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Thomas Harley, Bowen Byram and Peyton Krebs spent significant time in the National Hockey League's Edmonton bubble during the summer, but never had any in-depth conversations.

"Usually at breakfast I'd see one of Bo or Krebsie and just give them a wave," said Harley, a Dallas Stars prospect, who plays defence for the Mississauga Steelheads.

"We bumped into each other lots," said Byram, Colorado's fourth overall pick in the 2019 draft, who patrols the blue line for the Vancouver Giants. "Just a quick hello. I mean, whenever you're around that type of crowd, you don't really want to stand out too much so we tried to keep it quick and short, but it was good to see familiar faces."

Byram's Avalanche fell to Harley's Stars in the second round and then the Stars knocked out Krebs' Vegas Golden Knights in the Western Conference final.

"After games I'd give him a look and walk away," said Krebs, a centre with the Winnipeg Ice, with a chuckle.

Harley made his NHL debut during a round robin game against the Avalanche, but other than that, the trio of teenagers stayed on the sidelines quietly collecting information and insight on professional hockey. The experience will now help them lead Team Canada at this year's World Juniors, which will also be played inside an Edmonton bubble.

Chicago Blackhawks centre Kirby Dach and Washington Capitals prospect Connor McMichael are also at Hockey Canada's selection camp after being inside the NHL bubble, but their teams were knocked out in the first round of the playoffs.

TSN moderated a discussion between Harley, Byram and Krebs to hear how the time in the NHL impacted them. The following is an edited transcript of the conversation. 

TSN: How did the bubble experience help you?

HARLEY: "You don't really ever get the opportunity to get to know those NHL guys in that capacity. You see them at the rink and then they're home with their families. In the bubble we're with them for 24 hours a day and you get to know them better than you thought you would. And, as a player, you're out there practicing against the best players in the world, so you're obviously going to get better and I grew in leaps and bounds."

BYRAM: "You make a lot of good relationships with guys you didn't really totally know's pretty valuable being on the ice with those guys every day and being around the coaching staff, management, things like that made me feel a lot more comfortable with the organization from top to bottom."

KREBS: "Something you didn't get to do before was be with the coaches every day. You see them here and there and then at practice, but we were tight with them in the bubble and that helped a lot to know what they wanted out of you and what you can do to make the jump."

BYRAM: "I think what Peyton said is a really valuable point. I mean, you're not really around the management staff or the coaching staff too much on a regular basis during a regular practice day or game day, so to have good conversations with all of them not only about hockey, but getting to know them away from the rink, that's something I was very grateful for."

TSN: Who did you get to know better?

BYRAM: "One guy who's really open is Joe Sakic. He's a great guy, a stand-up dude. He's always willing to talk about hockey and how you're feeling and your hobbies, what you do away from the rink, things like that. So, it's pretty cool to be around such a hockey legend like him every day and get to know him on a friend basis other than him being my boss (smiles), so it was definitely interesting."

TSN: Anything surprise you during your time in the bubble?

HARLEY: "I guess a little bit how the older guys are still young at heart. Like, there's not a big difference in the attitudes in the room between junior hockey and then the 38-year-olds you have playing in the NHL. They're kind of kids when everyone's together."

KREBS: "Just playing video games with 38-year-olds every night is pretty funny. They need to pass the time as well."

TSN: This 38-year-old have a name?

KREBS: "Deryk Engelland."

TSN: And what was his skill like in video games?

KREBS: "Oh, he was pretty good. At the start it took some time, but by the end of it he was getting five, six kills a game in War Zone."

TSN: One of the things that makes bubble life so different is you're in there with all the teams. Did you have a notable interaction with someone from another team?

KREBS: "A guy I looked up to and always have is Nathan MacKinnon and just walking by him in the hallway was pretty cool. To be honest, he looked bigger on the ice and I felt pretty good when I was walking by him. That was pretty awesome and you realize they're just people and they went through things just like us playing junior hockey."

TSN: I guess you wouldn't say anything to him, you just enjoyed being in his presence?

KREBS: "Yeah, exactly. I just walked by and I was like, 'Oh, cool.'"

HARLEY: "I was actually going up to my room after breakfast and [Andrei] Vasilevskiy and [Nikita] Kucherov walked in so I nodded to them and put my head down and just tried not to embarrass myself in front of them."

BYRAM: "One guy that really stood out to me whenever I saw him around the hotel or wherever was actually Dallas coach Rick Bowness...He was always willing to strike up a bit of a conversation and that was really nice to see."

HARLEY: "From the moment I got drafted he's been a great friend to me. He's been more of a friend than a coach, honestly...It's pretty easy to see why everyone in the organization loves him. If you go down to breakfast he'll yell out your name and, 'Hey, how you doing? Did you sleep well? Are you ready for today's practice?' He makes you feel welcome is the best way to describe it. I think the biggest reason why we went as far as we did was Bowness. Everyone on that team wanted to win for him. He's been around for so long. I think it's 40-odd years he's been coaching in the NHL and everyone on that team just wanted to win for him and we got pretty damn close."

TSN: You guys watched a lot of hockey as well. Who did you gain a greater appreciation for?

KREBS: "When we were playing Chicago, Patrick Kane was definitely a guy I was like, 'This guy is legit.' I don't know about in the USA, but here in Canada on TSN he doesn't get much appreciation. Seeing him play I was like, 'This guy’s legit. He's a stud.' I think he's a top-five player in the NHL and he just controls the play and doesn't make many mistakes."

HARLEY: "There were two for me. It was [Miro] Heiskanen and MacKinnon in that Colorado series. He was incredible. I think he was hurt [later in the series] because Game 1 he was dominant. Every shift he controlled the play and we were pinned in our own zone and he was making every play he could. It was really incredible to watch. And Heiskanen, just through the playoffs he was so consistent every night. He was putting up two points, 26 minutes a night and just controlling the play when he was on the ice. It was incredible to watch."

BYRAM: "It's pretty hard to not say MacKinnon. I mean, you hear so much talk about how good he is and then you watch him live and it's pretty crazy. In my opinion, after watching him for so long so closely, he's the best player in the NHL. Every time he touches the puck you think something's going to happen. I don't think that’s something that happens with very many players. Whenever he gets the puck and he builds speed you really get to the edge of your seat so it's pretty crazy to watch. He's spectacular."

TSN: Do you have a top moment or memory from the bubble?

KREBS: "When I got to warm-up for the first time. It's not that much in the grand scheme of things, but I was pretty nervous all day just to warm-up and I had a lot of fun. They were nagging me to take the helmet off, but I kept it on. That was really cool, actually, and it might have not meant much to the other guys playing, but to me that was a really special moment. Being injured and being in Vegas [rehabbing for five months last season] I always dreamed of getting on the ice and warming up and getting in the dressing room with the guys and to finally be able to do that, to lace them up...that was a really cool moment."

BYRAM: "Well, I don't think it's necessarily a positive moment for the Avalanche, but I thought Game 7 against the Stars was a crazy game...Obviously, we came out on the short end of the stick there, but it was a crazy game. It was so entertaining, ups and downs, goals scored back to back, it was pretty crazy and ended in overtime. So, as much as it wasn't necessarily a positive for the team, I think being a spectator for that game in the press box was definitely entertaining...I just tried to really watch and pay attention to little details. I think that's kind of a cliche for guys trying to make their way to the NHL, but I just tried to soak everything in."

HARLEY: "I'm going to pick two. My first [NHL] looks a hell of a​ lot easier when you're watching it from above. You get out there and it's really hard. I don't know how else to describe it, it just is. There's no space out there and it's so fast. My other favourite memory is when we beat Vegas in Game 5 and [Denis] Gurianov scored that one timer – sorry Krebsie – and we went down to the room and everyone was just so pumped. We were going to the Cup final and everyone was so happy for each other and it was a great environment."