Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/21/13
So far the kids have only been all right and that must change in the next two pre-season games if any of them are going to crack the Vancouver Canucks’ regular-season roster. Youngsters like Bo Horvat Hunter Shinkaruk Brendan Gaunce and Nicklas Jensen are running out of auditions. Saturday night’s pre-season game in Edmonton (7 p.m. Pacific CBC Team 1040) and Monday night’s home date against the Phoenix Coyotes (7 p.m. Sportsnet Pacific Team 1040) could be their final opportunities to make an impression. Head coach John Tortorella has said he wants to use the final two pre-season games later next week as regular-season warmups for the players that will be on the final roster. Tortorella said Friday most of the kids will play in Edmonton. He also suggested he was not overly impressed with many of them in Wednesday’s 4-1 loss to the Oilers at Rogers Arena. “I thought some of them looked tired” Tortorella said. Gaunce Vancouver’s first-round pick in 2012 seems to be making the best impression so far. He has scored two of the three goals the Canucks have managed in their two pre-season games to date. “I thought Gaunce was probably one of our better ones not just because he scored a goal (on Wednesday)” Tortorella said. “After watching the tape he did a lot of good things.” For his part Gaunce isn’t letting himself get too excited about what has been a positive start to the pre-season. “A goal is just another little play on the ice that helps your cause and helps your own confidence” the 19-year-old said. Gaunce simply won’t allow himself to look too far ahead. “I had to worry about this morning when I got up this morning I’ll worry about tomorrow when I get up tomorrow. You can’t look ahead to the future because there might not be a future. You have to worry about every day.” Although listed as a centre Gaunce has been playing some on left wing at camp and that versatility can only help his chances. Late last season he spent considerable time playing left wing for his junior team in Belleville. “I spent about 25 or 30 games on the wing last year” he said. Jensen Vancouver’s first-round pick in 2011 had a terrific rookie camp in Penticton but has not shown particularly well at main camp. He did not manage a shot on goal in either of the first two pre-season games.
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