of being involved with Hockey Canada on several occasions and it’s always memorable. It’s a special environment and brings out your patriotism.”
There will be a couple of other representatives from the MJHL along with the Pistons contingent. Portage Terriers defenceman Owen Murray has been invited to the camp while Winnipeg Blues coach Gord Burnett will be alongside Dyck as a Guest Coach during the selection process.
The Pistons organization wishes Kyle, Carter, and Paul the best of luck during the Canada West Selection Camp!