VANCOUVER - Jordan Schroeder gets his final chance Thursday night to try and stick with the Vancouver Canucks.
Schroeder, Vancouver's first-round pick (22nd overall) in 2009, will play on a line in Thursday night's scrimmage with Mason Raymond and Zack Kassian. Schroeder is battling with veteran Andrew Ebbett for a vacant spot at centre created by the absence of Ryan Kesler, who is not fully recovered from shoulder and wrist surgeries last spring.
"You want players to play to their strengths and he is an offfensive player who has got real good speed and has got good vision on the ice, so he will get an opportunity tonight," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said Thursday of Schroeder. "Mason has been real good so far in the four days of training camp and we'll see what Jordan can do between him and Zack."
Ebbett played with Raymond and Kassian in Wednesday night's scrimmage and scored Team Grey's only goal. Ebbett will skate on a line Thursday with Bill Sweatt and Andrew Gordon.
Vigneault will use defenceman Jim Vandermeer on left wing on a line with Anton Rodin and Darren Archibald. The Canucks like Vandermeer's toughness and it would not be a surprise to see him make the 23-man roster that must be declared Friday afternoon.
"He's got an identity of a physical presence on the ice whether it be on defence or up front," Vigneault said.
Vandermeer dressed as a forward for 15 of the 25 games he played last season with the San Jose Sharks.
"Just call me a rover, I guess," Vandermeer said. "My first year in junior I was actually a forward. In Calgary, when we'd be down by a goal and the team wasn't playing very good (coach Mike) Keenan would put me up on the wing and I'd either fight or go get a good forecheck and try to change the momentum of a game."
Vandermeer, who signed a two-way contract with the Canucks earlier this week, suggested he's ready to play anywhere the coach wants him if it means sticking with the team.
"It's just another tool for me to use," he said of his ability to pull some shifts at forward.
The scrimmage is free to the public and will consist of three 10-minute periods followed by a five-man shootout. Warm-ups begin at 6:30 p.m. and the scrimmage starts at 7 p.m.
The Canucks, who open the regular season Saturday night at home against the Anaheim Ducks, are being given the day off on Friday. The Ducks arrived in Vancouver Thursday and were scheduled to practise Thursday afternoon and again on Friday at Rogers Arena.
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