Vancouver Canucks top 2017 draft pick Elias Pettersson tries to bat in a rebound on goalie Michael DiPietro during the Canucks practice on Thursday. The Canucks play the Winnipeg Jets prospects at the South Okanagan Events Centre 7:30 p.m. as part of the Young Stars Classic. Kristi Patton/Western News

NHL prospects hit the ice in the South Okanagan

Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets ready to face off

With some of their top draft picks in recent years, the Vancouver Canucks prospects hit the ice on Thursday for their first practice at the Young Stars Classic in Penticton.

While it wasn’t quite the fanfare when now-NHL star Connor McDavid was in the city a few years ago with the Edmonton Oilers, young hockey fans were running in to catch a glimpse of Elias Pettersson. The centre was selected fifth overall at the 2017 NHL draft by the Canucks and is expected to crack the team’s roster for the upcoming season.

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.

With the Calgary Flames and 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.

Related: Canucks release Young Stars Classic roster

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.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Kristi Patton | Editor

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