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6 Things: Development Camp

by Derek Jory / Vancouver Canucks
They came, they saw, they conquered.

Canucks 2016 Development Camp ran from July 1st to 8th, first in Vancouver, then at Shawnigan Lake School. All 33 players who attended (18 of which were either drafted or signed by the Canucks) were put through the wringer on the ice, in the weight room and in the gym.

After watching the likes of Brock Boeser, Olli Juolevi, Mackenze Stewart and Thatcher Demko impress all week, it’s tough to argue Vancouver’s prospects pool isn’t stocked with players who will soon be NHL regulars.

In case you missed all the action from camp, here are 6 Things you should know about 2016 development camp.

STECHER IMPRESSES LINDEN

“There’s always guys that fly under the radar at these camps, and for me that was Troy Stecher, who we signed out of the University of North Dakota as a free agent. The one thing about Troy, which I admire so much, is just his focus and intensity. He’s one of these kids that will find a way and he’s been impressive on the ice; I really look forward to seeing him turn pro this year, that’s very exciting. It’s a big jump, but he’s been with us all summer, he’s a Richmond kid and he’s been working out hard with our guys. He’s just a solid kid, he’s a leader and he’s got that focus and determination, regardless if it’s in the gym or on the ice, he wants to learn and get better.”

Full Linden interview

GOOD GAUD

Question: Can you name the Canucks NCAA freshman prospect who finished 11th among all NCAA freshmen in scoring last season? Answer: Adam Gaudette. Turns out Brock Boeser wasn’t the only Canucks college draftee turning heads in 2015-16. Stan Smyl, Canucks Director of Player Development, shared his thoughts on the 19-year-old. “He is a strong, two-way centre that can also play right wing for you. He contributes everywhere such as the penalty kill and power play, but what impressed me was his play five-on-five. He stood out in that area and to me five-on-five makes a difference in a player and is going to make a difference in his game.”

Full Gaudette feature

DEMKO MIC’D UP

“People are going to learn a lot…I have to keep it somewhat under control.” That’s what Thatcher Demko told teammates as he dressed to take part in practice with fellow goaltender Michael Garteig and goalie coach Dan Cloutier. Despite keeping it under control, we still learned a lot about the 20-year-old netminder, including that he’s a seriously serious ping-pong player, paper, rock, scissors is how goalies settle disputes and Demko’s bromance with Garteig is blossoming nicely.

Full Demko mic’d up video

OLLI OLLI OLLI

“He is a puck moving defenceman and that is what everybody is looking for. He has a good transition game and breaks out of his own zone cleanly. He is a great passer and there is no fear to his game. He is one of those defenceman that forwards love to have back there passing them the puck.” High-praise for defenceman Olli Juolevi from London Knights owner and head coach Dale Hunter, who has seen 50 of his players, including 16 in the first round, selected at the NHL Draft since he stepped behind the bench in the 2001-02 season. Perry. Kane. Tavares. Horvat. Juolevi. Hunter knows talent when he sees it.

Full Juolevi feature

BLINDSKETBALL

Canucks assistant coach Perry Pearn knows a thing or two about team building and player bonding. It’s his specialty; you’d be hard-pressed to find someone as experimental in bringing players together. And then Pearn throws in blindfolds. The major key to Pearn’s team building is communication, which he feels transfers from the activities directly onto the ice. If you want to be a successful team, learn to communicate. It’s that simple. It’s also that hilarious. Last camp blind dodgeball and landmine walk were on the agenda, this year was blind basketball and the results speak for themselves. “Where’s the basket??” “Right there!” “Right where?!”

Full blind basketball video

JUOLEVI BLOG

We put Olli Juolevi to work during camp as our resident blogger. He shared his thoughts on life during camp and life in general, which has changed quite a bit in just a few short weeks. “It has been a great week and very tiring week. I learned a lot and made a lot of great friends and now I’m excited to get a lot of sleep! I have a nice nine-and-a-half hour flight from Vancouver to London Friday night, so I have some sitting to do and will hopefully sleep some then. It’s nice to go back home and speak Finnish and see my girlfriend and just relax for a bit. It’s been going pretty fast for a few weeks here. This is a very good organization and I’m happy to be a part of it!”

Olli blog I
Olli blog II
Olli blog III

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