August 27 2012 11:08AM
Jordan Schroeder has been closely scruntized from the day he arrived at the University of Minnesota, and from day one, he’s consistently impressed. A player who can do it all, only his size has ever been a concern. Nonetheless, after a solid second professional season, Schroeder seems poised to make the next step.
With the departure of Cody Hodgson and Ryan Kesler's hip injury likely to keep him out of the lineup until early 2013, Schroeder's chance to step up has never looked better. The young Minnesotan has consistently drawn praise for his work ethic and attitude, and each season has proven to be more polished than the season before. He's made the transition from college to pro hockey, but the step from the AHL to the NHL is the toughest step out there. Schroeder looks likely to get a long look this season, whenever that might be.
August 27 2012 10:28AM
Some good news on a Monday morning...
Eddie Läck, everybody's favourite Swedish depth goaltender, was rumoured to be on the way out of North America next season despite an overwhelming deficit of evidence to support the claim.
Today, the Province Twitter account alerted us that the Vancouver Canucks organization has re-signed Läck:
— Province Sports (@provincesports) August 27, 2012
#Canucks have re-signed goaltender Eddie Lack. The AHL Wolves goalie was originally signed by Vancouver as a free agent on April 6, 2010.
August 26 2012 10:53AM
Byron Bitz was signed in the summer of 2011 to supply the Canucks with size and toughness. He missed the entire 2010-11 season dealing with hip and groin issues, and the problem lingered on throughout training camp and into the beginning of the 2011-12 regular season.
He finally made his debut with in February of 2012. Bitz went on to record four points in 10 games with the Canucks, including three over a two game stretch in early February. For that brief period, head coach Alain Vigneault played a hunch by sticking Bitz on the top line with Daniel and Henrik.
Bitz rewarded his coach with a breakout performance against the Predators on February 7th. Although his time on the first line was short lived, Bitz provided some excitement in a largely disappointing season for the Canucks (it sure feels strange writing that about a first place* club).
August 24 2012 10:16AM
Vancouver's hockey fans are very familiar with Kevin Connauton. After his outrageously productive year year playing WHL hockey for the Giants - when Connauton's "home ice" was located at the Pacific Colliseum he scored 24 goals from the blueline - fans know all about his offensive abilities. Since then, he’s spent two years in the AHL honing his defensive game, and by all accounts he took a major step forward in that area of his game last season.
August 23 2012 12:48PM
When he first arrived at the Penticton Young Stars tournament in September of 2011, no one knew anything about 5th round draft pick Frankie "don't call me Frank" Corrado. That changed rapidly as the Woodbridge born two-way defenseman put in a series of impressive performances at the Prospects Tournament. The rave reviews Corrado earned crescendoed with an absurdly competent showing in a pre-season game against the opening day roster of the Edmonton Oilers, in which Corrado was second on the club in ice-time and helped "shutdown" the likes of Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle.
Shortly after that impressive outing in the pre-season, Corrado was sent back to the Sudbury Wolves of the OHL but not before the Canucks inked him to an entry-level deal. Back in Sudbury, Corrado was named an "assistant captain" and put in a quietly remarkable season, transforming himself into one of the single most dominant defensive players in the Ontario Hockey League.
Canucks fans, and those in the "industry" may not have known much about Frank Corrado in September of 2011, but they know about him now. And many expect big things from the feisty, quick-footed defenseman.