Martin Bodak (left) and Brett Davis (right) are both headed to NHL team development camps this week. (Brad McLeod Photo)

Two Kootenay Ice players headed to NHL development camps

Martin Bodak receives invite to join Vegas Golden Knights, Brett Davis returns to Dallas Stars

The Kootenay Ice didn’t have any players drafted into the NHL over the weekend, but two of them will still have a chance to show teams what they’ve got this week.

After being selected by the Dallas Stars in the sixth round of last year’s draft, forward Brett Davis will return to the team’s prospect development camp for a second straight year, while defenceman Martin Bodak has received an invite to join the Vegas Golden Knights at their development camp.

A 1998-born defenseman from Spisska Nova Ves in Slovakia, Bodak came over to Kootenay after his selection at the 2017 CHL Import Draft. While he was not lucky enough to be drafted in his final year of eligibility, he still hit the jackpot with a chance to impress in Las Vegas.

One of 14 defencemen at the 42-player prospect camp, Bodak has a chance to be a part of their inaugural summer prospect camp. The Golden Knights entered the league for the 2017-18 season and just recently completed the league’s best ever expansion season in which they went 51-24-7 and made it to the Stanley Cup Finals.

The team’s roster includes two former Ice players, defenceman Brayden McNabb and forward Cody Eakin, as well as having former Kootenay head coach Ryan McGill as an assistant coach with the club.

In 59 games with the Ice last season, Bodak put up seven goals and 24 assists to lead all defencemen. He was also recognized as Kootenay’s best defenceman and served as the captain for Slovakia at the World Juniors in Buffalo, where he had three goals and helped the nation achieve a historic win over the host United States early in the tournament.

Bodak is one of eight WHL players at the Vegas camp, alongside Ryan Chyzowski (Medicine Hat Tigers), Dylan Coghlan (Tri City Americans), Dylan Ferguson (Kamloops Blazers), Cody Glass (Portland Winterhawks), Reece Harsch (Seattle Thunderbirds), Brett Kemp (Edmonton Oilers) and Jake Leschyshyn (Regina Pats).

The Golden Knights camp begins on Tuesday, June 26 and goes through June 30 at the City National Arena, the organization’s official practice facility in Las Vegas.

Davis, meanwhile, will be headed to Frisco, Texas for the Stars annual development camp which started on Monday and will wrap up on Friday, June 20. There will be 32 players in attendance, including 20 forwards, eight defenceman and four goalies.

In his first full season with the Ice last year, Davis played all 72 games and had 58 points. Alongside captain Colton Kroeker, the 1999-born Oakbank, Manitoba native was named the team’s co-MVP for the season.

The Stars invited three other WHL players to their camp, including forward Jermaine Loewen (Kamloops Blazers), defenceman Dawson Barteaux (Red Deer Rebels) and import defenceman Ondrej Vala (Everett Silvertips).

Davis has two more years of eligibility left in his WHL career, while Bodak could play one final season this fall if he does not end up playing professionally. If they have successful development camps, both players could potentially be invited to their teams’ main camps in the fall.

The Kootenay Ice training camp should get started in late August, with their regular season kicking off in September. The Ice are expected to make one selection at the CHL Import Draft this Thursday.

Cranbrook Townsman

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