General manager Patrik Allvin, the mastermind behind the Vancouver Canucks, demonstrated his knack for finding hidden gems when he inked an unheralded Arshdeep Bains from Surrey, B.C. Bains signed his entry-level contract with the Canucks on March 11, 2022, following the end of his distinguished career in the WHL.
His WHL voyage spanned 257 games – all with the Red Deer Rebels – yielding an impressive tally of 77 goals, 132 assists, and 209 points. What truly distinguishes Bains is his remarkable evolution as a player. He progressed from scoring a modest 25 points in his first 103 WHL appearances to becoming an offensive powerhouse.
In his last 154 games in the WHL, Bains set out on a scoring spree, accumulating a staggering 184 points. The apex of his WHL career arrived in his final season with the Rebels, securing the prestigious Bob Clarke Trophy, earning the title of WHL Scoring Champion for the 2021-22 season, and racking up 112 points in a mere 68 games.
Bains marked his professional debut in style, finding the net in his first game with the Abbotsford Canucks on Oct. 14, 2022. Bains showcased the same scoring prowess he showed in the WHL, scoring 13 goals and 25 assists, and 38 points in 66 games. His impact continued in the playoffs, where he contributed an additional 3 points across 6 games.
Bains concluded his rookie season as the fifth-highest scoring player on the Abbotsford Canucks, demonstrating his high-end skill and his elite ability to process the game. As the offseason arrived, he committed to enhancing his speed and strength, all with the aspiration of competing at the upcoming Vancouver Canucks training camp.
During the offseason, the 22-year-old received an extended evaluation, participating in both the Young Stars Tournament and the Canucks’ preseason campaign. During the preseason, he skated in three games, taking the ice alongside newly acquired center Pius Suter and Conor Garland.
Despite not registering a point Bains made the most of this valuable opportunity showcasing his ferocity on the forecheck and his playmaking ability. While his play wasn’t good enough to stick around in Vancouver just yet, he garnered the praises of Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet, stating:
"“I didn’t know much about him…[The Abbotsford coaches] love him, and now, as I started watching him, I’m like, ‘Oh, man, this kid’s a player.’ There’s potential there, so you want to give a guy like [Bains] a shot…” (Canucks Army)"
With the confidence of Tocchet, Bains aimed to start his second AHL season on a strong note, and he certainly delivered. He opened his account with an impressive four-point performance, and has maintained his scoring touch throughout the early part of the season. As of now, he is tied for second in the entire AHL in points with 17, amassing a whopping 14 assists in just 13 games.
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With such a standout start, the possibility of an NHL call-up to the Canucks looms large as his play continues to turn heads at the AHL level. The future looks promising for Arshdeep Bains, and the prospects of him making waves in the NHL become increasingly tangible.