Canucks: Why Thatcher Demko thinks goalie Ty Young has a chance

Young, the 2022 Canucks draft pick, is at his second NHL camp and there’s lots to like about his game.

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VICTORIA — At the end of Friday’s second Canucks training camp session at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, goalie coach Ian Clark kept a few of his charges on the ice for some extra work.

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One of them was Ty Young, the youngest goalie in camp and one of eight in all to man the nets so far through two days of camp.

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Young, who is 19 years old and full of vigour, faced down a pair of remarkable shooters: Daniel Sedin and Mikael Samuelsson.

The two retired Swedish snipers are both development coaches for the Canucks — but still know how to put the puck in the net.

Needless to say, it was as big a test as any for Young, who was drafted a year ago and is one of the latest in a long series of projects that Clark relishes taking on.

The grin on Young’s face, even behind his Prince George Cougars mask, was obvious. He’s digging this.

Long and lanky, with an agile mind, he’s very much in the Clark mould.

Last year, Young admitted to this reporter, that it was a little overwhelming.

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“Just seeing everybody, you were like, ‘Wow,’” he said. The learning curve was steep, but knowing the success Clark has had with goalies over the years — from Luongo to Bobrovsky to Markström to Demko and plenty in between — he quickly found his energy, and over the long haul, his composure.

“This year, you’re used it, you’re in the zone a little bit.”

Credit goalie development coach Marko Torenius for some of this, he said. Clark brought Torenius on board a year ago so that the Canucks could have a coach with time to go see their prospects and to spend time giving them feedback.

Good games and bad games, there was always commentary from Torenius. Last year was Young’s first full season in the WHL with the Cougars and Torenius’ first full-time with the Canucks, mostly based with the Abbotsford Canucks.

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“He’s always open for questions about the stuff he came up with,” Young said.

From a high-up view, his save percentage (88.4) underwhelmed and he didn’t shy away from it when it was raised.

“Obviously, the stats aren’t what I wanted to be but it was like a really good learning season,” he said. “Biggest challenge (this season) is going to be consistency. Last year, I think … it was kind of hard to find that groove a little bit.”

Young knows that coming to the Canucks camp is a chance to get some more hard lessons from Clark and Torenius, while also getting a chance to see up close what their methods can achieve, like the kind of goalie Thatcher Demko is now.

Demko, for his part, says he likes what he’s seen so far of Young.

“He’s a good listener,” Demko said, verbally underlining his assessment, making it clear how important listening is for a young goalie. “He’s got a lot of the tools.

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“It’s a big year for him. Big opportunity to show he can carry a load.”

Young knows his big chance is now. And he knows that to find ultimate success with Clark’s method, he also has to find himself in the centre of it all.

“You really gotta learn who you are as a player, what you bring to the table. And obviously you want to get better at every aspect, but you really want to focus on things that like, make you who you are. You want to have your own identity out there,” he said, finally.

pjohnston@postmedia.com

X: @risingaction


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