Some thoughts and analysis on all 36 of the players at Vancouver Canucks development camp
Photo credit:Instagram via @fotografolawesterberg
By Faber8 months ago
With Vancouver Canucks development camp in the books, we decided to give some quick thoughts on each and every player that participated.
We’ve seen a lot of questions in the comments section so here goes a dump of thoughts on each of the 36 prospects that attended Canucks development camp.
Being one of the fastest skaters at a camp is always a good thing, and Nils Åman was exactly that at development camp. He is a big body, who can move well but likely needs to work on his hands being able to keep up to his feet before he gets a shot in the NHL.
I’m curious to see if he is willing to report to Abbotsford if Vancouver doesn’t take him out of training camp.
Our conclusion on Arshdeep Bains after the four-day camp is that he was the most consistent player in attendance. He needs to gain some pace before being in the NHL is in the discussion of his future but he should fit right into the AHL this fall.
Bains make good passes, is strong on the puck and sees the ice well. He impressed us this week.
It wasn’t a very noticeable week for Arvid Costmar. He looks like a fine skater but didn’t really impress us with his puck-possession skills or his shot.
After a strong performance in the World Junior Championships in 2021, Costmar went back to the SHL and put up three goals and four assists in 48 games with Linköping. He will be back in the SHL next season and we hope he takes a step as last year was a bit disappointing.
The young kid moves extremely well on the ice and his passing ability was showcased at development camp. Forsell does everything at a high pace and is able to have the hands to match his feet. He will need to improve on the strength behind his shot and that could come once he begins to fill out a bit more.
Forsell is only 18 years old and will need to focus on getting bigger and stronger in the coming years. He is going to be in the SHL next season with hopes of winning a spot in Färjestad’s top three lines.
The Canucks took a swing on the big centre out of high school with Daimon Gardner and we saw why at development camp. There’s a lot of work to be done in Gardner’s game but his raw physical traits are very impressive.
He stands at 6’4″ and moves extremely well for a player of his size. Gardner will need to focus on being strong on the puck and being able to receive passes better as he heads to the USHL next season. His shot had some nice pop on it and as a young prospect, there’s some interesting skill to keep an eye on here in the power forward’s game.
After signing out of the NCAA, Marc Gatcomb got into some AHL games last season and looks like a decent piece for the AHL team’s depth. He didn’t really stand out much at development camp and should be a bottom-six or extra forward for Abbotsford this season.
He’s big, has decent hands and has a quick release. He is going to be relied upon to be physical in the AHL next season and we will see if he can find a role with Abbotsford.
We didn’t really notice much from Jack Jensen at this camp. He scored a nice goal in the scrimmage though.
After not impressing us through the first couple of days at camp, Linus Karlsson looked excellent on days three and four. He was at his best in the game-like situations and has some nice hands to deke around defenders. His skating looked below average at this camp and that should be a worry for those who think he could step right into the NHL this season.
Karlsson will need to prove that his pace isn’t behind in the AHL this fall and if he is able to find success with Abbotsford, we could begin to talk about him being a call-up option later in the season. He should be able to be an instant impact on an AHL power play and mentioned that he wants to be a penalty killer here as well.
It felt like the same Danila Klimovich that we have seen in the past. He has an excellent release on his shot but still needs to be more consistent with his release. When he gets good wood on a shot, his wrist shot and slap shot are top-notch. The questions about his effort in the defensive zone still show up in spades and he needs to be much better in his own zone for us to consider him as a potential NHLer.
I’m curious to see when the organization wants to get serious with Klimovich about how much harder he needs to work in the defensive zone. Last season his head coach Trent Cull talked about being a father figure and giving him some leash to get used to playing in North America. This season, someone needs to get honest and serious with Klimovich about his defensive effort — his relationship with new AHL head coach Jeremy Colliton should be an interesting story to follow.
I hope Colliton does the right thing and installs a better defensive mindset into Klimovich’s game because he has all the tools to score at the NHL level if he can find consistency and be committed to defending with effort.
Jackson Kunz didn’t show much to us at this camp. He has a strong shot but doesn’t move particularly well.
I’m not sure what the future holds for Kunz. We liked his tape in the USHL but he struggled in his freshman season in NCAA play. He scored just three goals in 31 games but we will keep an eye on how his sophomore season goes with North Dakota.
The Canucks’ top prospect had some highlights at this camp and really showed off his strengths at this camp. The release of his shot was electric and stood out even more than other top shooters like Aidan McDonough or Danila Klimovich. The puck explodes off of Jonathan Lekkerimäki’s blade and his stick-handling ability is also very impressive.
Though we saw a lot we liked, there’s still a long way to go before we see him play in the NHL. Lekkerimäki needs to put on some size before he can compete in the NHL and as a player who was drafted just over a week ago, that should come as no surprise.
He will get a lot of minutes in the Allsvenskan next season and we are excited to see him have success in Sweden for a year or more likely two before he can come over to North America.
He’s got some skill and a lot of speed. Lockhart looked alright at development camp and showed off that his shot might be even more impressive than his speed.
Weirdly enough, I thought he stuck out more at training camp last fall.
It looks like Jack Malone has taken a step in his development after playing his freshman season with Cornell. He is looking bigger and seems to move decently well. We will see how his sophomore season goes but since we really dove into his USHL tape in 2019-20, he looks to have improved as a player.
It was nice to finally see Aidan McDonough shoot the puck in person. He does it well.
Mcdonough is going into his senior season at Northeastern and is planning on going pro after the NCAA season. We are hoping that he signs with the Canucks right after his season comes to an end and hops right into the Abbotsford lineup. His game is still a bit clunky at times but when he gets into a shooting position, he doesn’t often miss.
We really liked his stride compared to what we have seen in years past. He’s been having zoom calls with Abbotsford skating coach Mackenzie Braid and is really enjoying getting some guidance from Braid.
He is a hometown buddy of McDonough and Jack Rathbone, and Ian Murphy looked alright throughout the camp. He didn’t really catch our eye that much but had a handful of flashes that made me quickly check the roster to see his name.
Small but very skilled. The 18-year-old is likely to go back to the OHL and it was a good invite to the development camp. Max Namestnikov was fun to watch play and is a client of Dan Milstein.
The second-year pro, Tristen Nielsen had a great showing in the scrimmage and with his speed, he shined throughout the week. Nielsen should have more confidence going into next season and we expect him to be a regular in the Abbotsford lineup.
When it came to the scrimmage, Nielsen was on fire early, with two goals and an assist in the first period of action.
It felt like Chase Wouters was punching into work and putting in a strong effort all camp long. He was one of the most consistent players throughout the camp and was a good leader for the young guys in drills.
His speed is really something and he will make AHL defenders worry about him if he can find a way to be a bit better finisher next season. Let’s not forget that he had a hat trick in the AHL last year. This kid is pretty impressive and always has a smile on his face.
We saw a name change and some solid play from Dmitri Zlodeev this week. We’re expecting him to be back in the VHL or KHL next season and hope that his game continues to progress and he can have a big camp next year.
He just turned 20 and still has a long run way before we talk about NHL potential.
Saw a few nice passes in the scrimmage but didn’t notice Jacob Bauer in the drills all week long.
Another one of the 2022 draft picks, Jackson Dorrington has a pretty quiet week.
There were multiple occasions when I did like his physicality, he pushed around players in drills and was pretty strong on the boards during the scrimmage. He will join McDonough at Northeastern this season and is expected to hop right into the defence core and be a day-one contributor.
It was nice of the Canucks to fly in Hugo Gabrielsson from Sweden to take in the camp.
He is scheduled for shoulder surgery this month and will miss the beginning of his Allsvenskan season. He might be in the SHL at some point in the near future. He grew up playing in the Frölunda program.
Not a lot stuck out about Filip Johansson. There were probably a couple of days where I forgot he was even there to be honest.
There was a lot to like in Joni Jurmo’s game throughout the week. He is a strong skater, has an above-average shot and was one of the most talkative players on the bench with his teammates. It looked like he was having the most fun out of everyone at the camp.
His first few steps generate a lot of power and he is strong on his feet. When you get to see the raw talent in person, you begin to really like what Jurmo can do. He is an incredible athlete and we will see if he can develop his hockey sense to become a better player.
It just seems like the game was too fast-paced for him this past season and maybe he will catch up more this coming year.
Alex Kannok Leipert
Tough and consistent, it was a quiet but good camp for Alex Kannok Leipert before he heads into his second AHL season. He can play a bit of forward and is a nice piece to help Abbotsford’s depth.
I’m not sure of what his ceiling will be but let’s hope his second season goes well in Abbotsford.
He doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, is tough and works hard in practice.
If I had to pick who the best defenceman of this camp was, I’d go with Jonathan Myrenberg. He stood out on day one with the added size that he has put on in the past year, shined with the power behind his shot, and wowed us in the scrimmage with his ability to anticipate plays in the neutral zone.
He will be loaned to the Allsvenskan for the 2022-23 season and hopes to be back in the SHL for the year after that. As a 6’2″, right-shot defenceman who can move, he is very much in our crosshairs as we fast approach overseason prospect viewings.
We loved the way that he was so aware of everyone on the ice during the scrimmage. He has active eyes and is constantly scanning and preparing for what to do when he gets the puck.
Lots to like, he is our first star of the defence and up there with Bains as out camp standouts.
After scoring 21 goals in the WHL as a defenceman, Chad Nychuk is trending towards getting a pro contract and we hope it’s with the Abbotsford Canucks. He moves well for a guy who isn’t undersized at 6’1″.
He scored the overtime game-winning goal in the scrimmage and in the drills, he skates with and moves the puck with pace.
Nychuk was our favourite unsigned, undrafted player at the camp. We’d like to see him land in Abby this fall.
We loved almost everything that we saw from Elias Pettersson on day one of camp. He was physical, skated well, and even showed a nice release on his wrist shot. He also went down into the board hard and had to miss days two and three of camp with a knee injury.
He returned on day four for the scrimmage but didn’t move as we saw him on Thursday. I’m sure the kid wanted to play in that scrimmage extremely bad but he wasn’t at 100% and it showed.
His performance on day one of camp was enough for us to get excited about what he could do. He’s big, defensively responsible and was one of our favourites from the first day of camp. We will see how his 2022-23 season goes — he will be with Örebro in the SHL or J20. He dressed for 17 SHL games last season and it would be pretty impressive if he landed a full-time job this fall as an 18-year-old.
We’re keeping an eye on him for sure.
He gave one of the more interesting interviews of the week saying that he has no idea where he is going to play next season. Viktor Persson is leaving that up to his agent and came to UBC to focus on hockey.
We like his physical play this week but his hands need work. His shot isn’t that strong but he does skate well after his first three strides. He needs work on his acceleration but his top speed is intriguing.
I thought that Quinn Schmiemann skated well but didn’t have the puck-handling pop of Nychuk.
Schmiemann is locked up for a two-year AHL contract. We will see what he can do in his rookie season of pro hockey.
Playing physical isn’t the first thing that popped to mind when we thought of Jacob Truscott before this camp but after watching him in the scrimmage, it’s now the first thing I need to write about.
He was throwing the body around in the scrimmage and bodying players off the puck about as often as he could. His skating looked average but his puck-handling skills and physicality were strong.
Truscott is going to have a much bigger role with Michigan next season. There’s a ton of turnover to the NCAA powerhouse and he is going to be relied upon for some big minutes potential alongside Luke Hughes.
He was the OHL’s goalie of the year for the 2021-22 season. He is undersized and we didn’t see much out of him.
We were told he has a very similar skillset to Mikey DiPietro.
We are all about Aku Koskenvuo after this camp and by the looks on Ian Clark’s face during some of the goalie work before practice, Ian Clark is all about Koskenvuo as well.
The young Finnish goalie is an athletic freak who looks to be around 6’5″.
Koskenvuo will attend Harvard this fall and we are going to imagine that Clark is very excited to work with this kid and groom him into an NHL goaltender one day. Quads has more on Koskenvuo and Clark in an upcoming article.
I didn’t really notice Samuel Richard. He was in the group that has three goalies.
There was a noticeably good relationship between Clark and Arturs Silovs at camp. The two get along very well and this is good for Silovs who seems to be buying into Clark’s program.
Silovs was good throughout the camp and continues to look very large in the crease. He takes up a lot of net and is going to be fighting for one of the two goalie slots open in Abbotsford this coming season.
Fresh off of being drafted in the fifth round, Ty Young went to work with one of the best goaltending coaches in the world and it looked like he is a quick learner.
I’m not the best to break down all the ins and outs of goalie stuff but Quads has more on the goalie in an upcoming article after having a one-on-one with Ian Clark.
Well, that was a long article but I hope you enjoyed getting a few thoughts about each of the 36 players who attended Canucks development camp.
I’m going to go ice my hands now. That was a lot of typing.
Edit: I forgot about one more player. Left-shot defenceman Jackson van de Leest was in attendance as well.
He is very tall (6’7”) and was very clunky with the puck. He didn’t really stick out aside from his size and was one of the worst puck-handlers in the camp.
It looks like he is off to USports after playing out his WHL career with Calgary and Red Deer.
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