The Vancouver Canucks were busy off the ice as they made moves on the first day of free agency but were also busy on the ice with day three of development camp.
Wednesday’s skate was the first day where the groups weren’t split into forwards and defencemen and instead were put into groups A and B. It was a fast-paced morning as the groups went to work on attacking off the rush and practicing two-on-ones in a short rink that saw both nets come to the blue lines.
Let’s look at three of the takeaways after day three of development camp.

Arshdeep Bains continues to be consistently consistent

As for players that stuck out in the morning session, we continue to see consistency in Arshdeep Bains’ play. He works extremely hard in these drills and almost always gets good power behind his shots and passes. Bains was one of the better players at receiving passes as well. He just seems to do a lot of things well and sticks out occasionally with a nice shot.
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Bains is praised for his hockey sense and though he looks good in these drills, we’re told that his game will shine even more once we get to see him in-game action. He does a good job of thinking the game and we’re expecting him to be one of the middle-six wingers in Abbotsford this season.
Through three days, Bains is our favourite from this camp. He looks to be at a higher level than the rest of the prospects and though we expected him to be one of the more advanced players attending, we are a bit surprised to see him as our favourite so far. We will see if he can look even better in the scrimmage on Thursday and will continue to keep an eye on the local kid.
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Aidan McDonough is preparing for pro hockey but is focused on his NCAA season first

As one of the Canucks’ top-five prospects, we had high hopes for Aidan McDonough at this camp. He is coming in as a 22-year-old and looks to be more physically advanced than some of the other prospects in attendance. McDonough is playing at around 200 pounds and comes in at 6’2″. He spoke about his size and strength being a big difference in his game compared to the last time he was at development camp in 2019.
“The biggest thing that I noticed is being stronger over the puck,” said McDonough. “I feel like when I get the puck below the dots I can hold onto it a bit longer. I can cut back and use my size and strength to hold on to the puck and then make a play. Back in 2019, I was getting pushed off the puck a lot and losing a lot of battles. I felt like I’ve been able to kind of hold my own in terms of you know, winning some stuff battles at this camp.”
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McDonough is expected to turn pro at the end of his NCAA season and he has told us that his goal is to sign with the Canucks whenever Northeastern’s season comes to an end. His stride looks powerful and he has been spending a lot of time with development coach Chris Higgins as well as being able to have zoom calls with skating coach Mackenzie Braid.
“I’m doing everything in my power this summer and next season to prepare myself to be a professional hockey player,” said McDonough. “That’s the goal and I want to take care of his Northeastern and be fully focused and committed to that team but also in the back of my mind, I’ll have to prepare my body and my mind to know that at the end of the year I want to play professional hockey.”
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We will follow closely as his NCAA season goes on and will hope to see him in a Canucks jersey sometime in March or April.

Linus Karlsson hasn’t shown extremely well but the scrimmage may be where he shines

We were expecting Linus Karlsson to look like the most pro-ready player at this development camp. Karlsson is coming off an SHL season that saw him finish ninth in scoring with 26 goals and 20 assists in 52 games. It’s not that he has been bad at this camp but he hasn’t looked head and shoulders above the rest of the prospects like we imagined that he might be.
When it comes to carrying and shooting the puck, we have liked the play of Jonathan Lekkerimäki and Danila Klimovich more than Karlsson. It may be that Karlsson is more of a game performer than a camp star and that is perfectly fine. At Thursday’s scrimmage, he will get a chance to show off his skills in a game-like situation that he thrived in last year.
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Karlsson’s shot has been consistent but there are some drills where he has lost possession from being pushed off the puck and that will something he needs to clean up before he begins his pro career here in North America. Even if we believe that he hasn’t been great at camp, he is still showing confidence in his game and is looking to build off his great SHL season.
“I feel pretty confident actually,” said Karlsson. “Of course, it was so long time I was on the ice but it felt really good actually. I will build on that and try to do better and better every day.”
He also told us what his strengths are and how he can help a team over here.
“I will score goals and take the puck to the net,” said Karlsson. “It’s gonna be hard and I will work on it every day. I will watch video and stuff like that to improve my game. Hopefully, I score some goals over here.”
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Karlsson spoke about how he enjoyed being trusted on both special teams’ units last season in the SHL. He said that he hadn’t played much time shorthanded until last season but knew that the coach believed in him and went out and worked to improve his play on the penalty kill. He is hopeful that he gets time on both the power play and penalty kill here in North America.
He was asked if there’s a chance he goes back to Sweden in case he doesn’t make the NHL this fall.
“I’m gonna be here and then we will see what happens,” said Karlsson. I have a contract here and that’s the plan.”
Now onto what you wanted to know in the comments of the day two article…
actor73 asked about Quinn Schmiemann and Viktor Persson
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I’ve been a bit underwhelmed by Quinn Schmiemann at this camp. He hasn’t looked out of place but he hasn’t looked like a lock for an AHL spot either. I’m hoping he has a big scrimmage tomorrow because he has kind of just melted into the middle of the pack of the defencemen.
As for Viktor Persson, he has looked strong in board battles and is using his size to lean on players at this camp. The interesting thing about Persson is that he has no idea where he is going to play next season. He told the media that he is leaving it up to his agent to find him a team but is currently uncertain where he will be playing next year.
LLaplander asked when the prospects are doing the Grouse Grind
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I believe they will be running it on Friday if they can fit it in. On-ice sessions conclude on Thursday but a lot of the prospects I’ve talked to don’t leave until Saturday or Sunday, so I’m assuming the youngsters will stay around for some team bonding on Friday.
The Canucks’ development camp closes out on Thursday with a scrimmage between the two groups. We’re told that it will be three 15-minute periods and that should bring a lot of action to the prospects in attendance for this camp.
Quads and I talked about day three here in this YouTube video!