5 Things to Watch in Abbotsford Canucks Training Camp
The inaugural Abbotsford Canucks training camp is officially underway, and fans have plenty of storylines to keep track of. Today we will be breaking down five storylines for fans to pay attention to during camp. Practices will be closed to fans, but abbotsford.canucks.com and all our social channels will be providing you with unparalleled coverage.
Without further ado, let's get right into the five biggest storylines during Abbotsford Canucks training camp.â
1 - Position battles to track during Training Camp The Abbotsford Canucks are fortunate to have a talented group of young goaltenders. Abbotsford currently has two goalies on their roster in Spencer Martin and Arturs Silovs. Mikey DiPietro could also potentially be waiting in the wings depending on how things shake out in Vancouver. It's a tight race right now, so who plays goal on opening night against the Bakersfield Condors on October 16th will be decided based on their play this week.
Another interesting group to watch compete for playing time this week will be the forwards. There are eight currently in camp and more will be joining the club in the coming days. There is a nice mixture to the group in terms of age and skill set. Ethan Keppen might be the most exciting name on the list, but a couple of newcomers in Chase Wouters and Tristen Nielsen are players to watch this week as well. "Right now, we have multiple sure-fire goaltenders," said Cull when asked about the goaltending battle.
"Another group to watch is our forwards. We have 12 or 13 positions up front and a lot of competitive guys trying to get those spots. We have a lot of good forwards, and it will be exciting to see who runs with the opportunity."
2 - The character of a team's leadership group is integral to their success on the ice. Experience pays huge dividends in this league, and thankfully the Canucks are not thin in this regard. With a large portion of their roster having multiple years of experience playing in the AHL, there are plenty of names to choose from when the time comes to pick who wears the extra letters on their jerseys.
"It's terrific to have guys on your team with experience playing in the Ahl and the NHL," explained Cull. "When the coaches aren't in the room, it's the leaders on your club who provide the secondary message to the rest of the team. I have been fortunate to have some great leaders in the room in the past, and I'm confident we will have another good core group this season."
3 - COVID-19 has altered all our lives, and predictably, the players and coaches of the Abbotsford Canucks are no different. It impacted the number of games the players got to participate in last season, and it has altered the way they trained and prepared for this season. Same goes for the coaching staff, as they were unable to participate in their typical meeting schedule this offseason due to the pandemic. All of this will undoubtedly affect the product on the ice, but this week will be our first chance to gage the level of impact it has had on everyone involved.
4 - Chemistry is an often-overused term in hockey circles, but nevertheless, developing a bond between players is critical for successful clubs. Many of the Abbotsford players have spent significant time working
together during Vancouver's training camp and hopefully the roots of friendship have already started growing. A few of the players currently at Abbotsford Centre have also shared dressing rooms together in the past, whether it be playing in the AHL, during international competitions or during their amateur careers.
"It's been exciting to get to know some of the guys," said Cull on his chance to work with a group of future Abby Canucks during Vancouver training camp. "We didn't have as many guys last year from Vancouver because of our shared affiliation with St. Louis, so it's been great to get to know some of the younger draft picks and new guys on the team."
5 - The last thing for fans to pay attention to this week is simple: hockey. The pandemic has provided all of us the opportunity to have a deeper appreciation for things we previously took for granted. One of these things is watching hockey. It's October and players are once again whipping the puck around while gliding on a sheet of freshly Zambonied ice. We haven't been able to say that since 2019. There is plenty to be excited about with the Canucks, but for the fans in Abby, the thing to arguably be most excited about is the chance to watch hockey again this fall and winter. We can't wait to see all of you at Abbotsford Centre on October 22nd when we host the Henderson Silver Knights.
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