Peyton Krebs has only played five games for the Winnipeg Ice since returning from a torn Achilles tendon injury last month.
But the pedigree of the Vegas Golden Knights 2019 first-round draft pick — combined with a proven track record in previous international competitions — has paved the way for Krebs to be among 31 players to earn an invite to next week’s National Junior Team selection camp.
“Any time you get that call, it’s pretty special. It’s the highest stage for Hockey Canada in terms of Under 20,” Krebs said in an interview with 680 CJOB and Global News.
“At the start of the year, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to with my Achilles. I’ve put a lot of work in to get here. I played U-17 and U-18 and I think I have a good relationship with Hockey Canada.”
Krebs is one of 17 forwards competing for 13 jobs and will be joined at the camp by Brandon Wheat Kings defenseman Braden Schneider as well as Manitobans Calen Addison (Brandon) of the Lethbridge Hurricanes, and Portland Winterhawks Goalie Joel Hofer (Winnipeg.)
The selection camp begins on Monday, December 9 in Oakville, Ontario and wraps up with a pair of exhibition games against an Ontario-based U Sports all-star team on Wednesday and Thursday.
This year’s World Junior Tournament will be played in the Czech Republic and Team Canada’s opening game will be played on Boxing Day afternoon against the United States.
Krebs, who has five assists in the five games he has played for Winnipeg since returning, has a chance to get in three more games ahead of the camp when the Ice continue a homestand with visits from Swift Current on Wednesday, Regina Friday, and then Kamloops on Saturday.
“I haven’t played in seven months since these five games here so I’m still trying to get my timing and everything down,” said Krebs when asked about where he thinks he’s at in getting back to game shape.
“I think these next three games here at home will really help me. Coming into camp I’m going to do everything in my power to be as prepared as possible and allow myself to play the best I can.”