Canucks place Mike Zalewski, Andrey Pedan, Jason Megna & Michael Chaput on waivers

With two pre-season games remaining, the Canucks have taken another step in trimming down their roster this morning.

It was announced that the Canucks have placed Mike Zalewski, Andrey Pedan, Jayson Megna & Michael Chaput on waivers

Let’s get the easy part out of the way first.

Mike Zalewski, Jayson Megna, and Michael Chaput were long shots to make the team but are within the organization to provide depth. All three will head to Utica, and look to lead the Comets offence while positioning themselves for call-ups when injuries occur.

Zalewski appeared in three pre-season games, where he averaged just under 14 minutes a contest while posting a respectable 58.67 CF%. For someone who was a free agent at the beginning of last season, this is all good signs for him to carve out a career as a depth forward.

Megna appeared in three contests as well, averaging just over 12 minutes per game, but saw a CF% of 48.89% during those contests. Megna will be a big part of the offence for the Comets.

Lastly, Chaput played in three pre-season contests where he played a shade under 12 minutes per game and had the worst CF% of the three players with 46.67%. Obviously for all three, it’s a small sample size, but at this point Zalewski was the most noticeable to the eye, and underlying numbers.

Now, onto Pedan.

Yesterday, Matthew Sekeres mentioned on twitter that Pedan may be the odd man out of the defence due to the Canucks wanting to hedge their bets with the expansion draft by keeping Biega. Jeremy Davis explained yesterday afternoon, how that was a misguided way of looking at it.

If you haven’t read that piece, I recommend to do so.

At training camp, Pedan was extremely noticeable. Unfortunately he was only given two pre-season games, where he received the lowest ice-time of all defenceman in both games. One of games he received 17 minutes of penalties for fighting San Jose Sharks forward Dan Kelly after this hit:

Something that Willie Desjardins praised.

It is odd that Pedan wasn’t given more of a chance to show what he has to give. Given that the Canucks traded a third round pick to acquire Pedan, then developed him, it does seem like a player they might want to protect.

Through my own viewings of Comets games last season, Pedan was an extremely effective defenceman who when down in Utica was playing like a number one pairing guy (in the AHL). Unfortunately the data is no longer available, but Pedan was hovering between 55%-60% CF% throughout his entire year in the AHL last year.

When Pedan was recalled to the Canucks, he was either played at forward or saw very limited ice time.

I would expect Pedan to clear waivers, as teams are more inclined to see what they have in their own guys first rather than provide a roster spot for Pedan. It will be interesting to see how the waiving of Pedan will be received, because it isn’t simply that he was beat by Troy Stecher for a roster spot. It’s that the Canucks opted to keep Alex Biega over Pedan. 

Even if Stecher hadn’t had such a good pre-season, the decision between Pedan and Biega would’ve had to have been made, and it looks like the Canucks have chosen to go with Biega.

  • Ho Borvat

    Very disappointed to see Pedan put on waivers. But…this may have something to do with the fact that they want to retain Tryamkin over Pedan and Tryamkin would rather go back to the KHL than to Utica.

  • Steampuck

    If you’re going to send him down, better now than in a few days when he’s in more danger of being grabbed by someone else. We also don’t know whether Biega’s sticking, though, do we? I get the premise, but there’s still a surplus of D-men with the big club, and something will need to give. Biega may still get waived. It may be premature to assume that Pedan was sent down because Biega.

      • Steampuck

        I’m not in the room, so I wouldn’t know. I’m also not sure that Pedan right now is better than Sbisa, who might find himself playing in a more forgiving spot this year. Overpriced? Yes. But he was the lone heavyweight on a blue line corps of hobbits last year. And injured. And not as bad as he was the previous year. I’m not saying he turns into the second coming of anybody, but we might see a more steady kind of game from him with fewer minutes and more muscle in the lineup. I presume, too, that Pedan is also the 2017-2018 answer to Sbisa’s contract—and let’s give him more minutes in Utica. The short of it is: we have a lot of decent stopgaps down on the farm if players get hurt.

        Of course, if Pedan doesn’t clear, then we throw up our hands in dismay, because the only viable scenario would have been to send Stecher down and hope Biega doesn’t get nabbed.

  • Steampuck

    If I’m looking at the Canucks optimistically, I hope they made this decision based on a desire to keep Stecher, Larsen and Tryamkin with the big club, and will waive Biega later. Maybe they didn’t give Pedan much of a preseason opportunity and sent him down now in the hopes that improves his chances to clear waivers.

    I know he’s only a depth defenseman for now, but he just turned 23, so I think a lot of Canucks fans will be rightfully choked if he gets picked up by another team.

    Someone tell Josh and Cam to stay the hell away.

  • Friendly Neighbourhood Canucks fan

    Well all we can do now is hope and pray Pedan isn’t claimed. I’m glad they did it now instead of a couple days from now but still, this could bite us in the butt. I guess he wasn’t going to be more than a 7th dman but still, him vs. Tryamkin would’ve been a nice battle for who deserves to stay up there in our next season. Ah well, not like we’ve had good pieces snapped up before right? 😉

  • LTFan

    IMO a mistake to put Pedan on waivers. If Tryamkin won’t go to Utica then let him go back to the KHL. I would put Pedan ahead of both Biega and Sbisa. I know it is a tough call by management but – this could come back and bite them.

    Surprised that Etem is still here, he hasn’t done much.

  • Whackanuck

    Edler, Tanev, Gudbranson, Hutton, Sbisa, Stecher, Larsen, Tryamkin, Biega, Pedan.

    That’s 10 defensemen for 8 spots. Why assume there are NHL plans for Biega? Isn’t it at least as likely both Larsen and Stecher will stay?

    • Whackanuck

      I was going to say you wouldn’t keep both Larsen and Stecher because you only need one power play specialist. But if the Canucks are setting up their D as offensive/defensive pairs then the depth chart looks something like:

      Offensive partner:

      Edler
      Hutton
      Stecher
      Larsen

      Defensive partner:

      Tanev
      Gudbranson
      Sbisa
      Tryamkin
      Biega

      You wouldn’t keep Stecher up and store him in the press box. So if Larsen is ahead of him you would send Stecher to Utica for development and call him up as necessary. If Stecher stays and plays then either Tryamkin or Biega gets sent down. Again, no point in keeping Tryamkin up and not playing him but you can only send him down if he agrees to go to Utica. Otherwise Biega is the odd man out.

      Still two games left to make those decisions.

  • No no no!

    Memo to Andrey Pedan: Call Tonya Harding immediately. Tell her to bring a mask and her club. It’s time to crack some knees.

    Lets hope he clears, but I don’t think he will. I am sure this was a difficult decision for Jim Benning.

  • Dirty30

    Why is everyone praising Pedan?

    If you guys really wanted to keep Pedan is, you would be going on about how useless and pathetic he is, and how no club in their right mind would take up his contract.

    At least until Saturday.

  • Dirk22

    When is this going to end? Seriously there is no need to risk losing a potential decent player when you can simply waive Biega – how can they not have learned from Corrado last year?!

    Another brilliant move by ‘Bubbles’ Benning and co. Since I like categories, lets see what people would prefer for a rebuilding team:

    Option A: Tkachuk, Nylander and Forsling

    Option B: Virtanen and Juolevi

    Thumbs up for Option A, Thumbs down for Option B.

      • Dirk22

        I don’t know if I’d say it was fantasy. It’s not like I picked McDavid and Matthews in Option A. These are decisions that were well within the management’s grasp.

        They drafted Virtanen over Nylander

        They drafted Juolevi over Tkachuk

        I included Forsling in there as they ended up losing that asset for basically nothing – Clendening became a throw-in in the Sutter trade.

        Although we’re years away from knowing which of these groups would be more valuable, I know which one I would choose as a rebuilding option. People can express their opinions though.

        It’s fitting that just as I typed this it was announced that Forsling and Tkachuk are set to make their NHL rosters. Nylander will be there too of course putting up 50+ points this year – you can argue the Juolevi over Tkachuk and make valid points but no way you can say that Virtanen is going to be better than Nylander (or Ehlers for that matter).

        • Riley Miner

          How is there “no way”? Nylander has proven little yet. Yet you guarantee his 50 points this year. Such confidence should see you Vegas ponying up.

          I believe Nylander struggles with the physicality if the NHL puts up 25-30points this year.

          Meanwhile, Virtanen puts up similar numbers but is a far more physical presence.

          • Dirk22

            You’re right – they both put up 13 points. Only difference is Nylander did so in 22 games whereas Virtanen did it in 55 games.

            Virtanen is much bigger, stronger – great skater etc. I have serious doubts about his hockey IQ as an elite scorer though.

            Nylander is rated as a top 5/10 prospect in all of hockey. He’s an elite offensive talent who is now jacked at 190 lbs. Not Virtanen size but he’s going to be able to handle himself.

            Look – I hope I’m wrong – I just can’t see any way Virtanen is going to exceed Nylander in his career.

  • RIP

    I don’t agree that Pedan was excellent. I agree with the 17min in penalty minutes but other than that he wasn’t noticeable. CA are always about the prospects versus the existing NHLers. Always thinking the grass is greener on the prospect side of the fence. Biega is a bulldog, great in the locker room and currently a better option on the ice than Pedan. If we have Tryamkin and Gudbransen does Pedans size not become redundant? I think that by the end of the year Pedan is called up to the D line up and comes into his own causing Biega to ride the pine but today the right move is to wave Pedan with less risk of him getting picked up and a better option in Biega for the regular season.

  • Whackanuck

    What bothers me is the apparent flip-flopping of management.

    Some roster decisions are made on apparent merit, while others are clearly not.

    I am concerned changing plans and targets are not the way to manage.

    • Dirk22

      The idea that players make an NHL roster based on training camp performance alone is a joke. There’s a numbers game at play. Everyone knows that including the players themselves. As for Pedan, he was acquired nearly two full years ago when the Canucks D prospect depth was barren. The fact that he has been jumped over on the depth chart multiple times since then is an indication of positive things happening in the organization in terms of player development…Forsling notwithstanding.

  • Pedan’s a terrible player. Small, soft and slow. Never stands up for his teammates. He’s a negative possession anchor. The fact that they played him at forward last season during his call-up tells you how bad his defensive game is. Heck, he can’t even speak English. He has to communicate with his defensive partners by playing charades.

    Trust me, only a GM dumber than a box of hair would try to pick Pedan up on waivers.

  • Spiel

    I like Stecher, but Stecher has never played pro, is undersized, and can be sent down without clearing waivers. He has fallen into favor, but realistically he could quickly fall out of favor. The Canucks are putting a lot of weight in to games played with and against non-NHL rosters.

    Why not play it cautious and let Stecher get big minutes in the AHL for a month or two to see if he can keep it going? Not only does that plan not risk exposing assets, it gives Stecher a more gradual development curve to start his career. If Stecher is tearing up the AHL, call him up and risk Pedan or someone else (ie. Sbisa) at that point on waivers. Shayne Gostisbehere even started last year in the AHL and Stecher is no Gostisbehere.

    Pedan has the combination of speed, size, and snarl that teams like to take a chance with. Hopefully he clears.

  • Dirty30

    Well, until something happens — claimed or cleared — it seems like much ado about nothing.

    I don’t know how JB plans or thinks, but he may be looking a few moves down the road from here.

    Maybe some team wants a trade for Pedan for depth but wants him clearing waivers before it happens. A young strong centre might be there.

    Maybe they want to assess Stecher against Larsen for a while before deciding who to keep. Larsen may go down or trade for a late pick.

    Maybe Jim is looking at the LV draft, rosters, who is protected and thinking what he needs to do to bring in a key player without losing him in the draft. Pedan might be an expendable player to make room.

    Maybe JB wants to sign the guys on pto’s and will carry more forwards and fewer D.

    And it could be that there are simply some better players on waivers than Pedan so it’s a good time to move him down.

  • Riley Miner

    It’s not necessarily that they’re keeping Biega over Pedan. It’s that they’re sending Pedan down earlier, perhaps in an attempt to sneak him through earlier ala Markstrom. They still have too many defensemen up there, so one is going to have to be reassigned. My money’s on Biega.

  • Whackanuck

    I don’t get the Biega love. He’s old(28) as a prospect, his possession numbers were poor last year as were his offensive stats. He’s not particularly big. There’s players like him available as free agents or waiver pickups every year.

    • TheRealPB

      People get so hung up on draft picks. Last year Florida traded their 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th, getting Pirri, Hudler, Purcell and Yandle in return — only Yandle remains (and yes I know that they regained a number of picks through things like the Gudbrandson trade). Draft picks and cap hits are the currency in a hard cap era.

      My problem with the Corrado decision wasn’t that he was sent down — he was not one of the top six D even in training camp — it’s just that it didn’t seem necessary when they could have put Higgins on the IR. Not sure that the Pedan move is the same — it’s not the last set of cuts. There are arguably other better young D who have been on the waiver wire — Gormley maybe, Kindl, Barberio. I’m not sure who’ll take a flyer on him but I wouldn’t be surprised.

  • TheRealRusty

    Seems like GMJBTL have yet to learn from last year, that organizational defensive depth is important for this club if they intend to make it through the year…. Anyone understand what Sbisa has that Pedan can’t provide?

  • Steampuck

    Zawelski may be gone soon too, and he is a player who seemed to actually win faceoffs and at least not hurt the cause in games last season when played, but I understand this move.

    But Pedan looked good this preseason and deserved a little more of a look. You cant just say, well we have 2 Eastern European giants… so they are basically the same. Dont get me wrong, I love the potential that Tryamkin showed last season, but Pedan brings a different skillset.

    He is old school tough and mean, he is faster than Hansen, and has a slap shot that makes goalies piss their cups. He has a 2 way game. He is not a “stay at home” defense unless he is told to do that role. And, as said in the artlicle (although I never watched utica games as they seemed even more expensive online than the NHLTV package) is a positive possesion player. He worked hard these last few seasons, developed, and deserved a better shot. With only a little positional tuning, he is Exactly what the team needs on D.

    Also I dont think of Stecher as a powerplay “specialist,” like some in the media have said, I think he is a good straight up defenseman who happens to have shown better this preseason that our other powerplay “specialist” Larsen.

    Sorry, I know everyone is trying to trash talk him to keep other teams off the scent, but I need to vent.

  • Steampuck

    In case anybody wants to compare this year to last year, take a look at this CanucksArmy post from about the same spot in the roster-decision schedule:

    http://canucksarmy.com/2015/10/2/all-that-remains-a-recap-of-the-last-men-standing-on-the-canucks-roster

    I honestly think the roster we have now is much improved on that one.

    Defense: It’s pretty clear that Gudbranson is better than Bartkowski, and I think Hutton fills the top-4 void left by Hamhuis quite nicely. We’ll have to wait and see if Larsen/Stecher are an improvement on Weber, but opening day 2016 should beat out opening day 2015 in the Defense regard, even without Andrey Pedan.

    Offense: Eriksson is much better than Vrbata, although at the start of last year Vrbata was still looking decent; Baertschi is vastly improved and in a better position than Higgins was at this time last year; Who knows who our 4th line winger will be but they’ll be definitely better than Prust, and it doesn’t look like Willie is putting Sutter with the Sedins again, so we might actually have 3 top-9 centers.

    Goalies: Same, same, as Miller’s aging is balanced out by Markstrom’s gained experience.

    I just thought I’d post this in the midst of the doom and gloom surrounding the upcoming season to point out that while we aren’t anybody’s idea of a contender, we should be better than last year: that is, we shouldn’t be anywhere near 65-70 points as projected.

  • Dirk22

    Has TL and Jimbo gotten to everyone on here? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. This used to be a forum of critical thought. I appreciate the optimism re: Canucks management but are we really happy with the state of the franchise right now? What moves has this management team made to inspire such confidence and optimism? Rogers has never been more barren and there are no saviours in sight. Hate to break it to you but every franchise has their own version of Brock Boeser – in many cases a lot more than that. Look at our neighbors the Flames, Jets and Oilers. I love the Canucks – I really do – but I can’t pretend like we’re in for anything other than 4-5 years of sub-mediocrity. Not the place you want to be.

    • Steampuck

      Every management team makes mistakes and they have made theirs but consider the state of the prospect depth three drafts ago when TL and Benning took over. Consider how quickly they have added youth to the NHL line-up. There is still a lot of work to do and no one is debating that but as Benning’s draft picks continue to break into the NHL, there will now be a nice nucleus of role players ready to provide support at the NHL level (especially for when the Sedins retire).

      Watching the young star tournament this year, the Canucks have come ridiculously far in a couple of years. Considering how bad the other three teams have been over the last decade, the Canucks are bringing on gamers and prospects that can play and think the game. In two more years, people will begin to realize the true strides the management team has made.

  • TheRealPB

    Seriously….it’s ANDREY PEDAN….

    Relax.

    Canuck fans over rating their players as usual. Frank Corrado! Frank Corrado!

    yeah…he sucks. Maybe he’ll be OK with the leafs at some point but WHO CARES….he was never going to be that with us. No motivation. He had his chance.

    Same type of canuck fan that complained about Cody useless Hodgson being traded.

    Gillis was a GENIUS for that trade. I believe every single media report about the negatives of that guy. Hell…the team even “jokingly” taped a “C” onto his jersey before a practice. If that’s not a message he was not liked in the locker room I don’t know what is.

    Anyway….CHILL about these players that are virtually worthless. And RELAX about 2nd and 3rd and 4th round picks that you get in a hissy about losing. They are VIRTUALLY WORTHLESS picks.

    “prospects” and “picks”….the two most over rated things in the NHL….