Assistant general manager Steve Tambellini said yesterday the death of Luc Bourdon was "horrific" for two families: The Bourdons and the Vancouver Canucks.
The 21-year-old Canucks' defenceman died in a midday motorcycle collision with a freight truck near his Shippagan, N.B. home.
"People that know Luc understood how passionate and caring a young man he was," Tambellini told 24 hours. "He was emerging as an active participant on and off the ice with our club. His teammates liked him. It's just a sad day."
New Brunswick RCMP media relations officer Sgt. Derek Strong said the crash is under investigation and wouldn't say whether Bourdon wore a helmet. Bourdon's agent Kent Hughes told CKNW radio that his client recently began riding his father's motorcycle and bought his first bike this week.
Bourdon, born Feb. 16, 1987 in Shippagan, was drafted 10th overall in the first round of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by then-general manager Dave Nonis and head coach Marc Crawford.
Bourdon played for Canada's gold medal-winning 2006 World Junior Hockey Championship team at General Motors Place and led all defencemen with six points in six games.
He started and finished 2007-2008 with the Manitoba Moose, but scored two goals during 27 Canucks' games.
Bourdon's death is the biggest Canucks' tragedy since the May 1, 1974 brain cancer death of 29-year-old winger, Wayne Maki.