Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

Canucks Army Monday Mailbag: Tuesday, June 27th

I’ve yet to hear anything new concerning the head coaching vacancy for the Utica Comets. In fact, I’d probably bet that you know as much or more about that opening as I do — I’ve been a little bit sidetracked with the draft is all.

As for who plays centre in Utica, I don’t want to get too carried away just yet. I’d expect the Canucks to be active in the early parts of free agency to address the farm, so I’m not going to get wrapped up in this topic. One person I wouldn’t be surprised to see down the middle in Utica is Jonathan Dahlen. He’s mostly played on the wing but has some experience down the middle.

I don’t see the need for such a trade, no.

Teams can invite Artyom Minulin to their development camps, and in that small window, they do have the opportunity to sign the prospect. I don’t see that as likely to happen, though. Minulin can’t skate, and if you can’t skate, you can’t play. I think that’s why he went undrafted.

I’m all for the Canucks inviting him to development camp. Even as someone who can’t yet skate well enough for professional hockey, he’s worth a third-round pick in my estimation. I wouldn’t use an entry-level contract on Minulin, though

Believe it or not, we didn’t sit next to each other for either flight.

I haven’t had a chance to look at who has or hasn’t been invited to development camps yet, so bear with me. Players that immediately come to mind are Kristian Reichel, Vladimir Kuznetsov, Austen Keating, Macauley Carson and Cole Coskey.

Let’s go with about half-a-point-per-game pace. I’d be alright with that, though something on the over would be preferable.

I’m just going to be honest here — I’ve never seen Jack Rathbone play. Haven’t seen him once; Hadn’t even heard of him before the draft. I’m going to let this blurb from the Hockey Prospect Black Book speak for Jack Rathbone. It’s just an excerpt, so I’d recommend you buy the entire book — well worth it.

Rathbone stands under the 6-foot mark although moves well on his skates with acceleration, lateral movement, pivots, and agility. He handles the puck well showing poise and will outlet the puck up ice with good decisions. Rathbone has the ability to escape pressure very well. He shows good offensive awareness as he will rush puck or jump into the play. His shot is adequate and he will find shooting lanes with his mobility from the blue line.

Rathbone has good potential to grow his game and is set to enter Harvard (ECAC) for the 2018-19 season.

I’m excited to see what Brock Boeser can do with a clean bill of health over the course of a whole season. He was lights out great last year.

As for the Canucks as a team, I’m less excited. I have a hard time seeing them finish outside of the bottom three of the league. That’s going to suck to watch, but it’s worth it. They can find their power play quarterback at the top end of next draft.

  1. Cody Franson
  2. Yohann Auvitu
  3. Patrick Wiercioch

98,798,095. Karl Alzner

I still think the Canucks are going to sign Ryan Miller, whether they should or otherwise. I don’t believe that Jacob Markstrom and Richard Bachman are viable for most teams, but on a team so bad as the Canucks are destined to be, I’m not sure it makes a big difference.

The notion of a bulkier Pettersson getting attention at first overall isn’t too far-fetched, I suppose. Pettersson was the highest scoring member of his draft class after SEAL (situation era age league) scoring adjustments.

Two things here. For starters, I think Loui Eriksson is going to bounce back in a big way this season — yes, it’s still a terrible contract, I agree. Secondly, I don’t see another of those deals happening.

No, I sat there and admired his troll-game. It’s something to behold in person. I could learn a thing or two.

I think the Canucks should put together a package to pry Kari Lehtonen from the Dallas Stars. They’re still a small market, internal budget team, and they have over $10-million invested in goaltending. There’s no way you can spin that as a tenable situation. Dallas needs the cap relief, and their moves this off-season indicate they’re ready to contend now. The Canucks could get something for helping the Stars out with this situation.

  • Cody Franson
  • Jordan Weal
  • Matt Hunwick
  • Yohann Auvitu
  • Simon Despres (if he wants to try and make a comeback)
  • Colin Greening
  • Alexander Burmistrov
  • Nail Yakupov

See above answers.

I’m not a scout; I’m a draft analyst. That is to say, I’m perhaps not the one to respond to this question.

I’ve learned from others that skating becomes that much more important with smaller players. They have to produce far more than their taller counterparts, too. If they can play in traffic and don’t shy away from contact or ‘parachute’ on plays, that helps them in scout’s eyes too.

My rule of thumb with the draft is that one shouldn’t complain, so long as the picks are reasonable. To that exact end, I’ve very little to gripe with concerning the Canucks’ draft.

I would’ve made different picks with almost all of their selections. That’s immaterial, though. The Canucks were reasonable right across the board. If you want an idea of who I’d have taken, though, you can check out my Top 100 article.

I could see Pettersson putting on as many as 30 pounds by the time he makes the NHL.

I’ll just be honest with you, the more I get into the world of draft analysis, the less I like offering comparisons. Even stylistically — they just don’t do it for me. I guess you want Canucks’ comparisons though, so I’ll do my best…

  • Elias Pettersson – Nicklas Backstrom
  • Kole Lind – Joe Pavelski
  • Jonah Gadjovich – Chris Kunitz
  • Michael DiPietro – Jonathan Quick
  • Jack Rathbone – A Dude (yet to see him play, sorry)
  • Kristoffer Gunnarsson – Andrej Sustr
  • Petrus Palmu – Mikael Granlund
  • Matt Brassard – Don’t even want to try, though I have watched him

Remember, these are all about style.


It’s way too early. All I can say is Andrei Svechnikov, Quinton Hughes and Rasmus Dahlin are going to be in that top five. Or they certainly should be there.

I’ll ask him when we record the Canucks Army Podcast tonight. Listen for an answer tomorrow.

It was near the top half of the league before the draft — it just lacked a game breaker like Pettersson, though Boeser isn’t half bad in that regard. It’s probably on the fringe of the top ten post-draft.

In defence of Karl Alzner, he’s not terrible. Alzner just isn’t good relative to the contract he’s going to negotiate in free agency. I’d take Alzner as a fourth or fifth defenceman any day if I was running a contending team and he’d take a reasonable salary. Unfortunately, he won’t.

I’m stick-in-rink or bust.


Based on his path through the Allsvenskan and what he told me about his next season in the SHL, he already has to play on the wing because of his weight. I would expect much the same as he transitions to the NHL.

Moose Jaw Warriors defenceman Josh Brook.

They took Lind because he’s the superior prospect, I would imagine. Always take the best player available. Next year is loaded on the blue line anyways.

I see that as a distinct possibility, yes.

I think Jonathan Dahlen isn’t far from playing in the NHL. Keep him in the AHL in case there’s an opening and he shows himself as worthy.

I’m satisfied with the Canucks decisions, yes. As for unsigned RFA’s, I’m all for the Canucks looking at Yakupov.

  1. They’re the hardest working people in the industry.
  2. They don’t get nearly enough credit
  3. They’re kick-ass people.


  • Killer Marmot

    The Canucks should restrict themselves to goalies and defensemen when fishing the UFA waters, the only exception perhaps being Rodin.

    There’s going to have a bunch of talented young players fighting for the last few forward spots on the starting roster. I would prefer the Canucks make room for the likes of Goldobin, Dahlen, Virtanen, Boucher, or Molino — young players with potential — then send them down in favour of a UFA.

    • Kanucked

      I am fine with pushing some of those prospects to the minors and signing any players that may have market value at the trade deadline. You can call them up after the established players have been traded.
      No player should be signed for > 1 year.

      The focus for this team in this year’s free agency should be asset accumulation.

  • acg5151

    I don’t really understand why people go on about how Eriksson has a terrible contract. I mean, yeah, if he’s going to score 20 points a season for the rest of the time he’s here then yes it is terrible, no doubt about it. But if he jumps back to scoring 50-60 points a year it’s not really that bad. He’s signed for 5 more seasons at 6 million a year. We have 20 mil in cap space and we also have the second crappiest NHL team around. 14 mil is coming off the books next season because the Sedins aren’t going to be making 7 million a year if they come back at all. It’s not like his cap space is going to block us from being competitive, I doubt we make the playoffs for at least 3 more seasons, and it’s not like our rookies are close to making a ton of money. Even if Olli Juolevi comes onto this team and becomes Norris calibre immediately, which is questionable but maybe, even if Boeser comes in and scores 30 goals a season for the next two seasons, even if Baertschi and Granlund get big raises, we have so much other dead weight coming off the books in the next couple of seasons that when their contracts come up and they are due raises, we’ll be able to sign them anyways regardless of what Eriksson is making. Even when we sign Horvat to 5 mil a year for the next few years, hell even if it’s 6 we still have 13 million to play around with just this season in cap space. In 2 seasons, Dorsett, Edler, Gudbranson, all their cap space is going to come up and I doubt any of them get resigned. The buyout for Chris Higgins and the retained salary on Jannik Hansen come up at the end of this season, that’s $1.33 million right there. And by the time Eriksson’s contract is blocking players maybe around 2021 it won’t be as big of a deal to just buy it out if it’s really a problem, which I doubt is going to be anytime soon. This team doesn’t need to be playing around in free agency anyways. While Eriksson’s contract right now really sucks because he got paid 6 million to score barely anything, he’s likely to come back and provide solid value for the next few years.

    • Dirk22

      He’s going to be 32 by the time next season starts. It’s a terrible deal – not so much now but in 3-4 years when (hopefully) the youngsters start to emerge. He’s going to be a $6 million bottom 6 forward whose value you could probably fetch for $1 million.

      Only way I see this not being a total disaster is if he plays a big mentoring role with J. Dahlin, Petterson…and hopefully R. Dahlin 🙂

      • acg5151

        It’s not going to affect anything by the time his contract comes off the books because by the time the Sedins retire we will have 14 million off the books just from that and all the youngsters might replace that, but they’re not going to replace that 14 million plus the cap space we have right now.