GoldenAlien

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  1. From Benning: SN: And it looks like they’ll be joined by another young forward in Nils Hoglander, the 20-year-old who was the story of your camp. You said months ago that you thought Hoglander would be able to play in the NHL this season even though his stats in Sweden were just OK. How did you know? JB: Because the things that he is really good at, we figured they would translate to the smaller ice surface and the North American game. He may look small but he’s five-foot-nine and 190 pounds and strong on the puck. In the scrimmage the other day, he went behind the net and battled Alex Edler for the puck twice. Eddie’s six-foot-three and 215 pounds, but this guy came out with the puck. He likes to battle. He’s a highly competitive kid. The way he skates, a real good release on his shot, we just thought the things he does well translates to the smaller ice surface. He shows up every day, puts his work boots on and competes. Also, he's officially on the roster: Time to move this thread!
  2. We're just days away from moving this thread to Current Roster
  3. Rathbone has confidence, but does he have the skills to start for Canucks? Skill can get you to the NHL, but it’s the confidence you have in those skills that usually keeps a player in The Show. And when it comes to confidence, there’s no denying that 21-year-old Jack Rathbone has it. If he sticks in the NHL after his first Canucks’ training camp, or he ends starting the year as a minor-leaguer, nothing seems likely to faze the defenceman. The former Harvard man admitted during a media Zoom session this week that he’s “a confident kid.” “I’m a confident guy,” he said when asked about identifying moments of successes he’s had, two days into his first full NHL camp. Usually we dial in on the things players know they need to improve, but in this case it was an intriguing query and one that brought out a self-aware answer. And it wasn’t about being cocky, it was simply about knowing that to be the best, you have to believe you can do it. Rathbone said he realized that even before he arrived in Vancouver and skated with his new teammates: after signing with the Canucks, foregoing what could have been two more seasons of NCAA hockey, or even the option of becoming a free agent next summer, he got right to work in his preparations. “All summer I was training with some pretty high-end talent guys,” he said. “And there were moments where you’re like ‘hey, you know, you made the right decision in terms of turning pro.'” That said, he also knows he has work to do. His skating has carried him this far, but his strength still needs improving. He’s found himself up in practices against the likes of Elias Pettersson, J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser — he singled out the Lotto Line as his exemplars — and knows those three are as tough as the opposition can be for an NHL defenceman. “I think my dad’s always said you work to try and always play at the next level. And the next level is here, like this is this is it,” he said. “You want to eventually make a long career out of it but in order to do so you’ve got to be able to compete with that size and that speed and, I think, with my feet and my ability to skate I think that’ll come. “I think a lot of it is just dealing with guys who are bigger and stronger and me not being the biggest guy. A lot of it is positioning and trying to come to the rink and learn as much as possible so that learning curve and those growing pains are out of the system as soon as possible and I can just go back to playing my game.” The question then is can he stick as one of the Canucks’ seven or eight defencemen on the 23-man roster? Or should he go to the six-man practice squad? Or perhaps just spend a whole season with the Utica Comets, who are hoping to hit the ice a month from now? The answer isn’t easy. Rathbone just wants to make it a difficult decision for head coach Travis Green and general manager Jim Benning. The looming addition of Travis Hamonic means that Rathbone is almost certainly in a battle for the eighth spot on the depth chart, along with the likes of Jalen Chatfield, Brogan Rafferty, Ashton Sautner and Guillaume Briseboise, all of whom have plenty of pro hockey experience already under their belts. All would be easy selections for the practice squad — players who are considered in the minors but allowed to stay in Vancouver and travel with the NHL roster, ready to be recalled when needed without quarantining — but keeping Rathbone around NHLers strictly for development purposes, at least to start, has some obvious appeal. Asked before camp started, Benning insisted it would always come down to how the players performed during the condensed training camp at Rogers Arena. “Ultimately it’s going to be the players who come in and perform and deserve to be here,” Benning said. “That’s one thing about Travis he believes and if you earn a spot on the team and if you earn the right to play, you know, then the player should be here and you should be playing so we’ve done that in the past. We’re going to continue to do that so it’s going to be up to see how the players perform and they’ll make the decisions for us.” Green acknowledged the shorter camp was going to make it difficult to shake things out, but given how much of a book the coaches already have on the other defencemen in the discussion, you also have to figure it’s going to come down to a handful of little questions to determine what the next step will be. “We don’t have a lot of time but we’re gonna have to really watch all our players to figure out what’s best for them, but also what’s best for us,” he said.
  4. Two goals for Lockwood in tonight's scrimmage:
  5. Some Hoglander action in tonight's scrimmage:
  6. Nice article with input from Hoglander's SHL teammates: Ex-Hoglander teammate Adam Tambellini believes Canuck is ready for prime time Adam Tambellini is a Nils Hoglander fan. Tambellini, whose father Steve and brother Jeff both suited up for the Vancouver Canucks, is a former New York Rangers third-round draft pick who is now playing pro in Sweden. His linemates earlier this season with Rogle BK included Hoglander, the 20-year-old winger who is getting a crack at a top-six forward spot at the Canucks’ training camp at Rogers Arena, playing alongside Bo Horvat and Tanner Pearson. Hoglander, a 5-9, 185-pound left-handed shot, was Vancouver’s second-round pick, No 40 overall in the 2019 NHL draft.He’s shown a penchant for landing on highlight reels, most notably for his lacrosse-style, scoop-and-score goal. “I love the way he protects the puck and he has some of the best one-on-one skills that I’ve seen,” the 26-year-old Tambellini explained via text message. “He rarely gets knocked off the puck because of how strong he is on his skates and how good his stick is. And he has a really good shot to go along with it. For a smaller guy, it’s really impressive. I think the fans will love to watch him play. He does something exciting every game.” Tambellini has been around the sport at a high level his entire life. His dad was a Canucks assistant general manager and Hockey Canada general manager before taking on GM duties with the Edmonton Oilers. Tambellini himself starred in the BCHL with both the Vernon Vipers and Surrey Eagles before joining the University of North Dakota for part of a season. He jumped from there to the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen midway through that campaign before finishing his junior career in 2014-15 with the Hitmen, a season in which he scored 47 goals. Then came three seasons in the Rangers’ system and another as an Ottawa Senators’ farmhand before the move to Sweden for last season. Tambellini thinks the smaller North American rinks will require some adjustment for Hoglander, but also contends that Hoglander’s abilities in close quarters, with his skating and puck handling, should shine through. “I think in the end the smaller ice will be a benefit with the way he plays the game,” Tambellini said. Another former Rogle teammates of Hoglander includes Craig Schira, a 32-year-old defenceman who played in the WHL with both the Regina Pats and Vancouver Giants. Schira, who’s now playing pro in Germany, said of Hoglander via email: “Nils has the potential to be a great NHL player. Obviously everyone knows how skilled he is but it is other parts of his game, such as his work ethic and how strong he is on the puck, that can set him apart. “I have played with him and practised against him for a few years now and, even though he isn’t the biggest guy, he was the hardest guy to knock off the puck in the corners. This will be a huge asset for him on a smaller rink. He is also a great person and I think it is this, along with his work ethic and his character, that will benefit him the most in his future.” Tambellini suggested that Hoglander isn’t accustomed to the media attention he’ll get if he sticks with the Canucks this season, but admits having the likes of Elias Pettersson and Alex Edler close by would help. “I think it will help him big time to have some other Swedish guys to help him along,” Tambellini said. Former Giants defenceman Jon Blum is in his second season in the SHL with Farjestad BK, has played against Hoglander a handful of times and tags him as “very fast and creative” when he has the puck. “I think it will be an adjustment for him to start,” Blum, 31, said via Twitter direct message. “But his (Hoglander) skating and skill is so elite he should be able to get the hang of the small ice and bigger players.” Hoglander had five goals and 14 points in 23 games with Rogle this season. The website www.eliteprospects.com gave him this scouting report in 2019: “Hoglander stands out with his exceptional puck skills and hands. Really good stickhandler and he loves getting creative with the puck, scoring spectacular goals at times. “Decent skater who accelerates well and works very hard along the boards in the offensive zone.”
  7. An exclusive Q&A with Canucks top defence prospect Jack Rathbone “I don’t think anyone goes into a training camp not wanting to make the team. I think that’s definitely a goal of mine.” On Sunday afternoon David Quadrelli and myself sat down with Jack Rathbone to chat for about 25 minutes. We got into everything from his time with Harvard to the Storm Trooper suit that he wore to go with his little brother’s Darth Vader attire on Halloween. Rathbone was drafted in the fourth round of the 2017 draft and signed this past July during training camp 2.0. For this written format of the interview I will be using DQ as a question from Quadrelli and CF as a question from myself. JR will indicate Rathbone’s answers. CF: What’s this Covid offseason been like for you? JR: Yeah, it’s different. I think everyone is dealing with the modifications. Like my trainer used to have free to walk in whenever, but now you got to come in a certain time, walk in and out from a certain door, wear a mask, and all that. But training has been good. With the start date being up in the air right now, people don’t really know when to ramp it up because you don’t wanna burnout. But it’s been good, trying to stay in shape and get on the ice as much as possible. CF: The joke that I’ve heard is that everyone is going to come into camp with 20 extra pounds of muscle from the basement workouts in quarantine. Are we gunna see you add 30 pounds Jack? JR: Hahaha, I’d like to think so. Hopefully not in the stomach! I’m not the biggest guy, so anytime I get a little extra time in the gym or a little extra time to prepare off ice, that’s a positive for me. DQ: You now know you will have a place to play here in North America with the AHL announcing they are trying to come back February 5th. Did the thought of going overseas every cross your mind? JR: It definitely crossed my mind, one of my close buddies from Harvard Jack Drury signed in the SHL at the beginning of their season. Talking with him was what introduce to idea to me but after talking with Vancouver and what they thought was the best plan of action for me was to stay here. I think in the back of their minds, they had an idea that there was going to be some hockey to play in North America, whatever level that be. Again, like I mentioned before any extra time I can get to train and work on my game off the ice, that’s a huge positive for me. CF: A lot of players say that the jump from the CHL to professional hockey is the hardest but we are seeing more and more college kids have success right out of school when they make the jump. Do you feel you are ready after your two years at Harvard? JR: I think so. I think college hockey in general you are kind of playing against what are considered men already. A lot of guys coming in as 21-year-old freshmen definitely some older guys and bigger bodies. Maybe a little bit more wide open in terms of the play when compared to the AHL and the NHL. I wanted to play college hockey every since growing up. It’s hard not to when you’re growing up as a Boston kid. DQ: For Canucks fans who haven’t seen you play yet, what would you say your biggest strength and weakness is? JR: I’d say my strength is my offensive creativity and my skating ability. Being able to transition the puck from defence to offence and kind of be that fourth forward. My weakness or something that I’m always trying to work on is a lot of just defensive positioning, my feet can allow me to do some things that can get me in trouble sometimes so a lot of decision making on when to jump and when not to. Those are a couple of things I’ve been working on for the past two years. Through video and help from coaches, I’m ready to continue to develop and make that transition a little bit easier. DQ: What can you tell us about your relationship with Thatcher Demko? JR: He’s awesome, he’s been great for me. Obviously the player that he is, looking up to him kind of as a role model. I was a freshman in high school when he was here and he would come over for a home cooked meal and whether it was pond hockey or playing Xbox. I obviously looked up to him, he didn’t have to but he was a really nice guy to me. He was great and definitely helped me and seeing the success he had in the postseason was really fun for me and my family. I’m psyched to get reacquainted with him and hopefully play with him one day. CF: No doubt, you want to show him how that slap shot has improved? JR: I hope, I hope from freshman year it has a bit haha! CF: What did you think of his performance in the playoffs, that was unreal right? JR: If you don’t watch hockey, you know how good he played. I knew he capable of it from watching him at BC but watching him do it at the highest level was really cool for me and my family, it was something we loved watching. CF: I find it very interesting that you brought up being offensively creative as one of your strengths. That’s not something we heard players talk about 10 years ago. Why do you describe one of your biggest strengths like that? JR: Yeah, I think being able to get out of your zone first and foremost for a d-man but then once you do, trying to make plays and create offense. Whether it’s getting the puck in the forwards hands and let them do it themselves or if you have to jump in and be that fourth forward I think the way the game is trending right now, d-men are almost rovers in the offensive zone. There’s no more set structure. I think that suits my game and something that I’m excited to hopefully get the opportunity to do at the highest level. Quads then asked the hard-hitting question on everyone’s mind: DQ: Do you feel you’re NHL ready? DQ: Did the thought ever cross your mind of staying at Harvard and then going the free-agent route? JR: I mean, you’ve seen guys do it before so you know it’s a possibility but (from) the Canucks player development staff, management, coaches and two development camps I got a great feeling and loyalty is something that’s pretty big to me. So I knew they took a chance on me. The decision to go to the USHL or to go back to prep school, I think they were great. They gave me space to be able to make that decision on my own. They have been great to me and whether its with the relationship with Chris Higgins or Ryan Johnson, those guys have been great for me in terms of trying to grow as a player. I think that was something that I knew I wanted to be a part of this kind of an organization and work alongside guys like that. DQ: What were your initial thoughts of Vancouver? JR: I mean, it’s beautiful. I actually had ankle surgery literally the first day of development camp last year. So I couldn’t attend development camp. I was bummed because being able to experience being a professional hockey player for a week was the highlight of my summer. I was pretty bummed I wasn’t able to go to that camp but the city is beautiful, the fans are unbelievable so I’m pretty psyched to get things going. DQ: Final question here, do you have any goals going into Canucks training camp this Winter? JR: Ya, I don’t think anyone goes into a training camp not wanting to make the team. I think that’s definitely a goal of mine; to play in the NHL this year. Honestly, I just want to learn as much as possible with this being my first year pro. I just want to be a sponge, try and learn as much as possible from the older guys and anyone who attends camp. That will be an incredible opportunity for me and it’s something I’m excited to get going.
  8. D | 6'2" | 192 lbs Shoots | Right Born | 2001-11-07 Draft | 2020 Round 7 #191 Overall by Vancouver Canucks Ranked #95 by ELITEPROSPECTS.COM Ranked #231 by FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS Ranked #42 by TSN/CRAIG BUTTON Ranked #44 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (EU Skaters) There is so much more to Persson's game offensively than his point totals would indicate. A big part of his success comes from his abilities as a distributor. He makes good calls on when to join the rush or play with a more passive posture. Persson maintains a high work rate, with active feet and smart skating patterns, ensuring he's always open to receive a pass. -EliteProspects 2020 NHL Draft Guide From Blazers' GM: “We are excited to be able to add a player like Viktor to our organization,” said General Manager Matt Bardsley. “He is a mobile defenseman who is willing to lead or join the rush and brings the qualities we look for in a Kamloops Blazers defenseman.” “He has good offensive upside while providing a steady presence in his own end,” Bardsley continued. “We feel with his age and experience that he will be able to contribute right away.” From the CHL Import Draft: “I talked to the coaches and it sounds really good, just how they see the game,” said Persson, who admires the skills of Swedish defenceman John Klingberg, who plays for the Dallas Stars. “They seem to have really good development and focus on the players. Development is No. 1 and I’ve also heard great things about the organization.” “I’m a big guy, I like to play physical, pretty fast, I would say, and I like to join the offensive rush,” Persson said. “I’m excited to come over and show what I’ve got.”