We’ve been out at Scotia Barn — AKA 8 Rinks — in Burnaby all week watching a handful of Vancouver Canucks players skate in sessions lead by Jason Krog and Canucks goaltending coach Ian Clark.
Among those players are newcomers Collin Delia, Andrey Kuzmenko, and Ilya Mikheyev, along with some familiar faces in Vasily Podkolzin, Travis Dermott, Thatcher Demko, Spencer Martin, Arturs Silovs, Kyle Burroughs, and Brady Keeper.
These casual skates are quite competitive
On Wednesday, we spoke with defenceman Travis Dermott about the skates as a whole.
“We’re pushing each other early,” said Dermott. “We had some kind of soft one-on-one battles in the corner, but it wasn’t soft at all. That was out of the question quick.”
The pace is ramping up at these skates and while the goalies are likely the ones getting the most work in out of anyone, the players aren’t taking the sessions lightly, either.
Andrey Kuzmenko works hard
Kuzmenko looks solid, and we were told that upon arriving last week to the skates that media weren’t in attendance for, Kuzmenko was among the first to take the ice and the last to leave.
There was even an instance or two where Kuzmenko wouldn’t let Arturs Silovs leave the ice so that he could have a goaltender to shoot at for an extra hour after everybody had already left.
To say Kuzmenko — who finished second in KHL league scoring last season — wants to make the most of his NHL opportunity with the Canucks would be an understatement.
An interesting quote on Ilya Mikheyev, who has looked fast
In speaking to Dermott, we asked him about his former Maple Leaf teammate Ilya Mikheyev, who signed a four-year deal with the Canucks this offseason.
Mikheyev has showed off his trademark speed all week, and Dermott had this to say about his new Canucks teammate:
“He’s just a firecracker,” said Dermott. “I’m happy he’s with us now because I really didn’t want to play against him. He’s just so fast in the way he thinks the game. His skill works with his speed kind of seamlessly. And it’s kind of like a, like a McDavid type thing where the speed alone is scary, but once you mix it in with the skill and the mindset with the speed, that’s when it can be pretty dangerous. So I’m definitely happy to have him on my side.”
We further broke down what we’ve seen this week in the video below!