September 19 2016 08:54PM
The Canucks closed out the 2016 Young Stars Classic in a spirited affair against their Western Canadian rivals, the Calgary Flames. Calgary had been the team to beat this weekend, featuring the most well-rounded roster of the tournament.
The Flames came on strong, and Vancouver struggled against their attack for most of the game. Luckily, a few timely goals from Michael Carcone, Jordan Subban, and Yan-Pavel LaPlante, as well as the inspired play of goaltenders Thatcher Demko and Michael Garteig was enough to push the game to extra time.
Karma caught up with them eventually, however, when Ashton Sautner blew a tire at Calgary's blue line. Ryan Lomberg was left all alone on the breakaway and he made no mistake, sealing the game 4-3 in overtime.
August 29 2016 09:00AM
There's so much I could say about Anton Rodin. I'm almost having a hard time figuring where to start. His development path has been an atypical one, to say the least. So much so, in fact, that it's debatable whether or not he even qualifies as a "prospect".
He'll turn 26 midway through the 2015-16 season, and should theoretically be in the prime of his career. He's still eligible for the Calder trophy, and he's still an unknown commodity, however, which made him a prime candidate for the top-end of our prospect rankings.
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 17 2016 09:00AM
The Vancouver Canucks seem to have an affinity for drafting defencemen in the fifth round, and for a franchise known for selecting their fair share of duds at the draft table, they've had more luck than you'd think. Kevin Bieksa, Ben Hutton, and Frank Corrado are all former fifth-round selections made by the Canucks that have played in the NHL, and Carl Neill, another fifth-round selection, was our 16th prospect in this year's consensus ranking.
The selection of Cole Candella at 140th overall continues that trend, and there's reason to believe he could be another member of what's become a long line of respectable d-men drafted in the fifth round by the Canucks. In what was otherwise a pretty forgettable 2016 draft, (Olli Juolevi notwithstanding,) he was easily the Canucks' best value pick of the draft, helping him land in the #12 spot in this year's consensus ranking.
August 11 2016 09:00AM
When it comes to junior hockey, I don't believe in late bloomers. By and large, players are either good or bad, and it's the circumstances around them that change. For Carl Neill, unpacking the nature of those circumstances will say a lot about who he is as a player.
Since his breakout season in 2014-15, Neill has scored at a pace of 0.7 points per game -- no small feat for a defender. The caveat is that he's done so at an advanced age relative to his peers, while playing alongside Jeremy Roy, one of the Q's best defencemen. There are a number of reasons for optimism, however, which is why Neill's ranked 16 on our consensus ranking.