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Camp Cuts: Canucks send the Abbotsford Canucks back to Abbotsford

Canucks prospects Dmitri Zlodeyev and Karel Plasek were among the eight players cut on Tuesday.
Abbotsford Canucks head coach Jeremy Colliton working with the Vancouver Canucks prospects at the 2023 Young Stars Classic in Penticton.

The Vancouver Canucks made another round of cuts on Tuesday but have yet to really slice away any players from their actual roster.

Of the eight players cut from the Canucks' training camp roster on Tuesday, just one is actually under contract to the Canucks. Seven others have AHL contracts with the Abbotsford Canucks and one other is a Canucks prospect aiming to earn an AHL contract.

Let's break down these cuts.

Karel Plasek

The lone cut with an NHL contract, Karel Plasek is an interesting case. Despite underwhelming numbers in Czechia's top league, the Canucks liked Plasek enough to sign him to a three-year, entry-level contract back in 2021, bringing him over to North America to play for the Abbotsford Canucks in the AHL.

Plasek's first season in the AHL immediately went off the rails, as he missed almost the entire season due to injury, playing in just eight games with Abbotsford and putting up zero points. It was such a disastrous introduction to North America that the Canucks sent him back home last season, loaning him to HC Olomouc in Czechia. 

While not spectacular, Plasek was solid in that season in Czechia and the Canucks have now brought him back over for another try at professional hockey in North America. The 23-year-old winger had a solid showing at the Young Stars Classic, scoring one goal and showing some playmaking chemistry with Danila Klimovich. There's a chance that maybe he can make it work this time around and give the Canucks a reason to re-sign him.

Dmitri Zlodeyev

It is entirely unclear what is going on with Dmitri Zlodeyev, who the Canucks drafted in the sixth round in 2020.

Zlodeyev signed a two-year contract with Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk in the KHL this summer but the KHL season has already begun and Zlodeyev is here in Canada. There are rumours that he has been released from his KHL contract, which would make sense, but weirdly no confirmation of this release can be found anywhere and the Canucks have kept quiet about him.

It appears that the Canucks will continue to evaluate Zlodeyev at the Abbotsford Canucks camp to see if he's worthy of at least an AHL contract. He should be. The 21-year-old centre is a capable two-way player who gets in hard on the forecheck and plays with a feisty edge.

Whether Zlodeyev has a future in the Canucks organization remains to be seen but it's definitely one of the stranger stories of training camp.

Jermaine Loewen, Chad Nychuk, Jonathan Lemieux, Alex Kannok-Liepert, Marc Gatcomb, Cooper Walker

The rest of the Canucks cuts on Tuesday were to players who are not within the Canucks' NHL system. These six players are signed to AHL contracts, including Cooper Walker, the son of former Canuck Scott Walker, who the Canucks said was released from an amateur tryout (ATO) but has a contract with the Abbotsford Canucks.

Of these cuts, Gatcomb is the most intriguing. He scored a lovely goal at the Young Stars Classic and played the type of hard-forechecking game that could eventually earn him an NHL contract. That said, he'll have to take some major steps in the AHL this season to get that opportunity, as he had just 8 points in 45 AHL games last season in his rookie year.


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