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Canucks Game Day – Players Cut, Gadjovich Claimed, A Player Returns, Another Close, Abbotsford Roster

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The Vancouver Canucks zip to Edmonton today (Thursday) to take on the Oilers in a preseason match this evening. The BC boys are coming off a 4-0 loss at home to the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday and head to Alberta with some changes to their line-up. Call these game day notes / previews of stories that we’re working on …

Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes took part in their first full-team practice on Wednesday, in an hour session full of power play entries and in-zone work, two-on-two battles, and one-on-one board battle drills. Thursday marks one week since news broke that they had reached deals on new contracts. “Petey’s” hands look great, going top shelf on one goal and ‘tweeners’ on another with a deke.

26-year-old right wing Justin Bailey returned to the team officially on Wednesday and spoke at length with the media about his Covid travails. The good news; although he tested positive twice for the virus and was delayed by a ten-day quarantine and other protocols, his symptoms were very mild. The Buffalo-born forward signed a two-way contract with the Vancouver Canucks on July 28th after playing five NHL games over the last two seasons.

Jonah Gadjovich was snagged off waivers by the San Jose Sharks Thursday before settling in with the Abbotsford Canucks. “He worked hard on his skating, I think he’s still gotta continue to work on that,” Green said. “He’s a great kid, had a decent camp, but every decision is not easy.” No longer a concern. Gadjovich was the Vancouver Canucks 2nd-round pick, 55th overall, in 2017.

On Danila Klimovich, the 18-year-old, 2nd-round NHL Draft pick this summer, who was loaned to Abbotsford: “For a young kid I thought he had a pretty good camp,” Green said. “I like his size, skill level. Skates, for a big guy, skates pretty well. It’s not always easy a younger kid like that to go down to the AHL, but from what I’ve seen so far I think he has a chance to play there this year. Hopefully that fast-tracks him.”

— Brock Boeser was last seen on the ice, albeit briefly, a week ago. Head Coach Travis Green provided this update. “I expect him to skate in the next couple of days, hopefully.” He indicated centre Brandon Sutter was in town. Sutter and winger Tyler Motte remain unavailable due to health/injury recovery.

The first power play unit at practice Wednesday consisted of Hughes, Pettersson, JT Miller, Bo Horvat and Alex Chiasson. Chiasson, the man here on a Professional Try-Out (PTO), has left an impression and is doing what was expected of him, going to the net hard at even strength but especially with the man advantage. We’ve told his story earlier in camp, he made the Washington Capitals on a PTO in 2017-’18 and won a Stanley Cup, then made the Edmonton Oilers on a PTO the next season and ended up on the power play with Connor McDavid for parts of his three seasons there. It appears Chiasson could go three-for-three on PTO’s.

Another apparent “specialist”, if you will, brought in to help the penalty kill and add depth to the forward unit, was Phil Di Giuseppe. He’s been good, a regular on the kill most recently with Jason Dickinson and earlier William Lockwood. He also potentially fills a gap on the left side at even strength. We spoke of his efforts at the end of last week. “We see him as kind of a checking line kind of guy who can skate and make a play,” Green said.

Training camp is underway for the AHL Abbotsford Canucks. Here’s the camp roster beyond the two aforementioned:

Forwards: Vincent Arseneau, Ethan Keppen, Jarid Lukosevicius, Tristen Nielsen, Karel Plasek, Sheldon Rempal, John Stevens, Chase Wouters

Defencemen: Alex Kannok Leipert, Ashton Sautner, Devante Stephens, Jett Woo

Goaltenders: Spencer Martin, Arturs Silovs

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