Brandon Wheat Kings left-winger Richard Nejezchleb has been invited to the Czech selection camp for the world junior hockey championship, beginning on Boxing Day in Sweden.
Nejezchleb, 19, said earlier this season that he did not expect to be invited to play for his country and said Wednesday’s announcement was a pleasant surprise.
"I talked with my agent and he told me there is little chance I would go," said Nejezchleb, who will be one of 15 forwards competing for 13 spots on the team. "… I was kind of surprised and it’s a good opportunity. It’s an honour for me to represent my country."
In his second Western Hockey League season with the Wheat Kings, Nejezchleb has 25 points, including a team-leading 18 goals, in 29 games.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound 19-year-old was not chosen in this year’s National Hockey League entry draft, but attended the Pittsburgh Penguins training camp as a free agent.
Nejezchleb, who leaves for the Czech camp on Dec. 11, is the only Wheat King still in the running for a spot in the championship.
Earlier this week, Brandon captain Ryan Pulock was a surprise omission from the Canadian junior team’s selection camp.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 5, 2013