7 takeaways from day one of Vancouver Canucks training camp
By Faber2 months ago
We were told not to dig too deep into day one of training camp, so we decided to make a hard cut after seven observations from the four ice sessions.
The roster was broken up into three separate groups, with groups A and B skating on the main ice at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre and group C skating at another location.
Let’s dive into the eight takeaways that we have from day one of Canucks training camp.
Arshdeep Bains got a prime spot with Conor Garland and Pius Suter
It’s still just one day of camp but it’s also a pretty great landing spot for Arshdeep Bains to be on a line with the duo that is expected to roll into opening night as the third forward line for the Canucks.
Bains was a player whom head coach Rick Tocchet spoke about in terms of getting some insight on from Abbotsford head coach Jeremy Colliton.
“I didn’t know much about him,” said Tocchet. “[The Abbotsford coaches] love him and now as I started watching him, I’m like ‘Oh, man, this kid’s a player’. There’s potential there so you want to give a guy like [Bains] a shot. You never know.”
You never know what’s going to come over the next couple of weeks but this was a great start for the Surrey-born Arshdeep Bains.
He spoke a bit about the opportunity to skate with two NHLers, Conor Garland and Pius Suter.
“They’re a good pair and if they need someone in a sporting role that’s for sure an opportunity that I’ll take,” said Bains. “They’re super compassionate. They helped me out throughout the practice and those guys are really easy to play with. So it’s really nice to get that opportunity.”
Ilya Mikheyev returned home to Vancouver for “personal reasons”
We’re not going to dive into this one too much as personal reasons are simply personal reasons and we didn’t receive much more information than that.
Tocchet was asked about the situation and said, “Personal reasons right now. I won’t get into it. He had to take something to take care of something. So we sent him back. It’s kind of private right now.”
Mikheyev is coming off of an ACL injury and surgery and was scheduled to be in a non-contract jersey with group C on Thursday. Tocchet claimed that Mikheyev may be back on Friday or Saturday to join the team.
Nils Höglander riding shotgun with Kuzmenko and Pettersson
It was a great day for Nils Höglander. He got a shoutout from Tocchet about his good day on the ice and the 22-year-old winger got to play on the top line in group one alongside 39-goal scorers Elias Pettersson and Andrei Kuzmenko.
“I mean, it gives me even more confidence to get out with those two players,” said Höglander. “So I always tried to do my best to give them the puck. I want to show them I can play there. Win some pucks. [Those are] two really good players. I just play my style and try to forecheck and play hard and win lots of puck battles. I like to win pucks and be first on pucks and play a little bit greasy.”
He spoke about how playing in the playoffs helped him improve his game.
“I learned a lot last year, especially in the playoffs,” said Höglander. “Games got tougher and I played a lot [and] played in different roles all over the ice. It was good for me to play down there, especially in the playoffs. I really want to make the team this year. That’s what my goal is.”
We will see where Höglander slots in the lineup on day two of camp but he couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity on day one.
Rick Tocchet still really likes Phil Di Giuseppe
If you watched even one game that was coached by Tocchet last season, you’d be aware that Phil Di Giuseppe earned himself a lot of ice time and a longer leash from his coach. Tocchet likes the way that PDG plays and it showed with his line on day one. PDG was alongside Teddy Blueger and Anthony Beauvillier in group A on Thursday.
The trio looks like they could potentially be the fourth line for the Canucks on opening night but we won’t read too much into day one lines at training camp.
We just have a feeling that this trio could stay together for a while.
Christian Wolanin’s dad told him he got accolades in the wrong league
Last season, Christian Wolanin won defenceman of the year in the AHL but he’s not going to rest on that achievement. He is here to make the Vancouver Canucks’ day-one lineup and be an impact player on the backend all year long.
Christian Wolanin’s dad, Craig, who was selected third overall in the 1985 draft told him that there was no disrespect to the AHL but that Christian earned accolades in the wrong league. Craig played nearly 700 NHL games and won a Stanley Cup alongside Adam Foote in Colorado.
Wolanin has his eyes set on making an impact in the NHL this season after a few years of struggling to stay healthy and also being a black ace during the COVID season. We have Wolanin as our frontrunner to be the left-side defenceman on the third pairing to start the season. He’s one to watch as camp continues.
Quinn Hughes’ partner on day one was Noah Juulsen
All the talk about Ian Cole and Carson Soucy playing their off-side went out the window on day one as Quinn Hughes was partnered up with right-shot defenceman Noah Juulsen.
Tocchet spoke a bit about playing Hughes with Juulsen on day one of camp. Saying that there will be a couple others who will get a chance to play with Hughes throughout the camp but also hinted that it may end up being a right-handed defenceman playing with Hughes due to the way that Hughes plays.
“I have to be convinced to put a lefty on that [pairing with Hughes] I’m not quite sure a lefty-lefty [pairing] works with Hughes unless something else convinces me,” said Tocchet.
We will see where it goes from here. Potentially Filip Hronek or Jett Woo gets a chance as camp goes on.
Brock Boeser’s skating and shot had some pop to it
There’s always one guy who sticks out a bit more than the rest of the group and we thought that one day one of camp, that player was Brock Boeser.
Say what you want about it just being one day of training camp, it’s good to see Boeser be able to go post and in on a lot of his shots instead of post and out or flat-out missing the net. He looked like he had some giddy-up in his stride and social media caught the attention of one of the tweets that I sent out where Boeser scored on a nice shot and then closed a lot of space on a drill where he had to chase down Quinn Hughes.
It’s always good to see a player stick out and it couldn’t happen to a better person with Brock Boeser.
His coach had some nice things to say but still wants to see consistency from Boeser.
“I thought [Brock] was good,” said Tocchet. “I don’t want to read into a lot of things. But I thought he and [J.T. Miller] were really good with their offence. [Brock] skated well today but we’ve got to wait until tomorrow. We need consistency. But it was a good first day for Brock for sure.”
We hope to see him ride this wave all the way into the regular season but there’s a lot of road left to travel before we get to that point.
One thing is for sure, Boeser looked good on day one of camp. He was our first star of the day.
We will be back tomorrow with coverage of day two of Canucks training camp. Stay tuned to CanucksArmy for all the latest updates on the team.
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