Vancouver Canucks forwards Andrey Kuzmenko, Danila Klimovich, and Vasily Podkolzin all worked on some drills Wednesday morning with goalies Arturs Silovs and Collin Delia before being joined by a handful of other skaters in Burnaby.
Canucks goalie coach Ian Clark ran his charges through some drills and some of the skill being exhibited by the shooters was impressive, even in short bursts. Kuzmenko consistently and effortlessly picked top corners.
“His skill is definitely something else,” said Canucks defenceman Travis Dermott, who joined the group later. “The first few days I was in here, he was moving pretty well around the ice, I was looking up his stats and thinking ‘this guy can really play’. He brings an energy out there, he takes every drill with a lot of tenacity and it shows in the skills that he’s developed.”
Meanwhile, Dermott already knows Ilya Mikheyev from their days in the Toronto Maple Leafs organization. They played more than 100 games together over three seasons there with the big club before Dermott moved to Vancouver in a trade for a 3rd-round draft pick back on March 20th.
“He’s just a firecracker out there, I’m just glad he’s with us now because I didn’t really want to play against him,” Dermott boasted of the Russian they call ‘Mickey’. “He’s just so fast and the way he thinks the game, his skill kind of works with his speed seamlessly. Kind of a Connor McDavid type thing, where his speed is scary, but once you mix in his skill and the mindset with the speed, it definitely can be dangerous, so I’m definitely glad to have him on my side.”
It would be hard to find stronger praise, but definitely music to the ears of Canucks General Manager Patrik Allvin, who made a cameo appearance at the rink, and to Canucks fans who have high expectations for the fourth-year NHLer.
Allvin signed Mikheyev to a four-year deal for an average salary of $4.75-million per season back on July 13th.
Klimovich, the Belarusian in the group and the Canucks 2nd-round draft pick in 2021, will attempt to jump from Abbotsford to Vancouver this season. The right wing will be given every opportunity to impress at training camp in September.