Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Rookie Hunter Shinkaruk Scores for Canucks in 5-0 Pre-Season Win over Rangers

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Rookie Hunter Shinkaruk Scores for Canucks in 5-0 Pre-Season Win over Rangers

Article excerpt

Hunter Shinkaruk makes case in Canucks win

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VANCOUVER - Hunter Shinkaruk earned a chance to stay in the NHL for at least a little while longer Thursday night.

The 18-year-old rookie scored a goal, his second of the pre-season, as the Vancouver Canucks blanked the New York Rangers 5-0 at Rogers Arena. He stayed with the Canucks after coach John Tortorella sent three other players packing to the minors and back to junior after the game.

"With that shot, it just kind of found the net," he said. "I was really fortunate."

Shinkaruk, a Calgary native who was one of Vancouver's two first-round draft choices (24th overall) this year, put in a shot off Rangers defenceman Dan Girardi in with 44 seconds left in the second period to close out the scoring.

"I'm just kind of excited every day I wake up," said Shinkaruk. "I'm just trying to do my best when I come to the rink -- and hope my name is hanging still in my stall. So far, it's been good, but I can't take anything for granted."

Shinkaruk finished the pre-season with three points after also earning an assist in another game. Although he has been used as a bottom-six forward, he hopes the pre-season production will bolster his chance to stay in the NHL permanently.

"I'm definitely a guy who's been relied upon to shoot a lot and score goals in junior," said Shinkaruk. "Obviously, it's a bit different coming in here with the high-end guys that (are) on this team. My role has changed a little bit, but that's still my role -- to try to create a little bit of offence as much as I can."

Due to his age, he must go back to his Medicine Hat Tigers junior squad in the WHL if he does not last more than nine regular-season games with the Canucks. If he plays a 10th game, his entry-level NHL contract will kick in.

But with winger Zack Kassian suspended for the first five games of the regular season and Jordan Schroeder nursing a fractured foot that is expected to keep him out three weeks, new coach John Tortorella has elected to keep Shinkaruk around -- for now -- as the regular season approaches.

"He's played well, scored another goal," said Tortorella. "He scores two goals that are kind of funky goals, but they're goals. He's had a good camp. The suspension with Kass opens up another spot there. I'm not sure what the lineup's going to be. But he's certainly made a case as he played."

Henrik Sedin scored two goals as the Vancouver Canucks finished the pre-season 2-4-0. The goals, his first of the pre-season, came as he and twin brother Daniel celebrated their 33rd birthday.

The Rangers saw their pre-season record fall to 1-4-0 with one game still to play Friday in Las Vegas against the Los Angeles Kings.

Frank Corrado and Ryan Kesler also scored for the Canucks. Alex Edler supplied three assists. But Corrado's offence didn't help him because the 20-year-old defenceman from Toronto was sent down to Utica of the AHL after the game. …

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