Hello fellow Canucks fans and hockey fans. So I have been trying to figure out our succession plan moving forward and how our line-up may look in the future. Before I continue, this is not me saying any piece I think is expendable means they will/should be traded, or that the players I believe will make the team will make it right away, just a general idea of who is untouchable and who isn’t and where they may fit moving forward, especially with our roster becoming very crowded.
Currently, this is how I see our core:
Miller - Pettersson - Boeser
2LW - Horvat - 2RW
3LW - 3C - Virtanen
Motte - 4C - 4RW
Players not listed: Pearson, Leivo, Roussel, Gaudette, Beagle, Sutter, Ferland, Schaller, Eriksson, Baertschi
LW: Hogslander, Goldobin, Gadjovich, Palmu, McDonough
RW: Podkolzin, Lind, Jasek, Macewen, Lockwood, Plasek
C: Madden, Focht, Karlsson
Hughes - Tanev
2LD - 2RD
3LD - 3RD
Players not listed: Myers, Edler, Stecher, Fantenberg, Benn
LD: Juolevi, Rathbone, Tryamkin, Brisebois, Utunen, Sautner, Teves
RD: Woo, Rafferty, Chatfield
Prospects: Dipietro, Kielly, Silovs, Thiessen
Thanks to our management team, we have drafted very well, and with Jim and co. improving in their abilities to trade and sign players, our team is trending towards having a strong core supplemented by great pieces constantly for the next decade or two. The fact that we were able to pull 2 franchise level players with 5th and 7th overall picks is amazing.
To the dim side of Canucks nation, yes, our management has made some mistakes and their strategy at times wasn’t the best, but welcome to the real world of business, the key is that they are learning and improving at their job and it’s boding well for us in the future. All of us have had a learning curve when starting a new job, especially at a higher position.
Next, what pieces do we bank on and keep, and the result of this, who is expendable to cover a missing piece or improve a weaker area? Personally, this is how I visualize our team moving forward:
Miller - Pettersson - Boeser
Hoglander - Horvat - Podkolzin
Pearson/Ferland - Madden - Virtanen
Motte - ? - Macewen/Lockwood
Expendable: Leivo, Roussel, Gaudette, Sutter, Beagle, Goldobin, Gadjovich, Palmu, McDonough, Lind, Jasek, Lockwood, Plasek, Focht, Karlsson.
Let go: Schaller, Eriksson, Baerstchi.
Hoglander and Podkolzin look like amazing picks, they are both playing in mens leagues and their transition should be smoother than others. Would not surprise me if they are on the main squad sooner than later.
On the left side, I feel it is crucial to keep Pearson and Ferland until Hoglander has made the team. With Pearson, we maintain someone who can produce with Bo and helps us stay heavy. Ferland has major risk with his health, however, if he can return healthy, he can provide us with 40 points and physical play. Keeping Pearson is a must with the amount of risk with Ferland.
Motte I see as a core piece in the bottom 6.
This is my hot take. I would rather bank on Madden than Gaudette. I’m no scout but I have a gut feeling from what I’ve seen that Madden will be the better player, plus for a 3C, he also plays with some snarl. I’m not sure how great he is defensively but Gaudette has been poor on face-offs and has not been trusted with defensive duties. I also don’t think Gaudette’s potential ceiling is as high as many think it is, however, I am open to being proven wrong. Sutter can cover for Madden for another season or two until he is ready for the jump.
I’m not sure about the 4C position, but it should be easy to fill in UFA moving forward once Beagle’s contract is over.
Jake has taken a step and is now a very good tweener with his fast and physical play, we cannot let him go.
I don’t know who to bank on between Macewen or Lockwood. They both seem like good bottom 6 guys, however, Macdaddy brings more size along with the speed and physicality, so he may be a safer choice. Lind can also be in a role like this to start out, however, as an asset he may be more valuable in trade to help us bring in something else.
To summarize, Gaudette and Lind are expendable to me and can provide some solid trade value moving forward. The rest may be able to pick up decent value.
Hughes - Tanev/Upgrade via trade
Juolevi - Woo
Rathbone - Rafferty
Expendable: Fantenberg, Benn, Edler, Stecher, Tryamkin, Brisebois, Utunen, Sautter, Teves, Myers, Chatfield
Hughes, nuff said.
Tanev is the perfect piece to play with Hughes. Unless we can trade for a top pair RHD, he fits the bill.
Juolevi is being groomed to take over Edler’s minutes. He will be crucial to our success moving forward and is becoming a PK beast in Utica while scoring at a very nice pace.
I believe in Woo, hopefully he can be our Bieksa moving forward. While he is developing, we can manage with Myers and Tryamkin. Once he is ready, I see them as expendable.
Rathbone is one of my favourite prospects and trending to be a better piece than where I have him. Him translating will make our D one of the strongest in the league.
Rafferty is having a strong season in Utica and should be a main stay sooner than later. Definitely seems like he is setting the inevitable end to Stecher’s tenure as a Canuck, making him an expendable piece.
Our expendable pieces on D are probably not worth much, but I’m sure some can be there as 7-8 dmen and the rest may be able to be had for decent value.
Expendable: Markstrom, Kielly, Silovs, Thiessen
I believe in Markstrom, but I also believe in cap space and age. There will be some growing pains, however, Demko has proven to be a solid NHL goalie and is looking more and more like a starter. Yes it would be nice to have him groomed a little longer, but the business side of things may prevent this. We can still move on from Marky, get a nice asset, and sign a cheaper 1B goalie for the next couple of seasons until Mikey is ready.
This is my summary, what are your opinions? Reality is that we cannot keep everyone, so who do you believe players will be ready to make the jump soon, who would you keep and who do you think is expendable? Discuss!