The Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning obviously had a good feeling about his young Swedish prospect Nils Hoglander. In fact, as early as the beginning of December, Benning had made it clear that he believed that Hoglander should be able to compete for a spot on the Canucks’ roster at training camp.
Hoglander had been loaned to Rogle BK of the Swedish Hockey League in late July as a way for him to keep playing during the NHL’s offseason. During his time in Sweden, Hoglander had scored three goals and seven assists (for 10 points) in 16 games. The 19-year-old winger was taken 40th overall by the Canucks in the 2019 NHL Draft.
Hoglander Arrives and Starts Training Camp
When Hoglander started training camp, he was partnered on a line with Bo Horvat and Tanner Pearson. This threesome was the first line of the Canucks’ Group B practice session. Obviously, this placing suggests that Hoglander’s is a candidate to become a top-six forward headed into the 2020-21 season.
Hoglander’s known for his lacrosse-style goals. But he also plays with an edge and, during his time in Sweden was penalized for fighting and received two misconduct penalties. The 19-year-old was selected 40th overall in 2019 and is expected to compete for a roster spot with Vancouver this season.
Horvat Believes Hoglander Is Fitting in Well with the Canucks at Training Camp
When Bo Horvat spoke with the media during a Sportsnet interview about how Hoglander was fitting in at Canucks’ camp as the team prepares for the season, he suggested that Hoglander was fitting in well.
Horvat was asked about the hype around his line because of Hoglander’s presence. Horvat noted that it couldn’t be easy for the young Swede because this was his first camp; however, he’s handled himself really well. He’s tried to get to know the other guys on the team and he fits in well because he’s such a great young player.
Horvat noted that Hoglander also seemed to be a really good person off the ice, too. So, as Horvat noted, it’s nice to have him around. Horvat also noted that Hoglander had surprised his new Canucks teammates because it looks as if he’s in mid-season form.
Brandon Sutter also Surprised at How Ready Hoglander Has Looked
NHL veteran Brandon Sutter also had some high praise for Hoglander, and shared that a number of his teammates had been surprised by how ready Hoglander looks. Sutter noted that Hoglander seems a little bit quicker than most guys you see when they’re coming in for their first camp. He believed you could tell he’s in mid-season form.
Sutter also noted that, when compared to some of the other young players he’s seen in his 13 years, that Hoglander looks “pretty shifty out there.” He also noted that it was “pretty cool to see him I’ll out there.”
Sutter obviously thought it was worth repeating because he noted that he was so ready. The bottom line is that Hoglander has been a surprise in how he’s competed in practice in the scrimmages; and, it just looks like he’s going to be pretty special talent.
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