It’s no secret the Canucks have struggled to score of late, save for last night’s 4-3 overtime win over the San Jose Sharks. Who can blame them? They’re without two-thirds of their first line. That’s tough sledding no matter the team.
The Canucks might have a player in their system who could help generate offence though. Remember Reid Boucher? He of the 27 games with the Canucks last season after they plucked him off the waiver wire. Well, he’s been lighting the AHL on fire this season with the Utica Comets. In 24 games with the Comets, Boucher has 25 points according to www.hockeydb.com.
Boucher is 24-years-old and on the cusp of leaving prospect territory, so if the Canucks are ever going to find out if he’s an NHL contributor, I’d say now is the time, right? Or not? I asked the CanucksArmy staff to muse on whether he’s a legitimate NHL option in the short or long-term. Let’s hear what they have to say.
Yes, he should get a call up now. I think Boucher should have been on the team to start the season, as he had some promising stretches at the end of last year and has decent scoring results at the NHL level. He’s continuing to light up the AHL, and at this point the Canucks need all the offensive help they can get.
I watched Boucher a little bit during his tenure in New Jersey, and was always waiting for… I don’t know. That final breakthrough. He always looked like he was in a small slump but had the talent; I was just waiting for it to finally show.
I’m not super sure he’ll ever be anything more than a depth tweener, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to give him a shot. What do they have to lose?
Is Chaput still in the lineup? There’s your answer.
At this point I’m not in a hurry to call Reid Boucher up to the Canucks and there’s a few reasons why.
If he were to get called up it would be to help the powerplay. The PP is fine at the moment as it’s currently running with a success rate of 20.72%, good for 8th in the league. There’s also a couple of players I’d like to see get their share of PP time before Boucher who are currently on the roster in Virtanen and Burmistrov.
Angry Canucks twitter just got their wish to #FreeGoldy, who do you think Green would take out of the lineup to slot in the offensive minded Boucher? As much as you’d like it to be Granlund or Gaunce, Green trusts them on the defensive side of the puck. Gralund is currently 5th and Gaunce 8th out of 18 Canucks forwards in even strength TOI/GP this season. The latter two are also go to options on the PK.
I’m not sure inserting a player viewed as a defensive liability because of his skating deficiency is what the team needs at the moment. His CF% of 48.37% and GF% of 35% from last season with the squad aren’t enough for me to take potential future assets out of the lineup.
I guess if there’s a time to call him up this is it, but I think I would rather just see the team use the offensive forwards they currently have more optimally. I’m not convinced they have the lineup to get much out of Boucher at the moment. The Gaunce-Chaput-Virtanen line can at the very least win matchups, I’m not sure that happens if you take one of those guys out for Boucher.
I’m not against it, but I think a better bet to get some secondary scoring is to just keep Burmistrov and Goldobin in the lineup.
I stand by everything I wrote in this article:
— J.D. Burke (@JDylanBurke) March 18, 2017
And this radio hit:
— J.D. Burke (@JDylanBurke) December 12, 2017