VegasCanuck

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About VegasCanuck

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    Hockey! Is there anything else?

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  1. Olli Juolevi | D

    Good read from the Province today on OJ, even though its Botchford, its insight from Salo. Will paste in here: prospects. This series checks out the top-10 prospects in the team’s system who have yet to get a shot to be NHL regulars. At No. 2 is Olli Juolevi: Age: 20 Birthdate: May 5, 1998 Position: Defence Hometown: Helsinki, Finland Height: 6-2 Weight: 182 pounds Drafted: Round 1, No. 5 overall, 2016 NHL Entry Draft Scoring: 7 goals, 12 assists in 38 games with TPS Turku in Finland’s top league Olli Juolevi is close to making an impact with the Vancouver Canucks. It may just not feel like it. He has been one of the most polarizing top Canucks prospects in recent memory. Other defencemen in his draft class have already made it, and some in a big way. It has unfairly taken some of the shine off the 20-year-old who is still on track to being a top-pairing difference maker. But one Finnish scout for an NHL team insisted “he won’t be a top player” in the world’s best league. Former Vancouver Canucks defenceman Sami Salo sees it differently, however, and few have spent more time with the 20-year-old left-side blue-liner. “I think he’s ready,” said Salo, who was an assistant with Juolevi’s Finnish team. “But this is what I said to him: ‘It’s another big jump to make an NHL team. There will be 10 other defencemen battling for those spots.’ “He has to go out there and show what he can do.” The left side of the Canucks’ defence after Alex Edler isn’t exactly a Murderer’s Row. There’s Michael Del Zotto, Ben Hutton and Derrick Pouliot. It’s not crazy to think Juolevi can outplay these guys and earn a roster spot in the fall. To do it, though, Salo said Juolevi will need to focus on body language. Wait, what? “He has a tendency sometimes to look like he’s disinterested, even though he’s not,” Salo said. “Body language is very important in the NHL. You can’t have bad body language. He has to show he’s really into the games and wants to be out there. “He got better this year as the season went on.” That’s true for every part of his game. Juolevi saved the best part of the season for last. It was his play down the stretch and in the playoffs that left Salo so impressed. “When the playoffs started, he was our best defenceman,” Salo said. “We lost (Henrik) Tallinder and it was good to see Olli carry the weight of Tallinder. He really picked up the Tallinder weight and was clearly our best defenceman. “The only thing he didn’t really do was penalty kill. We had older guys in that role and it really worked out well for Olli. He focused on 5-on-5 play and the power play. He was a big part of our power play.” Salo said Juolevi worked his way up to being the No. 1 point man on their power play. “He doesn’t have the hardest shot, but he’s good at finding the open lane and getting the pucks through,” Salo said. “I was happy for him. He did have some struggles.” Salo was referencing the stretch of games following the World Junior Championship. Juolevi skidded through a rough patch, which included multiple games when he was a healthy scratch for his Finnish club. “It was good for him to get that adversity,” Salo said. “I think it gave him a push. “It drove home the reality that this isn’t going to be easy in the pros. I think that’s what he had for most of his career. He had more skill and was a better skater coming up.” Salo suggested Juolevi’s dip in play was in part because of the number of games he played for the country’s senior team in a couple of tournaments and his time with Turku. “That’s why his physical conditioning has to get to another level this summer,” said Salo, stressing a point he has made when talking about Juolevi for a year now. Does Juolevi understand what he needs to do in this area? “He should,” Salo said. “I know his agent as well and we’ve been in contact and talked about this. To play 82 games in the NHL is tough. You have to be in tip-top shape because it’s so taxing. “If you’re in average shape, or even what you would call good shape, it’s not going to be enough.” Salo said Juolevi reminds him of Kimmo Timonen, a Finnish legend who played 16 years in the NHL. “With the way he skates and sees the ice, I do see a little Timonen in him,” Salo said. “He’s in control in every situation, even if he’s under pressure. He’s just calm with the puck. “He can compete with professionals. It wasn’t easy this year from the start. There was a lot of things he had to get used to. “Once he focused on taking charge, it became a lot easier for him. He can make really good plays under pressure. He can make plays a lot of defencemen can’t make.”
  2. [Proposal] VAN-WSH

    Would rather do something really wacky, like: As soon as the playoffs wrap or Washington is eliminated; To Washington: Michael Del Zotto 2018 5th round pick To Vancouver John Carlson - conditional on Carlson being willing to negotiate an extension with us. Washington is going to be really tight and won't be able to keep Carlson without shuffling some guys around. This would give them some point production back at a reasonable cap hit. Might have to put something else into the deal, but Carlson would be a major upgrade to our D for the next 5 - 7 years.
  3. Elias Pettersson | C/RW

    I'm not convinced that he's 100% NHL ready, but I don't think he has much left to learn in the SHL. I think even if he needed to spend a few months in Utica, he'd still be learning to adapt his game to the North American rinks and stronger players.
  4. BORING

    New to this planet or just to Canada?
  5. Elias Pettersson | C/RW

    I think they were just letting him focus on his season and now the tournament. I would expect them to have him signed end of May, early June.
  6. Elias Pettersson | C/RW

    I see a lot of back and forth, arguments for whether or not Pettersson should be on the team next year or not. I believe that he has nothing left to prove in the SHL and that there's no benefit in leaving him there another year. That does not mean that he's completely NHL ready. I think simplest solution is, sign him to an ELC, bring him to camp and if he's ready for the NHL, he's going to show it. If he's getting knocked off the puck too much and struggling, spending time in Utica, isn't the end of the world. Let him dominate there for awhile and then bring him in. He's dripping talent, let's not pull an Edmonton and rush him, we'll know based on his play that he's ready to be in the NHL.
  7. Willie Plett beheading Greg Stefan

    Half of those penalty minutes were Willi getting beat up by Curt Fraser!!!!
  8. Considering that we really could use a puck moving D, and Hamilton really fits that bill and can play 20+ min per game and come out at +1 on the season on a team that was really struggling, I'd probably consider flipping #7 for Hamilton. I wouldn't do it until draft day though and make the decision based on who is actually available at the time and how Benning thinks that player projects. I like developing from within as well, but in my opinion, a 45 - 50 point per year, puck moving D, somewhat trumps a pick who would be a completely unknown. At worst, you could flip Hamilton again at the deadline for a really good haul. Calgary paid first round #15 overall and 2 middle second round picks for him.
  9. [Proposal] Tanev to Vancouver

    Lets get him some lessons from Sami Salo! Wait, now I’m remembering why that would be a bad idea....
  10. [Proposal] Trade up to 1OA?

    How about we start with, "Not Going to Happen!"
  11. This!!!! Plus 1.....I pick this one! Everyone on board the Benning train!
  12. NHL 2018 Draft Lottery

    They shouldn’t be eligible for 10 years, considering how many times they’ve won and how many careers they’ve destroyed!
  13. NHL 2018 Draft Lottery

    Really want to believe that we can win the lottery, but I expect us to pick 7th or 8th. #LowExpectations
  14. 2017-18 Utica Comets Thread

    I think the Comets are still figuring out working in, everyone who came to them at the end of the season. I think they can get better than where they are right now.