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Canucks Cut Lockwood and Focht, Announce Roster vs Oilers

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Will Lockwood after his NHL debut for the Vancouver Canucks in May.

Carson Focht and William Lockwood were sent to the Abbotsford Canucks of the AHL Saturday morning by the Vancouver Canucks, a move VHN told you to expect as far back as September 27th.

While I was pretty impressed with William Lockwood’s speed and his performance in the training camp skirmishes and scrimmages, it’s looking more and more like the 23-year-old Royal Oak, Michigan native could use some repetitions and some consistent ice time at the AHL level. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Darkhorse bids are always exciting to think about, but it’s starting to look like a bigger forward with more experience is the likelier option. Zack MacEwen showed signs of warming up on Monday night. He’s a right-shot, as is Alex Chiasson, who’s five years older, a Stanley Cup winner with Washington, and here on a Professional Try-out (PTO).

Lockwood had a competitive camp and will likely find his way into the big Canucks line-up at some point this season, based simply on the likelihood of injuries. Head Coach Travis Green is a fan of this young player’s speed and his willingness to hit anyone and everyone. We profiled him in our look at the bottom-six right wing analysis back on September 26th.

Focht played in the last three preseason games but only saw 6:19 of ice time on Thursday in Edmonton. On October 3rd against the Winnipeg Jets he played 9:27, had three shots on goal and finished minus-2. He played 10:22 two nights later against the Seattle Kraken at home and made less of an impression. He won only one of six face-off bids.

That game against the Kraken turned out to be Lockwood’s most impressive. In 11:28 of ice time he delivered six hits and had three shots on goal. He also played more than three minutes on the penalty kill, an opportunity he saw on a regular basis in the preseason. Lockwood played in every exhibition game thus far except one. He played his first two NHL games for the Canucks in May.

Here’s the Vancouver Canucks roster for Saturday evening’s match-up at home against the Edmonton Oilers. It’s a legit NHL line-up and tune-up in preparation for Wednesday’s regular season opener in Edmonton.

Thatcher Demko will get the start in net with Jaroslav Halak backing up.

D-men include Quinn Hughes (LH), Tucker Poolman (RH), Oliver Ekman-Larsson (LH), Tyler Myers (RH), Jack Rathbone (LH) and Luke Schenn (RH).

The forward group consists of Nic Petan, Conor Garland, JT Miller, Matthew Highmore, Nils Höglander, Phil Di Giuseppe, Alex Chiasson, Elias Pettersson, Bo Horvat, Tanner Pearson, Justin Dowling, and Vasily Podkolzin.

VHN Managing Editor Rob Simpson has been covering the NHL for three decades on live TV, radio, and as a journalist. He worked his first ever game getting postgame sound as a teenager; it was Vancouver vs. Detroit.

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