On May 18th, Abbotsford Canucks General Manager, Ryan Johnson, announced that the club had signed major junior free agent forward Cooper Walker to a one-year AHL contract through the 2023-24 season. Walker joins Abbotsford from the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League.

We sat down with the 20 year old forward to learn more about the newest member of the Abbotsford Canucks.

What excites you about making the next step to the AHL?

It’s obviously everybody’s dream to play pro hockey, it’s been mine since I was a little kid. To make that step is a step closer to achieving my dream. I can’t wait, I’m excited and can’t wait to play in Abbotsford.

What can you say about the level of your game right now?

I think it was an awesome year for the team (Guelph) and myself, we had a great group of guys and a great coaching staff that really pushes everyone to be the best they can. The opportunity, to be an older guy in the league, helped me become the player that I was last season. It’s easy to be a leader on a team that has a lot of leaders, the other guys made it easy for me to lead the way, and I think that’s a big positive why we found success this season.

What can Abbotsford fans expect from you next year?

Hard work, I love to compete and battle. I take a lot of pride in being a defensive forward, shutting down the other team’s best players. Taking key faceoffs and being out there on the penalty kill, just doing whatever coach needs to win the games and nothing is better than winning. When you can contribute to that, it’s a big role.

Can you talk about your family’s ties to the Canucks organization?

Obviously I was not born yet when my dad played for the Canucks but he’s been involved when I got older and he’s had nothing but good things to say. Being able to head out to BC once in a while, whether to catch some games or see the guys at camp, everything I’ve heard is positive from the organization for both Vancouver and Abbotsford. I can’t wait to get out there and get going.

What are you looking forward to about development camp?

I’m excited to get out there and meet all of the guys and the staff. A lot of people have reached out over the last few weeks and it’ll be nice to put some faces to names and show them the hard work that I’ve been putting in over the summer and do what I can.

What do you get up to in your spare time?

I like to stay active, me and my buddies do a lot of roller blading, play some tennis and spikeball. Really just anything being outside and staying active. I also enjoy going up to the cottage with my family and taking some time off to relax, do some water sports. Other than that, just training.