Forward from St. John’s makes national under-18 team for Hlinka Tournament next week
© Cape Breton Screaming Eagles photo
Bishop will be part of a 22-player Canadian entry at the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament, being held next week in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
Clark Bishop likely won’t be home in St. John’s again until the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Christmas break, but that’s okay by the 17-year-old Cape Breton Screaming Eagles centreman.
On Monday, Bishop was announced as one of 22 players to make Hockey Canada’s under-18 roster following a selection camp in Toronto this past weekend.
Today, the team leaves for Europe, where it will prepare for the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament, Aug. 5-10 in Piestany, Slovakia and Breclav, Czech Republic.
“I’m going right to Cape Breton after the tournament,” Bishop told the Telegram.
“(The Screaming Eagles’) camp starts the 12th, so we’ll travel back on the 11th and I’ll go right there.”
Bishop was one of 42 players — and the only Newfoundlander — invited to the camp this weekend. Playing on Team Red, which won two of the three intra-squad games, Bishop said the level of competition at the camp was quite high.
“It was the players from across Canada in my age-group this weekend, so it was a really high pace and high intensity.”
The Canadian team will be guided by former NHL player and coach and current London Knights owner and coach Dale Hunter.
“I didn’t really meet him that much this weekend because he was dealing with choosing players for the team, so he would only come into the dressing room every now and then to say a few things to both teams. I’m sure as we going I’ll get to know him a bit better.”
Bishop has been on Hockey Canada’s radar since a strong showing for Team Atlantic at the 2012 World Under-17 Challenge last Christmas. In April, he was invited to the under-18 training camp and was also asked to join the team for a pair of exhibition games in Sochi, Russia ahead of the IIHF World Championships this April.
While he didn’t sneak in as an underager, Bishop says it helped him prepare for this summer’s selection camp.
“I thought it gave me a lot more experience coming in, so I was more ready for this camp, I knew what to expect.”
Likewise, Bishop says the Ivan Hlinka tourney will benefit him when his sophomore season in the Quebec league — which is also his NHL draft year — begins.
“To travel and play against players from around the world at a high level, then go back to the Q as a 17-year-old for a big year, I think it’s going to help a lot.”