Suffering from mononucleosis in his draft year and a major wrist injury last year, Swift Current Broncos winger Adam Lowry has been overly familiar with Western Hockey League arena's press boxes, missing a total of 42 games over the past couple years.
"Having mono and that wrist injury definitely slowed me down," says Lowry, the son of former NHLer and Victoria Royals coach Dave Lowry. "It was tough to miss games and practices when I really wanted to be out there making strides in my game."
This year has been a different story. Lowry has been as healthy as a horse, not missing a single game for Swift Current.
"I feel I'm in great shape now," the Winnipeg Jets draft pick says. "It is nice to be finally healthy and be able to contribute to my team. I think I am getting better each game. I feel I am making better decisions with and without the puck. I'm working really hard to keep on growing in all areas of my game."
Lowry has anchored the Broncos offence, leading Swift Current in scoring with 10 goals and 26 points in 26 games. He has been a force in front of the net and along the boards, winning puck battles and opening up space in tight areas.
"Adam has been a very valuable player for us," says Broncos coach-GM Mark Lamb. "He can play wing, centre, on the penalty kill, and on the power player — making him a very versatile player. He has been an impact player at both ends of the ice. He is the type of guy every coach wants on their team."
Lowry's strong start to the season earned him a spot on Team WHL's roster in the recent Subway Super Series against Russia. He didn't disappoint, scoring one of their two goals.
"It was a great experience," says Lowry, who turned 19 in March. "I think I played pretty good. I was able to make stuff happen offensively and help out in my own end. It would have been nice to close out the tournament, but we gave it our best shot."
He went into the series not only hoping to lead his squad to two wins, but also to show Hockey Canada that they should give him a strong look for the upcoming world junior championship in Russia.
"[Hockey Canada watching] was in the back of my mind," says Lowry. "I wanted to show them I could definitely be useful player. I can play in the top-six, but if they feel there are better-suited players, I could play in the bottom-two lines as well. I could play an energy role as a physical player that can compete at both ends."
Although Hockey Canada hasn't revealed whom they will invite to their tryout camp, Lowry's excellent start to the season and Subway Series showing seems to have made a strong case for him to be one of their WHL invitees.
It is hard to lay out Canada's offence because of the uncertainty of whether some players will be swooped away by the NHL if the lockout ends. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins would undoubtedly head to Edmonton to play for the Oilers. Players such as Jets first-rounder Mark Scheifele, Florida Panthers first-rounder Jonathan Huberdeau, and New York Islanders first-rounder Ryan Strome could be NHL bound if they have strong training camps for their respective teams.
Nevertheless, whether the NHL resumes or not, it seems Lowry has a strong shot at donning the maple leaf. His 6-foot-5, 201-pound frame would be very valuable in front of the net on the power play to screen opposing teams' goaltenders and to take attention away from Canada's go-to goal scorers. He would also give Canada a physical presence, which will likely be needed against Russia after they proved to be an edgy squad in the super series. Not to mention, his age will work in his favour as nine of Canada's 13 forwards were 19 last year.
"I think Lowry's odds are pretty good to make the team," says Lamb. "But I know how hard he works every night and what type of player he is. I'm sure if they see what I've seen, they will like him."
Kelly Friesen is a Buzzing the Net columnist for Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter @KellyFriesen