Playing in Europe may be the best option for Bo Horvat this season

Josh W
September 25 2014 10:23AM


Hockey is in the air with training camps, prospect camps and exhibition games all well underway by now. With coaches starting to make cuts as rosters begin to resemble those we're used to seeing when the games matter, fans naturally start looking to their favourite prospects and ask, “is this the year he finally joins the big club?” In the case of the Canucks, the main subject of chatter in this regard is Bo Horvat.

Horvat seems to be in a somewhat precarious situation. Because of his age and the agreement between the NHL and CHL he is limited to two options for this coming season: either play in the NHL (which he may simply not be ready to do, at least not in an effective manner) or go back to the OHL (a level which most believe he has already gleaned everything he can from).

Realistically, neither option may be the right fit for him at this point. But what if there were a 3rd option? What if Horvat could do what Nicklas Jensen did, and leave his OHL team to go play overseas in Europe?

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Should the Canucks be in on the Kevin Hayes Sweepstakes?

Josh W
July 30 2014 01:37PM

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I wouldn’t normally dedicate an entire post on this platform to a prospect that has no real tangible connections to the Vancouver Canucks franchise, but there have been (substantiated) rumblings that former Chicago Blackhawks draft pick and NCAA star Kevin Hayes is going to become an unrestricted free agent after the August 15th deadline passes. 

Given how popular his name has been over the past month or so as the date approaches, and the fact that it's late-July and news is sparse around these parts these days, why not spend some time looking at the situation more closely?

To learn more about Kevin Hayes read on past the jump.

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Comets Militia: Previewing the 2015 RFA Class

Josh W
July 25 2014 11:05AM


With the team's management group having already accomplished the majority of their work in terms of securing contracts for the 2014-15 season, we can now start to take a(n admittedly premature) look ahead at the contracts that will be coming up for renewal next summer. 

Normal standard operating procedures in the NHL dictate that teams re-sign their prospects that have just completed their entry-level contract (ELC); after all, you'd hate to be that team gave up too early on late bloomer that goes on to blow up for another team after having invested years of development in him yourself.

With that being said, the Vancouver Canucks under Jim Benning have shown that they're not afraid to cut the cord after walking away from someone like Jordan Schroeder this summer, which must've put the pressure on the following 12 guys - who are all still technically considered "prospects" and are coming off of their ELCs - if they were paying attention. 

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Comets Militia: Down on the Farm

Josh W
July 15 2014 12:19PM

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In the past year or so my interests as it relates to hockey have shifted towards the analysis and of prospects specifically. With the Canucks acquiring their own farm team only a short drive from where I live I think I paid more attention to the Utica Comets this past season than most fans and probably a good chunk of Vancouver's pro management team, as well.

It's a funny business, really, because even the most minuscule of NHL moves can have major repercussions on the AHL affiliate. There was a point during last season when the Canucks drudged through an inordinate amount of injuries, having to make do with call-ups from Utica. The Comets were already a team that noticeably lacked top-end talent without these substitutions, so the end result was an interesting one to say the least.

This coming season is shaping up to be an even more interesting one (but for different, better reasons) in Utica, following the litany of moves the Canucks have made throughout this offseason.

Just past the jump we'll take a look at the prospective lineup for the Utica Comets in 2014-15, which could have a legitimately exciting influx of young talent should the parent club go with a more veteran-based approach with its own roster.

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Jacob Markstrom: The Odd Goalie Out

Josh W
July 11 2014 10:19AM

At the start of the offseason I think I was one of the few supporters of the notion of heading into the upcoming 2014-15 season of play with the combination of Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom manning the crease. What is there not to like? In them you have two young goaltenders, both with good track records of success in the AHL, that would cost pennies and allow the team to deal with bigger issues (like icing a true second line).

But alas, hockey management typically is much more risk-averse than us armchair general managers and Vancouver management did not feel secure with this combination, clearly. While I understand their line of thinking that doesn't mean that I agree with it. I don’t want to spend much time on the Miller acquisition because that has already been dealt with ad nauseam on this platform; rather, I want to take a deeper look at the younger of the two goaltenders, Jacob Markstrom, as we start looking ahead towards next season.

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