Canucks 2024 Dev Camp finale: Riley Patterson shines in scrimmage, Melvin Fernström shows off creativity, and more

Dave Hall
7 days ago
With that, the Vancouver Canucks’ development camp has wrapped up its on-ice and media sessions.
Of course, for the players, there’s one more giant hurdle to climb — no pun intended — on Friday: the Grouse Grind.
The morning session was the final on-ice session for the coaching staff to run through drills. For the first time all week, the groups were split between forwards and defence, rather than their typical blue and white teams.The biggest change of the week, however, was the addition of some detail on the backs of their jerseys. After two days of struggling to separate each individual, the players were given name bars and numbers – and it was glorious.
It’s a small detail, and after a few days, you have a general sense of who everyone is on the ice. Yet, it’s incredible how much more the additional detail helps track players.
In the forward session, the group was divided into stations, focusing on quick passing and puck protection drills.
Meanwhile, the defence was getting their reps walking the blue line, honing in on their jukes, pump fakes and quick snapshots.
Finally, it was time for the scrimmage. We won’t do a play-by-play, but here are some thoughts on standout players from the session. We will have a video soon at CanucksArmy with all the highlights.
The scrimmage was played at 4v4 and eventually 3v3, so everything must be taken with a grain of salt. Much like drills, it’s not the ideal environment to judge players comprehensively, but a few players did catch our eyes.
Today’s “MVP” was undoubtedly one of their newest recruits, Riley Patterson. He made noise with nearly every shift and even scored the goal of the scrimmage with a between-the-legs shot that went bar down. Additionally, he showed very shifty hands and demonstrated the package that granted him a fourth-round pick.
Melvin Fernström picked up a few crafty assists and was generally a standout from a creative standpoint. As noted throughout the week, he still has a long way to go, needing to address his physicality on the boards and some skating deficiencies, but his offensive brain was certainly on display today.
On day two, we noted Kaden Shahan as our top invitee standout, and he doubled down on that today. He stood out on most shifts, and in an environment with only 6–8 skaters on the ice at any given time, his skating and motor were evident. He picked up a goal and an assist in the game, to boot. He told us that he’s reporting to the University of Connecticut, so we won’t expect a signing just yet. However, keep an eye out next spring, for sure. At just 19, he can technically be drafted as well.
Callum Hughes also had his moments throughout the match. He kicked the game off with a penalty shot after being hauled down just seconds into the game, but was stymied by Ty Young. Hughes is sure to be a name on the Canucks’ radar this year when he joins Tom Willander and Aiden Celebrini at Boston University this fall and could be a strong FA candidate in the spring.
Ty Mueller, who we hadn’t gotten many good looks at throughout the week, was noticeable and scored a five-hole goal in the shootout. He’ll be pushing for a spot in Abbotsford this fall, making this a good opportunity for him to showcase his skills in front of the newly formed coaching staff.
As the growing joke of the week goes, it’s hard for Vilmer Alriksson not to stand out. When he builds up speed, drops his hips, and uses his incredible reach to fend off defenders, he’s very hard to manage at this level of play. To put it lightly, we are very excited to see what he does in his second go-around in the OHL next year.
He also scored a beautiful goal in the shootout.
Anthony Romani was relatively quiet throughout the game but managed to score a nice goal in the shootout.
On the backend, Basile Sansonnens impressed us. At only 17 and still incredibly raw, he held his own much better than anticipated in a game situation. He skates well and has a big presence on the ice. It sounds like his transfer to Rimouski Océanic, next year’s Memorial Cup host, is inevitable, which will provide us with a much closer avenue to view his game.
Overall, despite the lack of high-profile names (Tom Willander excluded, of course), it was a competitive and impressive week. The coaching staff emphasized one-on-one mentorship and a much more hands-on approach. After speaking with every prospect, it’s clear that this approach resonated with them. Going forward, this could very well be the “new norm.”
As Mikael Samuelsson told us in his media scrum, “Why have a big camp?”

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