April 26 2016 09:00AM
The 2016 IIHF U18 World Hockey Championships came to a conclusion Sunday, with Jesse Puljujarvi recording a hat-trick to put a bow on Finlands 6-1 victory over Sweden for the gold medal.
That was enough to cement Puljujarvi's status as a top prospect in the minds of NHL teams and scouts alike heading into the draft this June. And while he stole the spotlight with his final game showing, there were terrific performances abound from this tournament - including players much lower on the ranking totem pole.
Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning has said in the past that he places a large amount of emphasis on international tournaments when making draft selections. Dmitry Zhukenov, Lukas Jasek and Guillaume Brisebois - all mid-round picks from last year's draft - had varying amounts of success at the 2015 U18 tournament in Switzerland, but clearly enough to catch Benning's eye.
April 25 2016 07:00PM
It's a good time of year to be a hockey fan. NHL playoffs and the U18 World Hockey Championships? Yes, please. Oh, and the draft lottery this Friday. That's especially important for us Canucks fans.
But back to the non-Canucks hockey. How excited is everyone for a Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Washington Capitals match in the second-round? Or game seven between the Chicago Blackhawks and St Louis Blues? Maybe hockey would be better without the Canucks all the time. There are days...
April 25 2016 04:35PM
If this is the end for Alex Burrows in Vancouver, it was a hell of a run. The man who many refer to as "Ball Hockey Gretzky" has brought the Canucks some of their best moments of the Salary Cap Era while creating one of the better come-up stories around in the process. This year, however, you could see the wheels slowly but surely coming off of what has been a stellar career, which may lead to his time in the rebuilding organization coming to a close. Let's take a look at the year that was:
April 25 2016 01:00PM
Last week, the Vancouver Canucks signed top goaltending prospect Thatcher Demko to an Entry Level NHL Contract. Given all the angst from fans following Demko’s announcement that he’d be taking a few weeks to make a decision, I’m sure that most Canuck fans would have zero issues with the organization throwing buckets of money at the San Diego born netminder.
One of the common criticisms about the current management group is their perceived tendency to overpay players. The good news is that it’s extraordinarily difficult to overpay players on Entry Level deals, as there are strict limitations on how much a player can make when they sign their first Standard Player Contract.
One way a young player can vastly increase their compensation is through performance bonuses, and Demko’s potential bonuses are mighty high. So how do these bonuses work, and could they ever cause salary cap problems for the Canucks?
April 25 2016 11:00AM
The Vancouver Canucks management team have had as good a couple of weeks as anyone could reasonably ask for. They started by locking Troy Stecher up to an entry-level contract in NCAA Free Agency and followed that up with team property, Thatcher Demko.
Though they've plucked the low lying fruit to great success, there's no reason they can't climb to the top of the orchard for another coveted piece. One such player is North Dakota's Drake Caggiula - teammate of Canucks prospects Stetcher and Brock Boeser. The 21-year-old winger, who just finished his senior season, is highly coveted in the NHL, following a prodigious campaign with 51 points in 39 games en route to the NCAA title.
TSN's Frank Seravalli reported last week that the Canucks are very much in the hunt. The problem being that Buffalo, Philadelphia, Chicago, Edmonton and Ottawa are too. Caggiula is playing the role of rock star, touring these towns before coming to a decision - the left handed winger was spotted at the Flyers and Capitals game last week.