Former Penticton Vee lifts Vancouver Canucks to pre-season win

A former Penticton Vees defenceman is making an impact in NHL preseason play with the Vancouver Canucks.

A former Penticton Vees defenceman is making an impact in NHL preseason play with the Vancouver Canucks.

Defenseman Troy Stecher had a goal and two assists to lift the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-3 preseason win against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Arena on Wednesday. One of Stecher’s helpers came on the game-winning goal.

Stecher impressed Canucks brass during the Young Stars Classic in Penticton, Sept. 16 to 19. Canucks GM Jim Benning suggested Stecher would get playing time with the NHL club this season.

(See more: Video – Stecher impresses Vancouver Canucks at Young Stars Classic)

“He’s going to be a real good player for us moving forward,” he added. “He’s a real good skater. He gets up in the play. He has good offensive skill. Defensively, he’s a competitor. He’s not a big guy, but he competes hard defensively. The thing I like most about him is his competitiveness …  he doesn’t back down to anybody.”

Stecher’s goal put the Canucks on the scoreboard first against Edmonton with a wrist shot through traffic. On the winner against, Anton Rodin converted a nice cross-ice pass from Stecher before depositing the puck into the open cage to make it 4-3 for the home team. Stecher earned the first star of the game for his performance.

Brendan GaunceJoseph Labate and Erik Gudbranson also scored for Vancouver.

Oilers center Connor McDavid had three shots on goal and was minus-1 in 23:05 of ice time in his first preseason game since returning from the World Cup of Hockey 2016.

Drake Caggiula scored two goals in the first period for Edmonton, and Griffin Reinhart scored in the second.

Another former Penticton Vees defenceman, Joey Laleggia, was in the lineup for the Edmonton Oilers.

— With files from NHL.com