Let's start off with the important news today.
After introducing the NHL Fan Choice Awards in 2018, the league has expanded the initiative from 10 categories to 20 this year, and we have some Canucks representation:
Brock Boeser and Ben Hutton are up for Best Halloween Costume.
They're the only teammates together in this category. They're up against Ben Bishop of Dallas, Blake Coleman of New Jersey and Marcus Foligno of Minnesota, who also posed with their wives.
Also, in the fan video category, Canuck Clay and Marie Hui got a nod for their latest Canucks adaptation—their ode to Dekey Pete.
They're up against fans from Washington, Nashville and Montreal in their category.
I just submitted my votes, which allowed me to see the results so far. At the moment, our reps could use some help in both their categories!
Up next—ticket information for the 2019 NHL Draft was released on Monday. Prices are reasonable, but availability is expected to be limited.
Season ticket holders will have an advance opportunity to purchase tickets, starting Thursday, May 16. Availability will open up for the general public one week later, on May 23.
Tickets are split for the two days of the event—Round 1 on Friday, June 21, then Rounds 2-7 on Saturday, June 22.
Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini will also be participating in a hot stove with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on the Friday morning — a panel discussion presented by the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade.
I expect we'll see more draft-related events added to the calendar as the date draws nearer.
Now—here's the latest on our Canucks at the World Championship.
On Wednesday, Thatcher Demko made 23 saves as Team USA fired 65 shots on Great Britain's goalie Ben Bowns on their way to a 6-3 win. Demko's now 2-0 in his games against the Brits and the French, with a .920 save percentage and 2.00 goals-against average.
Quinn Hughes skated 19:14 and had four shots on goal. He and Demko both assisted on this goal:
Last year, Quinn was noticeable for being not-that-noticeable as a draft-eligible player—he was steady for Team USA, and didn't make mistakes. This year, his role has increased. He now has three assists in four games and is a plus-six.
As for Team Canada, they're enjoying two days off while coping with more injury news. The Canadians played a good chunk of their 6-5 win over Slovakia with five defensemen after both Dante Fabbro and Brandon Montour were injured. Troy Stecher played 21:07 and finished the game as a plus-two, with four shots and a key goal to give Canada a 5-4 lead late in the second period after they'd fallen behind 2-0 and 4-2 in front of the partisan Slovak crowd.
Montour and Fabbro are both righties—and Montour has already been ruled out for the rest of the tournament with a lower-body injury. Fabbro is expected to be able to play on Thursday, and big Philadelphia Flyers rookie Philippe Myers has also now been added in Canada's last roster spot, giving the team a little bit of additional depth.
Still, expect Stecher's responsibilities to spike. He and Damon Severson are now Canada's most experienced righties.
As for Sweden, they improved to 2-1 with their 9-1 win over Norway on Monday. Jacob Markstrom got the win in his first start, while Loui Eriksson had a goal and Elias Pettersson tallied one assist. Through three games, Eriksson's now up to 1-3-4 while Pettersson has three assists—and is a minus-two.
On Thursday, Canada and Sweden will be back in action in the early games. Canada will take on France in Kosice, while Sweden faces off against Austria in Bratislava.