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
The #Canucks put Zalewski, Pedan, Megna, Chaput on waivers.
— NEWS 1130 Sports (@NEWS1130Sports) October 6, 2016
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:
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) October 3, 2016
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.