Training camp for prospect hounds is an exciting time, to gauge where young players line up and who is on the cusp of a roster spot. I'm not convinced a training camp can make a player's career, but I think it can certainly break it if a window is missed. Last year, Jakub Vrana and Thomas Chabot broke through and graduated, while others moved in that direction. With that in mind, the Canucks have lots of guys to follow this year. Below is a break down into three tiers. The Near Locks - Robert Thomas: The Blues have basically said he's on the team, and Rutherford suggested the plan is for him to centre the top line by Christmas. Let's see, but going back to Hamilton seems highly unlikely. - Adam Erne: Has already played a fairly bit in Tampa, and now has a one-way deal, so a spot is his to lose in the bottom six. Whether the offence comes in the NHL is the big question. - Nikita Soshnikov: Same as Erne, he's had plenty of game action and finally has a one-way deal and a spot locked up in the bottom six on a deep team. - Tristan Jarry: In a sense, he's graduated, but a late season push last year from Casey DeSmith, and having Matt Murray firmly entrenched as starter, means it's possible Jarry ends up back in the AHL as a starter. - Alexander Georgiev: Similar to Jarry, he's the odds-on favourite for the back-up job, but if the club feels it would be better for him to develop in the AHL he could end up there as starter. The 9-gamers - Alex Formenton: He already played a game last year, and since then has improved considerably, adding muscle and confidence offensively. He's a near lock to play nine games, the question is whether he returns to London afterwards. - Henri Jokiharju: With Connor Murphy injured, and the Hawks blueline in rough shape, Jokiharju is likely to start the year in Chicago. Whether he adjusts well enough to stick around is unclear, as is where he would otherwise return to - AHL, WHL or Finland are all options. - Evan Bouchard: With a strong rookie camp and initial showings in the pre-season, the question has shifted from whether he gets nine games to whether he stays beyond that. I still think it's unlikely he sticks all season, but it's not impossible. The Have a Shots - Adam Gaudette: Had the Canucks not loaded up on overpaid grinders, Gaudette would have a much better chance, but at this point it's probably about 50/50 at best he starts in Vancouver. Some time to work on playing with more pace would be fine. - Troy Terry: Like Gaudette, he went right from the NCAA into the NHL last year, but there are questions about whether he's physically ready for the grind. Will see NHL ice time this year, it's just a question of when and in what role. - John Quenneville: Last year was a lost year for JQ, who struggled with injuries and conditioning and got passed by players like Jesper Bratt. This year's come into camp in great shape, has played well and with Miles Wood out has a chance - perhaps his last in NJ - to break camp with the team. - Jake Walman: Similar to JQ, Walman came into camp last year with a real shot to make the NHL, only to end up having a bad year in the AHL. In his case, the Blues not having an affiliate messed up his season, only getting reliable ice time late in the year after a transfer to a second team. The Blues have seven defencemen returning so, if healthy, Walman likely starts in the A, but he is close. - Sami Niku: I was secretly hoping for a long Josh Morrissey holdout, but with him back I think Niku has contracts working against him to crack the Jets out of camp, unless somebody like Kulikov, Chiarot or Joe Morrow crash and burn. He should be up eventually. - Will Borgen: The forgotten NCAA Olympian, Borgen still seems like a long shot to start in Buffalo, but given he's been paired since the start of rookie camp with Rasmus Dahlin, and there is apparent chemistry there, he may have a legitimate shot. - Connor Timmins: He's out with a concussion, so he won't be there on opening night. But if he was healthy, the thinking was he had a good shot to make the team. Hopefully will be up once he's back to full health. Otherwise, a handful of players like Zach Senyshyn, Dominik Masin and Petrus Palmu have a chance to push for spots, but it would be unlikely at this point.