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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Canucks reduce preseason roster by 18 players

The Canucks have made cuts to their preseason roster after their first split-squad preseason games against the Flames. 18 players have been cut from the roster ahead of tonight’s preseason clash with the Oilers.

According to the press release, the Canucks have assigned Carter Bancks, Dylan Blujus, Carter Camper, Mitch Eliot, Zach Frye, Tanner Sorenson, Wacey Hamilton, Jake Kielly, Stefan Leblanc, Matt Petgrave, Dylan Sadowy, Dyson Stevenson and Aaron Thow to the Utica Comets.

The Canucks have also assigned forwards Carson Focht and Ethan Keppen, goaltender Arturs Silovs, and defenseman Jett Woo to their respective junior teams. Defenseman Will Warm has been released from his tryout.

There aren’t really any surprises here. The Canucks are going to be faced with some tough decisions in the coming weeks when determining their roster for the 2019-20 season, but none of the players cut Tuesday were expected to make the big club.

Carson Focht and Jett Woo are two promising prospects who impressed in training camp this year. They both play for the WHL Calgary Hitmen and will begin their junior seasons this Saturday against Swift Current. Focht was drafted 133rd overall by the Canucks this past June, while Woo was taken 37th overall in the 2018 NHL Draft.

Woo is heading into his fourth career WHL season after exploding for a career-high 12 goals and 66 points in 62 games with Moose Jaw last season. He was traded to the Hitmen in May on WHL bantam draft day.  Focht is also heading into his fourth WHL season and third with the Hitmen. He had a career-high 26 goals and 64 points in 68 games for Calgary in 2018-19. Both Focht and Woo participated in Hockey Canada’s Summer Development Camp this offseason.

Keppen is a power forward who was taken 122nd overall by the Canucks in 2019. The Canucks took the Latvian goaltender Silovs with the 156th overall pick in the same draft.