From 8 Rinks
Rick Rypien and Team Blue ground out a 4-1 victory over the White side Sunday morning to wrap up the second day of prospects camp out in Burnaby.Rick Rypien and Team Blue ground out a 4-1 victory over the White side Sunday morning to wrap up the second day of prospects camp out in Burnaby.
Big Marc-Andre Bernier did most of the damage scoring twice, while Rypien added a goal and served notice that he's hungry for another shot at the NHL with a handful of bruising checks.
The rest of Day Two:
On a good day it's tough to find quality goaltending. Sunday it got tougher.
With only four goalies at prospects camp - including junior try-out Dustin Slade - Quebec standout Julien Ellis left 8 Rinks for the hospital after taking a shot high off the shoulder late in scrimmage.
"I just asked and he's still at the hospital - with the clinics being close on Sunday," explained Alain Vignealt. "We should find out later on today. [Medical Trainer Mike Burstein] didn't think it was broken."
The 20-year-old keeper from Sorel, Quebec was angling for a shot at main camp with only two veteran goaltenders confirmed for Vernon in Roberto Luongo and Wade Flaherty.
"I'm not quite sure yet," said Vigneault, when asked if Ellis was finished for the rest of camp. "If it's just a bruise he'll have to suck it and play through it I guess, because he needs to play."
Regardless, Vigneault said the Canucks are still looking to bring another veteran goalie to Vernon in addition to late invitee Frederic Cloutier, who's auditioning after stints in the Minnesota and Long Island organizations.
Already high on Michael Grabner after picking the 18-year-old Austrian in the first round of this summer's draft, the Canucks are even happier after seeing him skate the past two days.
"He's one of the four guys that caught my attention today," said Vigneault. "I like his speed and I like his skill. He seems to be really confident with the puck."
After a slow start on Saturday, Grabner twice pushed past defenders Sunday and skated in clean on goal. He was stopped both times, but showed why the Canucks wasted little time selecting him 14th overall.
"I think right now he's with a group of players that he can play with, and he should stand out because of his talent level," said Vigneault. "And he is standing out. He's a young man we'll bring to Vernon to see what he can do and it's going to be interesting to see what he can do with the big boys."
Grabner surprised the collected media in a post-draft interview by suggesting he might not be that far away from playing professional hockey. So far he's backed it up.
"You have to be confident and sure of your potential," said Vigenault. "If that's the type of attitude he has, there's nothing wrong with that."
RYPIEN IT UP
He had to try out with the Moose two years ago just to get a look from scouts, but the former Regina Pat is having no problems attracting attention now.
A five-game audition with the Canucks last year was cut short when an errant point shot broke his ankle, but that taste was enough for 'Ripper.' He was easily the best player on day two.
"Probably the guy I liked most out there was Rick Rypien," said Vigneault, who coached the 5'11" tornado last year in Manitoba. "He's got my attention. Hopefully he'll be able to bring what he's doing right here to the main camp."
"He's a feisty little guy. You've got to love that work ethic and that commitment. He's in great shape"
ANDRE'S A GIANT
After 44 games in the East Coast League last season, Marc-Andre Bernier's making a statement at this year's camp.
The 6'3", 218-pound right-winger from Laval, Quebec ranked at the top of the charts in fitness testing and was a force in Sunday's scrimmage. He threw a stiff shoulder into defender Prestin Ryan in his first shift and followed it up scoring twice to pace Team Blue.
I liked Marc-Andre Bernier," said Vigneault. "He came to camp in great shape and had great results. His willingness to protect the puck and keep the puck is evident."
The Canucks' second-round pick in 2003 also plays right wing...