Canucks loan Virtanen to Utica for conditioning; decision on WJC to come next week

Thomas Drance
December 08 2015 06:51PM

Photo Courtesy: @UticaComets

Jake Virtanen has recovered from his hip pointer is on his way to the East Coast to suit up for the Utica Comets of the American League on a conditioning loan, the club announced on Tuesday.

Virtanen, 19, is expected to get in a pair of practices and to play in two of Utica's upcoming three games this weekend, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie. I'd think he's most likely to avoid the back-to-back and play against the Toronto Marlies on Friday at the Aud and again on Sunday at Ricoh Coliseum.

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Canucks prospect Dmitry Zhukenov left off of Russia's WJC team

Thomas Drance
December 08 2015 01:53PM

Vancouver Canucks prospect and Chicoutimi Saguenéens centreman Dmitry Zhukenov has been left of Team Russia's pre-tournament evaluation camp roster ahead of the 2016 World Junior Championships. He won't represent Russia at this year's U20 tournament.

Zhukenov, 18, has been a mainstay on the Russian national team throughout his late teens. He competed for Russia at the U17 tournament and was a point-per-game player with Russia's U18 side last season, which probably played a substantial role in catching the eye of Canucks management, who selected Zhukenov in the fourth-round pick at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

Though Zhukenov has been left off of the U20 side for the 2016 WJC championship, it's not a huge upset or a surprise. And as an 18-year-old, this won't be Zhukenov's last shot at representing his country at the U20 level.

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Brock Boeser invited to Team USA's WJC training camp

Thomas Drance
December 07 2015 01:53PM

Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports

There was very little suspense about whether or not Vancouver Canucks prospect Brock Boeser would be invited to Team USA's pre-tournament camp ahead of the 2016 World Junior Championships. He was always going to be invited and you can probably feel pretty safe about penciling him onto the team.

Boeser, 18, was included on the list of players invited to Team USA's orientation camp on Monday and is having a ridiculous freshman campaign with North Dakota of the NCAA. The skilled scoring winger is playing on one of the most lethal forward lines in the nation - alongside countryman and Chicago Blackhawks prospect Nick Schmaltz, who will probably be his centre during the World Junior Championship tournament - and is putting up absurd numbers. He currently leads all NCAA freshmen in goals, goals per game, total shots on goal and plus/minus. 

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Congratulations to Money Puck and Josh Weissbock, the latest CA alumni to graduate to the bigs

Thomas Drance
December 06 2015 04:06PM

Pour one out for the homies. Photo Courtesy: Money Puck

We've lost two more of our best, and congratulations are in order.

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Brandon Prust spears Brad Marchand in the groin late in blowout loss

Thomas Drance
December 05 2015 10:41PM

Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports

At some point you knew the Vancouver Canucks were going to 'get' Brad Marchand.

The Boston Bruins forward has been a thorn in the side the Canucks and their fans for years. He's even annoying to the club's former coach Alain Vigneault! And while some of the hatred is based on a petty reaction to a player that performed well in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, some of it is also well earned.

The punches on Daniel Sedin late in Game 6 drew the ire of Canucks fans, as did the cheap, dangerous low bridge that concussed Sami Salo in January of 2012. Then there was the time that Marchand kissed his ring and mimed lifting the Stanley Cup on Rogers Arena ice during a blowout loss in the fall of 2013. 

You knew that at some point a Canucks player was going to exact some form of payback on Marchand, and on Saturday night Brandon Prust did just that: spearing Marchand in the groin with apparent intent.

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