August 25 2016 09:00AM
Brendan Gaunce checks in at sixth in our prospect rankings. The former centre turned winger has parlayed his success at a new position into one of his highest rankings yet.
Gaunce, 22, just had his single most productive season in the AHL, reaching new heights offensively. Though Gaunce tallied a respectable 29 points in 74 games as a rookie, that production pales in comparison to last year's 38 points in 46 games -- especially when one considers the difficult circumstances, including a revolving door of linemates and intermittent trips to the NHL.
Those 46 points were good for third on the Comets, tied with Alexandre Grenier and Carter Bancks. If Gaunce were to play more games with the Comets, it's entirely likely that he leads the team in scoring last season. Perhaps more impressive though is Gaunce's gaudy 60% Goals For rate with the Comets; that mark would be impressive at any level.
August 25 2016 09:00AM
Well, by the sounds of it the Vancouver Canucks missed out on Jiri Hudler. The Dallas Stars were able to lock down the Czech utility forward, agreeing to terms on a one-year pact valued at $2-million.
That's one less middle-six scorer on the open market. I've heard the Canucks are looking for one such player right now, too. So, I guess it's back to the drawing board. There are a couple of free agents left, but it's going to require some high-end creativity to find the type of player they feel their lineup needs.
So, do you have any suggestions? What should the Canucks do to put the finishing touches on their lineup? Trade suggestions, free agency... hell, standing pat even. What's your suggestion?
August 24 2016 09:00AM
Coming in at seventh in our consensus rankings is Jordan Subban. The 2013 fourth rounder made his professional hockey debut in the AHL this past season.
Subban had an illustrious OHL career where he registered 165 points in 253 games, including being a nearly point-per-game defender for the last three seasons he played in Belleville. He also brings a much-needed offensive punch to the Canucks' prospect pool. He possesses great puck-moving and playmaking abilities combined with an excellent shot that he is not afraid to fire off. His offensive upside is massive, and something that is very valuable to the organization moving forward.
August 23 2016 09:31AM
At times, fans and media alike are guilty of undervaluing NHL-readiness when it comes to prospects. When a player has spent a number of years on the cusp of making the jump to the NHL, it's easy to forget how difficult it is just to get that far. Regardless of how much offensive upside some of the other prospects in the Canucks' system may have, the 13 games Andrey Pedan played at the NHL level last season are quite likely 13 more than some of the players we've already listed will ever play.
Pedan's status as a hard-nosed defensive defenceman isn't likely to endear him to the spreadsheet and pocket-protector crowd, but the fact remains that these types of players are still useful, and remain highly sought after in the modern NHL. More importantly, the emphasis on numbers-based evaluation has on occasion led many of us in the blogosphere to underestimate young players that have made their name playing an old-school brand of hockey. When we have only 13 games of action to go on, many of which were played out of position, it's prudent to remember that Pedan's reputation as a rough-and-tumble stay-at-home defenceman does not preclude him from being a good NHL player in the near future.
August 22 2016 11:00AM
Well, the Olympics are over. That was a fun couple of weeks. I'd be lying if I said I paid any serious amount of attention, but it sounds like the Canadians did fairly well for themselves too which is neat. Oh, Canada, and so on.
In terms of hockey news, Jimmy Vesey picked a team. He signed with, of all teams, the New York Rangers. Interesting pick on Vesey's part. Not sure what he sees in that particular team, but power to him, I suppose. I mean, their forward depth is great, and I love much of what they've done this off-season. That blue line though.
The Canucks? Well, they had another quiet week. Oh well. Somehow you still have questions. You know the drill.