Although he hails from Calgary, goaltender Ty Young has always been a fan of the Vancouver Canucks. So he jumped for joy when Team BC drafted him in the fifth round this summer.
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Young grew up encouraging brothers Henrik and Daniel Sedin, as well as Quebecer Roberto Luongo. So he had his eyes wide open last month when he was able to jump on the ice with his childhood idols at the Canucks development camp.
"It doesn't feel real," Young said, according to the Canucks' official website. I feel like I'm living in a dream. It's a crazy feeling to just be able to look across the mirror and see them, or when they sat down and had dinner with us. It's not like on television, so far from us. You actually talk to them.”
Young, who will celebrate his 18th birthday in September, had an atypical season for a player drafted into the National Hockey League (NHL). He started the season with the Calgary Canucks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, before finishing it with the Prince George Cougars of the Western Junior Hockey League (WHL).
He was 6-9-3, .899 save percentage and 3.50 goals-against-average with the Cougars. Statistics that are nothing extraordinary, certainly, but the Canucks like his potential.
The organization now relies on goalkeeper coach Ian Clark, who has worked with many quality goalkeepers in Luongo, Sergei Bobrovsky and Jacob Markstrom, among others, to help the prospect in his development.
“When I first came here he pumped up my ego, but when we jumped on the ice he knocked it down,” Young said of the instructor. He's a really good goalkeeper coach and he's got an impressive CV, so I'm just trying to take it all in and hopefully I can become a better goalkeeper."