The Youngstars tournament, which began a few years ago and has blossomed into quite the little September event, gets going on Sunday the 11th at the South Okanagan Events Centre with five teams participating. The San Jose Sharks, Calgary Flames, Winnipeg Jets, Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks will all be sending busloads of young talent, and the rosters are finally beginning to be announced. Today, the Canucks released the names of the 30 youngsters they’ll be shuttling to Penticton, and they are as follows:
Thoughts: This will be your first chance to see Frankie Corrado, the 150th selection in this year’s draft. Word is he has explosive speed and a gritty side, and may have been a steal in the 5th round. Still, don’t expect much. Born in March of 1993, he’s one of the youngest players the Canucks are sending to Penticton, and he likely won’t see a ton of ice. Expect a lot more from Yann Sauve and Kevin Connauton, who project to be the leaders of this defensive group after spending the entirety of last season in the AHL and, in Sauve’s cause, even playing a few games in the NHL. Connauton loves to step in on the rush, and Sauve loves to step into his opponents; there will be plenty of stepping from these two. This will also be your first chance to see another Thomas Gradin find in Sebastien Erixon, the Swedish prospect the Canucks signed between games four and five of the Chicago series. Erixon is the only blueliner under six feet that the Canucks are sending to Penticton. This is a big group, with five of the eight skaters listed at 6’2″ or taller. Speaking of big kids, don’t be surprised if Adam Polasek impresses. The Canuck scouting staff have been impressed with him since they selected him 145th overall in 2010. He has good mobility and he can really hit. Expect a few youngsters to discover this the hard way.
Thoughts: This will be Canucks Nation’s first chance to see first round draft pick Nicklas Jensen in action, not to mention 3rd round pick Alexandre Grenier, but, touted as they are, they won’t be expected to carry the load. Anton Rodin, who is expected to be a top-six guy for the Chicago Wolves, will have plenty of eyes on him, especially after reports surfaced that he had been hampered by shoulder problems and might not be ready for camp. Bill Sweatt, Stefan Schneider and Jordan Schroeder, now sophomores in the Canucks’ farm system, will be relied on as the veteran presence (inasmuch as there can be such a thing at a prospects tournament). Prab Rai, Kellan Tochkin, and Alex Friesen were at this tournament last year, so they’ll be expected to show a little more, and Darren Archibald and Steven Anthony will be names to watch as well. As he often does, Daniel will have a feature on the invitees sometime in the next few days, but here are a few facts to consider: Andrew Smith is a 6’5″ right winger, though his 1 goal, 4 assists and 102 PIM in 50 games with Victoriaville indicate he’s not exactly the undrafted Cam Neely; with his summer of 1988 birthday, Nathan Longpre is the oldest player on the roster; and “Harrison” would look mighty fine on the back of a Canucks jersey, don’t you think?
Thoughts: I find it interesting that David Honzik, who the Canucks drafted only two months ago, is the only goaltending prospect the Canucks are sending to Penticton. The reason you don’t recognize the other two names is because they’re both unsigned invites. That’s a lot of pressure for Honzik, who also happens to be the youngest player on the Canucks’ roster. If you’re wondering what happened to Jonathan Iilhati, the Finnish Canuck netminding prospect who narrowly missed out on playing for his country at last year’s World Juniors, he was drafted by the Vancouver Giants this summer, but will spend one more year with his Finnish team before he makes the jump to North America.
We’ll have much, much more on prospects camp as we get into September.Tags: alex friesen, Canucks, Darren Archibald, featured, prab rai, Prospects, steven anthony, YoungStars