WIthout a doubt, Vancouver Canucks fans are counting down the days until the team heads back onto the ice. It’s getting closer with training camp a few weeks away.
There a plenty of things to look forward too with the big club but fans should be equally excited for the AHL’s Abbotsford Canucks.
Back in July, the Canucks announced the name of their farm team in the Fraser Valley would share the name with the parent club and the logo was revealed to be Johnny Canuck and the jerseys would be blue, green, and white.
After the AHL team was in Utica, New York for the last eight years, it made sense to have it closer to Vancouver. This way there is much less travel time for players being called up or being sent down. Players could also live in the Greater Vancouver/Fraser Valley area instead of moving to a hotel or crashing in with a teammate when being called up or sent down.
For the fans, they have the opportunity to see Canucks prospects up close. This is great for fans living in Abbotsford and the Fraser Valley especially those who can’t travel to Rogers Arena or can’t afford tickets to see the big club.
For those wondering about if they can watch the Abbotsford team on TV or listen to the play-by-play on the radio, there isn’t a deal for TV or radio yet according to The Province’s Patrick Johnston.
The Vancouver team was busy this offseason but the Abbotsford teamwere just as busy with a number of signings.
Abbotsford general manager Ryan Johnson was busy throughout the summer signing a number of players. They include former Vancouver Giants Tristen Nielsen and Alex Kannok-Leipert, Chase Wouters, and Jarid Lukosevicius
There are a bunch of depth players signed by Vancouver that will get plenty of minutes in Abbotsford including Nic Petan, Phil Di Giuseppe, Kyle Burroughs and Spencer Martin.
Prospects fans should be excited to watch:
It is also a big year for a number of Canucks prospects and here a few that you should keep your eye on in Abbotsford
Michael DiPietro is a lock for the Abbotsford starting job and he is looking to take the next step after going over a year without playing a competitive hockey game and he is going to learn a lot from Abbotsford goalie coach Curtis Sanford.
Jett Woo will likely play top pairing minutes and he will bring his work ethic and physical playing style to Abbotsford and he could be a fan favourite.
Jonah Gadjovich led the Utica Comets in scoring last season and he is looking to build on that with Abbotsford. Not only can he score but he can be a good net front presence and throw some big hits. Expect a big year for him.
Will Lockwood will bring his speed and energy to Abbotsford and you can expect him to put up points in the top six and will be an exciting player to watch. He along with Carson Focht will be making their AHL debuts next season.
Focht is a hardworking two-way centre that excels in winning face-offs and according to Canucks Army’s Chris Faber, he needs to work on accuracy on his shot and needs to add some size to his 181 pound frame.
With the prospects and the numerous signings, it looks like Abbotsford wants have a go at the Calder Cup.
What are you most excited for about the Abbotsford Canucks? Let us know in the comments below!