Two Prince George Cougars have been invited to Canada’s National Junior Team selection camp. Goaltender Tyler Brennan and defenceman Ethan Samson will compete for spots on Team Canada’s roster at the World Juniors, which runs from December 26, 2022, to January 5, 2023. 

Tyler Brennan

Nineteen-year-old goaltender Tyler Brennan was drafted by the Prince George Cougars twenty-first overall in the 2018 WHL Draft and has played with them since the 2018-19 season. Overall, he has a .896 save percentage and a 3.40 goals-against-average.

Brennan was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the fourth round of the 2022 NHL Draft, going 102nd overall. 

Although his statistics may not catch the eye, Brennan was a highly-rated goaltender going into the 2022 NHL Draft. Described by Logan Horn with The Hockey Writers as the “size of a modern-day NHL goalie,” Brennan knows how to use his frame to his advantage, with excellent reflexes and a strong intuition. Known for his relaxed game, he remains calm in the crease and doesn’t let much faze him.

Tracking and puck handling seem to be Brennan’s weakest points, as well as handling shots closer to his body. According to Colin Hunter, goaltending scout for Dobber Prospects, “Brennan is a pleasure to watch as a scout due to his smooth skating and athleticism. His positional decision-making and tracking will need some work, but it’s hard to teach the out-of-the-box saves that Brennan is capable of.”

Ethan Samson

Cougars Captain Ethan Samson has played since the 2019-20 season after being drafted sixty-fifth overall by Prince George in the 2018 WHL Draft. He has played 173 games with the Cougars, posting 80 points (24G-56A) so far. 

The Philadelphia Flyers drafted Samson 174th overall in the 2021 NHL Draft.

Samson has been building his game every year. He’s developed his discipline and has become a stronger defenceman, helping his team maintain their fight-to-the-end mentality. Known for his leadership on and off the ice, he wore an A since his sophomore season with the Cougars and donned the C for the 2022-23 season. He plays a physical game and “leads by example, and does whatever is necessary for his team to win the hockey game,” says Jamey Baskow from Flyers Nitty Gritty.

Bill Placzek with Lines did a prospect report for Samson: “Right-shooting defenseman Prince George who has a two-way defender and one of the biggest surprise sleepers of the class. At 6′ 2″, has good size a calm demeanour to his play, zone awareness and a fast stick that along with his light edging, allows him to close gaps, and ride these forwards to the wall, set up teammates with one-timers, and lay quick, crisp breakouts on teammate’s sticks. When he adds a little nasty, he may go from one of the better defensemen in the WHL to one of the better developing backline prospects in the draft.”

Both players will be heading to Moncton, N.B., for the selection camp December 9-12.