PORTLAND, O.R. – As the end of August fast approaches, WHL team training camps are either set to begin this weekend, or already have.
The Portland Winterhawks pre-season began yesterday with Day 1 of the Neely Cup intrasquad tournament, which started yesterday and goes until Sunday at the Portland Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum. Players at the Winterhawks camp are split into four teams named after famous team alumni.
Fort St. John native Connor Bowie has already impressed the team’s coaches after only one day of the tournament. Playing for Team Hoyda, the 15 year-old scored a goal in his second game of the tournament yesterday, helping his squad to a 3-0 win over Team Bandura.
Bowie was drafted by the Winterhawks in this past Spring’s WHL Bantam draft in the 7th round. Playing for the Northern Metalic Sales Bantam AA Flyers in the Edmonton Rural Bantam Hockey League last season, Bowie lead the league with 39 goals, and 23 assists in 28 games.
When he was drafted, Bowie joined fellow Fort St. John natives Tristen Nielsen and Jarratt Ralph in the elite club of WHL draftees.
Nielsen, who was drafted by the Calgary Hitmen in 2015, reported to the Saddledome today for fitness testing before the Hitmen’s camp takes to the ice starting tomorrow. Nielsen has had an action-packed summer on the ice already, after competing for a spot on one of three Canadian teams at this fall’s U17 World Hockey Challenge back in late July.
Ralph, who was drafted by the Victoria Royals in 2013, is set to take to the ice on Monday as the Royals begin their main training camp.