The Vancouver Canucks held rookie camp on Friday at Rogers Arena.
A number of prospects participated in some on-ice sessions and spoke to the media. Here is a list of the participants below.
Players who were part of rookie camp included Vasily Podkolzin, Danila Klimovich, and Michael DiPietro. The Canucks were initially supposed to have Arturs Silovs as the only goaltender to attend rookie camp. However, skills and development coach Chris Higgins confirmed that DiPietro would also be there on Wednesday’s edition of the Sekeres and Price show.
“We’ve been in a unique situation where we haven’t technically had a development camp here in two years,” said Abbotsford Canucks general manager Ryan Johnson per Canucks Army’s David Quadrelli. “We’ve had some players that we’ve drafted that we’ve been able to spend time with on zoom and phone calls and watching video of their play, but for me, the most important part is acclimating them to the organization, understanding our culture, and what we’re all about. That’s tough to do when you’re not in person.”
Rookie camp wasn’t open to fans but members of the media weren’t allowed to attend. (That doesn’t include me or anyone else here at The Canuck Way.)
The Canucks and members of the media did give fans a glimpse of the prospects at rookie camp through social media platforms such as Twitter.
Here are some quick notes from rookie camp.
Vasily Podkolzin looks ready
Vasily Podkolzin is expected to make an impact in the NHL two years after being drafted 10th overall in 2019.
Podkolzin spoke to the media through an interpreter before the on-ice sessions. (Though he did manage to sneak in some answers in English.)
The Canucks top prospect was asked if he was nervous about playing in Vancouver.
“No, I am not nervous,” he said.
He was also asked about his relationship with Nils Hoglander.
The Russian prospect was also asked about learning English.
“I’m having no issues,” said Podkolzin per Sportsnet 650’s Brendan Batchelor. “I try to speak English as much as possible. I understand everyone around me, and I just need a little bit more time to learn. Once the camp starts, my wife and I are going to hire a tutor and work on our English together.”
On the ice, he looked dialed in. Here are clips of him displaying his shot and his hands.
So far, so good from Podkolzin.
Michael DiPietro makes some big saves.
Michael DiPietro is expected to take the starting role with in Abbotsford this season.
DiPietro didn’t play competitive hockey for over a year but eventually played four games going 3-1-0 with 2.52 GAA and .916 save percentage.
DiPietro along with Silovs worked with Abbotsford goalie coach Curtis Sanford. He looked very sharp in goal especially moving from post to post.
Sanford spoke about Dipietro’s on-ice sessions.
It’s only one practice session but DiPietro looks confident and primed to have a great season in the AHL.
First glimpse of Klimovich
Klimovich was the Canucks second round pick in July’s draft.
He was also one of the players that spoke to the media and like Podkolzin need an interpreter.
EliteProspects describes Klimovich as someone who “plays with a hard, and violent energy.”
That was kind of put on display as he used that energy on Chase Wouters.
Klimovich also put his speed and quick shot on display.
It’s early but it looks like Klimovich could be a potential steal. It’s still unknown whether he will spend the season in the AHL or QMJHL but Jim Benning said in August that it is more likely that Klimovich will play in the QMJHL which seems like the better place for him next season.
Per TheHockeyWriters Matthew Zator, there will be four more games of rookie camp for the Canucks. Friday’s was the only day media was allowed to attend.