Return of the Young Stars Tournament, Abbotsford Canucks and NCAA and European prospects
Allvin was asked about bringing in the prospects from the NCAA and Europe.
“Obviously, it’s been tough for the last couple of years with COVID, but that’s the plan,” he said. “(Assistant GM ) Cammi Granato and (Senior Director, Player Development and Abbotsford Canucks GM) Ryan Johnson and ( Assistant Director, Player Development) Chris Higgins has been working on that. So that’s a plan to have all our unsigned and signed draft picks here.”
Allvin also spoke about Linus Karlsson being an example. He had a really good year in Sweden. The 22-year-old had 46 points in 52 games with Skellefteå AIK in the SHL. Karlsson also broke Elias Pettersson’s SHL rookie goal-scoring record with 26.
“Linus is fighting for a spot for Sweden at the World Championship,” said Allvin. “I still believe they one tournament left e before they got to pick the team and I think it’s a great experience and good for him. I think regarding the expectation, I think it’s always a transition period for European players coming over to North America, different lifestyle, different rinks, ice. I think Linus is excited. We’re excited to have him here. We’ll see where he is coming to training camp.”
The Canucks GM also hinted that European free agents could be signed.
“I think we’re very open-minded to all players that are available and that’s what we challenge our scouts on,” said Allvin. “We have the World Championship coming up and we will have (Assistant GM) Derek Clancey attend the tournament. So if there is a free agent, European free agent that we like we have room to improve our team and we’re excited about it. I will try to get him.”
The Abbotsford Canucks are in the Calder Cup Playoffs and they will face the Bakersfield Condors, who are the Edmonton Oilers AHL affiliate in the first round.
Allvin has liked what Johnson has done in Abby.
I’m very impressed with Ryan Johnson and the work he has done this year in Abbotsford,” said Allvin. “Obviously, stepping up with the changes here. I rely on a lot of RJ. We got a great relationship, he is a big part of the management staff and moving forward.”
“We are all very impressed with the work he does and really respect him,” said Rutherford on Johnson.
“Well, I’ve been down in Abbotsford, I would say I think for five or six games,” said Allvin on the farm team. “The excitement, their great fan base, I think the players have played really hard. I think the coaching staff have done a really good job. Obviously here the last two months, I would say we took a lot of players up to the big club here in Vancouver. So they were a little bit depleted. But they’ve done a really good job down there. We were hoping for starting on home games there this week and now, we starting tonight in Bakersfield. So I think it’s a great opportunity for all those young players to get the experience of playing in playoffs playing hockey and important hockey in May. So we’re excited and hopefully, they come back home next week.”
The Canucks also announced on Tuesday that the Young Stars Classic tournament in Penticton is returning in September with training camp being in Whistler.
“It was a priority,” said Rutherford on the Young Stars Tournament. “Everybody that was here prior to us getting here really pushed for it. It’s something that we’ve always liked and to bring the development camp back in right after the draft, have it right in Vancouver and then have the rookie tournament, I think it’s so good because it gives some of those players a head start on the big camp, they get to play against players more they’re their own age, and really prepares them for big camp. So I’m excited and excited about the fact that we can move around the province a little bit and you know, let other people see our players.”
Rutherford didn’t have many details to provide on the tournament.
“Well, we have two other teams committed at this point,” he said. “Ideally, we’d like to have four but we don’t right now there is one team thinking about it. I don’t know what more there is to think about but they will they’ll let us know at some point.”
It’s good to have the Young Stars tourney back.
Rogers Arena renovations and a practice facility
The Canucks has their dressing room renovated back in 2009 after Mike Gillis was hired as GM and a few months before the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.
Rutherford says the dressing room will once again get a facelift.
“This whole area from here (The Norm Jewison Media Room), all the way to gate nine is going to be totally renovated,” he said. “The locker room is going to be totally done. It’s going to be changed in a more workable way for the medical staff and coaching staff and where the players workout and all that we’re going to do some things in Abbotsford. Unfortunately, there’s not as many things we can do there because you got to blow too many walls out and whatnot. But we are going to refresh their dressing room and make it a little bit better.”
Rutherford was also asked if a renovated locker room will help with recruiting players.
“We have an older facility,” he said. “I think overall, a people here have done a good job of maintaining the facility. But you’ve been in the locker room, it’s outdated, and it certainly needs to be needs to be updated, and it helps in recruiting. more importantly, it gives the present players here, a better feel when they’re in the building and the more the present players like it here and spread the word on what it’s like to play in Vancouver, it really helps recruiting a lot.”
If you build it, they will come.
Unlike other many NHL teams, the Canucks don’t have a designated practice facility. They usually practice at Rogers Arena. They also practice at UBC or Scotia Barn in Burnaby when the arena is unavailable.
Rutherford wants to make a practice facility happen for the Canucks.
“The other priority, and we’re gaining momentum on it, is the practice rink,” said the Canucks President. “Getting down to two, maybe three different sites, very close to making a decision on the site.”
Where could that site be? We’ll find out sooner or later.
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