It took him a while to get there, but it was all worth it in the end.
Abbotsford Canucks forward Arshdeep Bains — the last player to arrive at the AHL All-Star game in San Jose due to bad weather — scored two goals and added three assists on Monday to claim MVP honours at the showcase event.
Bains, who missed Sunday’s skills competition, led all scorers in Monday’s round robin three-on-three tournament with five points and also scored the game-winner for the Pacific Division in the final.
The 23-year-old winger’s first goal came against the North Division, with Bains finding some open ice at the side of the net and one-timing a pass into the open cage.
Bains’ second goal came in overtime in the final, with the 6-foot, 183-pound forward stealing the puck from an Atlantic Division defender and streaking in alone, going to the backhand on a pretty deke for the win.
The Surrey product was handed a trophy after the game and said he wouldn’t have missed the game for anything.
“It was awesome,” Bains said. “From the start, it was a blast … it was really competitive.”
Bains is having a productive season in Abbotsford, his second in the Fraser Valley after signing with the Canucks as an undrafted rookie in March 2022.
Abbotsford head coach Jeremy Colliton told Postmedia on Thursday that Bains is developing well playing a top role in all situations.
Colliton said Bains has been especially consistent the last few weeks as he works with the coaching staff on two things: managing the game with the puck, and defending consistently enough to get the puck back onto his stick, where he’s at his best.
Bains, a former WHL scoring champion, has 40 points (9G, 31A) in 40 games this season, tied for seventh overall in the AHL.
Elsewhere: Top defensive prospect Tom Willander (2023, Rd. 1) is heading to the 71st annual Beanpot tournament final next Monday after No. 3 Boston University topped No. 1 Boston College 4-3 in a barnburner at TD Garden in Boston. Willander, 18, had five shot attempts, one shot on goal, two blocked shots and a plus-2 mark in the big win over a crosstown rival.
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