Capitals prospect Madison Bowey is well aware that he has one more chance to realize a childhood dream and represent Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championships.
The world’s most prestigious Under-20 hockey tournament returns to Canada December 26th through January 5th and if Bowey is not in Washington, the chance to win a gold medal on home soil wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize.
“That’s been my goal for the last few years and this year I definitely want to prove that I could be on that team,” Bowey said last month when asked about playing for Canada at the 2015 World Juniors.
“I guess I was pretty close but I just didn’t cut it [in past years]. It’s one of the hardest teams to make when you’re a Canadian and you’re a young guy, so it’s definitely a big goal for myself and I want to try to prove in that camp that I can be there.”
Taken with the 53rd overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, Bowey helped Team Canada win the gold medal at the 2013 Under-18 World Championships and also won gold with Canada at the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.
This past week in Montreal, Bowey was one of 39 Canadian invitees at Canada’s World Junior Evaluation Camp, which also included teams from Russia and the Czech Republic. Joining Bowey in Montreal were fellow Capitals prospects Jakub Vrana and Vitek Vanecek, both with the Czech team.
The camp was designed to give coaches a look at their country’s top under-20 players eligible for the 2015 World Junior Championships, which will be held over the Christmas holidays in Toronto and Montreal.
The evaluation camp included a series of round-robin games, during which Canada compiled a 3-1-0 record. Bowey had one goal in two games and saw time on both special teams units.
Vrana appeared in three games for the Czech Republic at the Montreal camp, recording a goal and an assist, both on the power play.
The Capitals first-round pick (13th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft has represented the Czech Republic at each of the last two World Junior Championships, including in 2013 when he was the youngest player at the tournament.
Vanecek, who the Capitals traded up to select 39th overall in the 2014 NHL Draft, appeared in only one of three games last week- a 6-2 loss to Team Canada, with the Czech goalie stopping 31 of 37 shots.
While Canada, Russia and the Czech Republic met in Montreal, Team USA hosted world junior hopefuls from Finland and Sweden in Lake Placid, NY, last week.
Washington’s No.1 prospect, Andre Burakovsky, did not take part in Sweden’s evaluation camp because of a shoulder injury. The injury is not considered serious and Burakovsky’s absence from the camp was precautionary, according to the Capitals. He is expected to be cleared before the start of the Caps’ rookie camp on Sept. 11.
NOTE: The Czech team will conclude its week-long training camp in North America with a game against Team USA on Saturday, Aug. 9 in Lake Placid, NY.