Canadian hockey stars make unofficial visit

Daniel Bertram and Brock Bradford are two of the best 16-year-olds in Canadian hockey. The duo was recently in the Twin Cities at a hockey camp and made an unofficial visit to the University of Minnesota. What lies ahead for these two phenoms?

A pair of Canadian hockey standouts made unofficial visits to the University of Minnesota recently.

Daniel Bertram, a 16-year-old, 5-10, 160-pound forward who had 26 goals and 20 assists in 36 games for the Calgary Bisons of the AMHL last year, visited the campus of the U of M while in town for a hockey camp.

Also visiting the campus of the two-time defending NCAA national champions was Brock Bradford, a 5-8, 155-pound 16-year-old forward who had 11 goals and 23 assists in 36 games for the Coquitlam Express Junior A Hockey Club last season.

Will these two be future Gophers?

"In all likelihood the visits by Bertram, Bradford and other players at the camp in Minnesota, which I believe was set up by their (advisors), was just to give them a first-hand look at a top NCAA facility," said David Banks, editor of Hockey Now, a Canadian newspaper published monthly during the hockey season in Alberta and Ontario, and twice monthly during the hockey season in British Columbia. The publications have a combined readership of over 240,000 per month.

Banks said Bertram is expected at the training camp of the WHL's Vancouver Giants this week, but has received a tremendous amount of interest from NCAA schools. He was the top (and youngest) player on Team Alberta at the Canadian Winter Games in February 2003 and the No. 2 overall pick in the 2002 WHL Bantam Draft by the Giants. Last year Bertram played for UFA Bisons in the Alberta Midget AAA League and briefly joined the Junior A Camrose Kodiaks for the playoffs and the Canadian Junior A championship tournament, where Camrose finished second. However, reports out of Canada are that Bertram will continue to play in his home country, and not in the American college system.

"Bertram is almost certainly not going to the NCAA," said Banks. "He is an outstanding player with great speed and ability, perhaps the best 1987 (year born) player in Alberta."

While at this time Bertram is expected to stay home, Bradford is expected to go to play American college hockey. Bradford will again play for Coquitlam during the 2003-2004 season.

"He is not very big, but nonetheless a very talented offensive player," said Banks. "He's also a good student and his sister, Ashley, is on a hockey scholarship to Colgate."

Stay tuned to GoldenSports.Net for more recruiting information.

Matt Krumrie covers hockey for GoldenSports.Net. He can be reached at gopherhockeyinsider@yahoo.com

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