Banner art by Matthew Henderson
In November of 2014, newly minted General Manager Jim Benning made one of signature variety of trades by sending disappointing former second-round draft pick Alex Mallet to the New York Islanders, with a third round pick, in exchange for defensive prospect Andrey Pedan.
Nearly a year later, Mallet is no longer with with the Islanders system, having signed with the Kalamazoo Wings of the ECHL. And the Canucks recouped the third-round pick they sent to New York in the Brandon Sutter deal. So clearly the Canucks have won this high stakes and very high profile trade!
Continue past the jump as we look – somewhat more seriously – into the 17th best prospect in the Canucks system in our estimation: Andrey Pedan!
Andrey Pedan’s North American hockey career started back in 2010 when he left Lithuania to come to Canada and play in the OHL with the Guelph Storm after being drafted 32nd overall (1st round) of the CHL Import Draft. That season he only managed to pick up 12 points in 51 games but he was still drafted in the 3rd round by the New York Islanders. His size and his young age (17.23 years) were positive signals of success, but the lack of scoring did not augur well for his future development.
Pedan played two more years in the OHL where he put up 40 points in 63 games and then 44 points in 60 games and was the 2013 OHL’s most penalized player. From there he went to the Islanders farm system bouncing between the ECHL and the AHL – partly as a result of the Islanders’ system being absolutely loaded on the blue line. His first full year in Bridgeport he scored 10 points in 28 games.
After his trade to Utica, Pedan put up 14 points in 42 games while playing on the Comet’s bottom 2 pairings (mainly the third). Unfortunately Pedan’s season was cut short as he suffered a concussion in a March 15th fight against Stu Bickel which will continue to leave questions on what his future as a player looks like. Coincidentally only two months prior in a fight against Jared Tinordi, Pedan caused a similar injury to his opponent.
In the Calder Cup run Pedan did not suit up, but had returned from his injury and was an available option if needed. Despite his limited role in the regular season Pedan still came out looking good defensively ending up with a +8.96% even-strength relative goals-for percentage. Pedan also played limited special teams time, both on the power play and penalty kill, but his opportunities there were limited in this season.
Pedan’s development overtime has been generally heading in the positive direction. As a defensive defencemen he has a long way to go to ensure he has a roster spot in the NHL, but if Pedan does make it to the big show, his cohorts suggest someone of a bottom pairing defencemen. Some of the well known
players in his cohort include Marc Methot, Adrian Aucoin, and Cory Sairch.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that Pedan could have a tough path to the show. As a bottom pairing AHL defencemen who is edging closer to his peak, Pedan has to try and jump to the big show as soon as he can if he wishes to establish himself. With Corrado ahead of him and a number of younger prospects about to leap Pedan in the pecking order this upcoming season (players like Ben Hutton, in particular) the upcoming couple of months will be very critical for Pedan to show what he can do.
… but then again you have players like Ronalds Kenins who can surprise you.
So for now check out his highlights on the year: