Anaheim DucksArizona CoyotesBoston BruinsBuffalo SabresCalgary FlamesCarolina HurricanesChicago BlackhawksColorado AvalancheColumbus Blue JacketsDallas StarsDetroit Red WingsEdmonton OilersFlorida PanthersLos Angeles KingsMinnesota WildMontréal CanadiensNashville PredatorsNew Jersey DevilsNew York IslandersNew York RangersOttawa SenatorsPhiladelphia FlyersPittsburgh PenguinsSt Louis BluesSan Jose SharksSeattle KrakenTampa Bay LightningToronto Maple LeafsVancouver CanucksVegas Golden KnightsWashington CapitalsWinnipeg Jets

Young Stars Classic Q&A with Canucks Trevor Linden

PENTICTON, B.C. -- I had the opportunity to speak with Vancouver Canucks President Trevor Linden at the Young Stars Classic in Penticton B.C. this past weekend.  Events like this provide scouts and management an opportunity to assess where their prospects are in terms of development and how close they are to the NHL.

Often an unstructured environment with only rudimentary work on systems will allow players to delight the fans and show off their individual skill sets. We were privy to some highlight-reel goals as well as some developing chemistry - while catching a glimpse into the future of Canada’s Western Conference teams.

I know what I see on the ice, but I wanted to hear what management is looking for and to pry a little into how they approach these annual events. Here are some observations from Trevor Linden about drafting and the organizational development of the Canucks.

What are the results when you get varying ages, backgrounds and abilities on the same team in an environment like this?

“It’s a great environment because they're playing against their peers and it’s a tighter range of skills, having said that each player has a unique skill set and its how they apply that and how we (as an organization) see that being applied to the NHL; that’s the challenge”

What is the Canucks goal coming out of this tournament? 

“It's just as assessment tool, certainly this year with myself, Jim (Benning, GM), John (Weisbrod, VP player personnel), Willie (Desjardins, head coach) being kind of new, it’s the first chance we’ve had to see these kids in our system, understand what they are and how we can move them forward in their careers”

You’ve had time to assess the organization, what’s your philosophy going forward with regards to prospects?

“Jim identified early in the process that he wanted to give our core guys an opportunity to win, bringing in Bonino, Sbisa, Dorsett & Vey got us younger and (gave us) more depth, it helps support our core group and replenish our prospect pool by getting Jake (Virtanen) 6th overall and getting that Jared McCann pick (24th overall) was key. That one extra pick was huge. We’ve got to do a good job drafting from here on in, that’s critical, we’ve spent a lot of time this week with our amateur guys (scouts) making sure we’re all on the same page”.