The 2013 Young Stars Classic kicks-off this week in beautiful Penticton, BC, where 31 players will wear Canucks colors over the course of four games. Vancouver's roster consists of draft picks, signed prospects and free agent invitees.
Let’s take a closer look at the Canucks roster:
--Three goaltenders, 10 defenseman and 18 forwards will head to Penticton.
--Twenty of the 31 players on the roster are drafted or signed by the Canucks, while three are signed by the Utica Comets (David Pacan, Mathieu Corbeil and Sacha Guimond).
--The roster is made up of players from four countries: 22 are Canadian, five hail from Sweden, two from the United States (although one of those, Cole Cassels, is a dual-citizen) and one from Denmark.
--Joacim Eriksson is the oldest player on the roster at 23-years-old (April 9, 1990), while Miles Liberati is the youngest at 18-years-old (June 21, 1995).
--Goaltender Mathieu Corbeil is the tallest player on the roster at 6-foot-6, while invitee Mitch Elliot and 2011 draft pick Alexandre Grenier are the tallest skaters at 6-foot-5. Elliot also weighs in at 230-pounds, the most of any player.
-- Corbeil and David Pacan were both drafted by other NHL teams. Corbeil was a fourth round pick by Columbus in 2010, while Pacan was a sixth round pick of Chicago in 2009.
--Pacan was a teammate of Canucks draft pick Alex Friesen on the Niagara IceDogs.
--Two players (Frank Corrado and Niklas Jensen) suited up for the Canucks at some point last season, while eight players on the roster saw action with the Chicago Wolves in the American Hockey League last season.
-- Jeremie Blain and Sacha Guimond played together on the Team Quebec at the 2008 World Under-17 Challenge.
--Cole Cassels, Kyle Hope and Nicklas Jensen played together with the Oshawa Generals to start the 2011.12 season.
--Invitee Jesse Mychan once played for the Flin Flon Bombers (SJHL) where rumour has it fans are notorious for tossing moose shanks onto the ice. Mychan led the SJHL in penalty-minutes (200) that season.
--Adam De Champlain and Mitch Elliot fought last season in the WHL, while the two also squared-off in the pre-season. In fact, eight of De Champlain’s 17 fighting majors last year were against Elliot’s Seattle Thunderbirds.
--Speaking of Elliot, the tough-guy has dropped the gloves 36 times over the course of the last three seasons.
Breaking down the opposition
The Flames will be bringing all three of their first round picks from the 2013 NHL Entry Draft along with 2011 first-rounder Sven Baertschi. Three players on the roster saw action with the Flames last season with Baertschi leading the way with 10 points in 20 games, while Max Reinhart posted three points in 11 games and Ben Hanowski netted one goal in five games. Also keep an eye on Markus Granlund, Tyler Wotherspoon and 6-foot-7, 240-pound Keegan Kanzig.
With all of their recent first round picks besides 2013 selection Daniel Nurse and 2011 selection Oscar Klefbom already playing on the big club, the Oilers don’t have the most recognized roster in the tournament, but will have some notable players to keep an eye on starting with Nurse. Fans of the WHL will know a lot of names as the Oilers will have 18 current or former WHL players on their roster. Other players to watch to keep an eye on besides Klefbom and Nurse are Marc-Olivier Roy and a trio of Edmonton Oil Kings stars, David Musil, Martin Gernat and Mitch Moroz.
San Jose Sharks
The Sharks will be bringing a small roster of only 22 players to Penticton including their last two first round picks, 2013 first-rounder Mirco Mueller and 2012 first-rounder Tomas Hertl. Mueller is a 6-foot-3 defenseman from the Everett Silvertips, while Hertl is a 6-foot-2 forward out of the Czech Republic. Defenseman Dylan DeMelo posted 50 points in 64 games with Mississauga in the OHL last year before registering four points in 10 games in the AHL.
The Jets have had three first round draft picks in their short history and all three will be in Penticton this week. Mark Scheifele, seventh overall in 2011 and already has 11 NHL games under his belt, along with Jacob Trouba, ninth overall in 2012, and Josh Morrissey, 13th overall this past June will lead the way for the Jets. Other players to watch include 6-foot-5 Adam Lowry (son of former Canucks forward Dave Lowry), along with Lukas Sutter (son of former Canucks forward Rich Sutter) and Nicolas Petan, who finished second in the WHL in scoring in 2012.13 with 120 points in 71 games.