August 26 2016 01:00PM
Anne-Marie Sorvin: USA Today Sports
The Canucks have a series of difficult questions to face at the onset of training camp. Paramount among them is whether they can accommodate Jake Virtanen as a feature on their opening night lineup.
It's not even a matter of regression, or whether Virtanen has done anything to loosen his grip on a full-time job. By all accounts, Virtanen had one of the best second halves among all Canucks' forwards; a distinction worth making, but one that perhaps undersells his body of work last season as a whole, truthfully. He's apparently been putting in serious work this off-season, too.
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 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.
August 19 2016 03:00PM
The Canucks have had a pretty busy off-season. They've added a marquee forward in free agency, brought another back from Sweden and added a pair of blueliners by trade and draft that likely figure prominently in the Canucks' long-term vision.
All this is to say that there are going to be a lot of new faces around town next season. Frankly, they're mostly solid hockey additions, too. Like, that's kind of neat. So, I asked the Canucks Army staff, who among these newcomers are they the most intrigued by or encouraged to see?
August 19 2016 09:21AM
Dmitry Zhukenov checks in as the 10th ranked prospect in our consensus rankings.
Canucks fans really didn't know what to make of Dmitry Zhukenov when they heard his name called 114th Overall at the 2015 Draft. And you could hardly blame them. Even those among us with the most expansive knowledge of that draft class and the players involved were left grasping at straws looking for information on the newest Canuck.
A year has passed since though and Zhukenov's time with the Chicoutimi Sagueneens of the QMJHL (who selected Zhukenov 10th overall in the CHL Import Draft last off-season) has afforded prospect-savvy fans and the curious among us the opportunity to gain a better feel for the slight Russian centre. Similarly, playing in the QMJHL, as opposed to the MHL (where he played in his draft campaign), has granted us the ability to glean more from his qualitative resume, too.
More information is never a bad thing and gaining another year's worth hasn't done anything to lessen Zhukenov's status among the Canucks' pool of prospects. In fact, his position of 10th in our consensus rankings represents a sizable eight spot jump from last year's. Let's unpack what the undersized Russian has done to bolster his stock, on the other side of the jump.