Photo Credit: NHL.com

World Junior Summer Showcase: Canucks Prospects

The World Junior Summer Showcase took place last week in Plymouth, Michigan with Sweden, Finland, Canada and the US duking it out in a round robin format. The event serves as a measuring stick for many hopeful players that are hoping to secure a spot on their national team for the World Juniors in December.

It is August, and there will be three months of hockey to go before the tournament gets going, so a lot of what happened has to be taken with a grain of salt. However, players can make an impression that forces their countries management teams focus on them rather than others.

The Canucks were represented by five players, with four of them suiting up in game action. 2016 third round pick William Lockwood was unable to play as he recovers from shoulder surgery.

With that, we can look at how the other four did last week. I was able to do game reports on the majority of the main part of the tournament and can be found below:

Elias Pettersson

4GP – 0G – 2A – 10 SOG

*I’ve added two assists to his official scoring, as they were not given to him but were clearly assists*

Fans were rightfully excited to see how the recent fifth overall pick fared. It was the first time that they could see him in competitive game action against players that weren’t other Canucks prospects.

At times, Elias Pettersson flashed the skill and hockey IQ that sets him apart from his peer group. One of those plays was one of the missed assists:

Pettersson receives the pass with his head up and places a shot low blocker side that results in a rebound for Lias Andersson to put into the empty net. That shot was going in or creating a rebound, and Pettersson achieved the latter. It’s a smart play, taking advantage of the lane in a medium danger situation. His other assist was a chip up the boards in his defensive zone to Fredrik Karlstrom that led to a goal on the rush.

Despite not scoring, It’s encouraging to see Pettersson average 2.5 shots on goal per game.

Pettersson just wasn’t able to consistently get space to create offence. Teams appeared to be keying on him and Andersson — the latter of the two was able to break through. Pettersson didn’t seem to be overmatched regarding physicality, as there were quite a few times where he would just battle through the check.

Pettersson played the majority of the tournament on the wing with Andersson. They have been consistently together in that capacity on the international stage for quite some time. This makes sense given Andersson’s strong two-way play and Swedish Head Coach Tomas Monten mentioning that having Pettersson on the wing gives him more space to create offence.

Expectations are high for the Canucks draft pick, but need to be tempered. The kid is incredibly talented, but will just take some time to fulfill his full potential.

Kole Lind

3GP – 0G – 0A – 3 SOG

Kole Lind was a late addition to the Team Canada roster due to Nolan Patrick being kept from the showcase with an injury. He started the tournament in a top nine role but saw his ice time diminish as things wound down.

Lind didn’t make the Ivan Hlinka tournament roster prior to the start of the 2016-17 season, so even being a late add shows how far he has come.

There were flashes of what Lind can do. On a couple of occasions, he was able to read the play and his opposition well, adjust his lane to create a shot. Or even adjust the way he attacked to create multiple chance opportunities. His best performance came in his second game against Finland where he was on the opposite wing of fellow Canucks prospect Jonah Gadjovich.

Like Pettersson, it would’ve been good to see Lind make a bigger impact but there is nothing to be concerned about at this stage. Lind will head to the WHL next season where he will build off a fantastic second half that vaulted him into the first round pick conversation.

Jonah Gadjovich

4GP – 1G – 1A – 7 SOG

*I’ve added one assist to his official scoring – as you’ll clearly see in a gif below, he had an assist*

On the flip side, Gadjovich made the most of his chances and impressed. He was noticeable in almost every game and made his presence felt through a variety means.

Whether that was a nice pass:

Or by being a physical force:

Or even scoring a goal in front:

Each one of those highlights are all from different games over the course of the week. With his goal being from where he was used sparingly as the 13th forward. Unfortunately, there is no official shift chart to confirm, but I believe that was Gadjovich’s second shift of the third period, and it was late in the game. He just goes out and scores the goal to draw Canada closer.

The variety and how much Gadjovich impacted the game is how he is going to secure a spot with Canada this winter. There will be other players that are more skilled, but being a swiss army knife who can move up and down the lineup, creating offence and being physical is something that Team Canada could really use.

It’s not like Gadjovich can’t score, his 46 goals in the OHL are an indication that he does with high frequency, but doing all the little things elsewhere is what will force him into the conversation.

Michael DiPietro

2GP – 1-0-0 – 0.893 SV% – 3.14 GAA

Dipietro also had a strong showing for the Canadians as he looks to secure one of the goalies’ spots. In my opinion, the battle for the backup job is between him and Edmonton Oilers prospect Dylan Wells, and at this moment DiPietro has the edge.

He played well throughout the entire week, appearing in two games, giving up three goals on 28 shots in just under 58 minutes of action. The two goals against Sweden were not really his fault.

In small sample sizes like this, it’s hard to get a read looking at just the numbers, but Dipietro looked cool, calm and collected when he was in the net.

It will ultimately come down to the CHL play of the goalies and DiPietro will just have to prove that his strong play at the Memorial Cup wasn’t a flash in the pan. I don’t think it was.

The Canucks prospects didn’t blow the doors off at the WJSS, but Gadjovich and DiPietro had strong showings that should help their cause immensely. Lockwood wasn’t able to get into game action but he has a legitimate shot of making USA due to his speed, penalty killing, and versatility. While Pettersson is a lock to make Sweden.

Yes, it’s just hockey in August, but it was nice to have some competitive hockey on TV. The real hockey season is rapidly approaching

  • TheRealPB

    Also please stop feeding the trolls (I know I say that and then succumb myself but there’s really nothing to be gained in engaging with the Dud/CR/Psych whatever dumbness).

      • Juice

        I personally have no issues with posters holding current management and players to account. However, why have these Bud Poile and I Am Ted personas in particular been allowed to ruin the site for so long insulting us and banging on about ancient history like it matters. That is a bigger issue imo. Are they just another NM00 created by the site to drive traffic – if not surley they would be banned by now?

        • Big D, little d

          In my opinion it is disrespectful to the memory of NM00 to mention him/her/them in the same post as the current crop of trolls. NM00 usually had well reasoned incorrect positions that begged for rebuttal, while the current trolls simply repeat simplistic, offensive nonsense to no ones benefit.

          If they’re trying to drive views to the site they’re doing a poor job of it. The only rational response is to ignore them.

        • detox

          all the names look the same to me. the tone of many of the comments comes across as childish.

          some comments drive discussion others drive people away. whoever is running the site should be able to figure it out.

  • Waffles

    I think it’s also worth noting that Pettersson was injured in pretty much the first game (lower body), so it’s possible the guy just didn’t have the wheels to create space if it was still nagging him.

    • Naslund

      I watched him play and was actually impressed by his wheels. The kid has a motor and can really fly. It looked to me that he was doing a lot of the defensive zone work and covering for his centre who was slow coming back. They weren’t breaking out together because his linemates were leaving the zone early. That made it easy for the defense to take away time and space on their line. I wouldn’t attribute much blame to Pettersson for this though, he seemed to be the most responsible one on his line and he did show a lot of speed.
      The only problem that he has is that he’s a lightweight. He does the best he can with great positioning, but if this kid can gain 30 pounds he will be amazing. I know I’m dating myself, but this kid reminds me a lot of Thomas Gradin with his smooth skating and very slick hands. He’s an exciting prospect!

      • defenceman factory

        Gotta agree with your assessment Naslund. This Pettersson kid looks very promising. He is also 3 inches taller than Gradin who played at 170 lbs. I don’t expect Pettersson to ever be a heavyweight but he should have no trouble getting to 185-190 in the next couple years.

      • Dud

        30 lbs is an insane amount of weight to put on ‘legally’ and even if he does it’s gonna impact his speed and mobility. It’s like the Virtanen demands from management all over again and look how that’s gone. Terrible pick and a ridiculous ask for a kid with such a slight frame to pack on such huge weight.

  • Good recap.

    Pettersson reminds me of a skinny kid named Sedin back in the day. He’ll be fine. Protein shakes, red meat, and lots of grilled chicken breasts should do the trick. Add lots of carbs, no veggies, and don’t skip desert. Also, add weight training with with little cardio and watch this kid blow up to 200 lbs.

  • TheRealPB

    Hard to tell from just the highlights but it really looked like Gadjovich was the best of our prospects at the tournament. Seemed like a pretty solid personality too from the development camp. I am assuming he is headed back for another season of major junior — what is the development curve for a prospect like him and what are the main things he needs to work on?

    • Canuck4Life20

      I think it’s just one lonely bridge. The writing styles, name calling, and general consensus on the current and past state of the Canucks are all identical.

  • Leigh McBain - love hockey

    Way too much whining for my liking. Too early to know how good or bad the recent Canucks prospects will turn out, but a little more objectivity would be nice. A few thoughts:

    Pettersson, Lind and Gadjovich are all young, even in this tournament and have time to develop still.

    Pettersson – if he doesn’t put on some beef, he may well have an issue in the NHL, but he has time (look at the change in Juolevi from 18-19 years old). I put more stock in his ability to make his presence felt playing pro in Sweden, than being flashy in this Junior tryout tournament.

    Gadjovich – has hands, can score and pass (see saucer for unofficial assist). Needs to work on skating, but knows it and based on what I saw in this tournament has already improved over the summe. Great work ethic and strong desire. If the skating doesn’t improve it will likely be an issue, but he looks to be making progress, may just be that he grew so much so young and is still working on how to use that size.

    Lind – put up serious numbers in the 2nd half of last year and is a bit of a late blooming player. Seems to have good vision and very good hands, but is definitely expected to return to the W this season. WAY too early to suggest he wasn’t worth taking a run at – Reminds me of Jamie Benn at this age.

    Canucks don’t need them to be studs in the NHL in 2017-2018, they need them to be studs from 2020-2030!!

    • Juice

      “Canucks don’t need them to be studs in the NHL in 2017-2018, they need them to be studs from 2020-2030!!”

      Clearly you don’t go to the games. With the owners losing 50 million a year in franchise value, all time low ticket sales and nothng for a disgruntled fanbase to get excited about it better (and will) be a lot quicker than that.


      • Bettie

        I can wholeheartedly agree with this. As long time season tickets holders my husband and i have decided we will longer support the team while Jim Benning is in charge. The on ice product is just terrible, as is the poisonous atmosphere at Rogers Arena the last few years. At the end of the day this is entertainment and for the thousands it costs us we have a right to complain about and boycott such a disappointing product.

        • Bud Poile

          That’s so sad,Betty.
          Whitecaps and Lions are winning.You might want to follow them.
          There’s the Giants,that’s great hockey.
          Then again,how about donating your time and energy to the less fortunate?
          That’s a much more positive place for fans such as yourself.
          Until the Canucks start winning more to your liking,that is,go help some neglected,abused and/or dying kids and animals.
          That should vastly increase your entertainment outlook.

          • Bettie

            Excuse me? What kind of sicko would say ”dying kids and animals” are a form of entertainment, I cannot quiet believe this! We spend lots of time helping the less fortunate at the harbour light thankyou. Maybe you could join us there and help out after apologising for your ignorance, which i have cut and pasted to pass on to the relevant authorities.

  • Dud

    ”Pettersson just wasn’t able to consistently get space to create offence.”

    There it is in a nutshell. This kid is gonna fold like a lawn chair in the wind in the heavyweight Pacific. The Cali and AB teams are lickin their lips like a butchers dog.

    Why try to polish these t*rds Ryan, tell it like it is, all these players are simply not going to make a difference – it’s a Canucks tradition to bust at the draft, trouble is, Benning isn’t winning on the ice for us either four years in.

    • Bud Poile

      The haters said the same thing about the Sedins.
      Since Elias is only 18 years old he will likely perform similar to the Sedins when he plays here at 20 years of age.
      30-35 points in his rookie campaign will do nicely.
      Gadjovich might be riding shotgun for him as his play in this tournament was very promising.

      • Dud


        “Last year Marner, Tkachuk, Provorov, Matthews, Nylander, Laine,etc. jumped straight from the draft table into making an impact at the highest level.” – Bud Poile

        ”The only thing that matters is the playoffs” – Bud Poile

        ” The Canucks need players that can contribute out of the gate, particularly on D. Hopefully it’s a player that is close to NHL ready come September” – Bud Poile

        bi-polar hypocrite much… *tumbleweeds*

        • Psych_Major

          **Updated sock account list** (Bud Poile, I Am Ted, apr, crofton, Jamie E, bobdaley44, backup bob, Locust, Cageyvet, Carl Jung, Green Bastard, Charlie Allnut, Silverback, MoeLemay, Whothesteal) be aware that this entire list is the same user under multiple user names. All confirmed more to come. Pathetic isn’t it.

          • Locust

            You asstards that use the wrong account to respond to comments is where all this started. You then hijack the accusation and try and bring it back on the people that outed you because of your own stupidity.
            Sad if it wasn’t so sad…..

          • Green Bastard

            I’ll try this again, without calling you out as my b*otch, cuz I guess you using one of your other accounts calling people c^ocksmokers is ok. Don’t clump me, Mr Green Bastard to you lil miss, in with anyone. You know better. Nothing is confirmed except you troll-ness

          • Juice

            Appreciate this list tbh as i get sick of seeing the same trolling bs from this character so will cut and paste so i can scroll past them. Even if half of these are correct it’s ridiculous that one idiot with so many ids gets away with ruining it for the rest of us. CA sort it out please.

    • Forward Thinker

      Glass half empty kind of guy eh? I agree the four prospects appear to have been a mild disappointment at this tournament, but these are kids and it is way, way to early to assess them as NHLers.

  • Canucks Realist

    I didn’t like the pick when it was made and after watching Pettersson at the WJSS i like it even less. He was underwhelming for a top five pick.

    We have had four drafts now under Benning with top six 1st round picks of Virtanen, Juolevi and Pettersson to address the rebuild. This just isn’t good enough in comparison to our Pacific Division rivals.

    I just want playoff hockey back in Vancouver and i don’t see any coming for years. So pissed off right now…

    • Dud

      Don’t sweat it, Benning will be history soon enough and hopefully a decent GM will be hired with a real solid plan and true talent for drafting like Edm and Tor have in place. Then we can ship out all the deadwood and get back into the playoffs like we had during the Gillis/Gilman glory days.

    • Moderated Post

      As a rebuilding team, Benning needed to trade for picks 1 or 2 this year, or swing something to be able to pick twice in the top 10. There’s absolutely no reason for a rebuilding team to have Tanev on the roster. With his no trade in effect Tanev will likely choose to go to a contender, meaning what the Canucks will get back will be at least a year out from joining the NHL.