June 25 2016 06:14PM
BUFFALO, NY – By his own admission, Willie Desjardins didn’t have much to do during draft weekend.
The head coach of the Vancouver
Canucks spent much of Saturday’s second day of the proceedings in the team’s
suite, high above the draft floor at the First Niagara Center. Really, there isn’t
much for a head coach to contribute to the scouting side of things during draft
weekend and the only reason for being on site is to offer input into trades
that directly affect the roster he deals with.
Despite the speculation leadiing into the draft, the Canucks were quiet on the trade front and added just six prospects to their stable. But it wasn’t a lost weekend for Desjardins. Not by a long shot.
June 25 2016 01:11PM
BUFFALO, NY – It certainly appears as if the Dan Hamhuis era is over in Vancouver.
Canucks President of Hockey Operations Trevor Linden all but confirmed that news Saturday at the completion of the second day of National Hockey League draft. Despite repeated suggestions from the hockey club over the past few months that there may be a way to resign Hamhuis, the Canucks have now informed the 33-year-old defenseman to be ready to hit the open market after six successful seasons in his home province.
June 24 2016 10:37PM
Photo Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig / USA TODAY Sports
BUFFALO, NY – Jim Benning exercised great caution when he invoked the name Niklas Lidstrom while describing what made Olli Juolevi so attractive the Vancouver Canucks felt they had no choice but to nab the Finnish defensman with the fifth overall selection in Friday’s National Hockey League draft.
In no way was the team’s general manager making a direct comparison between the London Knights blueliner and the Detroit Red Wings legend, but Benning was trying to convey just how much he liked the 18-year-old’s all-around game and his ability to have an impact at both ends of the ice.
“He’s good in his own end, he reads the play well and has good defensive awareness,” Benning said of Juolevi’s many strengths. “And when he gets the puck on his stick, he has his head up and he can move the puck up ice, he can skate the puck up ice, he’s good on the power play, he can walk the line on the power play, he gets his shot through and on the net and of all the defensemen we liked his all-around game the best.”
June 24 2016 07:38PM
Photo Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports
BUFFALO, NY – Olli Juolevi has done a lot of winning in 2016.
He was part of Finland’s World Junior team that struck gold on home ice in January. He was part of a London Knights team that won the Ontario Hockey League title and then claimed the Memorial Cup a month ago. On Friday night, he experienced another victory of sorts, as the top defenseman selected in the National Hockey League entry draft when he was nabbed fifth overall by the Vancouver Canucks.
The Canucks opted for the 18-year-old from Helsinki after their initial target coming into the draft Pierre Luc Dubois of Cape Breton was taken third overall by Columbus. When Jesse Pulujarvi fell to Edmonton with the fourth pick, the Canucks were left to decide between Juolevi and his London teammate Matthew Tkachuk.
The Canucks opted for the blueliner.
June 24 2016 09:05AM
Photo Credit: Brad Rempel / USA TODAY Sports
BUFFALO, NY – Does Dave Cameron have the inside track to join the Vancouver Canucks as an assistant coach?
The career coach is out of work after being fired by the Ottawa Senators in April. He has a wealth of experience as both a head coach and an assistant in the National Hockey League. And, perhaps most importantly, he has served as Willie Desjardins’ right hand man once before.