With the fitness tests behind them, the prospects gathered at UBC for the Development Camp’s second annual 3-on-3 tournament. For many of the prospects, this would be their first chance to see each other in game situations and after a brisk warm-up, the pucks were dropped.
Playing four-and-a-half minute games, the tournament was a blur of prospects in blue versus prospects in white. And before you knew it Team Jensen (Nicklas Jensen, Alex Grenier, Joey LaLeggia) was on top beating nine other teams of three. David Honzik was the victorious goalie of the group.
2011 first round draft pick and camp rookie, Jensen clearly made a statement in his first visit to the Canucks organization.
“I’ve never seen Jensen play,” said Stefan Schneider of the Canucks 2011 first round pick. “He is a very skilled player that uses his body and he played very well today.”
Not only did Jensen captain the 3-on-3 tournament champions, he scored a couple beauties en route, including a wicked wrister on free agent goalie Karel St. Laurent that ended up being the tournament winning goal.
Asked about what it meant to win the final in his first Development Camp 3-on-3 tournament, the young Dane replied, ““I enjoy winning all the time, I hope it’s good practice for when I join the Canucks one day.”
On the other side of the equation was Alex Friesen, Pat McNally and Antoine Laganiere. Team Friesen went 4-0 before losing 2-0 to Jensen’s squad in the final.
“The 3-on-3 tournament was a good little change,” said Friesen. “It was nice to play a little shinny, but it got competitive pretty quick and we made it to the finals but couldn’t quite seal the deal.”
“We had some great chemistry,” said McNally, the big defenseman from Harvard.
“Everyone here is such a great player so it was no surprise to see some of the guys make some really nice plays and that makes for a really good tournament.”
Whether it was Darren Archibald’s toe drag goal around St. Laurent, or Team Westerholm’s saucer passing, there was a lot of really nice plays and a lot of skill showcased during the tournament that was capped off by David Honzik’s shutout win over Team Friesen in the final.
This is the final time the prospects hit the ice together as a group as the camp comes to its conclusion Monday with a trek up the Grouse Grind. Full coverage and details of the last day of camp will be on Canucks.com following the day's activities.