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Mr.53

Vancouver Canucks: The State of the Roster

(If I were the GM and Coach. / These are my predictions and opinions.)

 

***I will tell you up front. I love Jim Benning and what he has done here. Through smart trading, signings, and great drafting, he has rebuilt this franchise. I think we are in a much better spot than most around the league think. And I attribute that to MR JB. He filled so many different holes that this franchise had and now we are finally in a good shape feilding an NHL roster that can actually compete, as well as sporting a list of prospects that take note. We don't have a Stanley Cup roster, or the best prospect list in the league, but for the first time in a while, we have a good NHL team, with a great NHL prospect list. The rebuild more close to over than people think, and for that I say, good job Mr. Benning sir. I salute you.

 

Anyway... I have broken this down into 4 parts

  • Current NHL Roster / Prediction (Forward, Defence, and Goaltending)
  • Top 10 Prospect / Prospect Pool Assessment and Future Outlook
  • Jim Benning Assessment / Positive and Negative Moves he has done

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Starting Forward Group

 

Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Mikael Granlund

Sven Baertschi - Bo Horvat - Brock Boeser

Loui Eriksson - Brandon Sutter - Sam Gagner

Brendan Gaunce - Alex Burmistrov - Derek Dorsett

(Anton Rodin - Reid Boucher)

 

Notes about Forward Group

 

  • Strength comes from depth in the lineup, rather than from top heavy star players. The Sedins may be on the first line, but it won't really feel like it. Our top 6 will feel more like 1A, 1B, and 1C, with a fourth line that can also play.
  • We have strong Center Depth: (Henrik, Bo, Sutter, Gagner, Granlund, Burmistrov, Gaunce) Each player bring a different style and mix and match when creating the lineup. As you can also see, Benning really likes versitile centers who can also shift to wing if needed.
  • Brock Boeser is the only rookie that makes the team. No Goldobin, no Juolevi, no anybody, but Brock Boeser, and Anton Rodin. (Does he still count as a rookie? I honestly don't know.) Still, he will at least be insulated with a veteran squad to ease the transition. 
  • The right side is the side where you'll see more movement in the lineup. The other 3 lines will juggle but seem like a lock. (Daniel - Henrik, Baertschi Horvat, and Eriksson Sutter.) The right side however has more motion with Gagner, Boeser, and Granlund being interchangeable.)
  • Strongest opening day lineup that we have had in a long time. Rodin and Boucher are NHL calibre players, even if in depth roles. Top prospects will get opportunities as injuries occur. No more AHL forwards, disguised as NHLers. Every player on this squad is a legitimate NHL player.

 

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Starting Defence Group

 

Alex Edler - Chris Tanev

Michael Del Zotto - Erik Gudbranson

Ben Hutton - Troy Stecher

(Patrick Wiercoch)

 

Notes about Defensive Group

 

  • Our Defensive group is fairly versatile, so we don't really know who is going to play with who come opening night. However, more importantly what that says is we actually have some pretty good depth on the backend. I describe it as having 6 legitimate top 4 defensemen. No top legitimate top pairing, or bottom pairing so it comes more down to chemistry, coaching, and matchups.
  • We have 4 legitimate Special teams players for both PP and PK. Stecher, Hutton, Del Zotto, and Edler can play on the PP. Gudbranson, Tanev, Edler, and Del Zotto can all play on the PK. Versitile group with players that can play multiple roles.
  • Our only real size and strength comes from Edler and Gudbranson, which leads me to believe Edler will take a reduced offensive role, maybe potentially making a PK pairing of Edler and Gudbranson? That's good enough for 2 pairings for each special team.
  • Minutes will be more even than times of past due to the small parity in the players. I honestly expect different players to start different games until there are injuries and spots are solidified. Player chemistry will take a large role in who plays where.
  • There are no rookies that make this defensive squad next year. Guys like Subban or Brisebois will get shots when injuries occur. (Subban has to secretly be wishing Troy goes down so he can get a shot. Just saying.) Biega is still a likely fill in as well along with Wiercoch. This insulation could help Stecher however avoid a Sophmore slump.

 

If I were to guess the lineup pairings Travis Green is going to go with, this is it. Again, they can juggle for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, but I just think this works best for all players in my opinion.

 

Alex Edler - Chris Tanev 

Michael Del Zotto - Troy Stecher

Ben Hutton - Erik Gudbranson

 

  • I'd start Edler and Tanev because they can be two stabalizing forces playing heavy 5 on 5, and second special teams. Edler and Gudbranson would be first string PKers and Stecher Del Zotto and Hutton are PP players.
  • Power Play Special Pairings: (Del Zotto and Stecher = first pairing) (Hutton and (Open Spot) = second pairing) (I say Eirksson. Maybe he can snipe on the offside.
  • Penalty Kill Special Pairings: (Edler and Gudbranson = pairing) (Del Zotto and Tanev = second pairing)
  • Hutton also takes the role of special teams fill in in case anyone is in the box or is exhausted etc.

 

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Starting Goaltending Combination

 

Jacob Markstrom

Anders Nihlsson

 

Notes about Goalie Depth

 

  • Great competition for the starting job. Markstrom will start, but Nihlsson is right behind. Nihlsson could very well start a large number of games.
  • Both players are similar size and play a similar style. This makes it easier for the team and defence to adapt to whoever is in goal. Good for the team in front.
  • Both are young enough to rise up and take the starting goaltending job, making the other a possible expendable future trade asset if Demko makes strides.

 

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Vancouver Canucks Top 10 Prospects and Future Core.

 

Honorable Mentions for the 5 that didn't make the list. All these 5 deserve a mention for being 11-15 for different reasons. We have fairly good depth as these names from 11-15 are not exactly slouches. So respect to them, even if not making the top 10.

 

  • Kole Lind (RW)
  • Michael Dipietro (G)
  • Evan McEneny (LD)
  • William Lockwood (RW)
  • Jonah Gadjovich (RW)

 

10. Guilliame Brisebois (LD): A calm 2 way defenseman who oozes leadership. Everywhere he plays, coaches and players rave about his work ethic and commitment to the game. He may have the best intangibles out of the entire prospects group. It's your mental makeup that determines if you have what it takes to make it in the NHL. Brisebois has that without a doubt. With NHL good size, mobility, and IQ, his intangibles could be what pushes him to the NHL in a 2nd-3rd pairing defensive role.

 

9. Adam Gaudette (C/RW): A very skilled two - way center in the NCAA. Gaudette had a breakout year and is showing he has a lot more offense to give than people thought, especially his goal scoring ability. If he can continue his progression, he could see himself become a legitimate third line scoring forward in the NHL. He still has a long way to go however, so do not expect him anytime soon. Still, he has solid NHL potential and his stock is constantly on the rise.

 

8. Jordan Subban (RD): A very skilled offensive minded PMD who has begun to master the AHL. His speed, shot, and offensive skills are not in question. He fails to move up the depth chart play NHL games due to his lackluster defense. Hopefully after another season of working with his brother PK, he can address those issues enough to get a look. Subban is still very close to playing in the NHL, but until he refines his defensive game, we may never see that offence shine in a Canucks uniform.

 

7. Jake Virtanen (RW): At once a top prospect in the system, he has been passed down by quite a few. The good news however, Jake still has not lost the NHL level speed, strength, power, and shot that allowed him to have a decent rookie campaign at 19. After hopefully a strong offseason of training, he'll likely join Utica and become a top star forward. If he has a strong start to the season, he could be a legitimate possible call up after injuries occur to try and re-earn his NHL spot. Look for Virtanen to surprise at camp.

 

6. Jonathan Dahlen (LW/C): A very skilled and speedy offensive sparkplug. He brings a very similar game to Elias Petterson while just being a little bit older and a bit more behind. Teammates in Sweden, both showed they can be capable scorers against grown men in Sweden. He has great acceleration as well as the IQ and offensive talents to go along with it. Next year he will transition to the North American game in Utica. If that goes well, he will be on his way to the NHL soon.

 

5. Nikolay Goldobin (LW/RW): A superstar winger on every level but the NHL. Dynamic offensive package, but needs to work on the defensive end of his game. Goldobin has shown mastery of the AHL, but he has not shown defensive responsibility. He will be a top player in Utica, if not the top player, as he learns to refine his defensive game. However expect to see him called up after injuries occur relatively soon. If he can address his defensive awareness, he could be a legitimate top 6 player in the NHL.

 

4. Olli Juolevi (LD): The only future true top pairing defenseman in the system. The Canucks haven't had a true top pairing Defenceman in a long time. Juolevi is a two - way cerebral Dman who can to eat up minutes while consistently moving the puck forward. He has a strong overall game with no holes and has shown to be an elite passer and calming presence, while having elite skating and a good shot. His IQ allows his defensive game to excel as well. He may go to London due to his age, but after he bulks up, he will be in the NHL.

 

3. Thatcher Demko (G): Our future All-Star goaltender. It's early to give him that title as you never know with goalies, but all signs point toward Demko eventually being the number 1. He has a similar style to a Cory Schneider, and has outperformed Schneider on every level at the same age, including at Boston. He just needs time in Utica to refine his game before reaching the NHL. Goalies tend to take longer to reach the league, but once you have a young All-Star calibre goalie, they become invaluable. 

 

2. Elias Petterson (C/LW): The future number 1 center to bounce off of our future captain Bo Horvat. He has electric speed, increible IQ, and a dynamic offensive skills. Still, while excelling at the offensive end, he is still very defensive conscious, and while skinny, still plays with strength and no fear. ha. He will also need to add muscle to his frame, but after he does, he could prove himself to be an elite offensive center in the NHL. He will be the number 1 offensive center, letting Bo be natural the elite 2C shutdown center he is.

 

1. Brock Boeser (RW): The only player that I expect to make the lineup next year as a rookie. He has real top 6 offensive potential. His defensive game is underrated, as he is a real two - way hockey player. He has elite skill and offensive ability, especially with his goal scoring awareness and ability. His high IQ and constant motor allows him to constantly be a force on the wing every play. He has no true weakness other than his skating being just good. If he can improve his first 3 strides like Bo, he will be an All star in the NHL.

 

 

Notes about prospect list.

 

  • Our top 5 prospects all play different positions. Goldobin and Petterson can play hybrid, but it's good to have diversity in the group rather than an inlfux of one thing. If Boeser maks the club as well, Goldobin becomes the top winger prospects and Dahlen number 2. 
  • Our top 10 prospects all look to be on track to actually making the NHL. In times of past, we had to reach when we got down to 8, 9, or 10, but this year, it's looking like we have a strong group. Even if not for us, they still give value as NHL players.
  • Brock Boeser is the only prospect makes the team next year. Yes. That means guys like Goldobin, Virtanen, and Juolevi will go back down for the time being. This is more due to the newfound depth in the organization through Benning's signings, but it allows everyone to truly develop and not be rushed. 

 

 

Our future core/depth chart so far as I see it with no additions or changes. (Bolded are already in in nhl. I'm counting Brock Boeser because he is a lock I'm not entertaining the conversation. Expect for future alternate captain talks for this guy really soon. He's just that damn good...)

 

Goldobin - Petterson - Boeser (A)

Baertschi - Horvat (C) - Virtanen

Dahlen - Gaudette - Granlund

Boucher - Gaunce - Lind

 

Juolevi (A) - Stecher

Hutton - Gudbranson

Brisebois - Subban

 

People are still talking like we need to completely tear everything down and start from scratch like we're Colorado. That's honestly not neccesarry. This likely won't ever be the team of course, but it's a very good future mold to build from. A few trades here and there, combined with maybe a signing or two, and Benning could sneak us back into contention without tanknig. The biggest thing for me is Gudbranson, Stecher, and Hutton all taking steps forward next year. Juolevi will be alright, but if those 3 can start becoming bonifide NHL studs, then our defensive core will settle in, and then when Juolevi and maybe another top dman joins, we will have one hell of a group.

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Jim Benning Assessment

 

To wrap up, I would just like to look at Benning's record and what he has done to put us in this position going forward.

 

Positive Moves he has done to build this Roster

 

  • Trading for Markus Granlund. People hated him for giving up Shinkaruk, but it has looked to have payed off. Trust in Benning's talent evaluation.
  • Trading for Sven Baertschi. Gave up a 2nd round pick I believe. Pick extremely well spent. He's been great for Horvat.
  • Drafted Brock Boeser. A lot of people expected Konecny, as did I. Konecny is proving to be a good player in his own right, but Boeser looks to be a straight steal.
  • Signed Sam Gagner. This deal is for fair money and excellent term. He will surely be an upgrade over say a Megna in the lineup. Also should help the PP.
  • Bringing up Brendan Gaunce. He doesn't get much credit as he merely just didn't move him. But still, Gaunce is a good 4th line addition.
  • Signed Alex Burmistrov. Signed him for dirt cheap to play a bottom 6 role. Burmistrov gets a chance to reprove himself and we get an upgrade over say, a Chaput.
  • Extending Dorsett. Dorsett has definately been an expensive signing, but at the same time he's added a needed dependable 4th line presence and much needed grit.
  • Extendiing Tanev. Tanev is one of our top pairing and most reliable defencemen. He has stepped up into a large role and has been a rock.
  • Signing Michael Del Zotto. Del Zotto is an NHL calibre top 4 defenseman with powerplay ability. Exactly what we needed to play with either a Tanev or a Gudbranson.
  • Signing Troy Stecher. Troy Stecher has shown to be a stud of a College UFA signing. He pretty much immediately made the jump and was the right handed PMD we were missing. If he can continue to grow on both ends of the ice, he could be a staple hometown favorite for a long time.
  • Trading For Erik Gudbranson. At the time, we had given up Jared McCann who seemed like a real stud. Turns out Florida didn't think he was NHL ready either, and Gudbranson provides a big strong defensive body. He could stand to play better, but still, he provides a much needed role.
  • Signed Anton Rodin. He was injured pretty much all of last year, but he is resigned for this year and showed promise, even in a short stint while injured.
  • Picked up Reid Boucher. Boucher is a good 4th line player and he's playing in a depth role which is perfect for him and us.
  • Signed Patrick Wiercoch. Not the best defenseman, but as a 7th man, he is perfect and gives Juolevi one more year to bulk up and get ready for the NHL.
  • Signed Anders Nihlsson. He let Ryan Miller go, and got a young backup who is similar size to Markstrom and plays a similar style. He'll provide healthy competition.
  • OUR TOP 10 PROSPECTS: Jordan Subban is the last prospect on the list that is not a Benning acquisition I believe. This is the strongest prospect pool we have ever had and that doesn't the include young guys on the team, or Tryamkin, who could come back one day. He's revamped the whole pipeline. This should honestly count for more than one checkmark, but for this sake I will give him 1 overall mark for rebuilding the pipeline. In actuality this alone negates all the negatives he's done.

 

Negative Moves he has done to put us where we are

 

  • Signed Loui Eriksson. This was a deal meant to help the Sedins and the young future by Eriksson providing a two-way scoring presence on the wing. He had one if his worst years with us, so hopefully that means he is due for a bounce back season. Either way, we have him signed long term. Either he needs to be traded or get better.
  • Traded for Brandon Sutter. This is minor as Brandon Sutter is by no means a bad player. He is however, not better than Nick Bonino, and we paid extra to get him, as well as gave him a decent contract extension immediately. Still, he's not a bad player and a good third liner who can fill in the top 6 when needed while playing special teams.

 

Nuetral Moves that he doesn't get credit for

 

  • Keeping the Sedins. They are lifelong Canucks and virtually untradable. The only thing you can do is build around them, which he did admirably.
  • Keeping Bo Horvat. Trading him would have been brutal. He's our future captain. He was the best thing Mike Gillis left Benning in his parting.
  • Keeping Alex Edler. Without him our defence would crumble over the course of the year. 
  • Keeping Ben Hutton. Nobody really knew just how good Hutton was, but Benning gave him a shot. Still, he was a Mike Gillis draft pick.
  • Extending Jacob Markstrom. This was a no brainer as we needed him to backup Miller and be a bridge.

 

Overall Assessment of Jim Benning

 

Excluding our great prospect list that he has built, Jim Benning has contributed to 15 positive moves, 2 negative moves, and grandfathered 4 quality pieces. That is pretty damn good. For every 7 good moves he does, he tends to falter on one. Which also coincides with his drafting, with Virtanen being the only glaring pick that strikes you as subpar. The rest of the top 10 list were good acquisitions. Even if you combine the negative moves with the neutral grandfathered moves, he still doubles it. And honestly, of course you should count the top 10 prospect list as each pick takes talent and good decision making. In actuallity, this alone negates all of the negatives he's done. Year after year, he makes the nonobvious move and it pays off. Even his negatives are not that bad, or gamebreaking.

 

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Overall Recap: The State of the Canucks Roster

 

NHL Roster

 

Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Mikael Granlund

Sven Baertschi - Bo Horvat - Brock Boeser

Loui Eriksson - Brandon Sutter - Sam Gagner

Brendan Gaunce - Alex Burmistrov - Derek Dorsett

(Anton Rodin - Reid Boucher)

 

Alex Edler - Chris Tanev

Michael Del Zotto - Troy Stecher

Ben Hutton - Erik Gudbranson

(Patrick Wiercoch)

 

Jacob Markstom

Anders Nihlsson

 

Top Prospects List

 

  1. Brock Boeser (RW)
  2. Elias Petterson (C)
  3. Thatcher Demko (G)
  4. Olli Juolevi (LD)
  5. Nikolay Goldobin (LW/RW)
  6. Jonathan Dahlen (LW)
  7. Jake Virtanen (RW)
  8. Jordan Subban (RD)
  9. Adam Gaudette (C/RW)
  10. Guilliame Brisebois (LD)
  • Kole Lind (RW)
  • Michael Dipietro (G)
  • Evan McEneny (LD)
  • William Lockwood (RW)
  • Jonah Gadjovich (RW)

 

Vanvouver Canucks All 25 and under team, (and lines I would make because why not.)

 

Nikolay Goldobin - Elias Petterson - Brock Boeser

Sven Baertschi - Bo Horvat - Jake Virtanen

Johnathon Dahlen - Adam Gaudette - Markus Granlund

Kole Lind - Joe Labate - Jonah Gadjovich

 

Olli Juolevi - Troy Stecher

Ben Hutton - Erik Gudbranson

Guilliame Brisebois - Jordan Subban

 

Thatcher Demko

 

Overall Summary and Assessment

 

Benning has done an excellent job with what he has been given to work with. Every once in a while he has a slip up like the Loui Eriksson signing or past moves like picking Virtanen over Ehlers or Nylander, getting Vey for a 2nd and sending out Santorelli, or even paying Bonino plus pieces for Sutter, but overall he's done an excellent job. Overall, Benning has been a great General Manager for us when filling in the gaps and holes and rebuilding the crumbling franchise. He has also recently signed Travis Green, who I believe is going to prove out to be a great selection. He's in a much better situation than Willie to come in and make this his team. If he even gets the team to the playoffs by year 2 or 3, I think people will see that as a plus. He'll have room to work. But again overall, I am very happy with the job Jim Benning has done to make our team and Franchise what it is.

 

The Canucks are actually not in a bad place. We have filled almost all the holes we needed to be filled and now have a good NHL team and even better NHL future. Our team is good enough to be competitive in the West, allowing us to develop a winning culture, and hopefully get our young NHL guns some meaningful games. We have certainly upgraded both the forward and defensive group, and got younger and more athletic in goal. Most importantly however, we have a full squad that isn't going to need to dip into the AHL cupbaord to call up players who have no business in the NHL. Only NHL calibre players, or true capable depth players or prospects on this team.

 

Our prospect pool has been completely revamped with us being able to legitimately look 10 players deep and see legitimate NHL potential. We have multiple players that look like they can be impact NHL players. Our future outlook has never looked better with our mix of current young NHL players as well as quality prospect pipeline coming in. This may be Jim Benning's greatest strength as a General Manager.

 

Overall The Vancovuer Canucks are in a good spot for the future. Things are looking up, and I can't wait for the season to start. This will likely be the last hurrah of the Sedins, and I think that could give the boys an extra jump and have us surprise the league. But either way, good work Benning, and this team is in good shape.

 

 

 

Mr.53

As many people on this site already know, I am a huge believer than Matt Duchene needs to be a Canuck. I have made a thread about what I would think to get him, which this topic has been discussed at length. I have my reason's on why we could acquire him. If you want to check it out, please do. But anyway, here is my top 10 reason'swhy Matt Duchene would be perfect for our team and Franchise and why JB should be aggressively pursuing him.

 

Reason #1) Take Pressure Of The Sedins (Especially Henrik): Henrik is showing he can't exactly handle top line minutes anywhere. He needs someone to help share the load/take over and let the Sedins go into a 2nd line  and PP specialist role. Duchene with 2 good line-mates could do that, making the Sedins better. A producing Sedin twins on the second line could propel this team much further than I think a lot of people think. They just need to be put in a good situation. Matt Duchene is a player who won't be the best number 1 center, or honestly even top 10, or maybe top 15, but he would be the best center and offensive player on this team. He's not top tier, but he's still a worthy number 1 center, who given the right linemates, could be dominant. Duchene and Henrik bounce off as the 1-2 punch next season, and Horvat soon after, (given if they resign and not retire.)

 

Reason #2) Bo Horvat's Player Development: Duchene can bounce off of Henrik Sedin next season, or in the short term, but I think we all know we have to look longterm. Bo Horvat is the future captain, and a future bonafide top 6 two-way impact center in this league. I see him turning into a player similar to Ryan O'Reilly, which would be fantastic. Even so, he needs an offensive minded center to bounce off of and work with. Kind of like he did with Max Domi in London. (Can we get him too please??) Don't put too much weight on the kids shoulders. he needs help at the center position. Duchene-Horvat can be the 1-2 punch combo of the Canucks for a long time, and I'm fine with that. Much more fine than drafting a center, and waiting for him to catch up to Bo's level. I would rather have Duchene-Horvat for the next few years or possibly the next 5-8, while we look for another stud center to catch up and develop.

 

Reason #3) Loui Eriksson's Offensive Production: Loui Eriksson simply has not been able to get the job done with the Sedins. Maybe when they were younger and closer to their prime, but not anymore. The Sedins now need a speedy forechecking, back-checking, grinding winger with skill. ( I say we mold Jake Virtanen into just that. During the offseason, show him some Jannik Hansen footage and tell him to do that. Use that speed and size on the PK. The rest of the game will come.) Still, Eriksson is signed with a no movement clause for a long time. We need to find a way to get some production out of him. Right now he's playing, and producing alright, but we don't need alright. We need him to become the potential 30 goal scoring two-way force we signed him to be. Duchene can get him back on track and get him different looks than Hank. (I also say add Brandon Sutter to that line as a two-way presence, and boom, you got yourself a pretty good first line, top 6 for the Sedins, and top 9 for Horvat and Baertschi) Duchene is the number 1 center with Eriksson on the left and getting PP minutes, and Brandon Sutter on the right getting PK minutes.

 

Reason #4) He Can Join The Core Brandon Sutter Style: He's 26. That is the perfect age to reach a compromise for the owners, and the fans. He's old enough and reaching his prime, so he can help this team now. Next season he will help make us a playoff team and help develop that winning culture we want to surround our already young guns around and about to come in. Yet, like Brandon Sutter, our 'foundational piece,' he is young enough that he could potentially be part of this team for another 6-10 years if he resigns. (He will be expensive though... He has all the leverage and could go anywhere to any team, and any contender in 2 seasons after this.) But still, perfect age where he ends up elevating the whole Franchise and all of our young guys with it, with a winning atmosphere. Resign him to the core long term and then start focusing on drafting and developing young guys. Which brings me to my next point.

 

Reason #5) He Would Likely Re-Sign Here After 2 Years: I think he would definitely resign here. In Colorado he is just another top 6 offensive producer. He's not even on the first line in Colorado, and after they get first overall, he may be the third best center. I highly doubt Duchene resigns. Why would he. He is the kind of player who wants to be the man, the go to guy, the number 1 center of a team. It's just his personality. And he also likes to win, given why he has told the Avalanche he is open to a trade. Here in Vancouver, he get's all of that. We have not been blessed with Colorado's top picks in recent times, so Duchene would slot in as our top offensive player and number 1 overall offensive threat until we can draft/develop another. On top of that, once the Sedins have some pressure taken off of them and don't have to play first line, I think we would be able to become a playoff team. That's a situation he would love, especially with young guys on the come up. He gets to be the guy brought in who finally balanced the team, and made the Canucks a playoff team, as well as a leader to the young guys coming up, and most importantly, the go to guy of the forward core where we build around him. Why not resign?

 

Reason #6) He Can Run The Point And QB The PP: I have seen a number of Avs games, as I have many Avs fans randomly. An interesting thing about Matt Duchene is when it comes to the PP, he can play from anywhere, including the high point. The Sedins are more effective at cycling down low and on the corner wall, and Stecher is showing he can be a force from the point. I say put Eriksson back on with the Sedins, and put Duchene at the point with Stecher. The offensive firepower could really get the PP going again. They would be susceptible to SHGs given Duchene and Stecher are on the back, but that would be a mean PP. Sedin Sedin Eriksson up front, Duchene and Stecher on the back. That's scary... He is also a guy that can add some needed speed which is so very helpful with all the open ice. He can really light up a highlight reel if given the green light. Get the Sedins and Eriksson going again on the PP, and the team will be dangerous.

 

Reason #7) More Appealing Spot For UFAs: Adding a player like Matt Duchene would be great for trying to sign UFAs. UFAs like franchises with a good young future, but what most of them like more are teams with a bunch of players right about to do well. Players that don't still need to develop, but are recently bursting onto the scene. Duchene isn't recent, but he shows that Vancouver is a team that is here, ready to compete, and can be a legitimate destination for a free agent. (My dream is Evander Kane cleans his act up and signs here in a couple years. That team could be dangerous...) You would have to also make sure he resigns after his contract is up, but that is already a priority if you ask me. He also gives us more leverage in contract talks among others, being that we have a high profile scorer already here.

 

Reason #8) He's Another Face-off Specialist: Matt Duchene is a career above 50% faceoff percentage. About 51% or 52% or so. However, last season he was a 57.9 and this season he is a shocking 59.9. The kid knows how to take a draw. Duchene, Sutter, and Horvat would give us 3 legitimate face-off beasts. He's honestly not a bad defensive player, just nothing spectacular. However, when it comes to the draw, he is spectacular. Teach Bo some of your tricks too. But still, the whole teams possession will get much better with 3 players who can win draws reliably. 

 

Reason #9) Regain Interest and Popularity Among Fans: This is one for the owners mostly. But one reason why there is such a rift, is fans want to focus on drafting and developing new players, but the owners don't want to lose money. We've already seen hits about the financial loss they have been losing in viewership etc. Going and getting a guy like Duchene would help rejuvenate the fanbase and keep the owners happy so they stop budding out of JB's business and let him do his job. (They would probably drool over the possible Duchene jersey sales alone...) And not only even in the province, but all over the country and the league. I'm so annoyed with how much of a joke the Canucks have become. People just don't respect us like they used too. I want to get that respect back. The Canucks never go away. Duchene will get people talking, buzz going, and then when we hit the playoffs, we're right back in it. He can also be a human highlight reel at times. That's always good for getting views.

 

Reason #10) Our Future Core is Largely Already Set: This is one where I know I am going to get massive disagreement on. But people, all over the league, including here, think we are in a much worse position than we are. We have a lot of our future assembled already from prospects that have and are likely to make it through the rough. Of the forwards: Horvat, Baertschi, Virtanen, Boeser. That's 4 forwards that are about to be on the team 22 or younger. You can't have your entire team be youth. We need a guy around their prime like Sutter (or Hansen) to help lead the way. Eriksson will likely be here for a long time, and maybe the Sedins too. On the defence: Hutton, Gudbranson, Stecher, Tryamkin, with Juolevi coming in soon. Edler and Tanev (or Sbisa) are the only true vets leading the way. You can't have your team be all youth even if they're all good players. The Oilers taught us that lesson. Duchene is the perfect piece to join the core, and become a leader. In fact, I would say Duchene would be more important than adding another first or young prospect. We need a winning culture here for our young guns.

 

Imagine this forward lineup going into next season. I Imagine pretty much any deal would require Markus Granlund going back the other way as a consolation piece, and I assume Jannik Hansen will be taken in the expansion. This would likely be the team roughly given Virtanen and Boeser join the club next season, and we sign no forward UFAS, but you get the point. It would likely look like this roughly)

 

 

Our Forward Core

Loui Eriksson - Matt Duchene - Brandon Sutter 

Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Jake Virtanen 

Sven Baertschi - Bo Horvat - Brock Boeser 

Reid Boucher - Brendan Gaunce - Derek Dorsett 

 

Every player is put in a position where they can succeed. It's a stable core that has a good mix of

  • Young guns (24 and under) : Horvat, Boeser, Virtanen, Baertschi, Gaunce, Boucher.
  • Prime age (25 through 30): Duchene, Sutter, Dorsett (Baertschi and Boucher will be here soon and Horvat is already mentally there)
  • Veteran leaguers (31 and older): Daniel, Henrik, Eriksson
  • Current Lockeroom Leaders: Henrik (C), Daniel, Sutter, Horvat, Eriksson
  • Next Gen Lockeroom Leaders: Horvat (C), Sutter, Duchene, Eriksson, Boeser

 

Duchene puts the whole team in balance and could bring much more to this franchise than a lot of people realize. This is a team that by an large can be the Vancouver Canucks for at least 3 or more seasons while we restock our prospect cupboard. The Sedins would likely resign short deals to have 1 or 2 more cup runs with the new core as well as pass on their leadership to the next generation. Once the Sedins have regressed to third line PP specialist players, Horvat, Baertschi, and Boeser will be becoming a bonafide second line in the league and our new leaders will step up. We don't have many high profile top prospects in our cupboard other than Juolevi and Demko, but with a set team, we can stand pat and use JB to focus his energy on scouting and drafting. If I'm JB, I pursue Matt Duchene aggressively.

Mr.53

This is my guide to the Vancouver Canucks come opening night. Of course, come training camp things can change, but as it stands, this is how I see it. Below I will give explanations on why I think this is a solidly built team and why I think we are headed for the playoffs and on our way back to being contenders under Linden and Benning. Also keep in mind the line combos are a mix of what seems to be most likely and what I would like to see. At the end I will explain what I think about the state of the franchise and what I would do going forward. So here we go.

 

My Roster/Depth Chart (As it stands now)

Daniel Sedin(A) - Henrik Sedin(C) - Loui Eriksson

Anton Rodin - Brandon Sutter - Jannik Hansen

Sven Baertschi - Bo Horvat - Jake Virtanen

Alex Burrows(A) - Markus Granlund - Derek Dorsett

(Emerson Etem, Brendan Gaunce)

 

Alex Edler - Chris Tanev

Ben Hutton - Erik Gudbranson

Nikita Tryamkin - Philip Larsen

(Luca Sbisa)

 

Ryan Miller

Jacob Markstrom

 

Top 5 Prospects

  1. Brock Boeser - RW: Future Top Six All-Star 2-way, Scoring Forward 
  2. Olli Juolevi - D: Future Top Pairing All-Star 2-way, Offensive Defensman
  3. Thatcher Demko - G: Future Starting All-Star Goalie
  4. Jordan Subban - RD: Future 2nd or 3rd Pairing, Offensive PMD
  5. Troy Stecher - RD: Future 2nd or 3rd Pairing 2-way PMD

 

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Lineup descriptions and explanation and analysis. 

 

[Line 1] Daniel - Henrik - Eriksson: Our first line that will lead our offense. The Sedins are getting older and need a new linemate that can get the most out of them. That's Loui Eriksson. A lot of people think about him as a 1 dimensional soft scorer like Vrbata, but he's much different. His two way game will complement the Sedins on both ends of the ice and give them an NHL goal scorer to play with. I'm excited for what this first line can bring. If this line can maintain a solid scoring place, which I think they can, the rest of the team will follow suit with our depth. Leadership starts from the front, and this line can get it done.

[Line 2] Rodin - Sutter - Hansen: Sutter takes his mantle as 2c for now, with Hansen on the wing. Hansen showed that he can be a late bloomer and has the ability to play in the top 6 last year. the 2nd line seems to be a good fit for him, especially given his defensive two way prowess, with his relentless forechecking and backchecking. Anton Rodin similarly seems as if he would play best in a scoring role, which would be exactly what he's expected to do beside Sutter and Hansen and is needed. That's a fast line that can defend well, and has a scoring still. Rodin is the wildcard but I mean, he's a 25 year old player. We've seen other older 'rookies' come and perform well from Europe when given the right linemates.

[ Line 3] Baertschi - Horvat - Virtanen: Horvat takes his mantle as 3c, taking pressure of of him to defend against top lines and perform/develop to the best of his abilities. We saw last year that Horvat and Baertschi had beautiful chemistry, and their main problem was simply that they should be playing third line rather than second. As third liners they would be incredible, rather than on the second line when they were just good. They're developing still, and need some pressure taken off. Virtanen adds a speedy imposing forechecking and backchecking presence that can add scoring off the third line. This line is very diverse and has the potential to be extremely impactful if they click. Those three should start building chemistry now. They could be one of the best third lines in the league if they click. I want to see this line in action the most.

[Line 4] Burrows - Granlund - Dorsett: Burrows and Dorsett provide an effective defensive presence of the fourth line. This is a very dependable fourth line that can defend against other teams when used, and not be a liability. This allows us to roll four lines as Willie D wants us too. Granlund is the wildcard on this line, hopefully providing an offensive spark in-between these two. Burrows doesn't think his offensive produciton is finished, if he can pass something on to Granlund and get him going, he will have really done his job for us. (I see Burrows being used more on special teams than on 5 on 5.) Granlund and Burrows are also two guys that can comfortably jump up a line or 2 without feeling out of place when injuries occur.

[Depth] (Etem, Gaunce): Two excellent depth players. Depth players tend to play 60+ games every year Both of these players provide muscle, grit, and two way ability, as well as being very versatile. Etem can play left or right wing anywhere from 2nd to fourth line, and Gaunce can play left wing or center anywhere in the bottom 6. They will get minutes and games quickly once injuries start coming in, and then they will get their opportunity to stick. These two will actually be very important for us when injuries occur as they are definitely not liabilities, but rather bring something different.

 

[1st Pairing] Edler - Tanev: Our top pairing duo. They've shown they can handle the responsibilities of being the first pairing and leading the defence, all they needed was a little more help against top competition. And they needed more help on special teams so they could focus on their strengths. Edler ont he PP with some PK time, and Tanev on the PK. But by in large, a good group to lead the team into the season when healthy. The biggest thing for this pairing is staying healthy, and having a solid group behind them who can take pressure off. Well now the pressure is coming off, I think they will flourish.

[2nd Pairing] Hutton - Gudbranson: A new revitalized 2nd pairing. Gudbranson is going to do a lot for both Ben Hutton and Chris Tanev. He will provide Hutton with a reliable stay at home, and body bruising presence so he can play more freely and utilize his puck moving ability. Tanev will also in turn have another option who can match up against bigger, stronger forwards like a Lucic in EDM. Hutton will deliver solid crisp passes to up to the forwards to initiate the play and join them on the rush. I'm PUMPED for this pairing. This line together takes massive pressure off the top line being upgrades from what we've had in the past. (Also, Gudbranson helps Jacob Markstrom out a lot being a goalie with little NHL experience. He needs a crease clearing presence he can depend on. Just saying, Gudbranson adds A LOT to this team.)

[3rd Pairing] Tryamkin - Larsen: The second part of Benning's revitalized defensive core. Larsen will most likely get that bottom right spot so we can use his abilities on the powerplay. Tryamkin and Sbisa will battle for who gets that last spot to offer Larsen help in the defensive end. I think Tryamkin will beat him out so I put him here. Larsen get's limited minutes going in and powerplay time, and Tryamkin gets limited minutes and PK time. They can be very useful on special teams, as well as an effective third pairing. This is exactly what you want in a third pairing. Two guys that can play and contribute in other ways. You want guys that still bring something to the team no matter where they play. It's good for moral.

[Depth] (Sbisa): Sbisa is in this spot not because I think he's bad. I think he get's a lot of flack, but is a good player. Not fantastic at anything, but he's a solid third pairing guy that can play either side. I also think he is the most likely guy to get traded before the season begins, and Benning has stated he wants to upgrade the forward group with one more 2nd line winger. If he does pull the trigger on someone, Sbisa is likely going to be the candidate.

 

[Starting] Miller: Miller will start the season out as the starting goaltender. He is playing with something to prove that he can still go. And I think that with a well balanced and solid defensive core, he can play the way eh did for us when he first got here.

[Backup] Markstrom: Markstrom will get his fair share of games. Miller is getting older, and although can still play well, can't do it for as long of stretches as he used too. Markstrom will get a solid number of games and gear up to take the reigns next season.

 

Notes about the Lineup

  • Our middle 6 will bounce off eachother and act more of a 2A and 2B rather than a 2nd and 3rd line.
  • A lot of youth in the lineup led by a few quality veterans. Enough with the tanking comments. We have a lot of youth.
  • Benning has completely revitalized and revamped our defensive core.
  • Granlund and Burrows provide scoring on the fourth line, but also provide the ability to jump up in the lineup and allow Gaunce and Etem to take their place as well.
  • That is a team that can roll 4 lines.
  • Third pairing defensmen have important roles, which is a signifier of a good team. You want everyone on the team to feel like they are important and their contributions are needed so they can play at the best of their abilities.

 

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Special Teams

Powerplay 1

Sedin - Sedin - Eriksson

----Edler-----Larsen----

  • Sedins work their magic with Eriksson. They will be responsible for most of the offence generated being first liners and PP guys only. But with Eriksson, as a trigger man, and Larsen as a PP QB alongside Edler, they can be effective. Eriksson will be getting primetime treatment to produce offensive numbers. I think in this situation he can score 30 goals. Eriksson is more multidimensional than Vrbata and is more of a fit with the Sedins. This powerplay can be effective.
  • Larsen has the potential to actually be huge for this team if he can show to be a good PP QB. I think Larsen will come to show that he is a quality QB, and might just be our best one. Benning realized the powerplay needed something new and fresh, and he went out and got 2 guys that bring a lot. Larsen helps Edler by being another option and makes space for the Sedins.

 

Powerplay 2

Baertschi - Horvat - Granlund

----Virtanen-----Hutton----

  • Horvat Beartschi and Granlund should get the start on the second PP. Baertschi and Horvat showed they were effective on the 2nd PP unit last year. Benning and company believe in Granlunds creativity and offensive ability, especially on the powerplay. Well, if he's going to be a fourth liner, at least give him second PP time. It's a very young powerplay group, but it could be dangerous and more importantly, look completely different from the first group to make it difficult for other teams to prepare for.
  • I get bold when I look at the backend. I think Hutton should almost be a lock for the 2nd PP with his puck moving skills. I also think however, Gudbranson, Tryamkin, and Tanev don't bring that much. Tanev would bring the most and add a calming influence, but I think we should be bold. Put someone like Virtanen or Hansen on the point. Both of them have mean clappers. Let them use it off the one timer. Virtanens shot for example, would be deadly if there is a broken play, or a good pass over to him. I'm sure he's working on his accuracy right now. He also has the speed to catch himself and get back on D if anything happens.

 

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Penalty Kill 1

Horvat - Hansen

Tryamkin - Gudbranson

  • Horvat pairs up with Hansen on the PK. The two know eachother, have played with eachother, and have showed to excell on the PK. I feel like they are our two best defensive forwards, and would make a good speedy group. 
  • Tryamkiin and Gudbranson would be the best defensive pairing on the PK. Why? It gives Edler and Tanev a second to catch their breath after playing top line minutes. Two big hulking, mean defensmen to block shots, backcheck, muscle people out of corners, and protect the goalie and crease. It's the spot they both excell at, let them excel, and by doing so, take massive pressure off Edler and Tanev giving them a second to rest.

 

Penalty Kill 2

Sutter - Burrows

Edler - Tanev

  • Burrows won't be happy that his responsibilities dropped to mainly a 4th line and 2nd PK presence. But he will get his minutes when injuries occur and his versatility allows him to hop into any line. But with a full lineup, he is still most likely our second best pure defensive PK winger presence after Hansen. If Sutter is playing second line, then he would do best to play 2nd PK. Sutter and Burrows could be an effective duo, which will add a lot to making our special teams deep.
  • Edler and Tanev are both manning the top line. Letting them be the 2nd PK presence allows them to again, catch their breath before they head out there so they can defend better, and play harder. This is especially important for Edler who would most likely also be getting PP time. But also another thing to think about is, they will likely get more second team lineups, and less top lineups on the PK which will go to helping them a lot. They could be fantastic if matched up a little easier.

 

Penalty Kill 3

Virtanen - Dorsett

Hutton - Larsen

  • Now this is where it get's tricky. Sometimes in games you will simply have a long 3 or 4 minute penalty kill. You can't recycle the same two groups or they will get exhausted and exposed. This group is deployed in those situations. The problem is we don't really have a center for the draw. Jake Virtanen has played center before and wasn't terrible on the draw but he could be an answer, providing speed, tenacity, shot blocking, and grit in situations where we are desperate. Dorsett would be the leading veteran presence on the line to get them through the PK.
  • Hutton and Larsen would be deployed in these situations due to necessity and not often. They are the last ones and would have to hold down the fort. It won't happen that often but when it does, I think they can handle those limited minutes.

 

Notes about Special Teams

  • A lot of guys can potentially play a role in special teams such as Rodin and Burrows. That second team is wide open for whoever earns it.
  • This team has much more specialists than in times of past.
  • Different players find themselves in valuable roles.
  • Doug Jarvis will also be huge in our powerplay getting better next season. That's 3 new additions to the first unit of the Sedins and Edler. That could really turn things around.

 

Pro Tweeners. (AHL/Deph Call up players)

  • Andrey Pedan (LD): 8th in the depth chart right after Sbisa. Sbisa is the most likely candidate to be traded which could make him the 7th man which I think would be perfect for a guy like him. Speed, physicality, grit, and a whatever I have to do mentality. Great qualities for a depth defensman.
  • Alex Biega (RD): Our 9th defensman, who could be 8, provided Sbisa is traded. Plays much bigger than his size which is aways good to see. Can play on the NHL level, but not consistently and for long stretches Perfect guy to lead Uitca and set and example, then hop up for some games.
  • Ronalds Kenins (LW): Showed a couple seasons ago that he can be a valuable 4th line presence. Valuable as in actually game changing when playing a 4th line role with other forecheckers. He only has one style, locomotive mode, and when he strays from that, he becomes much less effective. It's hard to maintain that engine and not get injured, which he consistently has done, but if he can play like that in stretches, he can be useful, say at the end of the season when the team needs just a little more juice and spark to get them going.
  • Mike Zalewski (C/W): Going to spend most of his time in the AHL. But he is very versatile and can play all 3 forward positions. Plays a good 2-way game and is defensively conscious. Good big body gritty guy that can step into a bottom pairing role if called up.

 

Notes about Tweeners

  • We have a good amount of depth call up guys that can get minutes on a limited role.
  • Subban and Stecher could also be players that get call ups in times of injury.
  • Richard Bachman is likely to be the goalie call up when injuries occur.

 

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Our very Impressive prospect list.

 

Top 5 Prospects: A Level Prospects (Potential NHL impact players)

  1. Brock Boeser (RW): Our number 1 prospect, due to his incredible freshman NCAA season. Last year, Brock Boeser had 60 points in 42 games with north Dakota, making him the highest scoring freshman in the schools history. That puts him in the same conversation as, and actually ahead of other NHL stars such as Travis Zajac, TJ Oshie, Zach Parise, and even Johnny Toews. All doing so while still putting up a plus minus of +40! He has a very effective 2 way game and excells in most facets. When it comes to offense he's the total package, able to score from anywhere, able to make plays, and evidently, abel to defend. He was the best player on the team, as a freshman, and led them to an NCAA title. Even The other guys on this list like Oshie, Parise, and Toews couldn't even do that. Brock Boeser arguably had the best freshman season in the schools history. He is showing day by day that he has serious top 6  and all star potential, and is following the path of other all star NHLer's before him, in fact he's doing better. Next year he will get to wear the A for North Dakota, which nobody has done since Johnathon Toews. He's on a good path. If history is any guide, he will spend one more year in college, dominate and then make the jump. Next year North Dakota will be losing a lot of seniors and quality players, Boeser will be challenged to still lead that team into battle and show his leadership skills. If he can even maintain the same pace without help, he will have shown great improvement. I think Brock Boeser is going to be a household American name one day, and a serious impactful force on our right side along with Virtanen.
  2. Olli Juolevi (D): A beast 2-way defensman with real offensive abilities and instincts. Great playmaking, shooting, and offensive skills, coupled with great stick work, outlet passing, and defensive skills, combined with excellent skating ability and a 6'2 190 pound frame.  It's a common problem with prospects, but the one thing Juolevi needs to do to be a star in this league is put on pounds of lean muscle to his large frame. If he can hit 200 pounds or so, I don't think it's far off to see a player similar to the combined style of a Olli Maata, OEL, or even a Roman Josi. His IQ is his best quality, far and a ways outshining all other defensman, and most forwards in the draft allowing him to cerebrally dissect the play even at high speeds. He was one of the best, if not the best defensman at the world juniors, a tournament that is dominated by 18, 19, and guys turning 20. Benning said in all his years, he has never seen a defensman at his age dominate like he did at the world Juniors, largely due to his IQ and smarts. He also won the memorial cup with the London Knights while playing the role of number 1 defensman. Everyone looks to Marner, Dvorak, and Tkatchuk for their super line, but in order to be that effective, you need a defensive beast, and outlet passing machine like Juolevi. Je didn't look out of place at all, but rather made a major impact scoring 21 points in his last 22 games. He can be a all star defensman for the years to come. He is good enough skillwise to make the league as early as next season, but he's going to need to add on pounds. When he arrives, if partnered with a guy like Gudbranson, he could be an absolute beast.
  3. Thatcher Demko (G): NHL starting, and possibly All-Star potential. In his junior year at Boston College he crushed all of Cory Scneider's old records, which is a great sign. His size, athleticism and style are almost a carbon copy of Cory Schneider in College, as that is the successful model goaltender BC looks for and Demko may be the best of them. It will take him a while as goalies tend to take a long time to develop and make it to the big dance. But all signs are showing that when he does, he can be a real all star leading between the iron pipes. If you want to win, you have to have a top goaltender, Demko in time looks like he will be just that. Also seems to be a great attitude kid which is huge when you need leadership from the backend. Remember the leadership Loungo brought? we need that again. I would also like to give a lot of credit to Benning for drafting him with our second round pick. Goalies are tough to find, and get in the right spot, and he seemed to snag one as good as any who comes out of the draft. A+ pick if you ask me. No questions asked.
  4. Jordan Subban (RD): One of the smallest players in the Canucks system, yet one of the most skills. Subban is always shocking people with how god his skating ability is complemented by his impressive offensive skills. Although undersized, his offensive intelligence, shot, playmaking ability etc, are top notch. He may be small but he is incredibly strong, including in his lower base, which helps him play against bigger players. Still very committed to playing defence and to his own end. Could be the next undersized impact defensman in the NHL. Next year he will likely spend one more year in the AHL to get his game at it's top level. But you can tell, he is just itching to get into the NHL. He has the same passion and fire that his brother PK plays with. I would love to see that in the lineup.
  5. Troy Stecher (RD): Signed as a free Agent, Stecher gets to come home and hopefully make his mark in Vancouver. Skilled offensive PMD with strong two-way skills and intensity. Played the role of number 1 defensman for North Dakota and wont the NCAA title with Brock Boeser.  He was a top college free agent on the market, some put him at number 1. This year he will get to play a major role in the AHL and look to develop his pro game. I think he has a chance to be like a Ben Hutton and shock everyone with his skills, even if he doesn't make the team. Overall, a slightly undersized, but effective two-way defensman with puck moving and offensive abilities. Linden has spoken about how he has impressed him so far. Ben Hutton shocked last year, but we also had a lack of capable defenders. By some accounts so far, Stecher seems to be impressing the higher ups and raising his stock. I love a good hometown story, but he looks like he can make an impact as well. We could see him in blue and green soon. 

 

Notes about top 5 prospects

  • All of them seem to be close to NHL ready, with the exception of Demko, the goaltending. 
  • Our top 3 group look like they can be future ALL STARS
  • Subban and Stecher are capable defensmen, who one will probably replace Larsen by next season.
  • (I didn't include guys like Gaunce, Etem, Granlund, and Tryamkin, because I consider their spots almost already guaranteed.)
  • That is a solid group of kids to incorporate. Finally we can see see the collection of talent we have to build a team, with a lot of leadership personality type of guys.

 

Honorable Mentions: B Level Prospects (Possible NHL role players)

  • Guilliame Brisebois (LD): Another year as captain for his team, but has been traded to a better team for next season. Leadership personified, is willing to do anything he has to do to help the team win. Not a big scorer from the blue-line, but a solid 2-way presence with great IQ to be an impact. It's hard to gauge him when looking at stats, but the eye test and coaches will rave about his two-way ability. This year he will be on a better team, and then we will really get to see what he can do.
  • Dmitry Zhukenov (C): The Russian born Center who finally made his debut in North American pro hockey. Played well, although not fantastic. But well. Solid offensive instincts and motor to never give up on any play. He could be a top 9 scorer if he adds muscle to the frame as well as continue to work. Next year he should come in fully adjusted, so we can really see what he can do.
  • William Lockwood (RW): Speedy player who plays bigger than his size. Plays fast and hard. Shows offensive instincts and ability, but excels more in the work ethic type of game. Similar to a style of a Jannik Hansen or so. A few years in college could do great things for him. Great shot though, which will be a big part of if he can make it. Speed, scoring, and grinding off the wing, he can make it.
  • Cole Cassels (C): One miserable season doesn't undue all of Cassels ability that he's shown or take away from his previous accomplishments. Coming off of injury and thrust into the pros, he didn't get a fair shake to adjust properly. This year will be huge, and might be make or break in his development. He still has a chance at becoming a bottom 6 shutdown center.
  • Jakob Stukel (LW): I think Stukel has real stealer pick type of potential. Eye popping elite blazing speed mixed with the skill to handle it at that level. What hands. Seems to be an energy offensive spark and a hometown product. Let's go. Needs to add muscle and defensive game, but can potentially still be a speedy scorer. (CDC stop crying, Benning got a high volume CHL elite speed scorer, from Vancouver!)
  • Tate Olson (LD): Picked in the 7th round, JB knows how to draft people, Olson is turning heads as someone who could beat the odds and become an NHLer someday.  Seems to take large strides in his development every year. Already a competitive two-way force who loves to win. Will play whatever role is needed and plays it well. Good overall game but needs more volume.
  • Michael Garteig (G): Quality goaltender and hometown product. One of the top goaltenders in the NCAA last year closely behind Demko. Led his school, Quinnepiac to the championship game.... Where they proceeded to get demolished by Boeser and the North Dakota.... But still, he showed that he has talent in being able to get them there. He could be a quality backup behind Demko for the future.

 

I think that Benning has built an incredible group of young kids. The only thing he needs to solidify this group in my opinion is a impact center prospect in the 2017 draft. There are a lot of choices for us all throughout the first round. Yes, Nolan Patrick would be awesome, but I am not interested in tanking this season at all with the team we have. To name a few quality centers already turning heads, Gabriel Vilrardi, Kailer Yamamoto, Maxime Comtois, Sterio Mathews, Scott Reedy, Casey Mitelstadt or my favourite, hometown boy, 6'5 200+ pounds already, Michael Rasmussen. That's just to name a few. Benning knows how to draft. Keep our first round pick no matter what, and pick the best center you can. In the meantime, I would not be opposed to Benning using picks to upgrade the team in different aspects, namely the one area we need: a second line left winger.

 

But all and all, this team is in great shape. The NHL club is good enough to be a playoff team if you ask me, and our group of young kids is definitely one of the best in the league. Our top 5 prospects all look like they will be capable NHLers so far, and our next group of second tier guys look as if they have legitimate shots at making the league as well. Our top 3 group is also very diverse giving us a future all star goalie in Demko, number 1 defensman in Juolevi, and All star winger in Boeser. Subban and Stecher also seem to be capable PMDs as well. That's a fantastic top 5 to be in the pipes with a playoff worthy team.

 

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Overall, I give Benning an A with what he has done with this franchise. He's been a great GM so far. Some notable moves on the team he's built, that he's altered from acquisition.

  • Signing Eriksson (He should go a long way in helping the Sedins, and our top 6.)
  • Trading for and Signing Brandon Sutter (He's going to be huge for Horvat and this team playing anywhere from Center, and wing from the 1st line to the 3rd line.)
  • Signing Rodin (Although he was not drafted by him)
  • Trading for Sven Baertschi (Second round pick well spent)
  • Drafting Jake Virtanen (Some still question the decision, but we need his strong forechecking, speed, power game on this team. The offence will come. Mark my words Jake Virtanen will be a top 6 scorer.)
  • Trading for Markus Granlund (Where would Hunter Shinkaruk fit in this lineup? Markus Granlund is a fit for this team because he has two-way ability, and can play center with his versitility. Then can play special teams, or move up in the lineup in case of injury. I believe in Granlund. His actual track record holds up quite well to Shinkaruk's if not better; and Weisbrod who has saw them both play and worked for them on a daily basis, and has shown he along with Benning are pretty good at evaluating talent. I think Granlund will be pretty much just as good as Shinkaruk, but time will tell.)
  • Trading for Derek Dorsett (Expensive trade but as you can see, we need some leadership back there and a fourth line presence who brings leadership every night.)
  • Trading for Emerson Etem (Nicklas Jensen wasn't going to play for us. Emerson Etem provides us with a good player than can play either wing and provide a needed presence. And he has the skill to not just play 4th line, but third, or occasionally second.)
  • Keeping Brendan Gaunce (for two-way ability. Could be a dependable bottom 6 guy.)
  • Signng and Calling Up Ben Hutton (Although he didn't draft him)
  • Trading For Erik Gudbranson (McCann was a steep price. And arguably could have been that impact center we need to finish off our prospect pool. However, getting McCann at 23, and Boeser at 23, tells me one thing. Benning can pick early, or late in the first round and come out with a stud. I have 100% faith he will turn that first round pick next year into an impact center to help Horvat... that's if Granlund isn't that impact center himself... Just saying. But as you can see and probably already know, Erik Gubdranson brings a lot to this lineup now and into the future. I see him one day paired with Olli Juolevi on the top pairing, but one can only dream...)
  • Drafting Nikita Tryamkin (In the 3rd round! What a steal. In his 10 games with us, he looked like a first round talent. Let's see if he can keep it up.)
  • Trading for and Signing Philip Larsen (We needed help on the blue line for our powerplay. He went out and got a guy who can play bottom pairing minutes, and run the powerplay possibly better than any of our other guys. I think Philip Larsen is going to be huge. He rounded out his defensive game in Russia
  • Signing Miller (Been a solid veteran presence for Markstrom as he has gotten into the flow of things. That's good for his development. He will play out 1 more year before Markstrom takes the reigns.)
  • Calling up Markstrom (Or more importantly, sending him down to the AHL to dominate before calling him up. He let him get high focus minutes, develop his game for another year, then brought him up, and it seemed to have worked.)
  • Drafting Boeser (With he 23rd overall. A lot of people, me included said Konecny. Benning stuck to his guns and Boeser looks like a homerun)
  • Drafting Juolevi (With our highest pick in a long time, Benning took the best defensman in the draft. Potential to be a OEL, Roman Jose, Olli Maata, type of player with major impact. We lost out on PLD, but you can see just how valuable top defensmen are in this league.)
  • Drafting Demko (In the second round. Secured a potential all star starter with our 2nd round pick with good timing to match up with the rest of the group.)
  • Signing Stecher (Hometown boy with NHL regular potential.)
  • The rest of his drafting with star players who aren't in our top 5. (Man this guy knows how to draft...)

 

 

 

 

Mr.53

2016 Prospect rankings

Last year our prospect pool has seen massive change. We have had many graduations of top prospects such as Baertschi, McCann, Virtanen, Markstrom, and Hutton joining alongside sophomore Bo Horvat. Benning, despite the beliefs of many at the time, actually drafted some quality players. Our youth movement is in full affect and our prospect pool is ever changing.

I have decided to make a top 10 list to start this year, to notice the prospects that are developing well. Below are my rankings, feel free to comment and leave your own.

10. Andrey Pedan (LD): Pedan has everything you need to be a bottom pairing pro defenseman. Great speed, great strength, great grit, and some offensive know-how to pitch in every once in a while. He's got a good shot, decent passing ability, but his big plus is his defense. He's a big guy that will fight anyone as well as play committed defense. The Canucks need speed and physicality, especially from the blue-line. Sbisa is our biggest hitter. Pedan helps that problem. The thing about Pedan is even though he is number 10 on the list, he is 1 of the closest to being NHL ready along with Gaunce and Shinkaruk. I expect him to be in a bottom paring, penalty killing, hitting and fighting, 6-7 d-man role, by next season.

9. Dmitry Zhukenov (C): The kid as been very good this season. He started out a little slow, but then exploded onto the scene. Almost pushing a point per game pace in the CHL is impressive. Especially since this is his first year in North American hockey. Great speed, relentless hustle, and strong overall offensive skills. The kid just manages to somehow make the play even if he's got defenders on him. Very creative player. The questions about his game were focused around if he could adapt the North American game and gain muscle. He seems to be getting the first part. If he can get stronger to compete with grown men on the North American level. Watch out. I estimate 3-4 years before we see him in the NHL, but he has real potential to be dynamite.

8. Guilliame Brisebois (LD/RD): The kid doesn't show much on the statline, and never has. He does however, garner massive praise from every coach and scout that sees him play. Great character and leadership kid, he became the captain of his AHL team at 16. He took it upon himself to play a two-way defensive role, on a terrible team. Brisebois is one of the few strings holding that team together. His attention to his defensive duties are superb, as well as his smooth stride skating. He actually has some offensive prowess; however, he doesn't get to use it often as he is usually playing defense in his own zone. Subban played for a poor team, and took on the role of sole star defenseman. His numbers dipped and didn't look that impressive, but it made him an impressive player. I think a similar thing is happening to Brisebois, and he has the mental ability to take those lessons, adjust his game and work to being an NHLer. I think he is also 3-4 years away.

7. Cole Cassels (C): Nobody can deny it, Cole Cassels has had a dismal season. Not only has he not been effective offensively, and by that he barely even generated shots on net, but he hasn't been that great defensively either. He was however, dealing and recovering from injury issues, adjusting to the pro game, and trying to work on his strength and conditioning at the same time. Not everyone can do all of that easily. Still, he seems to be playing with more confidence and turning things around. Even if the numbers aren't there, he needs to focus on the little parts of the game, which was his specialty in Junior, and bounce back. I give him a solid 2 more years in the AHL, maybe 3. Still, I remain confident that when he does turn it around, we could see a solid two-way versatile bottom 6 forward at the NHL level. Cole may be having a rough season, but he is still Cole Cassels. He lead a team to a memorial cup victory, and was able to hold Connor McDavid and the Erie Otters at bay. He didn't lose all that talent. He just needs to get his head on his shoulders. He's still closer to being an NHL player than to being a bust at this point.

6. Carl Neill (RD): Benning showing he has real scouting acumen. I think Carl Neill is going to be a real sleeper, and surprise a lot of people. I mean the kid shows real ability. he has NHL size already, and a good skillset. He has a strong hard shot that finds the net, as well as the ability to make good passes. He's no Jordan Subban with the electric offensive upside, but he has enough to contribute. Strong on the PP as well. The problems with Neills game were similar to the problems in Virtanen’s game when he would be known for to be overconfident and do too much. He needs to refine his game and hockey IQ to utilize his potential NHL abilities. I think give him 3 years give or take and he could be in the NHL. For him it's a matter of flipping a switch, and it seems like he's trending in the right direction. Neill is actually a year older than his draft class as he was passed over his first year making him turn 20 this season, and likely to start pro next season. Not being selected in his first draft year devastated him and kicked him into a gear where he cut lots of weight, worked on his mobility and elevated his game, He has been recently been named captain this year for the work he has put in. I think not being drafted may have been the thing that flipped the proverbial switch, because he is night and day, a better hockey player. 

5. Jordan Subban (RD): Very small, but man can he play. Subban is our top defensive prospect. He has come along way in working on his all around game, and it has paid off. Subban has always had incredible offensive instincts, and could act as a offensive PMD. His puck protection skills for a guy that size are incredible, and he knows how to make passes and gets accurate shots on net. What's really impressive though is his commitment to the 200-foot game. Playing for a not so great team in juniors, forced Subban to learn to drop back and pay attention to detail in his own zone. His ability to play defense helps open up the offense and gives him more confidence. There is little doubt in my mind that Jordan Subban will be a Vancouver Canuck. I would guess he has another year or 2 before we see that happen. But when he shows up to the scene, fans will love him. Jordan is proving to be further along in his development than expected. The positional and role need for a player like Subban is also this teams greatest possible need. The opportunity is staring him in the face and so far he looks like he's stepping up.

4. Brendan Gaunce (LD): He's a High IQ, big bodied, versatile player. Gaunce can be plugged in on the wing or in center and still be effective. His high hockey IQ allows him to read and understand the game very well. He uses his speed and strength to complement his positioning in order to be effective. He understands his defensive responsibilities and is opening up to using his strength in games. Good vision, and passing ability, as well as a quick release on his wrist shot, is what gives him his offensive punch. Brendan Gaunce can do a a good bit of everything, and has significantly addressed the holes in his game during his development. He shows strong commitment to making it as an NHLer and it shows. Overall, he's a smart 2-way player, with real NHL size and no real holes in his game. He could be in the league as early as next year contributing in a bottom 6 grinder role. (I can't wait, as two-way players tend to be my favorite) The thing about Gaunce is his hockey sense and cerebral thinking allow him to be used in any situation and play alongside many different players. It's a skill that doesn't get talked about as much, but being able to hop onto different lines with different types of players and be put in different situations, and still being able to be productive offensively and defensively is a quality skill, and it's one of Gaunce's best qualities. 

3. Brock Boeser (RD): Brock Boeser was drafted this year, however, he is immediately showing a lot of promise. I think he is going to show to be a steal one day as he is simply a natural goal scorer. He has the great IQ to know where the puck is going to go, and the ability to get into the open soft areas where he can score. He is very strong on his skates, and shows great north south ability. Not exactly a hitter, but is very strong and can win board battles. Big strong kid, with great lateral movement, he can be a real scorer in this league while providing offensive ability. He shows a lot of ability to I also like how he is taking leadership roles wherever he goes. He possesses a rocket shot that seems to be accurate as well. A natural goal scorer, he helping lead North Dakota to be a top team in the NCAA. Boeser has a strong sound game all around and seems to be ahead of his years, both physically and mentally. He is able to give a consistent, hard nosed, high motor effort every time he steps on the ice and is a constant threat to score. He probably won't make the team next season, but the season after that maybe. If not I expect him to be ready by the start of 2018. 

2. Hunter Shinkaruk (LW): Electrifying offensive talent. He has the ability to create offense from anywhere. He has the high IQ, vision, puck skills, and passing ability to be a dynamic player, accompanied by silky smooth hands, great puckskills, and a wicked shot forehand and backhand. He is also a dynamic skater with great speed and balance, which just helps his offensive output. He has legitimate top 6 scorer potential for this team and seems to be a sparkplug wherever he plays. He has shown that he can be a dominant force on the AHL level, despite it only being his second year. He has taken on the role of leading scorer, and excelled under the pressure. When Shinkaruk plays, his teammates get excited and involved. He still needs to add strength, but he could be in the NHL as soon as next year. That's what we need, secondary depth scoring. Between Baertschi and Shinkaruk, depth scoring seems to be coming. Shinkaruk has all the tools to be a electric offensive scoring winger. He was named an AHL all star in his second year and looks poised to make a push for the team next season. This season he has taken on the role of leading star scorer for the comets and has excelled. He's had no clear number 1 center, or linemates, but finds ways to produce offense with whoever he plays with. Shinkaruk has real potential to be a highlight reel player.

1. Thatcher Demko (G): May come as a surprise to most, but Demko is my only untradeable asset. Everyone has a price, but he has legitimate potential not only to be a starter, but an all star in this league. Expectations were pretty high coming out the draft being known as the best goaltending talent. (Thanks Calgary) Yet, Demko has still managed to surpass all expectations and is leading an impressive Boston College team from the backend. Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to the future number 1 goaltender for the Vancouver Canucks. Demko is very athletic and shows sound fundamentals from good coaching at Boston College. He shows the same poise and calmness that Cory Schneider did when he played there as well. Both similar styles, receiving similar coaching from the same top program, I think they are very fair comparisons. We still don't know timeline, as goalies are weird, but I'm confident he will be. And don't be surprised if he's an all star during his prime either. It's good that Demko is so good, because aside from him, we have no real goaltending prospects. Good thing it's a position where only 1 guy plays. If we were to lose Demko, we would be in serious trouble. He's as important to this teams future as anyone. Bo Horvat is going to be our leader up front, but Thatcher Demko is going to be the athletic all-star goalie that any team who wants to win a cup needs. 

Honorable mentions

 

  • Ronalds Kenins: I don't know whether to really consider him a prospect anymore. he's more of a depth NHL depth player who gets AHL minutes do to roster sizes.

  • Linden Vey: Again, is he a prospect? Seems more like a 5th center who again, plays AHL minutes due to roster space. It's a tough league and every team has and needs guys who can step up when injuries inevitably happen.

  • Alex Grenier: Big 6'4, 200 pound all around player. But just hasn't shown the last umph needed to make it to the NHL. Again, maybe he can be used if injuries occur.

  • Anton Rodin: The forgotten prospect. Playing over in Sweden, he has become captain of the Brynas IF Gavle, and is currently lighting up the league. He is 25 years old, so not really much of a prospect, but more of a developed European vet. Still, it's possible that he could make the jump to North America, although unlikely.

  • Tate Olson: Jim Benning shows his scouting prowess with this move. Drafted very late, but is proving to be not a bad pick up. I would probably put him at 11 on this list, but still, the top 10 is the top 10. 11 isn't bad for a 7th rounder though. I expect him to be in the top 10 soon once players graduate to the NHL.

  • Nikitia Tryamkin: I will be honest. Haven't really seen much of his play due to him being in russia and such. However, still, looking at his numbers, and scouting reports, he doesn't seem to have progressed all that much. Small strides, but he needs big strides to make it in the NHL.

 

Quick Recap
  1. Thatcher Demko - G
  2. Hunter Shinkaruk - LW
  3. Brock Boeser - RW
  4. Brendan Gaunce LW/C
  5. Jordan Subban - RD
  6. Carl Neill - RD
  7. Cole Cassels - C
  8. Guillimae Brisebois - LD/RD
  9. Dmitry Zhukenov - C
  10. Andrey Pedan - LD

 

Mr.53

State of the Line Up

This is what I would do with our lineup. I actually think it could be a playoff lineup. It's not awful.

My Lineup

Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Radim Vrbata

Shawn Matthias - Nick Bonino - Zack Kassian

Chris Higgins - Linden Vey - Alex Burrows

Derek Dorsett - Brad Richardson - Jannik Hansen

(Tom Sestito-___________)

Dan Hamhuis - Chris Tanev

Alex Edler - Frank Corrado

Luca Sbisa - Kevin Bieksa

(Ryan Stanton)

Ryan Miller

Eddie Lack

Sedin – Sedin – Vrbata: 18 Minutes

I love this line. Vrbata seems to be the perfect complement. All of ten play a high IQ game, and Henrik has two snipers as options. Vrbata also takes pressure off Daniel to score goals. I have no doubt this line can put up a solid amount of points, but I guess we will see. If this line can get going, it definitely be one of the better first lines in the NHL.

Matthias – Bonino – Kassian: 15 Minutes

Matthias and Kassian played well together in the last part of the season. That was with third line minutes and with Brad Richardson as their center. Now they get second line minutes to do the same thing, with a more offensively talented center in Bonino. This is a pacific division type line, one that can play hard and physical, and still have enough skill to score. This line would be real tough to play against. The perfect second line to follow the Sedins. The Sedin's hit them with immense skill, and this line hits them with size and strength.

Higgins – Vey – Burrows: 15 Minutes

Higgins and Burrows both are solid two way forwards. Both of them would be good 2nd liners, but they would be awesome third liners. They can help ease Vey into the league giving him Veteran support. This line could definitely put up their fair share of points as well as play solid defense. Burrows and Higgins also have some chemistry in the past. Both are workhorses on and off the field, and would be the perfect fit for Vey's playmaking. Burrows shot also get's turned in for one timers, and quick releases. This line is more line a line 2b.

Dorsett – Richardson – Hansen: 12 Minutes

If you are going to roll 4 lines, you need a line that supplies a solid defensive base. All 3 of these players can play defense well. Richardson showed last year he also has the ability to put up about 20 points a season, and Dorsett was able to do that back in columbus, add that with Jannik Hansen's speed and they can be one of the better fourth lines in the league. Speed, defense, grit, etc. All great qualities for a 4th line, plus a little bit of offensive production from Jannik Hansen and Brad Richardson.

(Sestito - ______): 13th/14th forward

We know what Sestito brings. He's not a terrible player, but he fits the 13th/14th forward role better, bringing in muscle when we lose a guy from injury. The '______' spot is for whichever big man young guy wants to step up and take it. No point in giving it to a top prospect when they need to get their minutes, but it would be a great spot for a Kellan Lain, Ronalds Kenins, Darren Archibald, Alex Grenier etc Someone ready to play bottom 6 minutes while our top enders get more minutes in Utica to develop their craft. They all add different things so it depends on what you want, but my personal choice would be Archibald, but let them compete for it. If you want, you can even give it to Yannick Weber. Has it's benefits. Interesting option)

(Minutes allocated are not exact due to line changes and special teams, but rather a basic template)

Hamhuis – Tanev: 1st Defensive, 2nd Offensive, 3rd physical

This line will be charged with shutting down opposing teams top lines. They play the most in defensive situations, rather than in offensive situations, in case the 2nd line in tired. We know Hamhuis and Tanev can defend, and we know they can shut down top lines. Why change one of the few things that's already working. Plus, it allows Kevin Bieksa to move elsewhere in the lineup, balancing lines.

Edler – Corrado: 3rd Defensive, 1st Offensive, 2nd Physical

Plays against weaker lines to maximize Edlers offense. Corrado is the perfect line mate for Edler. He's a steady PMD who is composed and plays reliable defense. He is much like Tanev as he knows defensive positioning, and the couple of times he get's caught, he can recover. He also has a physical edge which could work well alongside Edler's. They can pour on the offense. We have been looking for a suitable line mate for Edler to play with for a while. Corrado is the perfect fit. Seem's like a match made in heaven. Question is, is he NHL ready, and I personally think he is.

Sbisa – Bieksa: 2nd Defensive, 3rd Offensive, 1st Physical

The second deployed line when needing to shut down top lines. They give a more physical edge than the first line so they can play against bigger opponents. Sbisa brings everything Garrison brought, minus the shot. Sbisa is a strong, defencman who is heavy on the boards. His style really fits well with Kevin Bieksa. This pairing is the stronger, more aggressive line. Plus also, we have seen Bieksa turn on some offense before, but that didn't really work well with Garrison's offensive style. Maybe Sbisa's more defensive style will be a better fit.

(Stanton): 7th man

Stanton is the ideal 7th man. He brings physical aggressiveness, as well as a decent all around game. He already has chemistry with some of the team, namely, Kevin Bieksa, so he can ease right back into the lineup when needed.

Miller: – 50(ish) starts

Lack: – 30(ish) starts

Power Play Units

Sedin-Sedin-Kassian

----Edler----Vrbata----

The format is a little different. You have both Sedins on the sides, Kassian in the center causing havoc in front of the net and screening, with Edler and Vrbata on the points. You can either turn their shots in, or keep them on the outside, either way they can get plenty of sniping opportunities.

Burrows-Bonino-Vey

-----Hamhuis----Bieksa---

This line is more of an up pace type of PP units. Keep the pace up and tire out their defense. Produces a lot more shots rather than passes.

Higgins-Mattias-Hansen

-----Corrado---Tanev----

Try and develop Corrado's Quarterbacking skills. I would imagine this line would do more cause havoc in front of the net, and with Corrado on his offside, Tanev can feed him for one timers. Tanev also supplies responsible d, to make sure we don' get caught on an offensive rush.

PK Units (Not much reasoning other than I think they can defend)

Richardson – Burrows

Hamhuis – Tanev

Bonino – Dorsett

Sbisa – Bieksa

Mattias – Hansen

Edler – Corrado

Let the rest of the prospects go back to juniors or spend a year in the AHL. No need to rush them. The only ones that are for sure ready are Corrado and Vey. Even Jensen and Horvat should go back and get one more year. I know theres no such thing as models, like the Boston model and stuff like that, but what is real is scouting and development models. The teams with the best prospect pools all consistently follow a the same scheme. Let them develop. Even if it takes them 4 years of development and they enter the league at 22, it's best they enter when they are at their best.

Overall recap

  • Solid First line. Last year the Sedin's were in a funk, and I think mostly due to Torts. This year will be different. They were at their best when they played 17 minutes a night. Torts had hem playing 21+, and especially at their age? Come on. This year Desjardins will make sure they bounce back, and on top they have a new line mate who has the ability to put up 50-60 points along with them.
  • We don't really have a second line. The second line is definitely our weakspot; however, we still have 2 lines that can roll as 2A, and 2B. They're composed of a series of players that are all third-second line tweeners. At least that's the conservative estimate. Arrange them in this style creates 2 lines with chemistry and the ability to produce.
  • The fourth line is actually one of the better fourth lines in the league. Hansen has third line capability, and Richardson played great when plugged into 3c last year as well. Dorsett is an energy, heart and soul, enforcer. Strength, speed, and a fair amount of offense. What can you ask for.
  • We have one line that can defend and shut-down top lines. One line that can defend and shut down, bigger stronger lines. And one line that can play offense. I like Kevin Bieksa coming off the bench and not starting with Hamhuis as well. It gives much added depth down the right side. All 3 of our defense pairings can roll.
  • Our goaltending is great. Ryan Miller is a great goalie, and Eddie Lack is already showing he may be too good for backup. We can roll either goalie any night and we will be covered in net.
  • Sestito and Stanton being scratches are perfect. They're good enough to be either 4th line or 6th defencman, so having them be depth players is a bonus.

Honestly, I think this team can compete in the division. I see one of those wildcard spots calling our name. Jim Benning retooled and gave us a team that can still contend for the playoffs. Vrbata, and Miller were huge, as well as getting Bonino and Sbisa to replace as much of Kesler and Garrison as they can. Don't count the Canucks out yet.

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Utica comets Lineup

(And potential mid season call ups)

Hunter Shinkaruk---Cal O’Reilly---Nicklas Jensen

Dane Fox---Brendan Gaunce---Alex Grenier

Ronalds Kenins---Dustin Jeffrey---Ludwig Blomstrand

Brandon Defazio---Kellan Lain---Darren Archibald

(Patrick Kennedy, Mike Zalewski, Alex Freisen, Alex Mallet)

Peter Andersson---Bobby Sanguinetti

Henrik Tommernes---Alex Biega

Evan McEneny---Yannick Weber

(Jeremy Blain, Kane Lafranchise)

(Jacob Markstrom) if he clears waivers or whatever

Joacim Eriksson

Joe Cannata

(Keep in mind that if this lineup goes through and Bo Horvat does not crack the lineup, most likely, one player from this lineup will get moved up onto the roster)

Notes

  • Shinkaruk and Jensen start developing chemistry immediately. Their styles complement each other so might as well get them used to playing together. Speed and playmaking one side, and speed and sniping the other. Put Cal O'Reilly in the middle and it could be a great first line. He will do nothing but further their development.
  • Gaunce and Fox also start building chemistry at the pro level. They already played on steam together, and now they can do it again, accompanied by 6'4 200+ pound Alex Grenier. Looks like a talented top 6, or at least more talented than last year.
  • Great third line. All three of these guys can put up a good amount of third line scoring in the AHL level. They're pretty fast and still have some size too.
  • I am a firm believer in you need a good base before you can build. This 4th line consists of 2 guys who have shown they can be at least decent 4th liners on the NHL level, which means they can surely do it on the AHL level. I would argue Zalewski also showed it, but that was in like 3 game stint. Not enough to prove anything yet.
  • Our Defense actually looks fairly good at the AHL level. Not great, but still good. They're a little small, but still kind of skilled. The core has a solid mix of defensive play as well as offensive play, but it is still the weak point of the team if you ask me.
  • Eriksson is a great AHL starter, and Cannata is a capable backup. Alltogether, not bad in goal.

In the System

  1. Bo Horvat ©
  2. Jake Virtanen (RW/LW)
  3. Jared McCann ©
  4. Thatcher Demko (G)
  5. Ben Hutton (LD)
  6. Cole Cassels ©
  7. Nikita Tryamkin (LD)
  8. Anton Cederholm (LD)
  9. Jordan Subban (RD)
  10. Gustav Forsling (LD)
  11. Joseph Labate ©
  12. Mackenzie Stewart (LD)
  13. Kyle Petit ©

  • Great center depth coming in. You build from the center out and we have a number of 2-way Centers.
  • Only 1 Right handed defenseman. As I stated, we may want to address that but it's really not something to be too worried about given that Corrado and Tanev are really young.
  • Lots of Left handed defensemen (5). Lots of variety too.
  • Only 1 winger. He's one of our best prospects but still only one.

Mr.53

My prospect rankings

Here are my rankings for our top 20 prospects. I've been trying to work on my writing so I thought I would make a top 20 list of our prospects. This is my first blog entry so bare with me. (If anyone ever see's this. lol) This is my opinion based off what I've seen, so take it for what it's worth…. In other words, not much. Word of notice: Both Frank Corrado and Linden Vey have been omitted from this list as I believe their spots in the lineup are pretty much guaranteed. Now just to clarify, these are just my opinion. (Or in other words, it is the most official list in the world and I am 99% sure all the players are clammering to see where I put them… Duh.)

Let us begin

#20____________________________________________________________________Joseph Labate

Joseph Labate ©: Joseph Labate is a center with good size as well as good two-way skills. But that's all he is, good. If you convert him to the NHL level, he seems like he could be a decent third line center, but that's it. He doesn’t really show many signs of being able to achieve more than third line status, but he definitely has the skills to be a bottom six center. If not third line, maybe 4th line. I see him playing the role of a Brad Richardson minus the PK killing, which again he's just 'good' at. He needs to up his offensive game if he wants to better his chances, but as of right now, he would be a good depth center. Maybe in Utica he will stand out in some way. Next year, Labate will get a bigger role and we will see how he does. Do not count him out yet though, next year will be the defining year for him. Chances are, we won't be an NHL regular, but if he does, 4th line center is what should be expected.

AGE = 21

Height: 6’4

Weight: 201 lbs

League: NCAA

Team: U of Wisconson

Games Played: 37

Goals: 11

Assists: 11

Points: 22

ETA: 2-3 years

#19__________________________________________________________________Gustav Forsling

Gustav Forsling (D): The Swedish PMD definitely has offensive upside. He is exceptionally good on the Power play. Forsling’s problems mainly come from his smaller size, especially being a defenseman. If he can work on being responsible on his own side and well as upping his offense a tiny bit, he could push for a job with the club in the future. For the round he was selected in, he is a great talent, just small. I could see him at max being a top 4 guy, but that's really stretching it. Him turning into a third paring who gets power-play minutes, if not on the first team, then most likely on the second team, seems more suitable. But who knows, he could surprise me.

AGE = 18

Height: 5’11

Weight: 176 lbs

League: SuperElit

Team: Linkoping

Games Played: 44

Goals: 6

Assists: 12

Points: 18

ETA: 3-5 years

#18___________________________________________________________________Ronalds Kenins

Ronalds Kenins (LW/RW): Signed last season, Kenins could make a push for the big club this year. He has all the tools to be a decent fourth liner currently. The thing is, he would probably better served playing another year in Utica so he can develop into a great fourth liner. I actually like this guy. He his really, really fast, and plays with high intensity. You always love guys who have a high compete level, no matter what line they are on. He would fit very well on a third line. I see him still being the type of player who still isn't fantastic, but can hop in and play with good players and mesh. Offesnively, he does have skills, but we just need to see him prove it on the next level. After that, who knows, he could be higher on the rankings. He seems like he could hop into the 4th line spot asap, and at max turn into a third solid sized, speedy, third liner than can score decently in a while.

AGE = 23

Height: 6’0

Weight: 201 lbs

League: NLA

Team: ZSC

Games Played: 39

Goals: 8

Assists: 17

Points: 25

ETA: 1-2 years

#17_______________________________________________________________________Kellan Lain

Kellan Lain (C/LW): The big man! Kellan Lain, is 6’6, 230+ pounds. He can potentially be a fourth line center or winger in case of injury, making him a solid 13th forward choice. He also still, has possibly the hardest shot out of all our possible callups, but I don’t think he would be expected for much scoring. 4th line has Kellan's name calling it. I say keep him in Utica for a year and try to develop his skills so when he does step into that 4th line role, he's not a pilon. If you can get him to play average defense, and almost average offense, he would be able to unleash his big man size to it's potential. 6'6, 230+ pounds ain't nothing to mess with. Especially when you know he can drop the gloves.

AGE = 24

Height: 6’6

Weight: 223 lbs

League: AHL

Team: Utica

Games Played: 63

Goals: 7

Assists: 12

Points: 19

ETA: 1-2 years

#16______________________________________________________________Darren Archibald

Darren Archibald (LW/RW): I believe Darren has a big chance at getting called up next year. He is everything you want a fourth liner to be. He plays a hard working, two way game, and is not afraid to lay out hits. He’s one of the older more experienced prospects, which is exactly why he can beat out the rest of the prospects for a depth spot. Not really skilled, but can play a rugged style needed in our division. Have you seen his crazy hit where he completely flips some poor guy? Man, he should have got arrested for that. It was awesome. And to top it all off, he's a workhorse. Only if he had more upside, but still, a solid 4th liner none the less.

AGE = 24

Height: 6’3

Weight: 209 lbs

League: AHL

Team: Utica

Games Played: 59

Goals: 10

Assists: 12

Points: 22

ETA: 1-2 years

#15________________________________________________________________Joaccim Eriksson

Joaccim Eriksson (G): The Canucks have a lot of Swedish goalies in their system. Eriksson right now will manage the starting goaltender role on the Comets. He could push for a backup role in 2 years or so, if not he will be an AHLer for life adding a third goaltending option in case there are serious goaltending injuries. Still though, at the AHL level he has some skill. There really isn't that much to say about him other than he can maybe be a backup. I hope I'm wrong and he turns into more of an Eddie Lack, that would be pushing it.

AGE = 24

Height: 6’2

Weight: 196 lbs

League: AHL

Team: Utica

Games Played: 52

GAA: 2.61

SVS %: .911

ETA: 3-6 years

#14___________________________________________________________________Anton Cederholm

Anton Cederholm (D): Possibly the best shut down defenseman in the Canucks system. In my opinion, he certainly is, but I'm sure Tryamkin has something to say about that. He has potential to be able to shut down top 6 players, but doesn’t show much offensive upside. Although, while saying that, he is showing more upside than originally expected, but still not that much. So in all you should be happy about the sign he's showing, and maybe he can develop the upside a little more. Already has NHL size at 6'2 210+ pounds, and very solid skating to back it up. Cederholm can potentially make an impact to be a top 4 defensman if he develops the right way. A straight up defensive piller is never bad to have. And if you pair him up with someone like a Jordan Subban, you could see real good results.

AGE = 19

Height: 6’2

Weight: 214

League: WHL

Team: Portland

Games Played: 71

Goals: 4

Assists: 12

Points: 16

ETA: 3-4 years

#13____________________________________________________________________Alex Grenier

Alex Grenier (RW): Grenier has NHL size, and one of the hardest shots in the AHL. In fact, he would have one of the harder shots on the NHL club if he were to make it. Grenier, being a late bloomer, and a breakout season last year. He needs one more season to see if he can replicate, or better yet improve upon that success, and possibly push for a fourth line job. The reason I rank him so high is because I think he is very close to being NHL ready. And he's showing he has more upside than originally expected, as well as plays better defense then originally expected. As of right now, he can turn into a fourth liner quick, but who knows, he could be better than that.

AGE = 22

Height: 6’4

Weight: 196

League: AHL

Team: Utica

Games Played: 68

Goals: 17

Assists: 22

Points: 39

ETA: 1-2 years

#12___________________________________________________________________Jordan Subban

Jordan Subban (D): The most skilled PMD in the Canucks system by far. Brother of PK, even he thinks Jordan is the more skilled of the two at that age. Much like many other prospects, his biggest concern comes with his size. While his brother PK stands 6’0, 210 pounds, Jordan comes in at 5’9, 180 pounds. His size makes defending against larger players very difficult, so if he could grow an inch or 2, and put on 10-15 pounds or so, it could only help him, but you can’t really teach size. His kill however, is undeniable. Drafted in the fourth round, I honestly think he has first round talent. If it wasnt for the size factor, I really couldn't see him falling as far as he did. If his size proves to be too much of an impediment to being a defenseman, he has the skills to be a skilled undersized forward in the top 9. All he can do is keep working on his game, and maybe be a little more defensive zone conscious and try to battle through the height and try to be the next Ryan Ellis/Torey Krug. (Ellis however was a first round talent) I'm sure PK can help work with him on that so I'm not too worried. I see Jordan Subban jumping up the rankings in the near future. Jordan Subban is the prospect that I say, do not count out for sure. This kid grew a full inch last year, and apparently it runs in the family as both PK and Malcom did the same. He is already incredibly strong, squatting 300+ too. If he hits 5'11, I see him jumping into the top 10. But you can't teach height, and 2 inches is still a long way to go. Still though, I see him overcoming that and moving up these rankings soon.

AGE = 19

Height: 5’9

Weight: 180

League: OHL

Team: Belleville

Games Played: 66

Goals: 12

Assists: 30

Points: 42

ETA: 3-4 years

#11_________________________________________________________________Nikita Tryamkin

Nikita Tryamkin (D): The big Russian monster. Skates surprisingly well for his size, as well as you can guess, is a great physical force. He has a cannon of a shot but needs to work greatly on his accuracy. Sounds a lot like Jason Garrison right? But at least he's still young, he has time to develop the accuracy. Currently, he still has 2 years left on his KHL contract. After that he could potentially make a push for a top 6, max top 4 spot on the team, and be a huge defensive pillar. A defensman of his skill set has not been on the Canucks roster in possibly ever. I'm really excited to see the physical edge he can bring. He is truly able to play in our division, but only if he works o his overall game to make it a little better. The KHL is a good league, he's not playing with scrubs. Grown men with good skill. I expect him to fully develop there.

AGE = 19

Height: 6’7

Weight: 229

League: KHL

Team: Avto

Games Played: 45

Goals: 1

Assists: 6

Points: 7

ETA: 2-3 years

#10_____________________________________________________________________Dane Fox

Dane Fox (C/LW): The curious case of Dane Fox. Had an outstanding campaign last season with the Eirie Otters. However, he was still an over-ager. Could he be a late bloomer, or will he turn out to be a player more of the Sean Avery type? As of right now, it looks as if he will be closer to a potential third line scorer, but we will have to see. A great signing for the Canucks, worth I would say, I high 2nd round, low third round pick. So getting that value from free signing is a just a solid bonus. Dane Fox truly can be a career AHLer, but he could also go the opposite way and potentially be a top 6 player. Linden Vey, who I omitted from this list purely because I feel like he's a lock, had similar results in the CHL. He was good his CHL career, but exploded in his final year. If Dane Fox could do say Vey did and play in the AHL for 2 years or so, you can see a top prospect on your hands with real top 6 potential. But it won't be easy, so don't expect too much from this kid or you can be disappointed. But it will be interesting to see how he develops. The good thing is, he will be playing with some solid prospects in Utica. Whether it be a Hunter Shinkaruk, or a Nickals Jensen, or his former teammate: Brendan Gaunce. He will have help along the road, which is nothing but good for him.

AGE = 20

Height: 6’0

Weight: 185

League: OHL

Team: Erie

Games Played: 67

Goals: 64

Assists: 43

Points: 107

ETA: 2-3 years

#9____________________________________________________________________Cole Cassels

Cole Cassels ©: Cole Cassels is a solid two-way player. He is responsible in his own end and has shown he has a little more offensive upside than people thought before. He plays a good all around game. He doesn’t stand out in many areas, but he doesn’t fall short in many as well. I like to think of him is as Bo Horvat Lite. He currently projects to be a good third line center give or take a little, but I honestly think he has a chance at cracking 2C. He has the skill and the work ethic to get there, it's just a ways to go. Cole is a hard working two center, and this year if he goes back to juniors, he will likely play another year with Michael Dal Colle. It would really help his offensive development even further as well as teach him how to play with more skilled players, that way he can hop in and play with a Shinkaruk or a Virtanen and not lose a step. It also could only help his chances at developing into a potential 2nd line center. It's always good to have versatile players that can play with guys more skilled than themselves. If developed right, he can be a really solid center prospect.

AGE = 19

Height: 6’0

Weight: 181 lbs

League: OHL

Team: Oshawa

Games Played: 61

Goals: 24

Assists: 49

Points: 73

ETA: 2-4 years

#8____________________________________________________________________Ben Hutton

Ben Hutton (D): 1 word, 'UNDERRATED'!!! Well at least by the league. It seems most Canucks fans are starting to catch on. Ben Hutton is interesting, as he was a forward converted into a defenseman. After transitioning to Defense, he really spread his wings. He had a break out season and broke records at the Univesity of Maine, for most goals by a defenseman (15). Also has good size at 6’4 200+ pounds and plays responsible defense. I think he is massively underrated and has definite top 4 potential in the NHL and can put up a solid amount of points while he’s at it. Also, an interesting tidbit, since he was converted to a defenseman in the first place, he is a potential candidate to be converted into a forward if necessary. See Brent Burns or Dustin Byflugion as an example. I, for one am very excited to see how he does next year. If he makes half the leaps he made this year, you will see people start to catch on.

AGE = 21

Height: 6’3

Weight: 201

League: NCAA

Team: U of Maine

Games Played: 35

Goals: 15

Assists: 14

Points: 29

ETA: 1-3 years

#7________________________________________________________________Brendan Gaunce

Brendan Gaunce ©: Gaunce has NHL size, and NHL smarts. With that good combination alone, he can be a solid third line pivot. He is a two way forward, and always takes care of his own end. He is a natural leader. He has a very quick release on his shot and good playmaking skills. He must however, work on his skating, after that, he can make the jump. Can also play left wing, although it is not his natural position. Still Though, some people think he would be better off at Wing because of his rather mediocre foot speed, however, he is still a natural center. His skating is definitely getting better, but it will need more improvement if he wants to play center. Still, he is a natural born leader, and penalty killer. He can also play with many different types of players and not lose a step because of his positioning and smarts. If Brendan Gaunce is going to succeed, it's going to be as a two way power forward.

AGE = 20

Height: 6’2

Weight: 216 lbs

League: OHL

Team: Erie

Games Played: 65

Goals: 31

Assists: 41

Points: 72

ETA: 1-3 years

#6_______________________________________________________________Thatcher Demko

Thatcher Demko (G):Thatcher Demko, to some, can be seen as the second coming of Cory Schneider.=. Like Schneider, also went to Boston College, and like Schneider, also very skilled and athletic. Definite potential to be a starter, and still has the possibility of being elite; however, goalies take much longer to develop. Don’t expect Demko to actually make an impact for 6-10 years, but hey, if you’re going that time to a goalie, might as well invest in one with the elite skills of Demko. Best bet you can get as he does show elite goaltender potential, but again, goalies are an enigma, and you really don't know what you have in a goalie until they're minimum 23-24 years old, and sometimes not even that soon. But I have trust in the Boston College development system.

AGE = 18

Height: 6’3

Weight: 192

League: NCAA

Team: Boston College

Games Played: 24

GAA: 2.24

Save %: .919

ETA: 5-8 years

#5________________________________________________________________Hunter Shinkaruk

Hunter Shinkaruk (LW/RW): Speed and skill. Shinkaruk has top six speed and top six skill; however, his progress has been slowed due to a couple injury problems. In Utica, he will get a chance to adapt to the pro game and ease into it. After a successful campaign or 2, he can make the jump possibly straight into our top 6. Overall, Shinkaruk has the highest offensive ceiling, although he offers the highest risk. His hip injuries have really healed and apparently, and it seems like he hasn't lost a step. Thank you modern day medicine. I think the best way to go with Shinkaruk is to 'Gutav Nyquist' him. What I mean by that is give him at least another full season in the AHL, maybe 2 or 3. Then when he arrives, you will see him take over games. He still needs to improve on his defensive play, but he's the kind of player that you really use for his offensive upside rather than his defensive upside. Still, it never hurts for your players to be reliable defensively. But one thing he really needs to watch out for is getting injured. Injury problems could seriously hamper his chances, at least more than others, and he just naturally plays a high octane, high compete level game. If he has to, he will charge straight into corners and battle on the boards. He will need to bulk up if he doesn't wants to play that way and not get injured.

AGE = 19

Height: 5’11

Weight: 180 lbs

League: WHL

Team: Medicine Hat

Games Played: 18

Goals: 5

Assists: 11

Points: 16

ETA: 1-3 years

#4___________________________________________________________________Jared McCann

Jared McCann ©: Plays very responsible defense, while boasting a very impressive offensive skillset. He has a lethal shot, and great playmaking ability. In juniors he will find his way and his skills will come together so he can be a more consistent offensive threat. McCann is interesting in that he seems to be like Cody Hodgson 2.0. He has the same IQ and shot, but has better speed and boasts far better defense. For everyone that is still upset for the Cody Hodgson trade, I think this kid is the answer to your prayers. Jared McCann will probably play in junior next year, and if he could have a 80-90+ point season, you will see the league go crazy about how much of a steal he was. And the thing is, with his current, already possessed skill set, that is not really that far of a stretch. I honestly think, similar to how Anthony Mantha was the steal of the 2013 draft's first round, McCann will be the steal the 2014 draft's first round.

AGE = 18

Height: 6’0

Weight: 180

League: OHL

Team: Sault Ste.

Games Played: 64

Goals: 27

Assists: 35

Points: 62

ETA: 2-3 years

#3___________________________________________________________________Nicklas Jensen

Nicklas Jensen (RW/LW): Nicklas Jensen showed us last year that he has talents. Rare talents. He has good size at 6’3 200+ pounds, and is still a very smooth skater for his size. On top he has a snipers shot capable of picking corners. Jensen has all the tools to explode into a top 9, if not top 6 sniper. It would be best for him to start out in Utica and hopefully get called up soon. Jensen and Shinkaruk can be linemates and build chemistry. (Just think of that line. Speed and playmaking by Shinkaruk and speed and sniping on the other. Throw a McCann, Gaunce, or Horvat in there to play center and see what happens.) All he has to do is work on his consistency, and not just offensive consistency but also defensive. The kid can play solid defense as his natural athletic speed and size give him a good edge. Still however, sometimes he seems to get lost and not play effectively. He has probably the best current offensive upside, and still currently has better than average defensive, but he really needs to learn how to perform that efficiently every night. If he does, watch out. Jensen could still hop into the lineup immediately, now that he won't be hampered by injury and can make a push, but still, a full season in the AHL would be great.

AGE = 21

Height: 6’3

Weight: 203 lbs

League: AHL

Team: Utica

Games Played: 54

Goals: 15

Assists: 6

Points: 21

ETA: 1-2 years

#2_____________________________________________________________________Jake Virtanen

Jake Virtanen (RW/LW): At the age of 17, Virtanen boasts NHL size and NHL speed. Virtanen was the fastest skater to come out of the draft, as well as being ranked number 1 for overall physical play. Not only are his physical gives astounding, but he also had the best shot coming out of the draft. He is a true goal scorer in that he can play the speed game, or the physical game, and score in the meantime. JB said he wants a team that can play an up tempo, high speed game, but still can play a bang it out physical game when they have to. Well that sums up Jakes game perfectly, except he doesn't just play physical when he has too, he loves it. And on top of that, he picks corners with a rocket of a shot. With a couple years of fine-tuning, he can be a great top 6 forward. I see a lot of Evander Kane in him, which would be GREAT if you ask me. A lot of people give him flack about his Hockey IQ level, but keep in mind he is still 17 years old. He's still a student of the game and can be taught. Ask any NHL player, you constantly learn the game, even when you're 30. It’s not unreasonable to think that a 17 year old kid can improve his hockey smarts, and if he does, Virtanen can really turn into a homerun player. Virtanen is at worst a third line winger that can put up 15 goals a season. But at best he can be a top 6 forward, the likes of a Evander Kane putting up 30-40 goals a season. He's a low risk, high reward prospect. He can play the speed and finesse game one second, and then play the physical strength game the next.

AGE = 17

Height: 6’0

Weight: 207 lbs

League: WHL

Team: Calgary

Games Played: 71

Goals: 45

Assists: 26

Points: 71

ETA: 1-3 years

#1_______________________________________________________________________Bo Horvat

Bo Horvat ©: I would argue, the number 1 prospect in the system, is none other than 'The Ox', Bo Horvat. Man, let me tell you, I Bo-lieve….. Yes, I just said that… Anyway, Horvat is a rare gem. When it comes to almost every aspect of his game, he is grade A. From Defense, to compete level, leadership qualities etc. Even overall skating and physical play are probably A-s. The only part of his game that needs work is his offensive game. Overall his offensive game is like a B compared to the rest. If he can show up to camp in good shape, he can make a strong consideration to make the big club, but if not, he can go back to the Knights and work on those offensive skills to make him a truly deadly all around prospect. Bo is future captain material. At worst he will be a third line center, but he could definitely push for second line, and possibly, if he really works hard push for first line. He already had a massive improvement last year, if he gets one last season in London, puts up 90+ points, and then comes to the NHL is a true offensive repertoire, he could make a big impact. Still however, if he makes the team, I'm sure Desjardins will give him solid minutes, and solid linemates. With the right care, Horvat could turn into a Ryan O'Reiily type player, but that is why it is so critical that we get this right and make the right choice in his development. Still though, assume 2nd line center if you ask me, and a good one at that. Get ready to hear the announcers talking about "that Bo drag", because it's coming… and it's going to be awesome.

AGE = 19

Height: 6’0

Weight: 203 lbs

League: OHL

Team: London

Games Played: 54

Goals: 30

Assists: 44

Points: 74

ETA: 1-2 years

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But that's just my opinion. Overall not too bad of a group. I would say the biggest need is for us to add a right handed defensman. The only one we have in our entire top 20 is Jordan Subban, who although skilled, is undersized. My idea would be to make a package around Jacob Markstrom if he's not enough to to it himself, and acquire recently drafted Jack Glover, who I would rank between Tryamkin and Grenier, from the WPG jets. We would have prospect depth at every position and should help ease this 'rebuild'. We would look strong going into the future. Other right handed shots I would be interested in looking into would be Madison Bowey in Washington, as well as Jack Dougherty in Nashville. Both would be much harder to get though.

Other than that, we could use a little help on the right side with some either RW forwards or at least a right handed center. I would personally try and go after someone like Nick Baptiste from Buffalo. He's a third round pick who has really spread his wings. I would rank him in-between Ben Hutton and Cole Cassels at the 8th spot. Buffalo has so many quality prospects up front, it's only a matter of time before they had to start shipping guys out. Baptiste would be a great addition and not cost the farm.

Other than those two areas, we are fairly solid pretty much everywhere. By solid, I mean good, but lacking a true number 1 center or defensman, but those don't really come around every day, and when they do, they are usually for a team picking in the top 5 or so. Overall, not bad Canucks, not bad at all.

Quick Recap

1: Bo Horvat

2: Jake Virtanen

3: Nicklas Jensen

4: Jared McCann

5: Hunter Shinkaruk

6: Thatcher Demko

7: Brendan Gaunce

8: Ben Hutton

9: Cole Cassels

10: Dane Fox

11: Nikita Tryamkin

12: Jordan Subban

13: Alex Grenier

14: Anton Cederholm

15: Joaccim Eriksson

16: Darren Archibald

17: Kellan Lain

18: Ronlads Kenins

19: Gustav Forsling

20: Joseph Labate

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