CanucksArmy Prospect Mailbag – December 8th, 2017

We are back after a small hiatus.

I apologize for missing the last couple weeks – my wife was under the weather one week, then I was the following week, and then last weekend I took some time to hit the slopes in Whistler. The first two weeks were just really bad luck, and then last week was something that I had planned for a few weeks. My goal is to do it weekly, but sometimes, it just won’t happen.

With that being said, the little break allowed some time to pass and things to happen. Which means we get a variety of new questions to dive into.

I believe Jeremy and I will be diving into the players more in depth in the coming weeks – but there are quite a few. So keep an eye on us to profile players like Dominik Bokk (Germany), Filip Zadina (Czech Republic), Filip Hallander, Jacob Olofsson, Isac Lundestrom (Sweden), Quinn Hughes and Brady Tkachuk (USA).

There will be others – but those are the headliners of the evaluation camp invites.

My Swedish sources are limited, but I have heard some suggestions that Brynas may be a landing spot for him. With that being said, it may not happen. Given how the last few months have unfolded in Vancouver and Utica, it’s not crazy to think that Dahlen heads back to the AHL once his out clause allows him (January 31). He would be able to get ice time in a top 6 role with the Comets while adjusting to the North American game.

Either way – SHL or AHL – he is going to get a good opportunity somewhere. He has been fun to watch in Timra, leading a line (for the most part recently) with those 2018 draft eligible players Hallander and Olofsson.

Honestly, I thought Tippett was a lock to make the Team Canada roster, let alone an invite. I wasn’t alone in this thought as Tippett is a good skater and goal scorer. With that being said, with Philips and Tippett not there, it definitely helps Linds’ case to make the final roster. But it’s far from a sure thing as Tyson Jost is expected to be released by the Avalanche, just further crowding the forward ranks.

I think it’s possible that he makes the team – but he will have to earn it at the camp. Here are some great graphs from Jeremy Davis showing Lind’s impact in the WHL this season:

He was actually someone that I quickly profiled last year here.

At that time, pGPS showed that 25.0% of comparable players went onto becoming NHL regulars, which is an extremely high number for any UFA prospect. If he does turn pro at the conclusion of this season, the Canucks would be wise to pursue.

He’s been good to start the year – he’s been playing his calm and collected game as he adjusts to the professional ranks. He isn’t a perfect prospect, but you can see why the Canucks were interested.

There have been some growing pains but he has been rounding a corner and appearing to grow more confident with the puck. I do think that his great pre-season created a few lofty expectations simply because he is just 20 years old entering the first year of his entry-level contract.

If he continues to improve and round out his game, he will be a good prospect to keep an eye on.

Just to add to the Chatfield talk – I do think it’ll allow Chatfield to play more regularly and with more icetime with Subban now no longer in the organization.

It’s fair to argue he’d move into the top 3, but putting in an order may be hard to do.

Nico Hischier has been good at the NHL level and Miro Heiskanen has also been very good in the SM Liiga. He would definitely leapfrog Cale Makar (I always had Makar lower) and Nolan Patrick. Cody Glass has also had a fantastic start to the season and would at least deserve being considered at #4 above Makar and Patrick.

With that being said, I did have Patrick ahead of Pettersson prior to the draft. It’s just that Pettersson has taken that next step forward, that no one really expected. He’s been fantastic to start the season and it feels like you are waiting for it to stop, but then he goes and puts up 4 assists.

I feel that Juolevi has the potential to be a 30-40 point defenceman – simply because of his ability to move the puck and his wrist shot is accurate, albeit lacking pep. He is good at moving the puck to his teammates in good positions, which at the NHL level should allow him to get a few primary and secondary assists along the way.

The Suter comparison is fair to some degree – I don’t think that Juolevi will be able to be as physical in his containments and board plays as Suter though.

His knock was limited offensive upside. He didn’t produce particularly well in the USHL and thus teams weren’t sure if he would ever have a chance of being nothing more than depth AHL tweener. Those concerns continued during his freshman year because he was not producing until Christmas….. then exploded and hasn’t looked back since.

I’ve really been impressed with his shot, it is infinitely better than it was 2 years ago. I also think he has really improved his 2-3 step quickness from no stride position. If he wins a battle or forces a turnover while not in stride, he is able to get going quickly. This has allowed him to create offence in different ways. He was always a good skater when he got going, but that addition has allowed him to lose defenders.

I believe there will be a post sometime in the near future about his numbers using SEAL – but simply put, don’t be worried, at all. It was an unfortunate circumstance of when he got sick.

Let’s just say that the Canucks decided in the summer to have him in the SHL this season – a team would’ve snapped him up. But the plan was a ‘wait and see’ approach that was complicated by Dahlen getting mono. Once he was ready to come back, the SHL season was already going, so teams were less likely to take chance, let alone give him a big role. This made him look at Timra, and he is now back up to full speed.

He plays a lot, is putting up points and looks dangerous a lot of the time.

It was the most nerve-wracking 3.5 minutes of my professional life. I was stressed for the entire 2 days before, as it was confirmed that I would be on for that game.

Luckily Dan Murphy and I had worked out what he was going to ask, what to say, and what to expect, so I was prepared. Which was good, since I basically blacked out without fully hearing what he said. There was a lot of things to remember when doing it. My goal was to do well enough that I would get another chance, and I think that will be the case.

But the overwhelming response has made me feel really good about it. I had some friends who I hadn’t talked to in a few years send me messages with “I was watching the game, had no idea you were going to be on, and there you were. Super excited for you!”

Add those to the countless tweets and other positive messages – and I am proud of it. I generally don’t like talking about myself, but this does allow me to thank everyone who has supported me over the last 2+ years in this journey. I wouldn’t have had this chance without the support of so many people, many of whom that I have never met. So, thank you, everyone, here and on Twitter for reading and being supportive.

Normally, I would grab a couple questions from the comment section – but since it was 3 weeks since the last one, I didn’t. If you have any questions for next week, leave them in the comments below!

Enjoy your weekend!

  • Pjdulay

    I’m obviously a little bias but how does Vancouver’s top 6-7 prospects (Pettersson, Juolevi, Dahlen, Gaudette, Demko, etc.) rank against other teams top 6-7 prospects. It just seems to me that the Canucks should be near the top

  • SJ

    I have a couple for next week. I think I asked these 3 weeks ago, but they still seem fairly relevant:

    1. There’s a fair number of somewhat “forgotten” Canucks prospects. Are Labate, Cederholm, Abols done as prospects? Stukel, Zhukenov, Jasek on the verge of the same fate?

    2. Do you think Gunnarsson has much potential? Hasn’t done anything tangible, but is playing D in SHL @ 20 y/o after a whole pot of coffee there last year. Do you “think he’s gonna play”?

    • Chris the Curmudgeon

      I would personally be surprised if any of those players, except perhaps Joe LaBate, ever even appeared in a future NHL game. LaBate’s pugilism is enough that he probably gets in as a 12-13 forward at some point, but the rest of those guys have majorly stalled. Stranger things have happened, but I don’t think any of those guys will even get an additional contract offer from the team (I believe only Labate and Cederholm even have them now).

  • Ragnarok Ouroboros

    Of the prospects Adam Gaudette, Kole Lind, Jonah Gadovich, Elias Petterson, Jonathen Dahlen, and Olli Juolevi how many of them do you think will make the NHL, and what line would you project them on? Is there any other player in the Canucks Prospect pool that has a likely chance to make the NHL? Jalen Chatfeld?

    • Chris the Curmudgeon

      I don’t know about their lines, but I think all of those guys will play in the NHL at some point. That’s the top crust of our prospect pool and all have shown enough to project them as NHLers of some stripe.

  • I’d like to see Dahlen stay with Timra unless he gets a contract with Vaxjo and plays with Pettersson. I could see him getting a lesser role in the SHL whereas if he stays with Timra, he gets a shot at winning the Allsvenskan scoring title.

  • Steamer

    I am conflicted regarding the selection of Lockwood over Abramov 2 years ago; while Lockwood has shown much better than I expected, I remain a big fan of Abramov’s game. Back for a final year as an over-age Junior, Abramov did manage 4 points ( 1G3A ) in the AHL at the conclusion of last year. If you could turn back the clock, which player would you choose? ( know you liked Abramov as well at the time ) & what do you see as possible for each of those players in the coming year or two? Thanks!

  • defenceman factory

    A couple questions for next week

    1) Gadjovich’s skill set seems a good line match with Pettersson’s. Is Jonah’s skating progressing and do you see him ever being good enough to be on a top line.

    2) Dube and Lind are, by far, the best forwards on the Rockets. The stats indicate they do not compliment each others play and from what I’ve seen it’s true. Any theories on why that is?

  • TheRealPB

    Love this feature, best part of CA.

    How would you rate Palmu’s first season? He seems to have cooled off a bit, but he and Juolevi are on a Turku team that is transitioning with a few (really) old vets leading the way and a lot of young players being worked in.

    Also, I know it’s really hard to follow high school/midget players but is there anything you’ve heard about Rathbone this year? I know he’s a long-term project and is a commit to Harvard I believe.

  • speering major

    Do you think Kapanen + a first rounder for Tanev is fair market value? If so, that’s the kind of deal the Canucks should pursue IMO. With Oli on the doorstep and a deep draft on D, this seems like a good time to flip an asset for the rebuild. The play of Pouliot and Biega can soften the blow in the short term. Theoretically, the Canucks will lose Sedin, Sedin, Vanek (Dorsett) at the end of the year. Burmistrov and Gaunce are fringe NHLers also. Seems to make sense for the Canucks to pursue another prospect on the doorstep to the NHL (Baertschi, Grandlund, Dahlen, Goldobin) and Draft a high D prospect

  • Rodeobill

    What’s your impression of Trent Cull so far? I wish I could watch the games, but I can’t. Is he a go for the cup kinda guy, or develop prospects guy? What style of coach is he? What systems does he preferentially use?

  • TD

    What are the projected chances for our top prospects to make it to the NHL and their projected points in the NHL based on their ages, leagues and current point production?

  • Burnabybob

    I hope the Canucks land a good defenseman in the first round of this year’s draft. Even if they hold their current position and pick somewhere in the middle of the first round, there should be a good prospect available. The past couple of years grade “A” defensemen slipped through the cracks (Chychrun and Liljegren) and were taken later than they probably should have been. Hopefully the same happens this year. Adding a d-man of that caliber would be a great addition to an already impressive stable of prospects.