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China Games

Chinese goalie faces shots during Canucks practice

Sun, signed to amateur tryout contract, made several saves against Sedins, Eriksson

by Lisa Dillman @reallisa / Staff Writer

SHANGHAI -- Vancouver Canucks goalies Jacob Markstrom, Anders Nilsson and Zehao Sun were the first three players on the ice for practice Wednesday.

They posed for pictures together. Then they went to work.

The 2017 China Games presented by O.R.G. Packaging will feature preseason games between the Canucks and the Los Angeles Kings at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai on Thursday (7:30 a.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports) and Wukesong Arena in Beijing on Saturday (3:30 a.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVA Sports, NHL.TV).

That's the big picture, but Sun's continuing NHL education has served as a noteworthy subplot this week. He was signed to an amateur tryout contract by the Canucks on Monday and charmed his new teammates when he showed up for breakfast wearing a suit Tuesday.

His enthusiasm has come through on and off the ice.

On Wednesday, Sun mostly worked with Canucks goaltending coach Dan Cloutier. But he had the net for a few minutes early in practice and faced shots from, among others, Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin and Loui Eriksson. Though he allowed a few goals, he didn't appear overmatched, making several saves.

When Nilsson took over, he tapped gloves with Sun as they skated past one another.

"There still is a long way for me to go, to catch up with my teammates," Sun said through an interpreter. "I learned a lot of details from the coach, to know how to do it, based on his instruction."

Video: The Canucks and Kings are set for the China Games

Barry Beck, a defenseman who played 10 NHL seasons and is from Vancouver, told Canucks executive Stan Smyl about Sun. Beck has been based in Hong Kong, running the Hong Kong Academy of Ice Hockey.

Canucks coach Travis Green reiterated that Sun would not play in either of the two games against the Kings.

"I want both our guys that are here to play both games," Green said.

This was the first time that Green had seen Sun, 21, in action.

"I talked to Dan Cloutier about it and he liked how quick he was and how competitive he was," Green said. "You could tell structurally he was very sound. I just think it's a great experience for him. It's nice that we can do that for a player over in China, have him be around our team. See how it is every day with an NHL club, how they are on the ice and how detailed they are. It's just a real experience for a young player from China."

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