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“He looks so fast”

Whistler, British Columbia – Sixteen months ago, at the end of Nils Hoglander’s rookie season, amid a pandemic, the debate around him was about his potential to become one of the Vancouver Canucks’ young core players. . A vital figure for their future.

At training camp here ahead of the Swede’s third season, it’s being debated whether he’ll be on the roster next month.

How disappointing was the second season of the National Hockey League for the Hoglanders?

The Dynamo forward plummeted out of the Canucks’ top six, and his playing minutes dwindled under new coach Bruce Boudreau. He even gave Hoglander a healthy wound in February.

He was able to piss off two head coaches in one season, as both Boudreau and his predecessor, Travis Green, expressed concerns about the play and awareness of the unpucked Hoglanders.

When he reported to Whistler, Hoglander found himself in Boudreau’s “fifth line,” with Linus Karlsson and Nils Aman almost certainly being Sweden’s prospects to start the season in the American Hockey League.

Over the two days of camp, Hoglander did everything he could to prove he didn’t belong there.

“Let me talk about Hoggs because I think he’s the best player on the ice right now,” Boudreau said on Friday, the second day of camp. “He looks a lot faster than he did last year. Decision. He’s definitely ready. Last year was a bit of a setback for him and he doesn’t want it to happen again.”

Hoglander’s speed was outstanding, and on Friday he appeared to have made up all the good scoring chances he got during practice. It was the strength of physicality and determination in the drills.

At 5 feet 9 pounds and weighing 185 pounds, the Hoglander fits under the shoulders of taller players, taking advantage of his strength and low center of gravity against defenders.

“It’s definitely a reaction,” said Boudreau. “He knew who signed and everything else. And he is. he’s doing a great job. ”

The Canucks signed Russian free agents Ilya Mikheev and Andrei Kuzmenko over the summer, and they are playing Elias Petersson, who is well above Hoglander. However, the team also rebuilt the 4th line, adding experience and size, making it difficult for the Hoglanders to secure a spot there.

To play, he probably needs to be in the Canucks’ Top 9, and if the rookie struggles to adapt to the NHL, the small ice, or is held back by his conditioning, he’s probably ahead of Kuzmenko. is needed.

When asked about starting from row five, Hoglander said, “I always want to be on the top line, but sometimes I’m not.” “Then you just have to work your way up. Coming back again is a challenge and I’m up for it and I’m ready. I’ve been working all summer for this camp and this season. So you should be ready.

“I mean, at this time of the year, I’m always excited to be on the team and get a spot. I’m more excited now because I have

Hoglander’s sophomore season was statistically far from a disaster. After scoring 13 goals and 27 points in 56 appearances as a rookie, he managed only 10 goals and 18 assists in 60 appearances, shooting and scoring infrequently. Still, he achieved possession on his share of shots 53.3% of the time.

However, his coaches publicly pointed out Hoglander’s flaws and lack of structure throughout the game, and his average ice time dropped from 15:27, the rookie’s TOI, to 13:05. Canuck season. Hoglander’s name regularly surfaced in trade rumors and continues to do so.

“It’s not like the whole defensive zone. It’s the little things that come back and stop[at a puck or a check],” he admitted Friday. “It’s a small thing. It’s not that hard. We know what we can do in the offensive zone.”

“Young people, it’s always the hardest thing,” Boudreau said of playing without the puck. will be another player who will play a lot of games of I’m sure I like exactly what he showed. Look great in. Let’s see how they look in 10 days.

The third day of the training camp, the final day is Saturday. The Canucks’ preseason kicks off Sunday with a split-team game against the Calgary Flames at home and away.

For forwards in particular, Vancouver’s lineup looks much more difficult now than it did two seasons ago.

“I mean, you always want to get it up,” Hoglander said, leaning his hand toward the sky when asked about his trajectory. It’s not going up, so you have to be prepared for that, I mean, I had a good rookie season, but last year, it wasn’t that good.A lot happened with the team and then I got hurt. We are ready to show you what you can do.”

“He looks so fast”

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