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Christian Wolanin wants to prove he’s an NHLer playing in the AHL: Canucks Conversation

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Photo credit:Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Nation World HQ
6 months ago
On today’s episode of Canucks Conversation, Chris Faber and David Quadrelli were joined by Abbotsford Canucks defenceman Christian Wolanin on the show.
In the 15 minute interview, Wolanin spoke candidly about what he’s working on, what the AHL team is working on, and more.
First, Wolanin talked about his hot start to the AHL season, but made it clear that getting to the NHL is what’s most important to him in the end.
“It’s obviously nice to put up points and I was fortunate enough last year to have a good group around me to keep putting the puck in the net, but really at this point, it’s about correcting the other side of things. I think I’ve proven in the American League that I can put up points and be an offensive contributor, but it’s about dialling in the other areas that have probably kept me out of the NHL in my opinion. I’m more focused on those things, but as I said, it’s nice to get those points and more importantly get wins, but there’s a lot of other details that I want to dial in on a little bit.”
Wolanin talked about what that process of improving actually looks like for him.
“The ‘oh he’s not defensively whatever’, in my opinion, that’s old news, I think it’s something that maybe I got early in my career when I was in Ottawa, and maybe it was a little bit fair back then, but I think I’ve proven over time that I want to be out there in defensively important situations and be continuously improving on them. As always, I like to give credit to my coaches and Ags [associate coach Gary Agnew] for being patient with me. For me right now it’s a lot of boxing out and being harder to play against. Being a physically guy isn’t necessarily in my ID, but it’s something that I know I can improve because it’s really just a mentality. Obviously in practice I’m not going to be cross checking my own guys and taking shots at my own guys and putting them in bad situations. But boxing out, technique, little things like that.”
Wolanin also talked about how he’s trying to avoid being labelled as an AHLer.
“One thing I’m trying to avoid is that label as an American Leaguer. Just as easily as some guys get that National League label and they never experience any minor league games, it’s never really been a thought of them going down there, guys can get that American League rep. Again, I’m more than thanful and have nothing but positive things to say about my time in Abbotsford, but I want to be an NHLer. I want to be one of those guys where you say ‘that’s an NHLer playing in the minors’. Again, no negativity, I’m more than thankful for all the opportunities I’ve gotten in Abbotsford, but the end goal is always to be up in Vancouver. And not only up in Vancouver, but playing at the same level that I play in Abbotsford at that level.”
Wolanin is up to six assists through four games following his stellar 2022-23 season in which he was named the AHL’s top defenceman.
Watch the full interview with Wolanin below:

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