Canucks reveal 27 prospects that will play at Young Stars in Penticton

Sep 12 2023, 6:32 pm

Vancouver Canucks hockey returns Friday… sort of.

The Young Stars Classic is back at the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton, with the four Western Canadian teams taking part this weekend.

The Canucks have revealed the names of 27 prospects that will participate in the four-day event against players from the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, and Winnipeg Jets.

Vancouver’s roster includes four players that suited up in NHL regular season games for the Canucks last season, in Aatu Räty, Aidan McDonough, Akito Hirose, and Cole McWard.

It’ll be interesting to see how Räty performs, given the 6-foot-2 centre has the highest ceiling of any of the participating Canucks prospects. The 20-year-old Finn appeared in 15 NHL games last season (three with Vancouver) after coming over in the Bo Horvat trade. He tallied 27 points in 52 AHL games, following a year in Finland that saw him score 40 points in 41 games as a teenager.

Hirose is the prospect that probably has the best chance at claiming a spot in Vancouver’s opening night roster. The 24-year-old defenceman didn’t look out of place in seven NHL games after the Canucks signed him as a college free agent in March.

Tom Willander, the Canucks’ first-round pick in June, won’t be in attendance due to his commitment to play NCAA hockey with Boston University this season. Third-round picks Hunter Brzustewicz and Sawyer Mynio, as well as fourth-rounder Vilmer Alriksson, will be suiting up.

Other notable prospects to keep an eye on are forwards Arshdeep Bains, Josh Bloom, and Danila Klimovich, right-shot defenceman Filip Johansson, and 6-foot-5 goaltender Nikita Tolopilo.

Johansson is a former Minnesota Wild first-round pick that the Canucks signed as a free agent in 2022. He’s still only 23 years old and coming off an impressive year in Sweden with 21 points (5-16-21) in 51 SHL games.

Here’s the full list of participating players:

canucks young stars roster 2023

Canucks’ schedule at 2023 Young Stars Classic

Young Stars games won’t be televised, but the Canucks have announced that they will live stream each game from Penticton on their official YouTube channel.

  • Fri, Sep 15 vs Calgary Flames (7:30 pm)
  • Sun, Sep 17 vs Winnipeg Jets (2 pm)
  • Mon, Sep 18 vs Edmonton Oilers (1:30 pm)
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