Jim Vandermeer Clears Waivers, Jordan Schroeder Finally gets a Shot

Photo Credit: Dale MacMillan/Getty Images

According to Canucks.nhl.com, who would know, the Canucks have recalled Jordan Schroeder from the Chicago Wolves, and I’d expect (though nothing is official yet) that the 2009 first round pick will make his long-awaited NHL debut against Calgary on Wednesday night. The team also re-assigned Jim Vandermeer to Chicago following his clearing waivers earlier Tuesday morning.

These moves don’t come as much of a surprise. Many felt that Jordan Schroeder should’ve made the team out of "training camp," and he only narrowly missed the cut. The Canucks tellingly kept Schroeder in Vancouver about twelve hours longer than they kept Schroeder’s Wolves teammates, and the diminutive offensive centerman didn’t dress in the Wolves most recent game on Saturday night against the Houston Aeros.

Combine all of that with the fact that Andrew Ebbett has been, well, not a second line center by any definition in Vancouver’s first two games this season, and a Schroeder call up was all but inevitable.

Read on past the jump.

If we look over the transcript of Cam Cole’s explosive interview with Mike Gillis from Monday afternoon, we can find this tidbit that hints at what role we can expect Jordan Schroeder to fill with the team:

I think you’re going to see (2009 first-rounder Jordan) Schroeder in our lineup, a highly skilled player who will help our power play.

The second unit power-play had some nice moments in Vancouver’s Sunday shootout loss to the Edmonton Oilers, but failed to capitalize. With guys like Alex Burrows and Chris Higgins – useful forwards who have never been particularly productive on the man-advantage – on the second unit, the blast of speed and skill that Schroeder can bring to the table should be a welcome relief.

It’s also possible that Schroeder’s presence, depending on how Alain Vigneault decides to use the rookie, could help the Canucks fatten up their forward lineup and avoid some of the matchup issues they’ve dealt with in Kesler’s absence over the past couple of games. If the Canucks were to, say, skate Kassian with the twins, Burrows and Raymond with Schroeder and keep their "perfect" third line intact – that would give the club a reasonable facsimilie of a top-9 forward group.

Of course that assumes that Schroeder can hack it at the NHL level. He hasn’t been the most productive AHL forward during his professional career thus far, though his team’s haven’t exactly been productive offensively over the past couple of seasons either. Anyway, considering that Ebbett has recieved fourth-liner ice-time in Vancouver’s two games so far this season, there’s really no risk in finding out.

  • BrudnySeaby

    Finally! What I don’t understand though is why they didn’t call him up yesterday, the minute they send down Vandermeer. That way, he could have flown out here yesterday and he would have been able to practice with the team already today. Unless he never left town!?

  • He left town for sure. Now take this with a grain of salt because I’m not precisely sure how waivers work under the new CBA yet (a full copy hasn’t leaked yet). But presuming that waiver rules haven’t changed much (aside from the lack of re-entry waivers) the team needed to wait for Vandermeer to clear, so he could be re-assigned, before adding Schroeder to the 23 man roster.

  • khlhfs

    Schroeder is a draft bust and it’s time for Canucks fans to face it. At 22 his best AHL season has him in the mid 40 point range and frankly, that’s just not good enough. You can cut all of the excuses you want for him (he plays for a defensive team) but the bottom line is that good players find a way to produce. Basically, he’s too small to play a bottom six role and not offensively talented enough to play a top six one. Time to move on.

    • DCR

      Am I the only one to think that at 22 and never having played a single NHL game he’s still in prospect mode?

      He might be a bust, he might be a brilliant success: we don’t know, and we can’t know until he’s actually played at the NHL level. Let’s give him a game before we start looking for a bus to throw him under.

    • BrudnySeaby

      Dude, give the kid a chance!? Besides, some players develop differently and he might be more successful at the NHL level with better players around him or in a faster paced game. Let’s just wait and see. But foremost, give him a chance!!

  • BrudnySeaby

    Yes, right, the 23 man roster limit! Thanks, forgot about that for a minute.

    Farhan Lalji tweeted this just now: Schroeder on the ice, skating between Raymond & Weise. Kassian with Sedins. Burrows centering 3rd line.

    So, did he really leave town? Or did they bring him out here already yesterday, regardless of the (Vandermeer) having to clear waivers (before Schroeder can be called up) part of the rules!?

    Hmmm… the plot thickens!? 😉

    Of course that is how I would have done it. Send one guy down and call up the other right away. Especially in a case of Vandermeer. Doesn’t matter if he clears or is picked up; you want the other guy here the minute the former clears.

  • khlhfs

    @ BrudnySeaby

    He’ll get his chance obviously. You just shouldn’t expect much. The truth is that when it comes to prospect development there’s a linear line of logic that applies to 99% of all prospects across all sports. That is, they need to prove they are too good for one league to move up to the next. Based on his number’s he hasn’t even proven he’s an above average point producer for the wolves. How can anyone reasonably assert that his production will be just as good at a higher level?

    • Case A: Nicklas Jensen

      Proved to be a reasonable, but not outstanding scorer in Juniors, moves up to the pro level, performs lights out playing against men.

      There’s all sorts of exception to player development. Every prospect develops different. With Jensen, he was rated as a low 1st rounder/high second rounder based on his CHL resume, but if you base his performance in the pro leagues, he’d be a top first rounder for sure.

      Not to mention, look at Cody Hodgson. Schroeder’s been tracking better that Hodgson at the same points in their careers and Hodgson looks like he’s doing good in Buffalo.

  • I’ve posted Schroeder’s NHLE at PiTB previously: http://vansunsportsblogs.com/2012/05/12/drance-numbers-investigating-the-canucks-prospect-pool/

    Also in his 2011 Prospect profile at this site (and pointed out that he’d regressed offensively): http://canucksarmy.com/2011/9/8/ca-prospect-profiles-jordan-schroeder

    Generally speaking however, you can’t “scout a boxscore” and NHLE is just a snapshot of a player’s production not a be all end all in evaluating prospects.

    I’d add that Schroeder has been buried behind Sedin, Kesler, Malhotra, Lapierre, Hodgson over the past couple of years so, it never really made sense to call him up. The Canucks have the luxury of taking it slow with prospect development, though I’d agree that the Schroeder pick looks like a “mis-fire” at this moment in time (he went ahead of Ryan O’Reilly for example). So while I’m not saying and never implied that that he’s a top-shelf prospect or an elite player, I still think that labeling him a bust is premature.