Salmon King Shows Promise In Canucks Camp

By Cleve Dheensaw
© Times Colonist (Victoria) 2007

VICTORIA, British Columbia – Ash Goldie knows he has only a small window of opportunity to make an impression and he certainly did as the Vancouver Canucks prospects camp opened at Bear Mountain Arena.

If there was a surprise on opening day, it was Goldie. He’s under contract to the Canucks’ ECHL affiliate Victoria Salmon Kings but may be headed up the ladder if his showing yesterday was any measure.

“I’m not sure if a lot of the [Canucks] people know me well, so my job here is to get noticed and get my name known to them,” said Goldie, who had 39 goals in the ECHL last season for the Long Beach Ice Dogs, before being scooped up as a free agent by the Salmon Kings.

Goldie adeptly picked his corners yesterday in burying several impressive shots behind goaltenders Cory Schneider, Julien Ellis and Keyvan Hunt.

“I’ve had two years of pro already in Long Beach, after four years in the NCAA at Michigan State, so I have a little bit of an advantage over some of these younger guys in camp directly out of junior,” Goldie noted.

“But it’s my first NHL camp and I was still nervous. It was nerve wracking. But once practice started, I got over it and just got on with it and focused on what I have to do to get noticed.”

Undersized at five-foot-nine and 170 pounds, the 26-year-old Goldie has used his wits to get ahead in the rugged business of hockey.

“Whatever it takes to move up,” said the native of London, Ont.

Goldie signed with the Salmon Kings because his brother Wes Goldie — the former Owen Sound Platers junior — plays for the ECHL club and led Victoria in scoring last season.

“Wes is the big reason I signed here,” said Ash.

But the whole point of a minor-league system is to move people up the chain and Ash wouldn’t mind being in the AHL with the Manitoba Moose. After all, it’s supposed to be one seamless and happy family.

“Players earn their opportunities and I liked what I saw in Ash,” said Moose GM Craig Heisinger.

“He will be in our [Moose] training camp for sure.”

Whether Goldie ends up a Salmon King or Moose this season is uncertain, but he accomplished an important first task yesterday.

“I need to stand out and catch somebody’s eye,” he said.

And that’s exactly what he did.

© Times Colonist (Victoria) 2007