The American Hockey League revealed their AHL Three Stars of the Night on Saturday, and Abbotsford Canucks forward Arshdeep Bains was named the First Star of the Night. Joining him was New York Rangers prospect Brennan Othmann of the Hartford Wolf Pack, and Anaheim Ducks veteran Alex Stalock of the San Diego Gulls. The Abby Canucks forward earned his latest honor thanks to a one-goal, three primary-assist performance against the Laval Rocket.
The Canucks will also be happy to have found Vasily Podkolzin and Nils Aman on the scoresheet; the former scored twice in the 7-4 barnburner victory, while the latter added one of his own.
Bains, 22, first joined the Vancouver Canucks on March 22, 2022 when he signed a three-year entry-level contract as a free agent. The former Red Deer Rebels forward was undrafted, and had led the WHL in scoring with 112 points prior to being signed.
The 2022-23 season was Bains’ first playing professional hockey and he largely excelled, scoring 13 goals, 25 assists, and 38 points in 66 games. Although the Surrey, BC native only broke out offensively in the WHL as an undrafted over-ager, it would appear that he has legitimate prospects of becoming an NHL player.
Of course, if Conor Garland happens to get traded, it would leave open a place on the wing on the NHL roster. At this point, it would be no surprise if Bains eventually noses his way out in front of Podkolzin in that regard, despite Podkolzin’s prior NHL experience and draft status.
It remains to be seen how Bains fits into the Canucks’ long-term plans, but he’s off to a hot start to begin the AHL regular season. The 22-year-old’s evident skill and special team’s prowess will go a long way towards making it in the NHL, but after only one year in the pros, it’s still early to pass judgment for certain.