VANCOUVER -- One of Mike Gilliss final acts as Canucks general manager was to end the Roberto Luongo saga once and for all in Vancouver by trading the veteran goalie to the Florida Panthers last month. And while the recently fired Gillis wont be around to reap any potential benefit from deal, Vancouver got its first real glimpse this week at one of the key pieces that came back the other way. Jacob Markstrom, acquired along with forward Shawn Matthias as part of the deal that sent Luongo back to his former team, allowed three goals on 27 shots in a solid first start with the Canucks as Vancouver fell 4-2 to the red-hot Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night. The American Hockey Leagues goalie of the month for February while he was still a member of the Panthers organization, Markstrom watched from the bench for 15 straight games as Vancouver rode fellow Swede Eddie Lack in a failed attempt to make a run at the playoffs. After the Canucks were eliminated from contention for the first time in six years, head coach John Tortorella indicated that youngsters would play in the teams final three games and that Markstrom would get his chance to spell Lack, who started 19 in a row following the Olympic break. "I thought (Markstrom), with the amount of work hes done and the lack of play ... I thought he was really good, as far as the technical part that were trying to work on with him," Tortorella said after Thursdays game. That work the Canucks have been doing with Markstrom has included having him play deeper in his crease, a style preached by goalie coach Rollie Melanson. "A lot of the stuff Ive been working with Rollie with felt pretty good out there," said Markstrom, whose only other game with Vancouver was mop-up duty in a 6-1 loss to Dallas. "Its all repetitions and weve been doing it for quite a bit here so it felt pretty natural. "I was happy that I was playing but too bad we couldnt win." Markstrom might be untested, but he is by no means new to the NHL. The 24-year-old played parts of four seasons with the Panthers, including 23 games during the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign. In 45 career outings, Markstrom has a less-than-inspiring 11-26-5 record to go along with an .897 save percentage and a 3.20 goals-against average. But its his potential and six-foot-six frame that the Canucks were drawn to in the Luongo deal, which happened quickly after Tortorella chose to start Lack in the Heritage Classic. "I like Jacob Markstrom, I think hes a really good young talent in goal," Gillis said after the trade. "When I look at the return, obviously you want to try and get the absolute best and most that you can get, but there are circumstances that do impact and play a role in these things. And we were impacted by things that were somewhat beyond our control." At the end of last season, Vancouver had both Luongo and Cory Schneider, who was dealt to the New Jersey Devils in June, on the roster. Now with Lack and Markstrom, what had been a position of strength for the organization is now a major question mark. Tortorella decided against starting Markstrom with the Canucks still in this years playoff chase, describing his talents as "raw." "Really the biggest thing Rollie is trying to do is get him deeper (in his crease)," Tortorella said in late March. "Hes a really athletic guy, hes a big man. Hes trying to get him to play deeper. Again, I dont spend too much time asking questions, but hes trying to change his game a little bit. "Hes a young guy. We are very intrigued about his athletic ability and the size that he is and I think Ive got one of the best goaltending coaches around in dealing with these guys and teaching them." Markstrom, who is expected to play Vancouvers final two games of the season, said before Thursdays start hes fine with the Canucks trying to alter his game if it gets results. "At the end of the day its all about feeling good and stopping the puck," he said. "Youve got to go out there with a good feeling and be confident in what youre going to do and I feel really confident right now. "Im just trying to improve my game as much as I can. Obviously its a couple different steps with Rollie, what he does and what he wants his goalies to do." Meanwhile, Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa confirmed after Thursdays game that he will represent Canada at the world championship next month in Belarus. "Its an honour. I talked to (Canadian general manager) Rob Blake and he asked me if I wanted to play," said Bieksa. "I havent had many opportunities to play for my country before and I dont plan on missing the playoffs too many more years so I thought Id take this chance." 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