As the Canucks travel to Anaheim for this evenings pre-season tilt versus the Ducks some players need to show a lot to stay with the big club as the season opener nears.
A 3-0 mark to open the pre-season is just that, pre-season. However, it appears that competition for roster spots is extremely tough as names like Jannik Hansen and Jason Krog have thrust themselves into the limelight along with Kyle Wellwood and Mason Raymond.
In no particular order the Canucks top 10 forwards may read as follows:
Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Taylor Pyatt, Ryan Kesler, Alex Burrows, Darcy Hordichuk, Steve Bernier; Ryan Johnson, Pavol Demitra.
Juggle them any way you may see fit and these 10 have a roster spot that someone needs to steal from them. With that said there are two spots remaining in the starting line-up plus one possible reserve spot as a thirteenth forward.
In camp are the likes of Mason Raymond who is probably your number 11 forward and Jannik Hansen who essentially needs to make it, or break it this season.
Possibly on the outside looking in is Jason Krog who many feel the Canucks need with his penchant for wins in the face-off circle. Not to mention Michael Grabner, his world-class speed and his desire to make the team have been extremely evident throughout camp.
Cody Hodgson may find himself to be an odd-man out as he continues to develop into one of the NHL's future stars, another season in junior, being a big fish in the small pond may be just what the doctor ordered.
And that leaves Kyle Wellwood, looking for a place to play. The most proven player of the "bubble-boys" Wellwood picked the wrong time to fail his fitness test. Grabner and Hodgson spent the summer work on the weights and getting into shape for this camp to make the team while its obvious that Wellwood felt his stats could get him a roster spot.
If Alain Vigneault and Mike Gillis want to set a standard for this club going forward then Wellwood will be looking elsewhere come Monday morning. For a hockey club that wants so desperately to be known for their hard work Wellwood's work ethic does not fit. The message and example that should be followed is the of the efforts of two of the teams youngest prospects.