Canucks’ Tocchet: Mikheyev progressing, won’t play in pre-season

Vancouver Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet discusses the recovery timeline of forward Ilya Mikheyev but explains that opening night of the season may be too soon for the winger.

Vancouver Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet said that forward Ilya Mikheyev will not play in any of the team’s remaining pre-season games, but the club is happy with his progress as he recovers from knee surgery.

Mikheyev had surgery to repair a torn ACL in February.

“He’s more allowed in contact right now,” Tocchet told reporters Sunday. “So we are just kind of giving him a bit of that right now.”

However, even though there has been progress, Tocchet explained that the team is not still not ready to confirm that Mikheyev will be in the team’s lineup on opening night.

“Doctors don’t want to commit to opening night,” Tocchet said. “We got a couple more practices left… and he will be in those practices.”

Mikheyev had 28 points in 43 games for the Canucks last season before the ACL injury in January ended his year early.

The 28-year-old joined Vancouver from the Maple Leafs in free agency, agreeing to a four-year, $19-million contract in the summer of 2022.

Vancouver opens its season at home on Oct. 11 against Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers.

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