Photo Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

Canucks’ Olli Juolevi on his recovery from COVID-19: ‘It took some time’

Olli Juolevi didn’t have his best showing at Vancouver Canucks training camp in Abbotsford a week ago.

“He didn’t do himself any favours,” said head coach Travis Green when asked about Juolevi’s performance in camp.

Things started at a low point for Juolevi when he finished last in his group for the 40s bag skate and subsequently laid flat on the ice, much to the displeasure of veteran teammates J.T. Miller and Tyler Myers, both of whom could be heard telling Juolevi to get onto his feet.

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“I just happened to have a bad day,” Juolevi told reporters of his bag skate performance. “I’ve felt good on the ice so far and I had a good three days there then back-to-back games. I was feeling good, so I’m not worried about that.”

There was speculation among fans that Juolevi’s poor performance in the conditioning segment of camp could be chalked up to still feeling the effects of his bout with COVID-19 from back in April, but Juolevi says that isn’t the case.

“It took some time, but I’m feeling good right now,” said Juolevi when asked how long after his original diagnosis it took for him to stop feeling the effects of the virus. “That’s all that matters.”

“I felt really good in both games. I was just happy to play in both games and obviously the more chances you get, you want to be good in those chances and I think that’s what I did.”

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Juolevi has been skating on the Canucks’ fourth defence pairing at practice for the last two days. Today, he was paired with Madison Bowey, and yesterday, he skated alongside Kyle Burroughs.

With the Canucks set to make their first cuts after Sunday’s game against Winnipeg, it will be interesting to see if Juolevi can perform well enough to put himself back in the conversation for a roster spot. With names like Jack Rathbone and Brad Hunt seemingly ahead of him, Juolevi will need to leave it all on the ice every chance he gets.