Schroeder focuses on cracking Canucks

HOSEA CHEUNG, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:31 AM ET

It's time to shift the rookie watch from Cody Hodgson to Jordan Schroeder.

While the former's future with the Canucks is still encased in a cloud of mystery, the latter has been clear on his intentions: Make it onto the main roster come the start of the regular season.

That quest starts this week in Penticton.

Schroeder, the Canucks' 22nd overall draft pick in 2009, will be in the Okanagan Valley for the Young Stars tournament, while Hodgson won't participate due to ongoing back issues but is expected to be ready for the main training camp over the weekend.

"I think I've got a good opportunity here," said the 19-year-old. "There's a lot of guys competing for the bottom six so it's going to be a tough competition to see who gets what spot at the end of training camp. I'm going to push for it because that's my goal."

Skating with fellow Vancouver prospects this past weekend at Rogers Arena, Schroeder exudes a sense of confidence, not cockiness, on the ice.

And while the tournament this week allows him to showcase both his speed and skill, it's the veterans camp and preseason over the next couple weeks which will truly assess his talent level. Heading in, the rookie centre believes that he is an NHL-calibre player.

"Personally, I think I am but I [have] to work really hard to earn it," he said. "Going to Manitoba [during the latter parts of the 2009-10 season] was a big test for me and I think I proved myself there and I need to come into training camp and prove myself again."

The Prior Lake, Minnesota native, who finished with nine points in 11 regular season games and six points in six playoffs games with the Moose, trained in his home state over the off-season with the likes of Zach Parise, Kyle Okposo, and Drew Stafford.

Working out with NHLers has opened Schroeder's eyes.

"You definitely learn a lot from how hard they work and what it takes each and every year to make the pro level," he said. "There's always pressure being a first rounder and everything but I let that go right by my head and I just want to go out there and work hard."

For updates from Penticton, follow @hosea24hours on twitter.


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