3 Takeaways from Canucks scrimmage at the end of development camp

This year's Vancouver Canucks development camp concluded with a fiercely competitive scrimmage between Team Blue and Team White.
2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Portraits
2024 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Portraits / Candice Ward/GettyImages

As we wrote on Wednesday, the Vancouver Canucks decided to take on a different approach to development camp this year. The main focus this time around has been about quality over quantity, meaning less invitees, but also the ability to pay more time and attention on each individual prospect.

The rationale is that if each prospect has more of a focus on them, it helps with their learning and development. It also give the Canucks coaches more of an opportunity to get to know each of them better in general.

In any event, the camp concluded with the annual scrimmage between Team Blue and Team White; development coaches Mike Komisarek and Mikael Samuelsson took charge of the opposing sides, each accompanied by one of the Sedin twins. Here are three takeaways from the scrimmage, which took place on Thursday:

1) Competitive to the very end

The scrimmage was played at four-on-four and then three-on-three, with Team White at one point putting themselves in a favourable position with a 4-2 lead. However, they couldn't quite seal the deal, and Team Blue came back to tie the game at 4-4 courtesy of Kaden Shahan.

As per Patrick Johnston of The Province, there was a lot at stake as the losers of the scrimmage had to buy dinner for the winners. In the end, Team White were punished for giving up their two-goal advantage, as they subsequently lost the shootout.

2) Star of the show

Melvin Fernström was the Canucks' top pick in this year's draft -- in the third round -- and he did make a good impression during the scrimmage, making his case as an intriguing two-way forward for the organisation. However, it was another 2024 draft pick who took top billing on the day.

We're talking about Riley Patterson, who was drafted in the fourth round and -- like Fernström -- has an excellent chance of making in in the NHL. He was the best player on the ice during the scrimmage for either team, highlighted by scoring the goal of the game with a clever between-the-legs effort.

3) Komisarek shines among a group of excellent coaches

The young players definitely felt the benefit of more personalised attention from the variety of Canucks coaches, with Komisark in particular made a huge impression on all of the prospects. As per Chris Faber of the team's official site, sixth round pick Parker Alcos said: "I feel like all the coaches brought something, but Mike Komisarek came with open arms and was just honest and respectful, which is what stuck out to me."

As for Komisarek himself, who played 11 seasons in the NHL, he was impressed by what he saw during the week from the players. As per Johnston, speaking to the assembled media on Thursday, the former defenceman said: "You love the competitiveness. As much as we harp on being deliberate, having intentions every time you go on the ice or in the gym, that competitiveness, that fire, that trumps everything. I love that stuff."

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Overall, as much as this is only the first step for the draft picks and early days in a general sense for the majority of the prospects, it was a successful week. The vibe is that the Canucks' new approach to development camp is a positive adjustment, which will hopefully help the organisation as a whole moving forward.

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