The Vancouver Canucks Young Stars Classic roster will include some of the club’s top draft picks in recent years.
Canucks prospects Jonathan Dahlen, Jett Woo, Olli Juolevi and Elias Pettersson will be among the top hopefuls that will skate for the Canucks in Penticton at the South Okanagan Events Centre against the Winnipeg Jets on Sept. 7 and 9.
Pettersson, a centre selected fifth overall at the 2017 NHL draft, is expected to crack the NHL team’s roster for the upcoming campaign. He is coming off an outstanding season in the Swedish Hockey League where he helped win the SHL championship and earned Rookie of the Year, Best Forward, MVP and Playoff MVP honours.
“Elias is a talented offensive player with tremendous vision and skill,” said general manager Jim Benning in a news release in May after they signed the forward. “Like most Canucks fans we watched with excitement the incredible season he had in Sweden. This is an important offseason of training and development for Elias and we expect him to be ready to challenge for a roster spot in training camp.”
Woo, chosen 37th overall at the 2018 draft, was a member of Canada’s gold medal winning team at the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament and recognized as Canada’s top three players at the 2017 under-18 world championship. He spent last season with the Moose Jaw Warriors in the WHL.
Missing from the roster is the Canucks first round pick from the 2018 NHL draft, Quinn Hughes, a defenceman who is returning for another season with the University of Michigan.
Making his second Young Stars appearance is Kole Lind, a forward that played with the Kelowna Rockets.
Another familiar face for Okanagan hockey fans is Jagger Dirk, an Okanagan Hockey Academy alumni, who spent a season with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in the BCHL before playing for the Kootneay Ice in the WHL. Dirk then played four seasons with St. Francis Xavier University earning a silver medal in the USPORT national championship. Last year he played in the AHL.
With the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers not participating this year, the UBC Thunderbirds and University of Alberta Bears will face-off on Sept. 7 at 4 p.m. and on Sept. 8 at 6 p.m. The Canucks and Jets will meet on Sept. 7 at 7:30 p.m. and Sept. 9 at 2 p.m.
Single game tickets are available for $12 for university games and $15 for NHL games, while full tournament packages are $35. Tickets are available online at ValleyFirstTix.com, by phone at 1-877-763-2849 or in person at the South Okanagan Events Centre Valley First Box Office. For complete details visit SOEC.ca.
Off-ice Young Stars Classic programs include a minor hockey event and Party on the Plaza with games, food, music and entertainment for fans on Sept. 8. The Canucks full roster can be found at www.nhl.com/canucks/info/young-stars.
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