Canucks Army Roundtable: Ch-ch-ch-changes

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The Canucks have had a pretty busy off-season. They’ve added a marquee forward in free agency, brought another back from Sweden and added a pair of blueliners by trade and draft that likely figure prominently in the Canucks’ long-term vision.

All this is to say that there are going to be a lot of new faces around town next season. Frankly, they’re mostly solid hockey additions, too. Like, that’s kind of neat. So, I asked the Canucks Army staff, who among these newcomers are they the most intrigued by or encouraged to see?

Grainne Downey

Loui Eriksson just to see if he and the Sedins can recreate Team Sweden’s super fun power play from the 2013 worlds.

Dylan Kirkby

I’m stoked to follow the development of Olli Juolevi. He’s the highest pick I’ve had the chance to see the Canucks make and following his development into (hopefully) an impact player in the NHL will be something positive to hold on to, even if this season’s team is as bad as last season’s.

Vanessa Jang

Gudbranson because I’m hoping he can justify trading as much as we did for him. Obviously most of us don’t know much about him because we only saw Florida twice but hopefully he’ll make a name for himself. Loui Eriksson will most likely thrive with the Sedins, so obviously he/they will be very exciting to watch too.

Jackson

Anton Rodin. Sure, he’s probably not going to make an impact in the way that Eriksson and Juolevi (one day) will, but his story is just so damn fun.
SHL>AHL>SHL>NHL isn’t exactly the development pattern you expect from a young player, and a former B-prospect coming out of nowhere and becoming a solid NHL contributor at 25 would be a great story to rally around if the season is disappointing.
More importantly, I just really like everything I’ve seen from Rodin and I think he can be a 35-45 point guy if things go well. If his scoring can translate, he’ll be a really fun player to watch, and I think the team has been pretty short on fun over the past few years.

Taylor Perry

In accordance with my personal bias towards defensemen, I’ve been excited about North Dakota alumnus Troy Stecher ever since the Canucks signed him  back in April. The Richmond, B.C. product skates and drives play forward exceptionally well. He can produce offence and his numbers last year at North Dakota were a marked improvement over his first two seasons. Assuming he does not pull a Ben Hutton and make the team directly out of camp – which I will not entirely rule out at this point – I will be closely monitoring his development down in Utica.

Always90Four

Im excited for Gudbranson myself. Its always good to see a potential stud defenseman come to Vancouver and turn into a star. Sami Salo was already pretty decent but he really made a name for himself as a Canuck. Gubby is gritty and a leader and this team needs both. Hopefully he’s used appropriately because well….sometimes Sbisa

Matt Henderson

I’m excited to see what Gudbranson can do. He’s under a lot of pressure (for good reason) and I would like to see if he can somehow rise to occasion and surprise some people.

  • Whackanuck

    Agree with the responders. Just to add one more; Tryamkin. His strength is already impressive and if he can add to that and adapt to the NHL quickly the Canuck crease will become a lot less friendly for opponents.

    • Dirty30

      It will be interesting to see how our centre depth holds out this season. Sutter, Horvat and Granlund need to step up and hopefully Hank stays healthy and productive. Lots of developing players to keep an eye on, it’s kind of weird…

  • Vanoxy

    I’m looking for John Weisbrod to have a strong second season after taking over fan favourite Laurence Gillam. Because, yah – it matters.

    Kidding aside, I can’t wait to see OJ, and I really have my fingers crossed that Subban makes a huge impression and makes the team over Larsson and Beiga.

  • Vanoxy

    Groot’s development over the season.

    I expect his play will be ugly at first, and probably represent something of a stealth tank. But the coaching staff and fans must be patient with him. He has the tools to be a franchise changer.

    And watching him rag doll Kesler the odd time will be fun too! 😉

  • Dirty30

    For me it’s also Tryamkin. His tool kit is so bloody interesting. I hope he shows up ready to play at camp, earns a full time spot and puts a season of NHL hockey under his belt. I was very impressed with his play at the end of last season, all things considered.

    Plus, the site of him burying opposing players in the crease makes me giddy.

    • Vanoxy

      I was hoping Vesey would go to Boston and free up Belesky or Vatrano via trade.

      Or even Buffalo and drive the price down on Kane to the point that it might be worth a shot.

      Sbisa could have been a chip in those deals…

      Him signing with NYR is the worst case as far as opening trade routes.

      The price just went up on Hudler as well, since Chi, Pit and maybe more, were holding a spot for Vesey and need to fill it elsewhere now.

      Sbisa starts, and likely finishes in Vancouver as I see it.

      • detox

        the conclusions drawn and how they impact the Canucks is very disappointing. 🙁

        I am not adverse to a Hudler 1 year signing at a discount, much more and I’d rather just not sign anyone and role the dice with what we have and see what happens.

        • Vanoxy

          Hudler will sign in Chicago within 48 hours. Book it.

          I think our roster is set to start the year, unless we sign Brandon Pirri or pick up Michael Grabner off waivers from the Rangers, if they fail to trade Nash.

          Something else could shake loose due to a cap tight team, but I agree about standing Pat, sitting on a cap buffer and seeing what happens at the deadline. Might be some bargains late due to the pending expansion draft.

          • detox

            yep.

            no rush to overpay on anyone. there has to be options, as you say, like a Pirri or another team has a numbers crunch with a player that steps up and displaces another option.

            If the defense can stay healthy then I think it is an improvement over last season and if Eriksson can produce near his average, we should be fighting for a playoff spot at the end of the season.

  • Whackanuck

    תן לי לעשות משהו ברור כשמש.

    העונה האחרונה, 28% של מטרות Canuck דורגו על ידי שחקנים מתחת לגיל 23. במילים אחרות, 52 של 186 שערים (חורבת: 16, Baertschi: 15, מקאן: 9, Virtanen, 7, אחרים: 5).

    במהלך 1983-1984 העונה (א בעונה בה קנוקס בעצם עשה בפלייאוף), 49% של מטרות Canuck דורגו על ידי שחקנים מתחת לגיל 23. במילים אחרות, 149 של 306 שערים (Tanti: 45, Sundstrom: 38 , לאנץ: 18, ונילי: 16, למאי: 12, Belland: 7, פטי: 6, אחרים: 7).

    קנוקס מכן החמיץ את הפלייאוף ב -1985, נסחף ב 3 משחקים מהירים בשנת 1986 על ידי אוילרס, החמיץ את הפלייאוף ב -1987, והחטיא לפלייאוף בשנת 1988. זה לא יהיה עד כמעט עשור אחר כך כי קנוקס יזכה בסיבוב הפלייאוף, בשנת 1992. אף אחד מאותם 83 -’84 “רובים צעירים” היו עדיין עם הצוות על-ידי כך.

    הנקודה היא כפולה:

    1) ככל כולם אוהבים בלשון קנוקס “הלך צעיר” השנה, העובדה היא, באופן אמפירי, הם באמת לא.

    2) קנוקס נמצא עבור דרך ארוכה, ארוכה, ארוכה לפניהם. עד שהם לא ישובו לתפקד, זה מאוד סביר להניח Virtanen, האטון, מקאן, וכו ‘כבר מזמן לא יהיה.

  • Dirty30

    Vanessa Jang!

    Good writing style, interesting storey lines and has risen above the emotionally draining drama we encounter with some of the other contributors.

    Keep up the recruiting CA!

  • Fred-65

    For me it’s how Gudbranson will perform. He’s a players I sort of kept tabs on since he was drafted. An interesting player in as much as he played as an 18 year old in the NHL, has now played 5 season and is at the stage where most young defensemen are just starting their careers after remaining junior eligibility and time in the AHL is just behind them. Was he rushed or has he flourished. One thing for sure if we can assume Trymkin makes the team Vcr is way bigger this coming season and the PK should improve

  • Whackanuck

    Tryamkin. It just sucks that right now, he’s not even projected to be in the top 6. Watching his short debut at the end of the season has me seriously intrigued though. He’s more than just a big Russian who can hit, his stick work and poke checks were downright beautiful. Really hoping he’s on the roster as a regular sooner than later.

    Past him though, I’ve got high hopes for Etem. I know he’s not technically new but the guy started to really come alive at the end of the season and he’s been busting his hump all off season.I think he can really have a big year and cement himself as a middle 6 guy. But, like Tryamkin, he’s also stuck in this spot where there’s not really a spot for him until guys either get traded or injured.

    • Dirty30

      Two of my “must watch” players because they both have potential that could shake up the team.

      I disagree that their future is dependent on injuries because it’s up to them to realize their potential and make things happen.

      Burrows is a great example of what hard work can accomplish when you show up every night.

      Etem should learn everything he can from Alex and realize that his career is in his control. He shows good speed, skill and has the size to make things happen. That’s what he needs to do now.

      Tryamkin doesn’t have to worry about not being in the top four because if Van can roll three good D-lines this team is going to look a whole lot different from last year when they barely had one healthy line at times.

  • Dirty30

    Tryamkin could be the next Chara, I’m excited to see if he booms or busts.

    Eriksson will be tight with the Sedins if they switch him to right, if not it will be nice to have solid scoring on the second line.

    I’m also pretty interested to see what impact Rodin will have, to me he’s a complete unknown coming from the SHL. If he can keep his scoring we are in a much much better position than last year. Exciting times ahead finally.

  • Whackanuck

    the potential for younger players to take big steps is the only reason to watch the canucks right now. as much as the veterans might chip in, they are not going to win a cup here unless the younger players take a step.

    so i hope erikkson is not the big story, because that will mean that nobody young has emerged as a future core player.

    as for who might step up, i give benning credit for putting a lot of intriguing stories out there. there are a dozen young players you could plausibly pick to make a big leap forward: tryamkin, horvat, hutton, virtanen, baerstchi or etem are on the roster, or you could pick from a similar number of prospects or european signings to emerge.

    rather than guess who might do that, for me i’m curious about two established nhl players, gudbranson and sbisa. they are a little older and hitting the point where it happens now or never for dmen, and they both get a chance to step out of their previously defined roles this season which could trigger progress in their game for which we know they have the tools.

    gudbranson has a whole new conference to play in and a chance to play a broader role than shutdown guy given the canuck system and the fact tanev is also primarily a shutdown guy in front of him. gudbranson also just came off a playoff series where he emerged as a clutch guy.

    for sbisa, i think due to his age and team depth, sbisa will get big minutes on team europe this september and maybe even pair with josi. if that works out from him, that gives him an ideal springboard to step up his game this season.

  • Whackanuck

    Sbisa is a fifth dman with Gubby slotted to play with Hutton.

    $3.6 million for a fifth\sixth d man is expensive insurance,especially when Tryamkin and Larsen can probably do the job.

    Guess the brain trust are awaiting $bisa to prop up his stats playing third and fourth liners while awaiting the inevitable mid-season injury parade to turn him into an asset.

    • Fred-65

      yep.

      I think JB signed Sbisa because he was unsure of d depth and with the acquisition of Gudbranson, Tryamkin coming over and Pedan developing, we actually have a little depth.

      Ideally, it would be nice if some of the depth was waiver exempt but I guess that comes in time if JB doesn’t trade picks or existing prospects.