Brocker Boeser is among the top Vancouver Canucks prospects that will be showcased during the Canucks Young Stars Classic in Penticton Sept. 8 to 11 at the South Okanagan Events Centre. Photo by Derek Cain/Vancouver Canucks

Comets GM pumped about Canucks prospects

Comets GM Ryan Johnson talks about Canucks prospects that will impress at Young Stars Classic

Canucks fans, have you got your Canucks Young Stars Classic tickets yet?

What are you waiting for? This is a first chance to see some of their prospect of players from Sept. 8 to 11 at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Among the featured players the Canucks are dressing for the tournament are Jonathan Dahlen (second round, 42nd overall pick), Olli Juolevi (fifth overall pick in ‘15), Brock Boeser (first round, 23rd overall), Kole Lind of the Kelowna Rockets, Thatcher Demko and Michael DiPietro, who led the Windsor Spitfires to a Memorial Cup championship. Jonathan Dahlen won’t be at the tournament as he now has mononucleosis.

“Zack MacEwan, who we signed as a free agent in the spring out of the Quebec league, went to Utica and unfortunately because of the timing of it didn’t get to get in any games,” said Ryan Johnson, general manager of the Canucks AHL affiliate Utica Comets. “Besides development camp, this will be kind of their first view of him. That’s exciting. He has showed very well in development camp. He has worked extremely hard this summer.”

Joulevi, who is returning for his second Young Stars Classic. He had a good off-season in which he got stronger. Johnson said he could go on and on with the prospects.

“You’re excited as an organization when you start to add depth,” he said. “The prospects and competition within that, there’s a handful of guys that we’re excited to see.”

Johnson sees the Canucks Young Stars Classic as a great way to kick off the NHL season.

Johnson and the Canucks brass will see what the work prospects over the summer put in when they take on the prospects of the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets. Johnson said it’s hard to say how the Canucks will fare against the other teams.

“Our approach coming into this is not, ‘Hey we got to come in and go 3-0,’” said Johnson, adding they want to put their players in situations to succeed. “For the ones where this is their first time through this, it can be a little bit overwhelming. It’s a practice and off you go into this high intensity games, sometimes the games can be a little bit scrambly. We try to prepare them for that.

“The expectation is to have them come in and settle in and make a good showing of themselves and as a group,” continued Johnson. “We know it’s a tough environment.”

As for the other Canadian teams, the Jets lineup features Logan Stanley selected in 2016 18th overall, Skyler McKenzie, Jansen Harkins, Michael Spacek and Luke Green. They also have Tucker Poolman, the brother of former Penticton Vee Colton Poolman. The Flames lineup features Juuso Valimaki (2017 first round pick, 16th overall), Dillon Dube, Tyler Parsons, Matthew Phillips and Mark Jankowski. The Edmonton Oilers lineup features Kailer Yamamoto (2017 first round pick, 22nd overall), Dylan Wells, Caleb Jones and Ethan Bear.

Tickets are available online at ValleyFirstTix.com, by phone at 1-877-763-2849 or in person at the South Okanagan Events Centre Valley First Box Office. For complete package details please visit SOEC.ca.


 

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