'Pegger set to strut stuff

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:20 AM ET

Kevin Clark has already done enough to warrant a second look from his hometown team.

Clark joined the Manitoba Moose late last season after completing his college career with the University of Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves, appearing in nine regular season games (two goals, three points) and another four in the playoffs (one goal, two points).

Now, the 22-year-old Winnipegger is about to embark on another journey -- one where the feisty winger hopes to show the Vancouver Canucks that he could be part of their future plans.

"I'm just excited to get going," Clark said before departing for B.C. for the Canucks' prospects training camp, which officially opens on Friday in Vancouver. "I want to stay for main camp and I think I can play with those guys. Hopefully, they give me a chance to see how I stack up against guys who do play in the NHL.

"It's my first camp and you want to take it all in, but it will be a good benchmark to see if I can go to main camp. That will really show me where I'm at and what I have to do to go to the next level."

This isn't the first time Clark has been on display for the Canucks brass.

He took part in the Canucks' prospects camp after the NHL draft and came away feeling positive.

"It was a great experience for me to go out there," said Clark, who was re-signed by the Moose and hopes to garner a contract from the Canucks down the road. "You always want to see how you're going to stack up and see who they have in their organization. Maybe that will push you a little bit more."

Clark has always been known for mixing his grit with a nose for the net and some soft hands.

He's gearing up for an important rookie season with the Moose and hopes to show new head coach Claude Noel he can be a solid contributor.

"I need to play with an edge and always be consistent," said Clark. "That's what coaches are going to look at. They need to trust what you're going to bring every night. I need to bring my offensive side and at the same time, show them I can be versatile, that I can play in a Top-6 role or I can play on the third or fourth line as well."

Getting a taste of the pro game with the Moose in the spring was a bonus for Clark.

"It helps you ease into everything, as someone coming in as a rookie here," he said. "It sounds clichéd, but you kind of know what to expect. We have a new coach, but you know the routine and you know what it's like to play three games in three days and know what it's like to go on the road for nine days.

"Having those experiences, you look back and see what you did right and did wrong. It was definitely a huge benefit for me to get some games in last year."

Having the opportunity to take the next step in his hockey journey with his hometown team is something Clark won't take for granted.

"It's really special," he said. "Not a lot of players get to play at home, especially for an organization like the Moose. I couldn't have asked for a better way and I'm going to enjoy every moment."

HOOF PRINTS: The Canucks are taking part in a Young Stars tournament in Penticton, B.C. with the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks between Sept. 12 and 1 6 , where the Canucks will play four games. A second Winnipegger, forward James Henry, will be among the 27 players expected to report to camp Friday. Henry, a 19-year-old left-winger, had 21 goals, 59 points and 128 penalty minutes for the Vancouver Giants last season. Rookie defenceman Yann Sauve, who should be with the Moose this season, is recovering and "making good progress" (according to a statement released by the team) after being involved in a motor vehicle accident in downtown Vancouver on Saturday. Sauve's status for prospects camp remains up in the air.


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