Travis Baumgartner, 21, appeared pale with his head down while wearing blue prison overalls, handcuffs and shackles.
Extra courthouse guards were on hand as Baumgartner was quickly ordered to reappear on July 5.
Chief Crown Prosecutor Steve Bilodeau asked the judge to order Baumgartner have no contact with his mother, father and friends while awaiting trial, as they will be witnesses in the case.
'A very compelling case'
"The detectives and the homicide section of [Edmonton Police Service] EPS have put together a very compelling case," Bilodeau told reporters outside the courthouse.
Baumgartner obtained the services of a high-profile Edmonton law firm to represent him at Thursday's appearance.
Bilodeau, the city's top Crown prosecutor, will take the case on himself.
"It's not that other homicides aren't important, it's that this one here really rocked the community and rocked the whole nation," he said.
"I really want to make sure the community knows we will take this as seriously as possible."
Bilodeau said it's possible Baumgartner may serve up to 75 years in jail, if convicted on three counts of first-degree murder, under legislation passed in December.
The new law allows judges to impose consecutive sentences on multiple murderers rather than concurrent sentences.
Baumgartner faces three charges of first-degree murder, one charge of attempted murder and four counts of robbery with a firearm in relation to the deadly shooting early Friday morning at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.
Michelle Shegelski, 26, Brian Ilesic, 35, and Eddie Rejano, 39, died in the attack. Matthew Schuman, the lone survivor of the shooting, was taken to hospital after receiving critical head injuries.
The victims and the accused were all working as armoured car guards for G4S at the time of the shooting. They were putting cash into a bank machine when the attack took place shortly after midnight Friday.
Baumgartner was arrested on Saturday while attempting to cross into the United States near Abbotsford, B.C. Police say he was carrying around $330,000 in cash.
The accused was flown back to Edmonton on Wednesday afternoon amid a tight police presence.