January 10 2017 12:24PM
As expected, the Canucks have recalled defenceman Andrey Pedan from the Utica Comets. The move comes on the heels of a pair of injuries to Canucks defencemen, as both Chris Tanev and Ben Hutton missed the last game in Calgary.
This is Pedan's third recall already this season, and he has yet to play a game. Will he see action this time around? I wouldn't hold my breath.
Andrey Pedan is headed to Nashville on one days rest following a three-games-in-three-nights weekend with the Comets. I thought it a little strange at first that the Lithuanian-born rearguard was playing in each game with the possibility of being needed in Vancouver within a day or two, but as it turns out, by the time they were into their third game of the triple header, the Comets were down to six healthy defencemen, with Jordan Subban, Tom Nilsson and John Negrin out with injuries.
Even after an exhausting weekend, I'm certain that Pedan would have any trepidation about stepping into the lineup tonight, still waiting for his first game of the season. That doesn't appear that it will be the case though, as Chris Tanev is expected to return, making Pedan the seventh defenceman yet again.
Tanev will play vs. Predators. "He's a key guy for us and rounds out our defence core," said coach Desjardins.— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) January 10, 2017
Barring some sudden change of plans after warm up a la Hutton's late scratch on Saturday night, Pedan will be eating popcorn in the press box instead of playing. That's highly unfortunate, as I happen to think pretty highly of Pedan and would prefer if the Canucks were give him a look. They aren't going to know what they have in the 6-foot-6 defensive stalwart unless they put him in some games. And for God's sake, do it as a defenceman, not a forward.
As a CBA side note, the Pedan recall, without any corresponding roster moves, clearly indicates that Ben Hutton has been put on Injured Reserve, meaning the Canucks expect him to miss at least the next few games.
I don't even feel like I really need to describe Pedan's season so far, as not much has changed since the last time I wrote one of these articles. One thing that has changed is that he's had a little more stability in terms of partners, frequently seeing time with Colby Robak (with whom he also is paired with on the penalty kill).
Robak and Pedan have the two highest 5-on-5 Goals-For percentages on the team, at 54.6 and 53.6 percent respectively. That's incredible considering the Comets have a Goals-For percentage of 42.6 percent as a team, which is 27th in the league. Pedan's relative-GF% in a whopping 15.5 percent, easily the best on the team and 14th best in the AHL among defenders with at least 20 games played.
Despite his lack of offence in Utica (he has just two goals and one assist in 22 games, but let's face it, no one is scoring on that team, and Pedan doesn't get a lick of power play time), he's been one of the few bright spots on the Comets this season. His on-ice success (defensively at least) in conjunction with a tantalizing skill set (he's a former hardest shot and fastest skater winner at a Canucks superskills competition) make him one of the most intriguing young options that the Canucks have at their disposal. Their reluctance to play him to this points, even over someone like Alex Biega, is disappointing.
There's still a possibility that Pedan could get into a game soon, as it's likely that Chris Tanev is soldiering through an injury. It's just unfortunate that it takes good players going down to get one of your better prospects a shot in the lineup.