The first real sign that hockey is slowly coming back. The Vancouver Canucks will be reporting to their Training Camp in a matter of days and the official camp roster has been released.
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) September 11, 2019
When it comes to the forwards, the Canucks are bringing in some fairly well-thought of players with some potential to make the team if they impress. A player like Francis Perron, acquired in the Tom Pyatt trade on the draft floor in June, could have a depth role on this team if everything goes his way.
For the prospects farther away, Ethan Keppen and Carson Focht will represent the young players that are still going to return to their junior clubs and hopefully have an impressive season before they turn professional.
There will be some interesting battles for positions for coaches to see as well. Whether Josh Leivo can return to being a top-six forward, or will Jake Virtanen take the next massive step, or how well new wingers J.T. Miller and Micheal Ferland fit in with the rest of the roster — these are some of the narratives heading into camp for this group of forwards.
For defencemen and goaltending, the selection for the Canucks is a little bit easier. The NHL blue line when the regular season opens on Oct. 2 will be a collection of Alex Edler, Chris Tanev, Jordie Benn, Tyler Myers, Quinn Hughes, and Troy Stecher, while the goal will be shared between Jacob Markstrom and Thatcher Demko. A fairly simple choice.
But in camp, the coaching staff will have direct contact with top prospects like Olli Juolevi, to see how his development is coming along. Even further down the prospect hype chart, players like Guillaume Brisebois and Michael DiPietro should have opportunities to play with more NHL regulars than normal.
It should be an interesting couple of weeks from multiple angles.
The Canucks open their preseason with two split-squad games on Sept. 16 against the Calgary Flames, starting at 6:00pm PT and 7:00pm PT.