GIF: Jared McCann shows off his NHL-quality wrist shot and his love for referees

Thomas Drance
September 13 2015 04:30PM

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Caucks prospect Jared McCann can absolutely rip it.

When the two-way centreman - who will likely return to the OHL to play first-line minutes for the powerhouse Soo Greyhounds this season - misses with a wrister - he dents the glass. When his shot is on target though? Well then even Jets prospect Connor Hellebuyck, by most accounts the best goaltender outside the NHL, has no chance.

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Young Stars Tournament - Game 1 Preview: Canucks v. Oilers

Thomas Drance
September 11 2015 06:02PM

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 3.55.12 PM

Hockey is back! And the dawn of the McDavid era is upon us.

The Vancouver Canucks' - the hosts of the now annual, and actually really cool Penticton Young Stars tournament - prospects will face the Edmonton Oilers' prospects in an exhibition at 7:30 pm PST on Friday night. The game will mark the first Canucks hockey any of us will have watched since Vancouver coughed up a three-goal first period lead to the Calgary Flames in Game 6 of their first-round series loss back in April. It'll also mark the first time Connor McDavid has sported an Oilers jersey in a professional-level game.

Will McDavid dominate and give Canucks fans a taste of the sort of other-worldly speed and puck control dominance that will come to characterize the next decade of Pacific Division hockey? Or will the Canucks find a way to keep the phenom relatively in check, and put together a win in the interior? You'll have to tune in to find out!

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Why the Canucks prefer Brendan Gaunce as a winger

Thomas Drance
September 11 2015 03:43PM

Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

Drafted with the Vancouver Canucks' first-round pick at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Brendan Gaunce was initially touted as a big, two-way centreman - the sort of player that's always at a premium in the NHL.

To open the 2015 Young Stars tournament on Friday, however, Gaunce will be flanking centreman Jared McCann on the left wing. It's where he spent the entirety of his first professional season with the Utica Comets too.

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Report: Canucks invite AHL enforcer John Kurtz to training camp

Thomas Drance
September 11 2015 09:33AM

Photo Credit: Ed Szczepanski/USA TODAY Sports

The Vancouver Canucks have invited a designated fighter to training camp, according to a report from News 1130 Sports.

John Kurtz, 26, has spent his professional career bludgeoning opponents in the minor leagues with the Anaheim Ducks organization. Kurtz has fought 40 times over the past two seasons, according to - crooked numbers for sure. He's also scored 18 goals and 37 total points in 271 AHL games, so there isn't much to his game beyond the face-punching dimension.

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Report: Canucks could open regular season with interim head coach

Thomas Drance
September 10 2015 05:37PM

Photo Credit: James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins, a career bench boss, waited 57 years before he got the opportunity to open an NHL campaign as the top dog on an NHL coaching staff. Heading into his second season as an NHL head coach, it would appear that Desjardins may have to be patient once again.

The Canucks' 58-year-old bench boss is currently recovering from hip replacement surgery, which will cause him to miss this weekend's sure-to-be fascinating Young Stars Tournament in Penticton, B.C.. How much more time Desjardins' misses thereafter isn't clear at the moment.

On Wednesday the Canucks declared that Desjardins would be ready for the regular season opener on Oct. 7, and general manager Jim Benning indicated to the Vancouver Province's Jason Botchford that his head coach is expected to be in Prince George for the opening of training camp next week. Desjardins' expected presence at training camp and behind the bench for the season opener is far from a foregone conclusion though, according to a report from TSN 1040 host Matt Sekeres

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