Harrison is up in Penticton for the duration of the prospects camp, hobknobbing with the elite and bein’ famous. Also, he’s checking in with the blog every morning, because he knows who butters his bread.
PENTICTON HAS ODD ART
Yesterday, there was nothing going on, so I did some serious walking around. I ventured down to Okanagan Lake Park, which is beautiful, but has some really curious art. For instance, here’s what appears to be some sort of archangel deer wooing a fox dressed as Princess Leia for some reason:
Topical. And here’s, um, well, the miracle of life, I guess. I suspect this one was put up especially for the attendees of that event at the Tiki Shores.
You might not be able to make it out, but the artist chose to mix in some smiley faces and some birds, and what I think might be a ghost. Ah, the mysteries of procreation.
CANUCKS PROSPECTS VS SHARKS PROSPECTS
The Canucks dressed 9 of their 10 invitees versus the Sharks (not counting Brendan Jensen, who hasn’t even dressed at the backup for one of the three games), so you knew that, for a lot of these kids, this was their last chance to impress the people they needed to in order to earn a contract. The results was the strongest effort we’ve seen out of the white helmets since the tournament opened. The Sharks had the territorial advantage in the first, outshooting the Canucks 11 to 6, but the Canucks came out stronger in the second, putting up 13 shots, and putting three of them past goaltender JP Anderson. That was all they’d need, playing a tight, defensive third, and holding on for their second win of the Young Stars tourney. Here’s a few thoughts:
CHATTING WITH KELLAN TOCHKIN
Kellan Tochkin has been a surprise at this tournament, both for his play and for the odd fact that he models his game after Kyle Wellwood (which is appropriate, considering his babyface). We named him the second star of Monday’s game, and he was just as good today, setting up two Canuck goals — the first and the last. I caught up to him after the game.
HM: You’ve been a standout player over the last two games. Can we chalk it up to confidence?
KT: Yeah, absolutely. The biggest thing for me is just to keep moving my feet. That’s probably just the biggest difference from last year. I can’t control how many points I get, but I can control how hard I work. I’ve been working hard, and it’s paying off.
HM: I’m guessing that work started in the summer.
KT: Yeah. Yeah. Monday to Friday, on the ice three times a week. It was a long summer, but it was one that I really needed, and I think the brass are seeing the results of it.
HM: Now, you’re from Abbotsford, as am I. Do you get any flack about this?
KT: *laughs* No. There’s a lot of people that I didn’t know from Abbotsford that added me on Facebook, though. I’m very proud of where I came from though, that’s for sure.
HM: What high school did you go to?
HM: Well, I have nothing good to say about that school, so I’ll just move on.
HM: You made a pretty slick pass to Michael Curtis on the opening goal. Take me through that play.
KT: I was just using my hockey sense. I beat a guy, and someone else was open and he was calling for it, so I just fed it back to him. He made a great play to Janesy and Janesy put it in. Pretty greasy second assist on my part, but I’ll take that.
HM: How has this year’s tournament differed from last year’s?
KT: Yeah, it’s my third camp, and probably the one I most enjoyed because I’ve been playing my best hockey. All the hard work in the summer is really paying off. The biggest thing for me is I just want to leave a good impression, and I think the way I’m playing right now will leave a good impression. I’m playing tomorrow, too. I’ve gotta show up and do what I enjoy.
HM: You went undrafted, and then shortly after the draft, the Canucks offered you a contract. What’s that like, when you don’t get picked, and you’re disappointed, and then right after that…
KT: It was weird. My agent told me. I was driving home from prospects camp and my agent texted and told me, and I didn’t really believe him. And my parents were in the car, and we’ve been Canucks fans our whole life, so obviously they were pretty excited. It was pretty surreal. It still kind of is. I’m a huge fan. I used to wear the jersey when I was a kid, so I wear it now with a lot of pride.
HM: So what happens, say, if sometime down the road, you get traded to another team? Will you still cheer for Vancouver on the sly?
KT: I’ll always love the Canuckls, but you never know what the future brings. Fortunately, I don’t have to worry about it right now. All I have to worry about is trying to make the club — the more realistic goal is Chicago. Just trying to take it day by day. And the day’s been good so far.Tags: featured, pitb on the road, Prospects, spotlight, young stars