With the summer break upon us, the dust is starting to settle, and we can take stock of where things stand across the Canucks organization.
One of the consistent posts on Canucks Army has been Blackfish. The weekly prospect report that keeps everyone informed on Canucks prospects across the globe. Obviously, since it’s the summer, there is no games or stats to update, but there have been some changes to who will be within the organization.
Given that, I figured it was a good opportunity to break-down where the Canucks prospects should be next season. There might be some changes as a couple of players destinations are still to be determined.
Canadian Hockey League
The Canucks likely won’t have any prospects in the QMJHL this upcoming season. Guillaume Brisebois could return for an overage season, but that is highly unlikely. He should be graduating to the Utica Comets for the upcoming season.
Vancouver will be well represented in the OHL next season with the following prospects set to play there:
|Jonah Gadjovich||LW||Owen Sound Attack||2nd round – 2017|
|Michael DiPietro||G||Windsor Spitfires||3rd round – 2017|
|Matthew Brassard||D||Oshawa Generals||7th round – 2017|
|Cole Candella||D||Hamilton Bulldogs||7th Round – 2016|
2016 1st round pick Olli Juolevi could very well return to the OHL next season, or he could be in the NHL, or they could work out a way for him to be loaned to a team in Europe. Brett McKenzie is currently unsigned and could return to the OHL next season for his overage year. I would expect him to turn pro next year though.
The Canucks will have two prospects in the Western Hockey League this upcoming season:
|Kole Lind||RW||Kelowna Rockets||2nd round – 2017|
|Jakub Stukel||LW||Calgary Hitmen||6th round – 2016|
Jakub Stukel is already 20-years-old, so he could turn pro next season. But at this moment, he does not have an entry-level contract, so I would expect him back in the WHL.
You will be able to see Lind and the Kelowna Rockets at the Langley Events Centre on November 18th and 24th. They also make an appearance at the LEC on January 13th and March 16th. Stukel and the Calgary Hitmen will be in town to face the Giants on January 31st and February 2nd.
NCAA & USA
Not much change for Canucks prospects in the NCAA. Obviously, Boeser will no longer be there, but two prospects will return there next season.
|Adam Gaudette||C||Northeastern||5th round – 2015|
|William Lockwood||RW||Michigan||3rd round – 2016|
Both players are expected to take on larger roles with their respective clubs next season. The remainder of Canucks prospects in the USA next season:
|Jack Rathbone||D||Dexter (USHS)||4th round – 2017|
For the sake of length, I’ve included all the Canucks prospects that are expected to play their season on the other side of the pond next year:
|Elias Pettersson||C||Vaxjo (SHL)||1st round – 2017|
|Kristoffer Gunnarsson||D||Frolunda (SHL)||5th round – 2017|
|Rodrigo Abols||C/RW||Orebro (SHL)||7th round – 2016|
|Lukas Jasek||RW||Bili Tygri Liberec (Extraliga)||5th round – 2015|
|Nikita Tryamkin||D||Avtomobilist (KHL)||3rd round – 2014|
|Dmitry Zhukenov||C||Avangard Omsk (KHL)||5th round – 2014|
Dmitry Zhukenov, Nikita Tryamkin, Lukas Jasek and Rodrigo Abols were all included as the Canucks retain their rights for the duration of next season. The Canucks will lose the rights to Abols on June 1, 2018, as he was drafted out of the CHL. They retain the rights to Zhukenov and Jasek until June 1, 2019, and Tryamkin’s until June 30, 2022.
American Hockey League
The Canucks should have quite a few prospects in the AHL next season. They will have some graduation from junior leagues, some demotions from the NHL and some players who were there last year. Not all the names listed below will be there next season, as some may have to be assigned to the ECHL, but it will give us an idea of who could be there.
|Jonathan Dahlen||C/LW||Trade – OTT|
|Cole Cassels||C||3rd round – 2013|
|Joseph Labate||LW||4th round – 2011|
The above forwards are the ones who are expected to be there in some capacity next season for the Comets. Zack MacEwen and Yan-Pavel Laplante may start the season in the ECHL or could secure a bottom six role in the AHL.
Jonathan Dahlen is expected to start the year in the AHL next year, but the Canucks may explore him going to the SHL. Canucks general manager Jim Benning mentioned in the past few weeks that if they feel Dahlen is close to NHL ready, then he will go to the AHL.
Jayson Megna, Michael Chaput, Nikolay Goldobin, Brock Boeser, and Jake Virtanen are all possibilities for the Comets, but that is dependant on their performance. The following forwards could also be in Utica next season:
|Petrus Palmu||RW||6th round – 2017|
|Brett McKenzie||C||7th round – 2016|
Petrus Palmu is currently signed with TPS is Finland, but he mentioned at Canucks Development Camp this week that he will speak with Canucks management about the possibility of going to the AHL. Our own Jeremy Davis wrote about Palmu’s options yesterday. It is worth adding that Palmu did say that he will be playing pro next year, so it’s the AHL or TPS in Liiga. McKenzie was mentioned above as a possibility for the OHL, but he could be in the AHL as well.
Lastly, for the forward ranks in the AHL, the following players have been signed by the Utica Comets on AHL deals:
There will be some new additions to the defence core of the Utica Comets next season with Chad Billins, Tom Nilsson and the defencemen on AHL deals all leaving. Here are the expected defencemen for next year:
|Jordan Subban||D||3rd round – 2013|
|Guillaume Brisebois||D||3rd round – 2015|
Of the players above, only Evan McEneny will require waivers next season. It’s expected that one of Alex Biega or Andrey Pedan will also be sent down to the Comets for next season. Anton Cederholm is a bit of a wildcard in all of this. Last year he was loaned to AIK in the Allsvenskan, but it’s expected he will come back to North America next year. With one of Biega/Pedan and Cederholm in Utica, that gives the Comets a young top 8 that would appear to move the puck well.
MacKenze Stewart is also under contract for next season, but I would expect him to be in the ECHL.
Thatcher Demko and Richard Bachman will be the tandem in Utica for next season. The Canucks did not qualify Michael Garteig; thus he is a UFA.
Obviously, there is still a couple of things to be sorted out, but at least we have an idea of where to expect Canucks prospects next season. It’s interesting to see how heavy they are with the OHL for the upcoming season. It’s clear that they trust the scouts in that region.
It’s worth mentioning that the Comets will be a lot more interesting to follow along this season. They should be led by prospects with legitimate NHL upside.