It's important to note that none of the invitees to the Canucks Summer Prospect Camp are expected to sign with the Canucks. The Juniors in College will likely return to school for their Senior years, some will get a chance to try out for the Manitoba Moose, and other undrafted players went undrafted for a reason. There are exceptions, of course. 2009 camp invitee Kellan Tochkin was signed by the Canucks after a great camp and a solid season with the Everett Silvertips, posting 74 points in 72 games. He slipped through the draft because of his size (5'9", 170 lbs), but Mike Gillis obviously saw enough potential to sign him to an entry-level deal prior to returning him to the Silvertips for the 2009-10 season. Tochkin increased his goal total from 20 to 28, but saw his overall points drop slightly. He will be attending the camp again this year, this time as a legitimate Canucks prospect.
Yesterday, we covered 6 of the 13 invitees to this year's camp, starting on Tuesday, July 6th. Here are invitees 7 through 13:
Matt Fraser - Left Wing
6'2" - 207 lbs - May 20, 1990
Red Deer, AB
The first thing you need to know? Fraser has his own page on hockeyfights.com, with 11 fights in the WHL last season for the Kootenay Ice. He had 117 penalty minutes in 65 games, but combined that with some decent point totals. He scored 32 goals in those 65 games, good for 25th in the league, along with 24 assists for 56 total points in his third full season in the WHL. He also improved on the defensive side of the ice, jumping from -31 in 2008-09 to +20 last season. This performance earned him his first taste of professional hockey as the Peoria Rivermen of the AHL signed him for the final weekend of the season after the Ice were eliminated from the playoffs. Fraser is also known for his work in the community: he was named the WHL's Humanitarian of the Year for 2009-10 for his efforts with the Shoot for the Star program raised over $14,000 for the East Kootenay Regional Hospital.
James Henry - Left Wing
5'8" - 180 lbs - Mar 11, 1991
Surprisingly, this under-sized winger from the Vancouver Giants also has his own page on hockeyfights.com. This video is my personal favorite, as you get to see the pint-size Henry pop a larger Chilliwack Bruins player with a massive hit before he's challenged to a fight. This past season saw his PIM jump from 68 to 128 minutes as well as a modest increase in point production. Where Henry truly shined was in the playoffs, as he started off the post-season on an 11-game point-scoring streak with 14 total points. He finished off the playoffs with 16 points in 16 games. This outburst of scoring showed he is more than just a high-energy, pint-sized pugilist. Or a potential third-string goalie for the Giants. It'll be a test to see if his smaller size can handle the physical punishment of his scrappy style of play at the professional level.
Tayler Jordan - Left Wing
6'6" - 200 lbs - Feb 8, 1990
Jordan will be the tallest player at camp by a good 2 inches. Like the previous two players, he has a page on hockeyfights.com. Unlike Fraser and Henry, Jordan doesn't put up points to go with his penalty minutes: in his career with the Portland Winter Hawks, he has 451 PIM and 15 points in 171 games played. This will actually be his second prospect camp, as he attended the Columbus Blue Jackets training camp last summer. Any professional opportunity he has will be on the 4th-line as an enforcer.
Pierre-Olivier Morin - Left Wing
5'11" - 162 lbs - Apr 23, 1991
Morin led his QMJHL team, the Lewiston MAINEiacs, in scoring this past season with 65 points in 67 games, tied for 29th in the league. The undrafted winger is eager to earn a contract with the Canucks but will need to impress the coaching staff with the same skill, grit, and coach-ability that originally got him drafted into the QMJHL. He looks like a player that will compete hard for the puck and has enough skill to know what to do with the puck once he's got it. He did have a very low shooting percentage at 8.8% last season and only 9.7% the season before. It's fair to say he's not a sniper, but he was in the top 15 in the league in assists, so he may have some playmaking potential.
Scott Zurevinski - Centre
6'2" - 190 lbs - Jun 4, 1988
Zurevinski scored 30 points in 39 games as a Sophomore with Quinnipiac University. The Bobcat Junior has been named the captain for the upcoming season, showing his clear leadership qualities. He was also named the team's Rookie of the Year for 2008-09. He is characterized as a solid all-around player with a physical presence and will be relied on heavily offensively as the only 3 players who finished above him in points last season are outgoing Seniors. According to this article, Zurevinski was actually offered a contract by the Canucks this offseason for the maximum allowable for an entry-level deal, but he declined and chose to return to Quinnipiac. His size and scoring touch are his best attributes and clearly Gillis sees some potential.
Michael Houser - Goalie
6'2" - 188 lbs - Sep 13, 1992
Houser is the youngest invitee at only 17 years old and the youngest player at the camp overall, beating out Sawyer Hannay by just 7 days. Houser was actually ranked 11th overall amongst North American goaltenders entering the 2010 draft but slipped through. He played 25 games for the London Knights, going 17-4-1 with a .900 SV% and 3.10 GAA. He'll be the starter in London next season and will likely be picked up in the 2011 draft. Many OHL fans on hfboards.com were surprised to see him go undrafted this year, citing his athleticism and lateral movement. He was also one of four goalies named to the 2010 USA National Junior Evaluation Camp and names Roberto Luongo as his favorite player.
Keith Kinkaid - Goalie
6'3" - 180 lbs - Jul 4, 1989
Finally, we have Keith Kinkaid rounding out the goaltending corps for the prospect camp. Kinkaid was the starter for Union College in the NCAA, posting a 12-8-3 record with a .912 SV% and a 2.48 GAA as a freshman and was named the team's Rookie of the Year. It appears that Kinkaid also attended the New York Rangers camp, which was held from June 28th to July 2nd. Considering that NCAA players can't accept any compensation from professional teams, he'll need to make the trek from New York to Vancouver on his own dime. In 2008-09, Kinkaid was named the NAHL's MVP and Goaltender of the Year, leading all goaltenders in SV%, GAA, wins, and shutouts. However, he went undrafted and attended the Rangers summer prospect camp last year as well.
I hope you've enjoyed this brief look at the invitees to the prospect camp. It took me far longer than I expected to collate all of this information. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on the camp throughout the week to see if any of these unknowns make a name for themselves.