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I saw all the elements of Juolevi's game last night despite playing minimal minutes; his calm demeanor on the ice, poise with the puck, and excellent ability to find passing lanes to connect with forwards moving up ice.  All the elements that I had been so excited for when we had first drafted him.  I won't lie I had wanted him over Tkachuk at the time and was starting to lose hope that he would show any promise, but after last night I saw a very bright future for Juolevi as he played such a quiet but steady game.

 

The hope and excitement around  Olli has reignited in me.  I still think he can be an important piece for this team.  Needs more game action and reps to be more comfortable.

 

 

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Hughes didn't have much trouble coming out of the NCAA and come to think of it neither did Stecher or Tanev. Raffery seems to be OK and I'd think Rathbone will make a quick transition. The NCAA does not have any 16 year old (CHA ) in it to run up your stats on.

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1 game down that was considered an exhibition game, but the reality of that game against the Jets, was that it looked a lot like a mid-season game with a complete rosters, true physicality, and full efforts. OJ did not look out of place whatsoever, in fact he made some very astute plays, and his outlet passes led to a couple of decent shots on goals. He might be the best outlet passer on the team, which is exactly what this team needs in aiding their transitions. At 6'3" and 215 lbs, and skates well he could eventually replace Edler as their second LD. Let's hope he secures that third line LD for the playoffs, and watch this young man grow and gain confidence in this years playoffs. Which will hopefully result in him coming into next year and establishing himself as finally arriving. This is the type of story that "Canuck Nation" can truly get behind; never give up, and to have faith in our GM.

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It was at a point with the setbacks that it was hard to count on him becoming a player. I think this was a huge step. Agree completely with the above^ that this was more than just your ordinary pre-season game.

 

Now he was the 7th D, didn't play alot. But all the things he does well were evident in that game. Mentally, he doesn't have any issue with the NHL level game speed.

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In the 1st period last night, he made 2 great plays that really caught my eye. First he noticed his D partner was in trouble, he quickly found separation called for the puck. 2nd great play was immediately after the 1st, he took the puck and with zero hesitation fired the puck up the ice and made a bullet tape to tape pass too the other side of centre. At first I thought he was panicking and dumping it down the ice. Instead it was a very poised heads up play that led to an excellent scoring chance. 
 

I wish he could have had a few more shifts, but being the only tuning up game..... The rest of the D needed lots of game time too. 
 

re-cap...

 

1st great play- creating time and space immediately to bail out D partner.

 

2nd great play- quick pass that was tape to tape and led to scoring opportunity. 
 

Little things that are signs of excellent hockey sense.. And a bright future. 

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He shown us why he was a highly rated prospect at the time of his draft. Injuries really derailed his development. People complain about this pick at #5 and all that, but I know for a fact that even if the Canucks didn't draft him at #5, there is no way he would've fallen out of the top 10 of the draft at the time.

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2 hours ago, GoCanucks16 said:

It is fine to disagree. We're not fighting. :)

 

I think there's more to it than experience, and I also think you're underrating the NCAA game. It's a high-quality league with good competition and is particularly geared toward player development. Jack's 61 college games isn't far off of Olli's 63 AHL games + Liiga experience, especially when you consider how much training OJ has lost to injuries.

 

I think there's lots of measurable things to look at in determining who's more ready to jump into the show. Rathbone's skating is actually phenomenal, and that's the biggest thing that puts him ahead imo. Skating is a huge part of the game for defenders today, and Rathbone's ability in the area should allow him to transition to the NHL game much more easily than Juolevi. He has a great transitional game, and while OJ doesn't slack with his outlet pass, Rathbone can carry the puck out the zone in ways Juolevi can't. Rathbone also has a good first pass and sends teammates on breakaways/breakouts on the reg.

 

Both have good hockey IQs, but Rathbone has a better skill set to use it with.

 

I've seen quite a bit of tape of Rathbone--never watched a full game of his to my recollection, but I've seen enough to know he's the real deal.

Not fighting at all, only a hockey discussion. I apologize if I came off rude or abrupt. I have dyslexia, so I sometimes find expressing my ideas or opinions through writing difficult, and have been told I sometimes come off as confrontational due to me trying to properly develop my ideas through words without sounding like a dumb dumb. I have been on CDC longer then most members here, and one of the primary reasons I spend so much time here is it gives me a chance to work on my writing vocabulary outside of social media (which I don't like at all)

 

I'm asking these questions because I don't really know a ton about Rathbones game. I know he is a very exciting prospect for us and I have high hopes that he could be a future piece for us moving forward. The skating point is very fair. If that's one of Rathbones biggest strengths then that is an advantage in the NHL. I feel many young players regardless of skill set have issues with the transition due to the speed the NHL is played at.

 

I don't think I'm underestimating the college leagues. I know recently many players have had success making the jump to the NHL. I just feel on the case of Olli vs Jack, I believe Juolevi's experience in his men's leagues is a far better benchmark to wether or not a players game till transition cleanly to the NHL. I would argue that the AHL is one of the top leagues in the world, only behind the NHL, and KHL. Olli looked good in his time in the AHL before the injury. But that injury could have really messed up his development. I was very happy to see him looking as solid as he did last night.

 

It will be very interesting to see if either player will be able to make the transition to the NHL next year. I believe Stretcher will walk in the offseason, so there will likely be a 6/7 spot available out of training camp. 

Edited by shayster007
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50 minutes ago, Smashian Kassian said:

It was at a point with the setbacks that it was hard to count on him becoming a player. I think this was a huge step. Agree completely with the above^ that this was more than just your ordinary pre-season game.

 

Now he was the 7th D, didn't play alot. But all the things he does well were evident in that game. Mentally, he doesn't have any issue with the NHL level game speed.

 

what came across to me is OJ didn't look out of place. He still needs a little work on his quickness, but thats going to come with a few more months of skating training. Nothing insurmountable there at all. 

 

I'm getting excited for the day our d has the option for Huges or Rathbone to carry the puck out, or Juolevi stretch pass. If Rathbone and Juolevi can make the jump next year and get a full season in, in two seasons from now this team is going to be really fun to watch. 

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8 minutes ago, MrCanuck94 said:

The thing that impressed me about Olli last night was his board play. He's strong on the boards and is confident enough to know when to pinch to cut a play off, especially at the neutral zone red line. Very impressive.

 

Those stretch passes are just a thing of beauty.

 

As long as he stays healthy this kid will be just fine.

 

It wasn't anything to write home about but one play I liked was in the first period the Jets threw the puck across to no one, he had already put himself in a position to pinch up so he was right there. Took the puck up ice into the WPG zone alone, and rather than just a soft dump in for a change - like alot of guys would've done - he got a shot off high enough that Hellebuyck had to catch & freeze it. Creating an O-zone draw out of nothing really. 

 

Such a small thing but in the playoffs that can be a big thing rather than giving the team a chance to come up ice. I remember 2011 R1 we had a shift against Chicago where we had them hemmed in for like 2 mins, and at the end Sharp skated it out and got a nothing off from far that Lu covered. Which was big considering how they had just been scrambling around. And this Juolevi play reminded me of that. 

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I'm leaning in favour of Rathbone in this debate. Yes, Juolevi played in a higher calibre league the last couple of years but that is only  one consideration.
I'm more impressed by Rathbone's basic toolkit. We're talking opinion and not evidence but it just looks more impressive and NHL proficient to me. Both are high IQ players but Rathbone is much the better skater, plays quicker, has a much better shot. He also has personality inclinations that lead him to play with more edge and physicality. Bye-the-way, Rathbone also makes a great stretch pass just like Juolevi.
 
Juolevi, while playing in a higher level league, was however quite pedestrian, injury related or not and demonstrated some deficiencies. Rathbone, coming right out of high school hockey was above average in his first year and an all-star in his second year. His development trajectory and acceleration has been superb. His game just looks suited to translate well to the NHL- one of those players whose talent is enhanced when playing a faster game with more talented other players. Again, speculation!
 
Another thing I sense about him that could work to his advantage is the intra-game passion and fire in the belly  that seems to flare-up in him in response to game situations. Pettersson and Hughes have that too.
All of this is not to say that Rathbone is a lock to make the team next season. He may still have some things to learn and require some seasoning. We'll see!
And this is not to downgrade Juolevi. Hopefully both these guys become big contributors to team success.
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1 hour ago, John_Guest said:

I was just listening to Brian Burke discuss Juolevi on Sportsnet:

https://www.sportsnet.ca/650/sportsnets-starting-lineup/brian-burke-juolevi-wouldnt-surprised-became-star/

He was saying the year Calgary drafted Tkachuk they had him rated side by side with Juolevi. He said Juolevi was fantastic as a junior. He played like a 24 year old. Burke was impressed by Juolevi's play last night and said it wouldn't surprise him if Juolevi becomes an all-star.

But but the CDC scouts had Juolevi ranked mid-late 1st, what does Burke know?

 

Maybe OJ will be our 4th consecutive Calder nominee ::D

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Soon we won't be spending much time in the D-zone. That was how the team was constructed in 2011 with Ehrhoff, Hamhuis, Edler, Bieksa, Salo and Ballard. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by playboi19
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Praise to Travis Green once again for walking the fine line between playing the kids and playing the experienced veterans.

 

I was happy to see that physically Juolevi belongs in the NHL. His size helped. He did not shy away from physical contact. He seemed poised and calm. Knowing his own physical limitations he did not try to do too much to show off his skills. His stretch passes were noticeable. I hope we can lock him up to a long term contract at bargain cap value.

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