Guest speaker Arshdeep Bains offers guidance to Canucks prospects at development camp

Photo credit:@klim_18_ on Instagram
By Faber
9 months ago
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Throughout the week of development camp, many speakers will come and talk with the prospects to give them advice for on-ice play, off-ice workouts, how to handle yourself away from the rink, what the Canucks expect in their organization, and many other things about being a professional hockey player.
This year’s camp had one of their youngest speakers of all time when Arshdeep Bains was put in front of the prospects and shared his story of evolving from a star in junior hockey to a solid contributor at the AHL level.
Bains was the leading scorer in the WHL for the 2021-22 season — totalling 43 goals and 69 assists for a nice-looking 112 points in just 68 games. Bains has been praised by the Abbotsford coaching staff as well as AHL General Manager Ryan Johnson. We spoke to Johnson back in March about Bains’ evolution into pro hockey and he had nothing but good things to say about the local kid who looked great in a green Canucks jersey last season.
“He dominated the Western League and really made it look easy,” said Johnson when asked about Bains. “Then, to be able to come into training camp, come to Abbotsford and basically throw that all out the window. You see a lot of guys come in and say, ‘I got this all figured out. I got it, I know what I’m doing. But we challenged him in ways. We said ‘you’re going to find ways to produce but it’s going to be through a method that you completely didn’t have to do for four years in the Western League’. We said that we’re kind of going strip you down and build your back up as a pro.”
A few of the prospects we talked with at Canucks development camp brought up Bains sharing his story and said that they could take away a lot from what Bains shared with the young group. Bains’ coach in Abbotsford was also impressed with Bains going up and speaking in front of the group as Bains is a leader in Abbotsford but doesn’t typically have a ton to say, he leads by example with his high work rate, commitment to the team’s systems, and attention to detail.
“I think it’s a hard hard thing to do,” said head coach of the Abbotsford Canucks, Jeremy Colliton. “He’s not that much older than a lot of these guys. Actually. There are some older than him, but it wasn’t a preaching thing. It’s more like sharing, because some of these guys, they’re going through this for the first time and so, for him to share his experience, maybe that speeds up the process for somebody else. I think overall, that’s the type of environment we want to have where we’re competing. These guys, there’s not room for everyone. Like not everyone’s gonna make it, but we’re still trying to help each other have success because if you do a good job it’s gonna help me and that’s kind of environment we want.”
One of the players who can learn a lot from Bains’ story is 20-year-old prospect Josh Bloom.
Bloom is a two-way winger who thrived on the penalty kill over his four-year OHL career. He is set to make the jump to professional hockey this season and will need to be open to breaking down and rebuilding his game in a similar way to how Bains did during his rookie season or pro hockey.
Though Bains was a much more prolific scorer in his time playing in the CHL, Bloom was also a top-line winger and knows that he will need to be flexible and open to change as he moves on and joins the Abbotsford Canucks this fall.
“I think I play with a ton of pace and you can fit me up and down a lineup,” said Bloom when asked about the type of player he wants to be. “On a first line or fourth line, I’ll find a way to make an impact on the game.”
Bloom took away a lot from Bains sharing his story and told the media that on Monday.
“Arshdeep Bains had a great little speech the other night to us and gave us a little insight about being the guy in junior hockey and jumping into a pro role where you’re not necessarily ‘the guy’ anymore and you got to find a role and help the team win games,” said Bloom. “I thought that was good for all of us to listen to and I took a couple of things away from that.”
Jeremy Colliton was impressed with Bains sharing his story and saw firsthand how hard Bains worked to become one of Abbotsford’s most impactful players on the roster by the end of the season and during the playoffs.
“The main point of why I think Bains was chosen to speak is just how open he was to feedback and willing to take that message and adopt it and do everything he can,” said Colliton. “His humility, and understanding of the work he needed to put in to establish himself as a pro. Now, he’s one of our most important players at the end of the year. That’s an important lesson for everyone.”
It’s nice to see the 22-year-old Bains coming in to share his story because Bains’ story this past season is a tremendously positive one for the Canucks organization. Bains was able to adjust his style of play and had to learn early on in the season with some healthy scratches and time on the fourth line. He grew to become one of Abbotsford’s best penalty killers and will likely be joined by Bloom next season on the shorthanded unit.
Bloom has the potential to become a disruptive bottom-six NHL winger if he hits his ceiling and he as well as Bains are solid AHL depth for next season and could be NHL depth down the road.
We were happy to hear that Bains spoke to the prospect because he’s got a good story to tell. If these youngsters at Canucks development camp can adapt the effort, humility, and detail that Arshdeep Bains brings every time he enters a rink — these prospects will be just fine.


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