The Canucks, mercifully, gave us something to be excited about this week: they signed top prospect Brock Boeser, who made his NHL debut on Saturday against the Minnesota Wild. He even scored his first goal.
Even after just two games, Boeser looks like an NHLer. There have been rumblings, however, that the Canucks would like to start him in Utica next season. Where would you like to see Boeser next year? If he makes the big club, who would you like to see as his linemates?
Last week I asked: Assuming there aren’t any major roster changes next year, who would you like to see the Sedins play with next season?
I think the Sedins + Eriksson could make a very good second line that would help take the pressure off Bo’s unit. Selectively deploying Granlund there as well, when speed is at issue, could be a good option as well. I would much rather Goldie develop with Bo, if he can improve his play without the puck & generally just show a little bit more discipline.
Eriksson or Granlund appear to be the obvious choices. Eriksson has put up his worst seasons with a new team so hopefully he bounces back. The Sedins aren’t good in their own end any more, so controlling the play with Eriksson should prevent lots of goals against and will lead to offence if he has a bounce back season. Limit their minutes and match ups as well. Play Bo as the first line to see if he can play against the better players and let the Sedins roll against weaker players.
Stick Eriksson with the Sedins for the entire season but change the deployment. During the Sedins’ prime years, they were sheltered in terms of on-ice situation (always starting PP, never PK) and now we need to start sheltering them in other ways, primarily ice-time. Working from the goal out, Sutter should be taking the majority of defensive zone starts, where his north-south speed and team-leading 55% face-off percentage can be best utilized. The Sedins should still be getting most of their starts in the offensive zone, where the close confines and Eriksson in front of the crease works to their advantage.
If zone starts were broken down by player, an example would be (D/N/O):
Goldy; Boucher; and then maybe Dahlen. Sedins need speed, skill and ability to retrieve the puck, as well as back-check if the play goes the other way.
If Goldy is a scoring machine, then defensive capability is less of an issue if the puck is in the net. Coach would need good D out there to cover that line. Could be high risk-reward and needs a Coach who could handle that pressure.
Boucher may not trend as a first line guy, but neither are the Twins at this point. He may not be fast, but that shot fascinates with possibility. Given the passing ability of the Sedins, Boucher could be lighting it up something fierce.
The dark horse is Dahlen — probably too young to make the jump, but his hockey IQ screams for a match-up with two players who made an impact on the game playing smart. His development playing with the Sedins would be incredible.
Bonus possibility — Biega: has speed, throws hits, defensively capable and might just pot a few goals from sheer opportunity.
Who do I want to see play with the twins next season? Isn’t there an obvious answer? Nolan Patrick.