— Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) September 29, 2013
Not to get lost in the shuffle of Joe Colborne headed to the Calgary Flames for scraps…
The Canucks acquired two players on Saturday, Zac Dalpe and Jeremy Welsh, for low-ranked futures. Of those two players, Zac Dalpe is probably the most intriguing. He’s not exempt from waivers, while Welsh is. Both are wingers with very limited NHL experience.
The Charlotte Checkers moved Dalpe from centre to wing a while ago and that helped his offensive game. He’s shot over three shots a game at the AHL level for the past two seasons, and had 18 in 10 games this past season in Carolina. Not a scary player by any means, but making the league minimum, he’s a player worth plugging into the roster for a few games here and there if the Canucks don’t want to burn a season of Hunter Shinkaruk’s Entry-Level Deal.
This is why you have a lot of people on the “Dalpe is a bust, let’s move on from him” bandwagon, but there are a lot of reasons to be encouraged with what he did at the NHL level last year. He played only 10 games, but was very effective during that time and did a lot to contribute even though he wasn’t scoring. The biggest issue with Dalpe in previous years is that he struggled to drive the play north and keep the puck in the other team’s end of the rink. That dramatically changed this past season, as he posted one of the highest shot attempt differentials on the team. Some of this might relate to him playing on a line with Jordan Staal, but Dalpe still did a lot of good things during his brief stint in Carolina and should have played more than 10 game.
This appears somewhat promising for Canucks fans:
— Corey Sznajder (@ShutdownLine) September 29, 2013
Welsh will probably be a primary forward call-up from Utica, and his expensive one-way contract is likely why the Hurricanes parted with Dalpe for a pittance. The Canucks have very little forward depth, and with the injury to Jordan Schroeder and suspension to Zack Kassian they’re a little shorthanded in that department to start the season. This is a pretty good deal on the surface, giving the Canucks a little bit of depth at that area in case Shinkaruk and Bo Horvat aren’t the players they want to go with in those two depth forward spots.
Or maybe they play to convert Dalpe back to centre. I don’t expect this to be the last move made by the team in advance of the regular season. There will be a lot of interesting names on Waivers in the coming days, including Adam Hall and Jack Skille, placed there by Philadelphia and Columbus today.