April 22nd, 2024

Surrey’s Arshdeep Bains relishing call up to Vancouver Canucks

By Nick Wells, The Canadian Press on February 24, 2024.

Vancouver Canucks left wing Arshdeep Bains, left, jostles for position with Colorado Avalanche centre Andrew Cogliano in the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, in Denver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-David Zalubowski

VANCOUVER – Arshdeep Bains sums up his promotion from playing on the Vancouver Canucks’ American Hockey League affiliate to featuring on the NHL club’s second line as “pretty special.”

Bains, of Surrey, B.C., was called up last week by the Canucks and made his NHL debut against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday. He also suited up Thursday night against the Seattle Kraken.

“It was pretty special playing my first couple games,” he said after practice at UBC on Friday. “So I’m still kind of thinking about that right now.”

Bains spoke of the impact playing with Brock Boeser and J.T. Miller on the second line has had on him in his so-far short time with the Canucks.

“They helped me kind of see a different side of the game,” he said. “I think I was able to kind of learn how they move around the rink and kind of learn from them.”

The 23-year-old was one of the last Canucks players off the ice Friday, staying so long that Noah Juulsen – who he carpooled with – was getting ready to leave without him.

What added to the special moment of playing for his hometown team was having his father, Kuldip, in attendance to watch his debut at Ball Arena in Colorado.

“He’s obviously the reason I played hockey, so having him there was nice to have,” Bains said.

Bains recorded 13:21 and 12:57 minutes of ice time in the games against Colorado and Seattle.

“I think it was good for me to get my first two games under the belt (against those) kind of competitive teams,” he said.

Bains is having a productive season with the Canucks’ AHL affiliate in Abbotsford, B.C. He has nine goals and 39 points in 42 games.

Before making the jump to the professional ranks last season, Bains played five campaigns with the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League and scored 77 goals and recorded 209 points.

He also spent a year at the Delta Hockey Academy, run by Ian Gallagher – the father of NHLer Brendan Gallagher.

“Arshdeep was always in love with the skill of the game and he does have a real great foundation in regards to that,” Ian Gallagher said.

“The Canucks are a really good team and the fact that he earned an opportunity in that lineup, it’s impressive.”

Gallagher said Bains being from the area adds to the emotion of the call-up.

“I think a lot of people take a lot of joy in seeing the kids who have a passion for something actually achieve the level that they’re achieving,” he said.

Bains is one of only four Punjabi players to play in the NHL, the others being Robin Bawa, Manny Malhotra and Jujhar Khaira.

He would make his home debut Saturday afternoon with the Vancouver Canucks in action against the Boston Bruins.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2023.

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