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[Poll] Will Gaunce make the team?


Horvats_Big_Head

Will Gaunce make the Canucks out of camp?  

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With the injury to Virt, my suspicion is that he starts in Utica for 10-20 games at least. If he dominates at the AHL level, I say leave Virt down to gain important development experience.

Sedin - Sedin - Eriksson (Standard 1st line)

Baertschi - Horvat - Rodin (Looks like such a sick line)

Burrows - Sutter - Hansen (Elite shutdown line)

Gaunce - Granlund - Dorsett (Sandpaper energy line)

Ruutu (I think he's shown enough to warrant a 1 way contract as the 13th forward)

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My heart says yes, my mind says no. 

 

I  argued that Gaunce should have made the team over Virtanen and McCann last season. I didn't think it was right to send a man who has paid his dues down another year so the hotshot Benning 1st rounders weren't corrupted playing JR hockey. 

 

If he doesn't make it this year I'll snap. 

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Personally, I'll be shocked if he doesn't make the team.  He improved noticeably last season and even more so, from what I've seen so far this preseason, especially his skating--he doesn't look like he's chasing the game anymore.  Noticed he did a lot of the little things that count, including a few good takeaways along the wall in the d-zone.

My guess: Virtanen to Utica (not a bad thing); Etem as the 13th forward.  While the vets on PTOs have been okay, I don't see any reason why they would supplant any of the young guys.

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I think he should make the team, I think he's got higher upside than either Etem or Granlund. He's definitely impressed me more than Etem, and while you can write it off given Etem's new kid and it being pre-season the game Gaunce has brought is the game he brings consistently. I think he could be a solid third liner in a couple years, maybe even a fringe second liner.

 

That being said while I'm hoping he makes it I don't think he will, if only because he can be sent down to Utica safely. Which sucks, because I think it's time we gave him a shot.

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13 hours ago, stonecoldstevebernier said:

Just looking at the forwards:

 

Sedin-Sedin-Eriksson
Baertschi-Horvat-Rodin
Burrows-Sutter-Hansen
?-Granlund-Dorsett
Etem/Virtanen/Gaunce/Ruutu/Skille/Labate/Zalewski

I think there is one spot open on the 4th line, and then the 13th forward spot. Granlund hasn't shown a lot so far but JB would be flamed if he tossed away Shinkaruk for nothing since that's already viewed as a poor trade, and he knows it, so I think he's a lock. Etem and Virtanen probably have the inside track but they are the most vulnerable of the forwards to lose a spot. Virtanen is in the same boat as Gaunce (doesn't require waivers), so its definitely possible he could be sent down to start the year and get some seasoning in Utica. Gaunce also has the advantage of playing either centre or wing. If that's the route the team wants to go with, I think Gaunce is the current frontrunner for Virtanen's spot. But its not a lock yet by any means since the other four I listed (Ruutu, Skille, Labate, and Zalewski) are all still contenders. You could maybe throw Rendulic in there too but I see him as a longer shot.

The real interesting part is if Etem can keep his spot. If not, that opens up an opportunity for two of the bubble forwards.

 

Gaunce is very close to being there. He's been as good as you could have hoped so far. It would be a disappointment for sure if he didn't make the opening night roster. 

 

As for Granlund, I think he's been doing well and creating chances here and there. I've tried to look at him closely and I'm pretty happy with his game so far.

 

Labate also looks intriguing. Probably not enough to keep him around for now, but will definitely get some games at some point this year.

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