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Blackfish: CanucksArmy Prospect Report – March 1st, 2018

The trading deadline is in the rearview mirror and teams start to focus on long playoff runs with hopes of capturing their league title.

It’s clear that the Canucks won’t be making the dance in the NHL, but their prospects have a lot to prove in the final month of the regular season and playoffs.

This week saw some really good performances from some of the organizations top prospects. There has been a lot of talk about negativity in the market this week, but that isn’t what this report is about. It’s about the future, and there is a lot to be positive about there.

Let’s take a look at the week that was for the organizations up and comers.

All the images of stats are from Elite Prospects.

CANADIAN HOCKEY LEAGUE

Western Hockey League

  • Kole Lind is back! In four games over the past week, he posted four goals and three assists including a 4 point performance (3-1-4) last night vs Prince George. The Rockets will look to make hay in the WHL playoffs this year led by Lind, Dillon Dube and Cal Foote.

  • Jakub Stukel also had a very good week – putting up three goals and four assists in four games this week for Calgary. His late-season resurgence has been good to see.

Ontario Hockey League

  • Matt Brassard continues to put up points with two assists in three games this week for Oshawa. It was a slower week for the top pairing defencemen for the Generals, but this pass was dynamite:

  • Brett McKenzie picks up two assists in the past week for Owen Sound – as he gets more comfortable in his depth role with the Attack.
  • Gadjovich continues to get his feet under him after missing a couple of games due to an apparent back injury. He had two goals and two assists in three games this past week.

  • Cole Candella is held off the scoresheet for another week.
Name Pos Age League Team GP Record GAA SV% S/O
Michael DiPietro G 18 OHL Windsor 49 26-18-5 2.77 0.912% 6
  • Michael DiPietro quietly picks up two wins for Windsor over the last seven days. Despite stripping the roster of most of their stars at the deadline, the Spitfires will be likely making the playoffs and DiPietro has been a huge part of their success.

NCAA

  • Have you head of this Adam Gaudette kid? He continues to put up points and lead the NCAA in scoring. Over the past week, he posted two goals and three assists in two games. Northeastern will have the week off, as they earned a bye in the Hockey East Playoffs. Lastly… Gaudette was named Hockey East Player of the Month for February – he had 17 PTS in 8 games.

  • William Lockwood’s season is done due to injury.

USHS

  • Jack Rathbone is up to 10 goals and 19 assists in 16 games – which remains the best PPG pace among defencemen in the New England Prep School League.

EUROPE

Sweden

  • Elias Pettersson’s season is back underway after the Olympics. Vaxjo has signed former NHL’r Dennis Rasmussen, which shifted Pettersson back to the RW. Which can be viewed as a good thing, as it allows him to rover a bit and attack with the puck. He had two goals and one assist over the two games this week. Vaxjo plays at 10 AM PT.

  • Rodrigo Abols is on loan to BIK Karlskoga in Allsvenskan.
  • Kristoffer Gunnarsson is still searching for his first point of the season. It is encouraging that he has been able to secure a full-time spot with Frolunda this year

  • Just going to get this out of the way – Timra is fun to watch these days. Jacob Olofsson, Filip Hallander, Fabian Zetterlund and Jonathan Dahlen give them great offensive depth and work ethic. Dahlen put up one goal and one assist in two games over the past week.

  • Rodrigo Abols with only one goal in two games over the past week.

Finland

  • Petrus Palmu with one assist in TPS’ only game this week. He continues to remain a mainstay on their 2nd line
  • Olli Juolevi has worked his way back up the lineup and played on the top pairing last game, picking up this goal:

Russia

  • Nikita Tryamkin only played one game this week and was held off the scoresheet. Some people on twitter pointed out that he liked some Canucks related things on Instagram this month, so the organization has that going for them?
  • Zhukenov remains in the MHL and picked up three assists in two games. He is up to 10 goals and 23 assists in 32 games.

Czech Republic

  • Lukas Jasek was able to break the slump after the Olympic Break with one assist in two games for Bili Tygri Liberec.

AHL

  • Earlier in the week, Jacob Markstrom returned to the NHL roster, so there was a shuffle down effect. Richard Bachman was reassigned to the Comets and Michael Garteig was sent back to Kalamazoo.
  • Nikolay Goldobin and Tyler Motte were ‘papered’ on trade deadline day to ensure that they are eligible for the AHL playoffs.
  • Justin Taylor and Mathieu Brodeur were released from the PTO’s over the last 7 days.
  • If you are looking for in-depth post-game reports about each Comets game – go to Cory Hergott’s author page here.

ECHL

  • MacKenze Stewart was held off the scoresheet in the one game this week
  • Same goes for Anton Cederholm
  • Feeling pretty good about McEwen; I understand he’s in or close to being in top 20 of rookie scoring. There is a lot made about extra picks; if you can get more pick in the first 3 rounds – go for it. But looking at our prospects after the 4th rounds is a real hit and hope. I don’t think people should be losing their minds if Benning and his scouts would rather Lepsick and Motte than an extra 4th and 5th for Vanek. In the 5th round, I believe Benning has drafted Gaudette, Forsling (hopefully good) to Neil, Scandella, Gunnerson, Cederholm (probably not so much). Giving Jim extra draft picks may unearth a really good player, but picking up young 22 year olds who have excelled in AHL (and not yet in NHL) instead of late draft picks so we don’t have to see Chaput and Megna wearing Nucks jerseys is totally reasonable to me.

    • I am hoping that McEwen can make some progress and play for the Canucks sometime next year. He is big, and from what I hear can skate fairly fast on having him play center for Jake and Goldobin could be fun to watch if they all up their work ethic. If they start off good that would boost their confidence and with that perhaps they don’t overthink the game and just go out and give it their all. Goldobin I hope ups his game and work off the ice to come in next season in the best shape he has ever been in. Maybe he should train with Jake this summer as he sure made people notice him with the work he put in.

    • I don’t think people should be losing their minds if Benning and his scouts would rather Lepsick and Motte than an extra 4th and 5th for Vanek.

      There is little doubt that Motte has a better chance at a successful NHL career than a 4th-round pick (where the odds are about one in ten, depending how you define success). For all of the kvetching, it may have been the best trade Benning had available.

  • Elias Pettersson has now matches Fillip Forsberg’s top U20 season who also had 48 pts in 39 gp in the SHL.
    He only needs 6 points in his final 5 games to tie the all time SHL U20 scoring record held by Kent Nilsson.

    • You mean Peter Forsberg? Pretty exciting to be able to beat the records of Swedish legends although Kent Nilsson did it in only 36 games. Pretty unbeatable PPG record IMO.

    • In fairness to Kent, he accomplished the feat in 36 games. I think Kent’s relatively short NHL career (he only played 9 full NHL seasons, after spending 2 in the WHA) probably keeps him from being mentioned alongside some of the all-time great players to whom his talent was likely comparable. In 1980-81 at age 24, he finished 3rd in scoring with 131 points, just behind a teenaged Wayne Gretzky and a mid-prime Marcel Dionne, and just ahead of one Michael Bossy. However, injuries and his less-than-optimal commitment to physical fitness shortened his prime and probably kept him out of the Hall. With all due respect to Forsberg, as pure talent goes, Nilsson blew him out of the water. That Pettersson is in the same conversation as those gentlemen (not to mention having surpassed the teenaged SHL seasons of Markus Naslund and both Sedins) underscores just how much potential that kid has. Could end up being the single best decision of the Benning era (God knows there’ll be some competition for “worst decision”).

    • He is up to 70 PTS in 46 games with Kelowna – he missed some time due to WJHC and injury.

      It’s usually Dube on the first line, and then Lind on the 2nd – which gives Lind some more favourable matchups

  • Fire Benning. hes terrible. cant trade, is only ok at drafting… virt and oli are a bust…

    Wait… Horvat is a legit top center. boeser and most likely petersen are going to be elite. Jake and Oli seem to be figuring it out. Polliot looks like a steal. Baer definately was a steel. Liepsic looks unreal… I cant beleive we got that back in return for Holm… add in gaudette and Lind and Dahlen… plus a high end draft pick this year (please win the lottery) and OMG… we are a playoff team in 2 or 3 years??!?!?!

    I think benning might actually know what hes doing…

    • If we’re judging players before they’ve reached the NHL, or by their first game with a team, I’d like to introduce you to the NHL’s all-time leading goal scorer Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who is centering a line with the league’s top winger Nail Yakupov.

      If all the Canucks prospects develop into impact players, they’ll be competitive. But that’s true of most of the NHL.
      Betting that you’re going to hit on all of your prospects isn’t the way to go. You need to have enough depth in your pipeline, and be able to surround those players with enough secondary talent, to survive some of those prospects busting. The Canucks are *not* there, especially on defense.

      • Yes, obviously I know that and I was being a bit optimistic but the canucks already have a couple decent players doing well in the NHL; specifically, Bo and Boeser… plus some solid secondary guys like JV, Goldy and Baer. My point is… we dont need all those players to hit. if 2 or 3 out of Petersen, Lind, Dahlen and Gaudette reach there full potential (Petersen and Gaudette look like pretty sure bets but we will see) plus you add in some of the others ones who might surprises… now with Leispic… who for some reason has been tossed around the leauge dispite being a high-end talent (probably becuase of his size).. Add in a top 3 pick this year and things could get pretty interesting!!!

        Defense is a definate weakness but I hope that can be addressed through this draft and free agency… we only need 2 higher-end defensmen… our bottom 4 could be solid-ish.

        We will see how it all pans out but I am pretty happy with the direction despite all the negativity.

        Ill give Benning the 3 years he got on his extension before I start calling for his head. that said, i dont think it will come to that.

      • I do agree with you that you cant put all your eggs into one basket and pray they all hatch because thats absolutely a failing plan. However I have to disagree on the bigger picture, which to me is that Benning clearly isnt resting and assuming he has hit 100% on ever pick he has ever made. Hence why he went into secondary markets like the NCAA and undrafted free agents as well as reclamation projects which havent all panned of course but the big three of Sven, Granlund and Pouliot are currently holding spots on our NHL roster which is broken down to 20% of our starting roster. Thats just reclamation projects. Toss in our current young core of Horvat, Boeser, Stetcher, Virtanen and possibly even a case for Goldy and suddenly almost half of our roster is already composed of young players that have already panned out or showed enough to at least say they made it. Whats more is part of the roster will be some older vets such as Tanev, Erikson, Sutter and by the time we are pushing for cups a free agent signing or two and suddenly this roster really only has maybe 5 or 6 spots that will need to be filled with with either players we drafted or a future reclamation project. So given all of this, and the fact this website just started its top 20 prospects list for the Canucks, this team only needs about 20% of its CURRENT (theres still at least 2 more drafts until this team is gearing up for fun times) non NHL prospects to become players for us. Thats an incredibly low need for prospects to make an impact considering we have a couple that most can comfortably agree will play in the NHL in a high profile role (Petterson, Joleuvi, Demko and Gaudette to some capacity). So ya I agree thats teams shouldnt rely on a 100% success rate of prospects….but I have to ask you a serious question….exactly which team to think is actually doing that? Its certainly not the Canucks….and if they are expecting every pick to make it….there gonna be pleasantly suprised when the first 3 do and realize the roster is already filled and there gonna have to move guys for the better prospect options. I can live with that mistake on there part.

  • As i thought Petterssen’s numbers have sadly sunk like a stone and clearly the kid is better on wing than at centre, which means we mis-drafted. Pavel Bure scored 34 goals in his first NHL season followed by back to back 60 goalers. Can’t see Elias getiing anywhere near that.

    Juolevi is 100 per cent a Benning bust, brutal performance and numbers in a weak euro league. This kid was supposed to be our Drew Doughty, not a chance of that, more like Drew Carey!

    • Yeah… Petersen is probably a bust because he is a part time center in the 3rd best league in the world putting up generational elite numbers.

      Waste of a draft pick. Too bad we have no legit centers… wait… horvat, gaudette and Sutter? And if the 6’1 150 lbs Petersen puts on 20 or 30 pounds (as he probably will considering his age) he will probably be able to shift back to center.

      Obviously you know nothing about hockey

      • That scout who watches Petterssons games said he made the switch halfway through the season to C and was playing wing in his Allsvenskin days. JB drafted him to be C and i hope we develope him as such, i dont see the upside in rushing him to play wing next year for us which IMO hurts his development. The scout said he still needs to iron out some defensive deficiencies at C, and is going to need to get stronger. Let him play in the AHL next year, learn the north american ice, focus on strength and conditioning, and develop into that number one C.

    • Petterson has the most points per game of any player in the Swedish Hockey League. And this is a 19 year old playing in a men’s league.

      But saying that Petterson is not likely to match Bure’s records is no great insult. What is an insult is that a troll like you borrows his name.

  • If management wants to be instantly popular, and I mean instantly, all they need to do is get Tyramkin back over here. He’s easily worth a Gudbranson contract. Keep up the twitter campaign people, maybe he will change his mind as we start to get better next year.