September 14 2009 01:55PM
Game Day for the Vancouver Canucks is finally here!
Most of the veterans have remained in Vancouver, but there are still some interesting players to follow during tonight's game with the New York Islanders in Kraft Hockeyville - Terrace, BC.
The likely lineup for tonight's game can be found at the Canucks website here.
Here is who I will be watching tonight.
Cody Hodgson - Although he is not listed in the lineup card, the Boy Wonder is expected to play tonight. Like most Canucks fans, I'm keen to see how good he really.
(Ed. - Hodgson is still in Vancouver, practicing with the rest of the Canucks at UBC. That obviously means he is not in Terrace for tonight's game.)
Michael Grabner - We've seen him play in games before. I want to know if he has upped his game. If so, he is a likely NHL starter when the Canucks' season kicks off in October.
Sergei Shirokov - His skills have been speaking for themselves so far. I'm excited to get a glimpse into his talent, and to see how close he is to being a full-time NHLer.
Evan Oberg - He was a free agent signing, so he hasn't been in the organization very long. The book on him is that he is a very talented young defenceman, so I'll be keeping an eye on him.
Cory Schneider - I want to know if he is going up his trade value, by putting in a solid pre-season. The better his play, the higher the value, and the better the returns for the Canucks.
Andrew Raycroft - He is a player who is on the verge of being played out of the NHL. Can he resurrect his play to return to Calder winning form?
The hockey tonight won't be the best game you'll see. But it will be filled with energy from young guys trying to crack into the league, and from a small but boisterous crowd, seeing NHL hockey live in their town for the first (and likely only) time.
It's a great day to return to hockey!