Giants' Mazden Leslie learns classes from Canucks defenceman Carson Soucy at summer season coaching

Leslie, who was handed over in his first NHL Draft this summer season, labored out alongside Soucy, who was additionally skipped on his first draft

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Vancouver Giants defenceman Mazden Leslie and Vancouver Canucks rearguard Carson Soucy wound up in the identical coaching group this summer season — and the timing couldn’t have been higher.

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Leslie, 18, was handed over in June’s NHL Draft. He produced offensively with the Giants, with 12 targets and 50 factors in 66 common season video games final yr, however scouts had considerations about his play in his personal zone.

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Soucy, 29, had been passed over in his first draft yr as effectively. He was chosen after the next season, taken within the fifth spherical and No. 137 total, by the Minnesota Wild in 2013. Soucy now has 250 NHL video games below his belt. He was one the principle free brokers the Canucks introduced on this low season, inking a three-year take care of a $3.25 million cap hit per season after spending the previous two campaigns with the Seattle Kraken.

Leslie, Soucy and a handful of execs and juniors from the area skilled collectively in Wainwright, Alta., which is about an hour’s drive from Leslie’s household house in Lloydminster, the town that straddles the border of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

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“He’s a very nice man. And it helps having a man like that on the market and having the ability to watch every little thing that he does,” Leslie mentioned of Soucy earlier this week after a Giants follow in Ladner.

“And he didn’t take the route of being a excessive draft decide. He has labored his means up there.”

Canucks Carson Soucy
Vancouver Canucks’ Carson Soucy in a pre-season follow on the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Centre on Sept. 6, 2023. Photograph by NICK PROCAYLO /PNG

Leslie did get an newbie tryout to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs’ entry in a prospects match in Traverse Metropolis, Mich., earlier this month, and the 6-foot, 200-pound right-shot blue liner carried out effectively sufficient there that the Leafs introduced him to their major coaching camp.

Leslie missed the Giants’ 4-1 season-opening win over the Victoria Royals on Friday as a result of he was nonetheless with the Leafs, however Toronto launched him Monday and despatched him again to Vancouver.

He’s slated to play Friday (7 p.m., Sportsnet 650) when the Giants go to the Kamloops Blazers. The Giants then host the Wenatchee Wild Sunday (4 p.m., Sportsnet 650) on the Langley Occasions Centre.

“Guys are so much greater, stronger, sooner. Every part about it’s a degree up,” Leslie mentioned of his foray in opposition to the professional ranks. “It was actually vital to me to go there and present that I can play with older guys and guys who had been drafted.”

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Michael Dyck, who ended a five-year run because the Giants head coach this summer season to turn into an assistant with the Maple Leafs’ AHL Toronto Marlies farm group, was on the ice commonly when Leslie was there.

“We did plenty of his drills. It was good to be aware of them already,” Leslie mentioned.

Leslie was a “C” rating on Central Scouting’s preliminary gamers to look at final season, which pegged him as being a Spherical 4-6 choice. He was No. 80 amongst North American skaters in Central’s midseason rankings and No. 125 in that very same tier within the year-end ones. 

He characterizes lacking out on the draft as a “likelihood to refocus.” He admits that he must be extra dialled in defensively and that there are occasions he must make the straightforward play popping out of his personal zone slightly than making an attempt to make the highlight-reel one. Leslie says that the Maple Leafs introduced all that up with him earlier than he left.

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There’s a bravado to his sport that will get him up the ice and into the push and permits him to make use of his imaginative and prescient and instincts. If Leslie might harness all of it constantly, there’s one thing that’s certain to be interesting to these within the professional ranks.

Vancouver basic supervisor Barclay Parneta introduced in Manny Viveiros to switch Dyck as bench boss and Parneta upgraded their defence, touchdown Marek Howell, 17, from the Moose Jaw Warriors for ahead Ethan Semeniuk, 18, and three WHL Draft picks, together with a 2024 first rounder.

The plan has been for Howell to pair with Colton Roberts, 17, which then places Leslie with one in every of Vancouver’s 20 yr olds. Vancouver had 5 20s on their roster as of Wednesday afternoon and three are defencemen: Carson Haynes, Logen Hammett and Brenden Pentecost. The Giants must get right down to the three 20s on their whole roster by Oct. 10. 

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Additionally within the combine for prolonged minutes on the Vancouver again finish is returnee Damian Palmieri, 19.

The WHL doesn’t publicizes ice time, however Leslie was possible second amongst Vancouver defencemen final yr, behind since graduated 20-year-old Dylan Anderson.

The Calgary Flames reassigned Vancouver centre Jaden Lipinski, 18, who was a fourth-round Calgary draft decide this summer season, to the Giants earlier this week and he needs to be within the lineup this weekend. Ahead Samuel Honzek, 18, who was a first-round decide of the Flames, stays in Calgary’s camp

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