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[article] Jeremy Welsh ‘starting to relax’


The Bookie

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Article from yesterday about Welsh and the 4th line. Didn't see it posted anywhere, sorry if it's a double. Welsh has looked solid since coming up, and I'm starting to notice Dalpe a bit more as well. On the other hand I'd like a more dangerous 4th that can eat more minutes after our injured players get back.

]VANCOUVER — Jeremy Welsh can’t wait to score his first NHL goal and neither can his coach.

“It has been going good and I am starting to relax with the puck and make some plays,” Welsh, the rookie Vancouver Canucks centre, said before Thursday night’s game against the visiting San Jose Sharks. “I’d just really like to bang one in here any day now.”

Welsh was poised to play Game No. 12 as a Canuck on Thursday night. He has been blanked — no goals and no assists — in the first 11. He also went without a goal in six previous NHL games with the Carolina Hurricanes.

His coach, John Tortorella, thinks Welsh is struggling like many young players do when they get their first real shot at the NHL level.

“I think those guys need to feel that they can put up points, that they belong here,” Tortorella said. “It can’t come from me, it can’t come from you, they need to believe it themselves and that is where I think Jeremy is at. He’s a big body, he can skate, I can put him in different positions and I do think he’s improving, but I think he has to say to himself ‘I belong here’ and I think other things will fall into place for him. He is an interesting one to me, he really is, because of his size and his skating ability. We’ll see where it goes.”

It’s not like Welsh has been getting monster ice time during his stint with the Canucks. As the fourth-line centre he’s averaged just 7:45 of ice time a night and offence is not uppermost on his mind when he and regular linemates Tom Sestito and Zac Dalpe are on the ice.

“As a fourth line you have to get the puck out, you have to be strong on the blue line, finish your hits, so scoring goals is maybe fourth or fifth on your list when you are in that role,” Welsh said.

“This is the first time I have had a stretch of more than two or three games at a time so it’s been good to get more comfortable each game. I feel like I can score. I have created a few chances for myself and there have been some plays where if I did them again I think I’d have two or three goals, but just settling in and taking that extra second I think is a key for me.”

Welsh and Dalpe were acquired just before the start of the regular season from Carolina in exchange for Kellan Tochkin and a fourth-round draft pick.

Welsh, 25, was called up after spending just two games with the AHL’s Utica Comets when the Canucks lost several forwards to injury. But with Jannik Hansen expected back on Sunday and Dale Weise likely not far behind, Welsh may be running out of chances to get that elusive first NHL goal.

He keeps telling his parents back in Bayfield, Ont., that it’s coming soon.

“My mom and dad have the NHL Network so they are watching. My dad gets out the door at 5:40 each morning for work so there are some late nights and I keep telling them every day, ‘I think tonight’s the night, I’m going to score my first goal so you’d better be watching.’ I think they wouldn’t mind me getting the first one over with, too.”

Read more: http://www.vancouver...l#ixzz2kkaselch

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Welsh has been a pleasant surprise and is more noticeable/a better fit in a fourth line role. Good size, nice skating abilitt, finishes his checks, above average on faceoffs, blocks shots, and has a hard shot.

I'd love Welsh and Archibald together on the fourth line, maybe with Kassian as well given a healthy lineup.

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Welsh has been a pleasant surprise and is more noticeable/a better fit in a fourth line role. Good size, nice skating abilitt, finishes his checks, above average on faceoffs, blocks shots, and has a hard shot.

I'd love Welsh and Archibald together on the fourth line, maybe with Kassian as well given a healthy lineup.

Agreed with all of this, except I think Kass should get a bigger role to help his development, and with Weise that line should be pretty good overall (speed, physicality, the rare point). Of course I hope Archie gets the spot on LW instead of Tostitos, but I digress.

With all that's been said about Jeremy, I hope this team can properly handle Dalpe when everyone's back. He CAN play the 4th line and he tried to line someone up yesterday night with a flying body check, but I'm not sure center is his strong suit given how well he's been playing on the wing. However, there doesn't seem to be a spot in the lineup for him to move into on the wing, and I hope that by now Welsh has won the 4th line spot for good even with his waiver exemption, since I don't see Zac as a suitable option for that role either. Maybe give him the Hodgson treatment and see if he can surprise with strong performances?

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Welsh is strong on the puck and good on the dot, he has played his 4C role well. The Canucks have not had to look for another Center since he has filled in. He has had some great rushes up ice with the puck and has played pretty solid in his own end. There's a lot of potential there but not sure yet if he is NHL material. Hopefully he stays for awhile. I like his game a lot more than Dalpe's.

Score soon young man.

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Welsh is the only one on that 4th line that can actually carry the puck and do something with it. He's had quite a few rushes with the puck from his own end. Dalpe and Sestito act as if the puck is a time bomb and just get rid of the puck as fast as they can. If everyone gets healthy I could see an effective fourth line of Booth-Welsh-Weise and Sestito as an extra.

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Welsh has looked good but I have no idea why he's been picked ahead of Ferriero. The guy was on San Jose's 3rd line a couple of seasons ago and is ripping it up in the AHL right now. This guy can score at the NHL-level and is a great utility player, what will it take for the Canucks to bring him up?

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