Surrey’s Matt Barberis in action with the WHL Vancouver Giants. (file photo: Gary Ahuja/Black Press)

Surrey pair on Vancouver Canucks’ ‘Young Stars’ squad in Penticton

Weekend games feature all-rookie teams in NHL colours

SURREY — A pair of Surrey players are on the Vancouver Canucks’ “Young Stars” roster for an all-rookie tournament happening in Penticton this weekend, starting Friday (Sept. 8) with a game against Winnipeg Jets.

D-man Matt Barberis is in the Okanagan city with other NHL hopefuls, as is fellow Surrey product Jakob Stukel, a winger with the WHL Calgary Hitmen.

The young Canucks guns will also play Calgary Flames rookies on Sunday afternoon (Sept. 10) and Edmonton Oilers prospects on Monday.

The 1998-born Barberis played 48 games with the WHL Vancouver Giants last season, scoring 10 times and adding 15 assists – tops among all G-men defencemen. In 103 career WHL games, all with the Giants, he has totalled 17 goals and 35 assists for 52 points. He was drafted 20th overall by the Giants in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft.

“Unfortunately,” Canucks freelance writer Ryan Biech writes in a post at nhl.com/canucks, “he has had to battle some injuries over the last couple of years, which is in part why he is an invite to the Canucks training camp rather than a draft pick.

“Barberis is very adept at transitioning the puck with speed to create offence for his team. He hopes to show that the injuries are thing of the past and his puck moving skillset is something that can flourish with further development.”

READ MORE: Dropping the gloves with Matt Barberis, from January 2017

Barberis is among six Giants invited to NHL rookie camps ahead of the 2017-18 WHL season. The others are captain Tyler Benson (Oilers), Ty Ronning (Rangers), Brad Morrison (Flames), Dylan Plouffe (Panthers, whose rookie camp has been cancelled due to Hurricane Irma) and Brendan Semchuk (Capitals).