The Pistons will once again be well represented at the Team Canada West Selection Camp for the World Junior A Challenge.
Goaltender Matt Radomsky and forward Kyle Bettens have been named as two of the fourty-four players across the five most Western Canadian Junior A leagues (BCHL, AJHL, SJHL, MJHL, SIJHL) that will participate in the Team Canada West camp.
“I was super excited,” Radomsky said when he heard that he was invited. “To be honest it didn’t sink in for awhile and I didn’t know what to think. All I knew was that this is a great experience for me to represent myself, my team, and the MJHL. And I’m going to do my very best at camp.”
Bettens said he was also pumped to be named to the camp roster. “It’s always been a dream to go to a camp with top players your age and to represent your team and league,” he said. “I was super happy that I’m going to get the opportunity to do that.”
This year’s camp will once again be held in Calgary from December 3-5, with games and practices being held before the team is named. The 2018 World Junior A Challenge will be held in Bonnyville, Alberta from December 9-16.
Bettens says that he’s looking forward to meeting new players from the different leagues in Western Canada. “I always find it interesting meeting new top players, and also how the game will be played knowing all the top players are going (to the camp). You’d expect it to be really fast and skilled.”
Radomsky agrees, and also hopes to give it his best shot to make the team that heads to Bonnyville. “If I don’t end up making it, I’ll be super honoured and proud to have been acknowledged for this event and use it as something to learn and grow from.”
The 19-year-old, third-year goaltender has improved in every season he’s played, and is right now the best goalie in the MJHL. He is first in almost every statistical category this season, with a .925 SV%, a 2.03 GAA, and leads the league with 13 wins and three shutouts. He set a Pistons record last season with 8 shutouts.
Since returning to the Pistons from the USHL, Bettens has played in seven games and has recorded two goals and three assists. The 17 year old from Winnipeg committed to Bemidji State University of NCAA Division I last year as a Pistons prospect.
“Kyle is a great guy. I had the pleasure of living with him for a bit while my billets were away on a trip and we’ve become super close,” complimented Radomsky. “We hang out virtually every day whether it’s at the rink or away from it. On the ice, he’s a work horse. He’s gained some size and weight which he uses to his advantage, not to mention he has a great shot and release.
“His game has really grown since we called him up last year,” he continued. “Really proud of him for being acknowledged for this event and I’m looking forward to competing with and against him (in Calgary).”
Bettens returned the compliment back to his friend Radomsky. “Going to camp with Matt is going to be a time to remember,” he explained. “We’ve become really close friends this year and hang out lots, but to hang out at a Canada camp will be something to remember. His play this year has been outstanding; I mean without a doubt the best goalie in the league. He’s so focused all the time, he doesn’t take anything for granted, he’s super humble, and he’s just the guy you always want to be around.”
Radomsky and Bettens will be joined by three other players and one staff member from the MJHL that will be attending this year’s Team Canada West camp. They are joined by F Reilly Funk and D Owen Murray from the Portage Terriers, F Matt Osadick from the Swan Valley Stampeders, and Virden Oil Capitals athletic therapist Hailee Dayman will be a part of the the staff for Canada West at the World Junior A Challenge.