Jump to content
The Official Site of the Vancouver Canucks
Canucks Community

Development System


Recommended Posts

The Canucks' development system is surely coming around. Great strides have been accomplished by Gillis. The purchase of the Rivermen by CS&E, turned Comets, as well as the attempt to relocate the team at GM Place was a great turn of events for a better system. Unfortunately, Rogers Arena falls within the 50km radius the Abbotsbord Heat maintain. Nonetheless, the Canucks has it's own backyard for rookies.

The hiring of Travis Green and his staff is also a very good thing for the Canucks as the dividends are paying off already with Jensen. I personally cannot wait to see what they do with the next batch of rookies going to Utica, including Shinkaruk if he doesn't make the parent team. Whether the Comets end up playing in Utica, Abbotsford or Rogers Arena is irrelevant. It would certainly be better if they stay in the East as travel is of a lesser strain on the players.

But not all of the drafted rookies an organization end up playing in the AHL, especially under aged rookies like Shinkaruk. This is where the production line gets much darker. No doubt these players are in good hands. But they don't get ready access to the upper program of development until they reach it if only by age.

Outside of the annual top five can't miss prospects, I think it depends a lot more on the development system the franchise that picks them has in place. That would explain why some teams have the ability to pick late picks and turn them into better players than if they were picked by other teams.

The Canucks should invest in their rookies right off the bat. As soon as all yearly rookies have been selected, assign them a personal guide, a life coach, that directly responds to the direction the Canucks are going in.

Everyone has strengths and everyone has weaknesses. Strengths usually become greater by themselves through practice. Weaknesses on the other hand, are sometimes heavy on the heart and hard to work on. Those weaknesses are much better served by having a person who will look into it for you than you having to figure it out by yourself.

The Canucks might benefit in hiring a team of personnel comprised of skating coaches, a dieticians, fitness coaches, puck handling coaches; anything their prized rookies should need help with. And frankly, every rookie the organization chooses ought to be a prized rookie.

As a rookie, I would certainly feel the burning desire to accomplish my utmost best, knowing that my future is that much more secure if I were to receive regular phone calls from key Canucks. How about a Canucks family whereby Linden calls Horvat just to chat 5 minutes. This could drastically change his life. Knowing Linden just called. Horvat calls family and friends, the feedback is nothing short of positive on Horvat himself and his supporting family and friends... How about Bieksa calls Lain once a month... Bure to Shinkaruk... Any such contact is a good thing. It builds culture.

From the top, the firing of AV meant that all rookies could now have a breathing chance at getting called up. The hiring of Tortorella, a Stanley Cup coach who is a great guide to youth, only emphasized that the door was now wide open. Tortorella, along with a few others I'm sure, has offered a ton of guidance to Kassian. If the last quarter of the season is of any indication as to what Kassian is becoming, I can't wait to see what he does with Shinkaruk, Horvat and all other rookies who might make it. Tortorella is essential to the development of our upcoming, internally grown rookies. No way does AV put Jensen in the top six. And if he does, Jensen is one mistake away from riding the pine or be sent back down.

Too many times under the Gillis/ AV , rookies seemed somewhere far far away, tucked in the dark. I felt at times this last season, that some light was finally shed on our rookie system, as if it had just been discovered after years of abandon.

I don't pretend to know the whole system the Canucks have in place, nor do I believe that there i a total darkness between the parent team and its affiliates all the way down. But I certainly could see the benefits of a mentor/ student relationship from the top down as a great way to further increase the will of these could-be-awesome rookies.

The Canucks should invest in their rookies right off the bat. Make it an even truer Canucks family.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree for the most part and I think some of these things will come to fruition with Trev in charge.

As for the AHL team playing at Rogers, with the Heat gone now there is no longer that impediment, but the Canucks just signed a 5 year deal in Utica and so will be there for a while.

Frankly, they have a nicely renovated arena there in Utica that is sold out for all their games and they are treated very well there. Plus, being back East provides for a much easier travel schedule, which allows more time for teaching and training.

As for assigning a life coach the second they're drafted, sounds great in theory but keep in mind that they are not officially Canucks property until they sign a contract. Once signed, I'm not sure what's preventing a team from sending the player to a Gary Roberts in the summer to learn how to train and eat properly, but I'm pretty sure that's what the Canucks do when they have the rookie camp here in the summer to introduce the players to the Canuck family.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No way does AV put Jensen in the top six. And if he dies, Jensen is one mistake away from riding the pine or be sent back down.


Jokes aside, I agree with what you said. Gillis deserves a lot more credit for what he did here, especially regarding the purchase of our own AHL team and the hiring of Travis Green.

In a few years, people will be talking about how this is "Gillis" team and how the new GM hasn't done enough. That's the vicious cycle of the hockey business. GM's need time to implement and create their own team, system and culture but they often get fired before finishing their work.

I actually like our team being in Utica. Like you said, the travel in the East is way better. And also, a very loyal and supportive fanbase has sprung up there...In Vancouver our prospects would get criticized for every little mistake they make. That sort of pressure might be too much for the young guys to handle and would affect their development.

I'm not sure about signing a life coach (costs, the player hasn't signed with the Canucks yet, etc.) but it'll be a good way for the Canucks to get right in there to the front lines and take care of player development from the get go. It is a creative and possibly very effective way to develop our prospects. The part about where we get guys like Linden and Bure to call prospects sounds very intriguing to me. It is certainly a doable thing and it'll definitely be appreciated by our prospects. I think it would be a great idea.

Good post OP. +1 to you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey, I like your thinking about assigning alumni as mentors for our draft choices under contract. A more family (personal) approach may work well with young men, whether playing with their junior club or the Comets. That said, I believe, although I have no direct knowledge, the Canucks development system is better than some other teams in the NHL.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...