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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.