Ryan Kesler

Canucks: Hunter Shinkaruk will play with Ryan Kesler in preseason opener

The newly drafted Shinkaurk will line up with Kesler and (probably) Alex Burrows for tonight's game against the San Jose Sharks.



The Vancouver Canucks will welcome (with conditions) the San Jose Sharks to Rogers Arena tonight, in the first real-ish test for both squads since their respective losses in last season’s playoffs.

The Sharks were valiant in defeat, taking the then-defending champion Los Angeles Kings to seven games in Round 2. As for the Canucks, they were swept like chum by the very same San Jose team.

For Vancouver, it will have to be a new years. Some things will have to change. And so, in that spirit, rookie Hunter Shinkaruk gets the start alongside Ryan Kesler, who’s only two years removed from a Selke Trophy but 10 years removed from his first NHL game.

“I’ll be talking to him all game,” Kesler told Canucks.com’s Joey Kenward on Monday. “My first game… I was pretty nervous. He’s probably the same way.”

Shinkaruk was drafted 23rd overall by the Canucks in June’s NHL Entry Draft. In his last two seasons with the WHL’s Medicine Hat Tigers, the sniper’s potted 49 and 37 goals.

As for being nervous, well, he acknowledges that.

“Obviously, I’m going to be nervous and I don’t want to do too much out there to get myself into trouble, but I also have to do what got me here as well,” he told reporters on Monday.

“He looked good in pre-game skate, so I’m gonna be excited to see what he’s got out there,” Kesler said.

Shinkaruk was also strong in last week’s Penticton-set NHL Young Stars Classic. In his final game – against the Winnipeg Jets young stars – Shinkaruk added a goal and an assist, and his speed and slick hands have caught the notice of the Canucks coaching staff, including new head coach John Tortorella.

Torts will be in the press box for Game 1 tonight, not down on the bench.

“I’m just not a good enough coach to be able to coach a game to try to win it which we should try to be doing, every time you put the uniform on you should be trying to win, plus evaluate and give a fair look at some of these kids,” he told a press conference.

As for goalies, Eddie Lack will play periods one and two, and Joe Cannata will take over in the final frame.

On Friday, the Sporting News’s Kevin McCartney rated Shinkaruk the Canucks’ best player in last week’s Penticton tournament:

“He was one of the most dangerous forwards in the tournament offensively – and with violence. Put Mirco Mueller out of the tournament in Game 1 with an offensive-zone cross check after throwing a hit in the neutral zone and steaming through two defenders on the dump-and-chase. Much more edge to his game than reported, and all the skill and speed imagined on draft day, when the Canucks took him in the first round.”

————————————————————

Head coach John Tortorella: ‘Cellphone Rules’

Just Posted

Kelowna students awarded for their heritage research

The Okanagan Regional Heritage Fair was held April 24

Kelowna dragon welcomed to the den

Lane Merrifield is the new dragon on Dragons’ Den

Lake Country man facing assault charges

A woman was seriously injured after an alleged aggravated assault on April 22

State of emergency issued for Mill Creek

Risk of flooding increases as runoffs from higher elevations reach the valley bottom in Kelowna

Send us your spring pics for a chance to win

The Capital News is collecting photos of you taking advantage of this nice weather

VIDEO: B.C. ‘escapologist’ stuns judges on Britain’s Got Talent

Matt Johnson says televised water stunt was closest he’s come to death

WATCH: Moms Stop The Harm respond to opioid crisis

Someone asked her if she does the work for her son. McBain said: “No, actually. I do it for your son.”

Haley Blais tackles social norms through music tour

Haley Blais encourages people not to be discouraged by social norms and to be who they are

Been a long day? Here’s cute puppies in training

Group is training next batch of assistance dogs at Vancouver International Airport

B.C. skydiver lands safely after cutting away main chute

Greater Victoria emergency services called after witnesses saw spiralling chute

78 Mexican farmworkers displaced after fire tears through building on B.C. farm

Flames broke out Thursday morning in building that housed up to 80 workers at Abbotsford farm

3 year-old golden lab from Calgary missing after car accident east of Revelstoke

The car that Abbie — a three year old Golden lab was driving in — flipped over and ended up in a ditch early this morning

Inmates, machines adding muscle to Oliver flood fight

Inmates are packing 250 sandbags a day, but RDOS says newly acquired machine will push 6,000 an hour

Cartoonist captures public mood following Toronto, Humboldt tragedies

Cartoonist said he was trying to find a bit of positivity with an image that has garnered attention

Most Read