Canucks Young Stars confirmed for next two years in Penticton

The Vancouver Canucks will host the 10th edition of the prospects tournament in September 2023.

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The Vancouver Canucks’ popular Young Stars Classic is returning to Penticton for 10th and 11th editions.

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The NHL club announced Thursday that the tournament, which pits prospects from the Canucks against prospects from other NHL teams, will take place once again in the Okanagan city, likely from Sept 15-18, 2023 and that a commitment has also been made for 2024 as well.

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The Canucks secured commitments to play both years from the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets. All three teams participated in the 2022 event, the first time since 2018 the Canucks had hosted the event.

The tournament was first played in 2010 and quickly became a popular destination for Canucks fans. The tournament went on hiatus in 2019 and then the realities of the pandemic kept it from being organized in 2020 and 2021.

“The Young Stars Classic is a key event for the Vancouver Canucks organization and one that we are extremely proud to be hosting again in Penticton for the next two years,” said Canucks president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford said in a statement.

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“The tournament provides a great opportunity for similar aged prospects to play and practice in a competitive environment, in front of thousands of fans. This is an important event on our hockey calendar and we, along with all the other teams participating, look forward to bringing another exciting tournament to the South Okanagan Events Centre.”

Jonathan Wall, chairman of the Young Stars organizing committee and former Canucks staffer, said the community is delighted to once again be hosting the event.

“We’re super excited to get a two-year commitment. It shows that the team’s recognized the quality of the venue and the group in Penticton,” he said.

“It shows they trust we can represent their brand to the fans. Two year helps for planning and sponsors and connecting with fans as well.”

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Rutherford raved last September to reporters as well as Wall and his colleagues about the facilities at the South Okanagan Events Centre, as well as the amenities Penticton itself had to offer.

“He was very appreciative of the work we’d done. And blown away by the facility. The facility is the key,” Wall said.

The SOEC recently hosted the Canadian Sport School hockey championships, Wall added.

“That’s 100 teams. The venue is becoming renowned for hosting big events.”

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