Canucks prospect loves this town

HOSEA CHEUNG, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:51 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- Patrick McNally could get used to playing in Vancouver, if only for the scenery.

When the Glen Head, New York, native was selected 115th overall by the Canucks in the NHL draft two weeks ago, his family and friends raved about his potential hometown.

He finally saw Vancouver - sunshine and all - first hand this week during the prospect development camp.

"I travelled all day on Monday but it's just been unbelievable since I got here," McNally said. "I came in, saw the mountains and everything. It's really beautiful."

The 6-foot-2, 180-lbs blueliner led his Milton Academy team in scoring last season with 35 points in 28 games, winning the New England Prep School Defenseman of the Year award in the process.

While the Harvard-bound McNally is still years from making his NHL debut, he understands the competitiveness amongst the defensive prospects in the Canucks system.

"Everyone here is a proven hockey player, they've all been drafted or have been invited to this camp so it's a really high level," he said. "As long as it takes I'll just keep working."

n Top prospect Cody Hodgson's absence from the development camp is the best for both sides, according to Dave Gagner, the Canucks director of player development.

"He wanted to make sure he's 100 per cent ready to be the best he can be at [training] camp," Gagner said Wednesday. "He wanted to be on a very regimented program to get him to that point."

The 20-year-old, who has been at the camp the past two summers, decided to stay in Ontario for training.

"We're comfortable with who he's with, and he's comfortable with who he's with in Toronto," said Gagner, denying any rift between Hodgson and the team. "At the end of the day, as long as he plays to the best of his ability, we'll be very happy."


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