Article content continued
Byram, who is one of six returnees at the camp who helped Team Canada win gold last winter in the Czech Republic, had been dominating the early going on the ice in Red Deer.
Fellow returnee Dylan Cozens, a Lethbridge Hurricanes forward, had this to say to TSN’s Mark Masters about Byram: “He definitely took a huge jump this off-season. He was great to begin with, but now he’s taken his game to another level. He’s so calm out there, so shifty, agile and just watching him with the puck and go around the O-zone, I could tell something switched with him in the off-season and he’s a whole new player.”
Byram spent a part of his off-season in a training group based out of Planet Ice Delta, set up by Delta Hockey Academy’s Ian Gallagher. Ty Smith, 20, the Spokane Chiefs’ stalwart rearguard who’s been a member of the past two Team Canada world junior sides, was among the other regulars there.
Byram was also with the Avalanche through their playoff run in the Edmonton bubble as a member of their taxi squad.
“I was feeling really good out there,” Byram said of his early going at Team Canada camp. “It’s disappointing what’s happened but we’re all in the same boat. We’re all doing the best we can. The training staff has been great with us. We have the bikes, which has been huge. I know I feel my best when I’m biking lots.”
A 6-1, 195-pound left-shot rearguard, Byram posted a ridiculous 11 goals and 31 points in Vancouver’s final 17 games before the WHL shut down the regular season in March. They’d eventually call off the playoffs and Memorial Cup national tournament in Kelowna as well due to the COVID-19 outbreak.