August 08 2012 11:07AM
Colgate Raiders defenseman Jeremy Price has managed to fly under the radar in Vancouver, which is pretty impressive considering how much media attention anything or anyone related to the Canucks typically generates.
The 21-year-old defenseman (and 2009 4th round selection of the Canucks) has spent the last three seasons at Colgate University, and is returning this fall for his senior season. During his time with the Raiders, Price has recorded 56 points in 113 games.
He was profiled on Canucks Army back in January of this year. Price is far from a goal scorer, but he skates well and moves the puck effectively, something reflected in his assist totals (especially over the past two seasons).
Price has established himself as a prospect with NHL upside. Will he continue to blossom into a solid two-way defenseman in his final year of college hockey? How far away is he from seeing NHL action? Read past the jump to find out.
August 08 2012 09:43AM
Early Tuesday morning, Kevin Woodley of InGoal magazine tweeted out a link to this article from French sports media site L'Equipe.
The article in question quoted ex-Chicago Blackhawk and Rollie Melansons pupil Cristobal Huet as saying he's been in contact with the Canucks (as well as the Los Angeles Kings) regarding an NHL job this summer. If my French isn't too rusty the exact quote is "je fais partie de la liste" (pretty straight forward translation: "I'm on their list") would suggest a level of consideration beyond the two sides simply keeping in touch.
Even before Huet's comments were contradicted by his agent, it was clear that these comments needed to be taken with a whole bag of salt. After all, Huet is tooting his own horn here and it's not like he's a disinterested party.
Put another way, I'm not going to read very much into the possibility that Huet could return to the NHL until the "veteran backup whisperer" (AKA the Province's Ben Kuzma) writes that the Canucks should consider Huet as a backup. Kuzma, you may remember wrote something similar to that about Al Montoya the day before Montoya signed with the Jets (and you wonder why prospective NHL backups e-mail the Kuz lobbying for a job). But there's nothing else to write about this week, so let's look into whether Huet makes any sense as Schneider's backup next season. Spoiler alert: not really.
More after the jump.
August 07 2012 06:30PM
So, after a couple of weeks away, I see I haven't missed much in Canuckistan. It appears that Mike Gillis' offseason activities have basically amounted to Sweet F.A. And by that, I don't mean signing Jason Garrison.
That being said, I've been preaching patience for weeks now, and the way CBA talks are going, I'm not sure Gillis has any reason to make any rash moves, other than to give me something new to doodle about. C'mon, Mike, it wouldn't hurt to throow me a Doan, every once in awhile. Er, I meant bone.
But since we're on the topic of Shane Doan...
August 07 2012 12:14PM
Darren Archibald has always been a "late bloomer." While he had significant success in his Major Junior career, that career didn't even begin until he was 18. The young power-forward went undrafted several times, and was only signed by the Canucks as a 20 year old after his NHL draft eligibility had expired.
Until this past summer, undrafted free agents were a staple of Mike Gillis' tenure as Canucks General Manager. Prominent examples include Chris Tanev and Eddie Lack, as Mike Gillis aggressively pursued "late bloomers" of Archibald's ilk in an effort to jump-start a rebuild of the Canucks farm system and offset the loss of the mid-round picks that Gillis routinely moves at the trade deadline.
After several shining successes with undrafted free agents, Mike Gillis' luck ran out somewhat this past season. In 2011 he signed two more long-shots in Sebastian Erixon (who was unhappy in Chicago, was traded, and will return to Sweden for next season) and Darren Archibald, who spent nearly all of last season in the ECHL.
Generally speaking, spending a year in the ECHL is a bad sign. The league doesn't even have an NHLE number since, Alex Burrows aside, so few players ever actually make the transition. To get signed to a professional contract by an NHL club in the first place, Darren Archibald had to overcome long odds. Can he do it again and make the show? Click past the jump for more.
August 06 2012 03:39PM
When it comes to goaltending, the Vancouver Canucks are exceedingly deep. Even after the organization trades Roberto Luongo (as everyone assumes they'll eventually do), the Canucks will still be stacked between the pipes with the likes of Cory Schneider on the roster, and Eddie Lack and Joe Cannata waiting in the wings.
During Mike Gillis's tenure as General Manager, he's employed a particular draft strategy regarding netminders. At every draft since Mike Gillis became GM (until this most recent one in Pittsburgh), the club has selected a goaltender. While that drafting strategy has been one factor shaping the club's organizational depth in goal, there's more going on here. Consider that presumptive starter Cory Schneider is a hold-over from the Burke/Nonis era, while the organization's top-goaltending prospect (Eddie Läck) was initially acquired as an unsigned free-agent. Gillis draftee Joe Cannata has a promising future, but the likes of Morgan Clark and Jonathan Iilahti went unsigned by the club, re-entered the draft, and are no longer considered "prospects."
While the record is mixed, whether Gillis' approach to drafting goaltenders is seen as a success or a failure in the coming years may hinge on the future development of David Honzik.
Read past the jump.