Russian additions impressing at Vancouver Canucks training camp

Russian acquaint may be in the approaching for Vancouver Canucks centre Elias Pettersson.

The Swedish brilliant is skating alongside new additions Andrei Kuzmenko and Illya Mikheyev at training affected in Whistler, B.C., this week, creating a band which Pettersson answered could have a lot to offer.

“I anticipate all three of us, we accompany altered aspects of the game,” he said. “Mikheyev, he’s cool fast, he opens up for us. And me and Kuzmenko are maybe affectionate of agnate in the way we play.”

Vancouver best up Mikheyev on the chargeless abettor bazaar in July, signing the above Toronto Maple Leaf to a four-year, US$19-million contract.

The 27-year-old right-winger had 32 credibility in 53 amateur for the Leafs aftermost season, again added two goals and two assists in seven playoff appearances.

Kuzmenko, 26, comes to the Canucks from the KHL on a one-year, entry-level deal. The five-foot-11, 194-pound advanced produced 52 credibility and 10 amends mins in 45 amateur with St. Petersburg SKA aftermost season.

The duo are accustomed with one another, accepting played “a brace of shifts” calm on the Russian civic aggregation four or bristles years ago, Mikheyev said.

“One acceptable thing, we can allege the aforementioned accent and I can assist him accept while guys acquaint him something,” he said.

Both new additions are “pretty skilled” and stood out on the first day of training affected on Thursday, answered Canucks arch drillmaster Bruce Boudreau.

“You could see the accomplishment in them, you could see the absolution in the shot,” he said. “I don’t choose to accomplish too many comparisons at all, about Kuzmenko’s absolution is a lot like (Alex Ovechkin’s) release, looking at both of them off the larboard side.

“I anticipate they played with energy. And you could acquaint which they weren’t alone out here, they capital to accomplish a acceptable impression. I anticipate they did.”

It won’t be continued afore admirers are captivated not alone by Kuzmenko’s play, about by his personality, too, Boudreau added.

“I answered the first day I saw him, ‘If this guy’s as acceptable as advertised, he’s activity to booty the burghal by storm,” he said.

Vancouver has fabricated an consequence on Kuzmenko, too. He’s been in the burghal for many weeks, skating with his new teammates, exploring the city, and demography in concerts and a Vancouver Whitecaps soccer game.

“Vancouver is a gorgeous burghal for me. I like the place, the mountains, the ocean, the forest. I like it,” he said. “

Kuzmenko is looking advanced to seeing how his bold translates to the NHL’s abate ice, adage he brand to comedy in bound spaces.

Asked whether he could be alike further acknowledged on the abate surface, the absorbing advanced grinned.

“We’ll see,” he said.

Pulling on a Canucks jersey has been somewhat surreal for one of the team’s added off-season acquisitions.

Growing up in Salmon Arm, B.C., Vancouver was once the aggregation Curtis Lazar animated for. Signing with his hometown club as a chargeless abettor in July was once a accustomed fit, the 27-year-old advanced said.

“It’s incredible. It still hasn’t really sunk in,” he said. “And you’ve apparent all the development staff, too, the above players. I mean, I grew up watching those guys, and now they’re apprenticeship me or whatnot. So it’s pretty cool.”

Lazar comes to the Canucks on a one-year, $1-million accord afterwards tallying 16 credibility and 16 amends mins for the Boston Bruins aftermost season.

Originally best 17th all-embracing by Ottawa in the 2013 NHL access draft, the six-foot, 203-pound advanced has played for the Bruins, Senators, Calgary Flames and Buffalo Sabres over eight seasons in the league.

At training camp, he’s skating on a band with adolescent new accession Dakota Joshua and abyss centre Jason Dickenson.

“(Lazar’s) got the experience, he’s aggressive, he’s played on winners,” Boudreau said. “He’s an NHL hockey amateur and you accord him a attempt at scoring, he’s activity to score. He’s activity to annihilate penalties, he’s activity to accompany a lot to this team.”

Being able to have an on-ice appulse for your favourite aggregation is a appropriate opportunity, Lazar said.

And he sees big things for a Canucks aggregation which accomplished aftermost time bristles credibility out of a playoff atom with a 40-30-12 record.

“Nine years in the league, this is the many accomplishment and acceleration I’ve apparent on a team,” Lazar said. “It’s a await of us putting it together, arena adamantine collectively, and we’ll be all right.”

—Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press

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