A pair of Langley teenagers have taken the first step to representing Canada.
“It was a nice early birthday present,” chuckled James Malm, who turned 16 yesterday (June 25).
“It is obviously a huge honour to get the chance to represent my country.
“It should be a great experience.”
Malm is a high-scoring forward and at the other end of the ice, Hollett will attempt to keep the puck out of the net at the camp as one of the dozen goaltenders invited.
“It is a huge accomplishment,” Hollett said from Penticton earlier this week.
He was scheduled to return home to the Lower Mainland on Wednesday for the summer.
Hollett, who is 16, attends the Okanagan Hockey Academy.
“Just to be able to meet and play against the top competition in Canada, and to wear the practice jersey with the Maple Leaf on it, is quite important to me.”
Hockey Canada announced the roster of players for their national team U17 development camp on Tuesday (June 23). The players will attend camp in Calgary from July 29 to Aug. 4 where they will play in a nine-game, six-team mini-tournament.
From that camp, 66 will be selected to represent Canada on one of three national teams — Black, Red and White — at the 2015 world under-17 Hockey Challenge. The tournament will be co-hosted by Dawson Creek and Fort St. John from Oct. 30 to Nov. 7.
Malm said he knew he might get an invitation.
“It was definitely a relief when I got the phone call,” he said.
“To be honest, I had no idea (I was on the radar),” Hollett said.
“It was something that I wanted obviously, but it was something that I knew wasn’t a given,” he said.
Both players started with the Langley Minor Hockey Association before Hollett went to Penticton and Malm went to the Burnaby Winter Club.
The pair were selected in the 2014 WHL bantam draft with Hollett going in the first round (13th overall) to the Regina Pats and Malm in the second round (44th overall) by the Vancouver Giants.
Hollett became the highest ever LMHA alum selected in the draft.
Each is hoping to land roster spots with their respective WHL clubs next season.
To achieve that, they will continue training, both to reach that goal, and to get ready for the Hockey Canada camp.
Hollett, a six-foot-two, 180-pound goaltender, went 9-3 last season with a 2.10 goals against and an .899 save percentage for the OHA prep team.
Hollett, whose family recently moved to Port Moody, will be working out with a new trainer this summer, as well as working with Angelo Maggio of Magic Hockey in Langley.
Malm finished second in scoring in the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League with 20 goals, 46 assists and 66 points in 31 games for the Valley West Hawks. He led the league with 2.1 points per game and he finished just six points back of the scoring title despite playing seven fewer games.
Malm is training with Kai Heinonen of Catalyst Kinetics Hockey in Burnaby as well as with Wade MacLeod and Tyler McNeely of Headway Hockey.
Freeze Frame Photography
Langley goaltender Jordan Hollett (below) tracks the puck during a scramble in front of his crease at the U16 BC Cup tournament in Salmon Arm last year.