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Shirokov, Sim state their cases

by Brian Compton
TERRACE, British Columbia -- Monday night was an opportunity for not just the rookies who are trying to showcase their abilities, but also for veterans who are looking for full-time jobs.

Sergei Shirokov has yet to play a regular-season game in the NHL, but that could change quickly if the Vancouver Canucks' first-year player continues to shine the way he did at the Terrace Sportsplex.

Jon Sim has played in 358 NHL games, but the 31-year-old New York Islanders forward is hungry for more.

In the first game of the 2009 preseason, Shirokov scored twice to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a 2-1 victory against the New York Islanders at the Terrace Sportsplex.

It was a step in the right direction for Shirokov, who was selected by Vancouver in the sixth round of the 2006 Entry Draft. He spent the past season with CSKA Moscow in Russia, collecting 17 goals and 24 assists in 56 KHL games.

"You can see that there's a lot of upside there," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said of Shirokov. "He can find the net and find the holes. He was up at our rookie camp last week and he did well there. He continued it tonight."

Islanders coach Scott Gordon was pleased with the play of his players, as well. Sim stood out for the club, making a nifty individual play in the second period to erase a 1-0 deficit. Sim, a veteran forward, is hoping to make a big impression this training camp as he aims for a full-time spot with the big club following a rough 2008-09 campaign.

"I came off an injury, and things didn't go well for myself and for the team," said Sim, who spent a portion of the season in the AHL. "I just came into camp with a positive attitude and looking for an opportunity to play. I want to make my mark."

He certainly did on Monday night, much to the delight of Gordon.

"Jon really played a very good game in all areas," Gordon said. "He killed some penalties tonight. He made a great play on that goal that he scored. He had a tough year last year. The injury that he had, even though he was 100 percent, it still takes a little more time than what it took for him to get back to the level that he played tonight."

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