Two Broncos hoping for World Junior glory this holiday season
Swift Current Broncos forward Cody Eakin is looking forward to a few of the most important days of his life as he leaves the team to attend Team Canada’s tryout camp for this month’s IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship to be held in Saskatoon and Regina.
“I think so yeah. It is a goal and a dream that I have had since I was just a young kid starting out playing hockey. I think that is everyone’s dream is to play in theWorld Junior’s for Team Canada. It is pretty big and pretty important but I just have to go out and play my game and keep it simple.”
After leading the Western Hockey League in goals with 26 through his first 32 games he hopes that he has improved his standing among the 36 players invited since being a last minute injury replacement at the summer camp.
“You could say that I guess. Besides a few of the guys that played last year though, everyone goes in with the same expectations and the same way they have to play to make the team, I don’t think anyone can just go out and make the team. It is going to be a hard working camp, there are a lot of good players, and I amexcited to be a part of it.”
He says this camp is different than any other he has ever attended.
“I think that the level of competition and the group of guys is the best there is. So if you are not going every night, playing your game, keeping it simple, and being smart then you won’t really have a shot to make it. You have to go out there and do that kind of stuff and hopefully you earn a spot on the team.”
Eakin’s linemate Stepan Novotny was named to the Czech Republic World Junior team for the second straight year and he is excited to represent his country once again. Last year he recorded one assist in five games in Ottawa as the Czech Republic finished in sixth-place.
“I am really excited about it, I think it is going to be great. World Juniors is a big event, with a lot of people watching and a lot of good guys that are going to play, so I think that it is going to be a lot of fun. That is what I said last year is that it is just a chance to see where I am at as a player against the best guys out there.”
He likes his team’s chances this year.
“We have a lot of guys back from last year so I think that we are a little bit more experienced and I think that we are going to have a good team. Obviously we are going to see how it goes and we are going to take the first couple of games and go from there. I do think that we do have a chance if we just keep it simple,” said the Prague native.
The 19-year-old forward will accompany the Broncos for the start of their U.S. Division trip but will depart after the Broncos play in Everett on December 16th for the Czech training camp in Regina.
Novotny, who has played for his country from the U-16 level right up to the World Juniors, becomes the first Bronco named to the Czech World Junior team since Daniel Rakos made the 2006 Czech team.