The Vancouver Canucks were the only team to play four games at the inaugural Young Stars Tournament in 2010 and they had an up and down showing. Following a 4-1 loss to the Oilers in the opener, the Canucks gnawed the Sharks 5-3 and then took it on the chin two days later 4-2 by the Ducks. The tournament ended with a bang with Brad Smith scoring the game-winner late in the third in a 5-4 comeback victory over the Flames.
Last year it was Pierre-Olivier Morin picking up a team-high three points (2-1-3); he was one of three Canucks with two goals, while the team as a whole finished with 13 goals for and 15 against.
It was a tale of two goalies for Vancouver as Eddie Lack posted a brilliant 2-0 record in 151:15 played with a tournament best 92 saves and the second highest save percentage at .920. Michael Houser was in the net for Vancouver’s pair of losses giving up eight goals. Both performances were surprising and more surprises are in store for the Canucks between the pipes this year.
David Honzik, Brendan Jensen and Karel St. Laurent will split goaltending duties; Honzik, Vancouver’s third round pick in 2011, figures to get the bulk of the action.
Overall the Canucks are returning only 11 of 27 skaters (four defencemen and seven forwards), so while there will be consistency from the likes of Kevin Connauton, Yann Sauve, Steven Anthony, Kellan Tochkin and Jordan Schroeder, 16 newcomers will be fighting to make a name for themselves during another tournament-high four games in 2011.
You want to be in Penticton to check out the Canucks, but: A – you don't want to lose the parking spot in front of your house, B – your psychic warned you about going out, C – the XFL is holding open tryouts or D – you're locked into a Three's Company marathon on Deja View; well don’t sweat it. Again. Like last year, Canucks.com has your back.
All eight games of the Young Stars Tournament will be available live on Canucks.com beginning September 11th. Full details on the Young Stars Tournament can be found at canucks.com/youngstars.
F - Drafted 1st round, 29th overall, in 2011 – With the 29th overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, the Canucks selected the 18-year-old forward making him the second Danish-born player drafted by Vancouver and the third highest drafted Dane in league history. The 6-foot-3, 187-pound forward, Central Scouting's 21st ranked North American skater, spent the 2010-11 season with the Oshawa Generals, collecting 58 points (29-29-58) points in 61 games to finish fifth in rookie scoring.
F - Signed as free agent in 2010 – The Niagara IceDogs forward went through two NHL drafts and spent time at camps with Detroit and Columbus, but it was the Canucks who took a chance on the 6-foot-3, 209-pound defenceman signing him last December. In 186 career OHL games between the Barries Colts and IceDogs, the 21-year-old had 175 points (92-82-174) and 148 penalty minutes.
D - Drafted 5th round, 150th overall, in 2011 – The Toronto-born defencemen, who stands at 6-feet and tips the scale at 190-pounds, was overlooked by NHL Central Scouting on its preliminary and mid-term rankings last season, but a solid second half with the Sudbury Wolves, in which he collected four goals and 26 assists in 67 games, had Corrado finish the year at 155th. He was picked in the 5th round, 150th overall, by Vancouver.
D - Drafted 5th round, 145th overall, in 2010 – At 6-foot-3 and 200-pounds, this native of Ostrava, Czechoslovakia, is one of Vancouver’s more intimidating blueliners. His offensive skills make him intimidating at both ends of the ice. Last season the 19-year-old was second in team scoring by defencemen for the QMHJL’s PEI Rocket with 39 points (7-32-39), a year prior he was tops of the group with 41 points (13-28-41) earning him a spot on the QMJHL and CHL All-Rookie Team.
G - Drafted 3rd round, 71st overall, in 2011 – One season with the QMJHL’s Victoriaville Tigers was enough for onlookers to draw comparisons between for the 6-foot-2, 209-pound product of Tabor, Czech Republic, who was the 71st player selected during the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, and a young Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators. It’s too early to tell if the 18-year-old can hold his own like Rinne, but he was a standout at Canucks Prosects Camp in July.