Crocker invited to Hockey Canada’s virtual Under-17 camp

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Niall Crocker positions himself in front of netminder Draydon Ramage during a scrimmage at the Prince Albert Raiders training camp last year.

Before he attempts to make the Prince Albert Raiders on a full-time basis, Niall Crocker will get a chance to learn from Hockey Canada’s staff about what it takes to be successful at the next level.

The 15-year-old forward from Delta, B.C. was among 113 players that have been chosen to take part in the national program’s Under-17 virtual summer camp, which will run from July 19-25.

Crocker, who was the 22nd overall pick in the 2019 Western Hockey League bantam draft, spent the majority of last season with the Delta Hockey Academy’s Under-16 program.

He also scored twice for British Columbia’s bronze medal winning side at the 2019 WHL Cup tournament.

Among the names that earned invites to the camp were Regina Pats and Winnipeg Ice forwards Connor Bedard and Matthew Savoie.

Bedard is the first player to be granted exceptional status into the WHL and will join the Pats on a full-time basis as a 15-year-old after being selected first overall in April.

Savoie, who was the top pick in 2019, split time with the Ice and the Rink Hockey Academy’s prep program last year and had seven assists in 22 WHL contests.

He also had six points for Canada White at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Medicine Hat and Swift Current last fall.

In addition to announcing the virtual camp roster, Hockey Canada also revealed the three head coaches for their Under-17 squads, who are slated to compete in Charlottetown and Summerside, P.E.I. from Oct. 31 to Nov. 7.

Kelly Buchberger (Tri-City Americans) will lead the way for Canada White, Stephane Julien (Sherbrooke Phoenix) will be behind the bench for Canada Black and Chris Lazary (Saginaw Spirit) will serve as the bench boss for Canada Red.