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Photo Credit: Image: Vancouver Canucks / Twitter

Blackfish: CanucksArmy Prospect Report – March 8th, 2018

The playoffs are here!

Well, not for the Canucks but for quite a few of their prospects. In Europe, the playoffs have kicked off while in the CHL, their seasons are just about to finish up.

If you haven’t heard, one Canucks prospect broke a 42-year-old record. A few other prospects have already set new career highs and look to make their mark in the postseason.

Without further ado, let’s dive in!

All the images of stats are from Elite Prospects.

CANADIAN HOCKEY LEAGUE

Western Hockey League

  • Kole Lind has set new career highs in goals and points after a week that saw him put up two goals and two assists in three games. He continues to anchor the 2nd line for the Rockets and making the most of his chances.

  • Jakub Stukel continues his torrid pace over the last few months of the season – this week putting up four goals and three assists in four games.

Ontario Hockey League

  • Matt Brassard didn’t put up huge points over the past seven days, with one goal and one assist in three games, but remains among the league leaders in defencemen scoring.
  • Brett McKenzie with two assists in three games for Owen Sound.
  • Gadjovich ended the week with three goals in three games for Owen Sound – he is rounding his game out since returning from injury. His shot generation has started to rise over the last few games, which is encouraging.

  • 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 51 27-19-5 2.74 0.912% 7
  • Michael DiPietro set a new career high in shutouts with his 7th shutout of the season over the past week. He is one away from tying the OHL record for most shutouts in a career.

NCAA

  • Adam Gaudette had the week off due to Northeastern earning a bye – they face UMass this weekend in Hockey East Semifinals
  • William Lockwood’s season is done due to injury.

USHS

  • Jack Rathbone now has 11 goals and 19 assists in 17 games – that continues to be the best PPG pace among defencemen in the New England Prep School League.

EUROPE

Sweden

  • Elias Pettersson has set the single-season record for the most points by a U20 player in SHL history. With his two goal and two assist performance today, it pushed Pettersson to 55 points on the season which passed the 42-year record of 54 points that was set by Kent Nilsson. He has one more regular season game left to create more separation. Pettersson ended the week with four goals and three assists in seven games.

  • Rodrigo Abols is on loan to BIK Karlskoga in Allsvenskan.
  • Kristoffer Gunnarsson was held off the scoresheet for all three games this week.

  • Jonathan Dahlen ended the season with 44 points in 44 games for Timra IK – they will now face Leksands to then face the loser of the SHL playoff relegation round for promotion to the SHL. The first game of the series versus Leksands is tomorrow. When his season is over, he is eligible to play for Utica.
  • Rodrigo Abols had himself a week! Putting up three goals and four assists over five games.

Finland

  • Petrus Palmu ends the season on a high note with three goals over the past four games.

  • Olli Juolevi put up one assist over those same four games.

Russia

  • Nikita Tryamkin played one regular season game and four playoff games since our last update and was held off the scoresheet.
  • Zhukenov remains in the MHL and picked up one assist in two games. He is up to 10 goals and 24 assists in 34 games.

Czech Republic

  • Lukas Jasek appeared in two games over the last week – he was held off the scoresheet.

AHL

  • Reid Boucher was recalled by the Canucks earlier this week – if/when the Canucks send him back, he will subject to waivers.
  • Nikolay Goldobin and Tyler Motte remain with the Canucks.
  • Ashton Sautner was signed to a two-year extension earlier today.
  • Zach Lynch and Matt Leitner were signed to PTO’s since our last update.
  • 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 three games this week
  • Anton Cederholm picked up one assist.


  • WiseCanuck

    Just look at all the pom pom waving excuses about Pettersson on this thread because you all know this kid is going to be a flyweight in a heavyweight physical NHL that simply does not compare to soft-as-butter Sweden.

    Everytime i see him swamped in a playing shirt it makes me cringe when i think about him getting levelled and thrown around like an empty wheaties box by the Cali teams, Calgary and Vegas in the powerhouse hard hitting Pacific.

    Guys, get real and admit it – the likes of Getzlaf, Kesler, Doughty, Engelland, Sbisa, Ferland, Tkachuk etc are licking their lips waiting for this wimp to appear playing against them at centre. Newsflash blowhards – if you can’t compete in your own division there are NO PLAYOFFS… Petterssen is too damn slight and you know it.

    PS Oli Juolevi – still a Benning bust and still nowhere near NHL ready. FACT.

    • Well, if Pettersson isn’t going to make it, I guess the following players, who are all listed as under 180 lbs, should retire early:

      Nikita Kucherov (87 pts) – PS, he’s currently the league’s top scorer.
      Johnny Gaudreau (76 pbs)
      Jon Marchessault (65 pts)
      Patrick Kane (63 pts)
      Artemi Panarin (59 lbs)
      Brayden Point (57 pts)
      John Klingberg (56 pts)
      Mitch Marner (54 pts)
      Yanni Gourge (53 pts)
      Teuvo Teravainen (53 pts)
      Nik Ehlers (52 pts)
      Sebastian Aho (52 pts)

      …and that’s just the guy with 50+ points (0.80+ PPG) so far this season.

      • Giant-Nation

        I really like this Pettersson Kid, when you see him in interviews he seems to have alot of humility with a dry sense of humor and confidence. His skill is off the charts, really his hands are unbelievable, don’t get me wrong Glass is a great player but I think this kids ceiling is higher. He seems to keep getting better and he keeps working on the “details” of his game as a student and guy who’s studying how to improve his own skill set constantly. His big helmet sitting on his head reminds me of 99 in his younger days .If you watch a ton of his clips he is a wirey talented player that looks like he bends and fakes players constantly breaking ankles, just a crazy smart talented kid.

  • Canuck70

    In ’78 the canucks put three rookies together and created the kid line. Stan Smyl,Thomas Gradin, and Curt Fraser.
    How I would love to see the Canucks repeat that move next season. Imagine Peterson, Lind, and Gadjovich together. Or maybe a different mix with Gaudette and Dahlen? Utica? Forget it. Let them play in the NHL and put them on a line together. There is nothing like a bunch of young guys playing together, pushing each other and figuring out just how good they can become. Remember the young oilers in ’80? This is the year to draft some defencemen. I think the Canucks are on the verge of becoming very, very good. Let’s win the lottery!

    • Cageyvet

      This team needs to be open to giving all the high-level prospects a good long look in training camp and pre-season. I have no problem with Pettersson, Dahlen, etc. starting the year in Utica, but they should retain the roster flexibility to bring them up mid-season if they’re tearing up the AHL. Stukel seems like he’s worth a contract, the jury is still out on him obviously, but just like Goldobin it’s far too soon to give up on him.

      • Beer Can Boyd

        Goldobin does seem to need the JV18 treatment from Green though. Some dumb, lazy hockey from him in the last few games. Not the way to win a job, especially when the coach is playing you with 2 future Hall of Famers.

    • TD

      I think Pettersson, Gaudette and Dahlen are all closer than Lind and Gadjovich. I would think Lind and Gadjovich are more likely to need some AHL seasoning. Promising group.

    • Fred-65

      Better still bring back the Gradin/Smyl/Fraser line ..you can dream right LOL Man Fraser could one punch 50% of the league. When Smyl played in New West they often said he’d hit some one and go straight through the Queens Park boards

  • TD

    I think everyone wrote off Jakob Stukel at the half way point of the season, but should the Canucks sign him based on his second half? He’s also supposed to be a great skater which has become so important these days. What does his chances of making look like based on his second half? It’s a long enough period that it should have validity. I wonder if he was injured earlier.

    Dahlen finished slower, he was over a point per game pace for a long time.

    • Puck Viking

      No they shouldnt sign Stukel!!! That spot should be used on a college free agent who has put up good numbers not bad ones. This guy was drafted years ago.

    • RobG

      I had a chance to watch Stukel last Sunday against the Rebels and he was completely invisible. IF I didn’t know #10 was a drafted player wouldn’t have even noticed him. Granted, the hitmen weren’t even in the first two periods and were getting run out of their own building. Calgary came out flying in the 3rd and scored 6 goals but even then at 5 on 5, Stukel wasn’t a difference maker. He did look good on the PP though. I think he ended the game with a goal and two helpers (one goal was on the PP, one assist was on an empty netter) but he didn’t stand out in any way especially at 5 on 5.

      Maybe I just caught him on an off night and it was a performance that was out of character, but if that’s the way he plays night in and night out, I don’t see him making an NHL roster any time soon.

        • RobG

          Yes, the box cars dont tell the whole story. He spent the entire game floating. He was the last forward in on the forecheck, the last forward back on the back check. In the offensive zone he avoided board battles at all costs and mostly stood around waiting for his teammates to get him the puck. He wasn’t working hard and spent most of his shifts just floating around the ice doing nothing. Calgary was getting absolutely run over the first 40 minutes and he did nothing to get in the mix or make anything happen. He was the perfect definition of “perimeter player.” 3 of the 6 Calgary goals came in the last 5 minutes of the 3rd. By then my kids were getting restless so the goals kind of all blend together in the memory but I do recall that he scored on a nice shot through a screen and he made a pretty nice first-assist pass on another. The only time he played well in the game was after it was already out of reach in the last 5 or 10 minutes but for the first 50 minutes or so he did absolutely nothing. Like I said, the whole team was dead the first 40 minutes and getting run over so maybe that game was just a one-off and isn’t representative of the normal way he plays.

  • KCasey

    So I think its safe to assume Elias over Glass was the right choice. What a revelation he has turned out to be. This team has had its fair share of disappointments and pitfalls but the Boeser Calder watch and Pettersson passing Nilson have been nothing short of a season saver for a lot of people.
    Question in regards to Pettersson though. In terms of his percieved current physical shortcomings, at this point whats the real extra challenge he can expect to face moving into either Utica or (fingers crossed) NHL within the next year. Its seems that he was marked as small statured in Tier 2 and still tore it up, than proceeded to move up a Tier where the players are even more experienced, physical and skilled and as is quite clear…..shredded everything in site. I know North American hockey is considered to be the tough mans league in a lot of ways but with it moving away from fighting and just general aggressivness, could Pettersson find ways to utilize his god given ablilities and exploit weaknesses that the rugged style of play poises or is it more likely that the grinding of the extended season eventually wears him down until he has that fitness level and general strong build to help supplement him in the areas that pure skill wont. Seems that with the way the league wants teams to play, its gearing more and more towards the Pettersson type era.

      • argoleas

        This debate reminds me a bit of the questions revolving around Boeser, Gaudette, and even Barzal: Does an extra year of development prep the player better for the long-term? And I believe the answer is a resounding yes. So there’s compelling reasons for letting Pettersson spend the season in Utica: Full-time as a Center, getting used to the bump-and-grind of a North American game on a North American rink. At the while he could be called up at will. We all know the Canucks will have plenty of injuries.

        I don’t know what the Canucks Powers That Be will decide eventually, and Pettersson’s offseason and training camp will factor in bigly, but that Utica option is surely something they are thinking about.

        • tyhee

          I agree with your answer to the extra year of development.

          People on here aren’t going to like seeing this, but Pettersson is not under contract to the Canucks and is on the first season of a three season contract in Sweden. Right now the Canucks don’t have any power over what league he plays in next season.

          Assuming he can get out of his Swedish contract to sign with the Canucks, is there any reason to think he won’t get a European out clause of the sort that Dahlen got and exercised and Tryamkin got and made clear he would exercise if assigned to Utica? Pettersson is by far the most impressive prospect of the three, is already under contract in Sweden and imo has more negotiating leverage than either Tryamkin or Dahlen had, at least in the short term.

          Pettersson might decide or be convinced by the Canucks that Utica is the bet place for him next season, but right now it appears that it will be his decision to make.

          There’s also the question about whether the Canucks would want to send him to Utica. I’m guessing that the Canucks plan on Pettersson and Gaudette moving straight to the NHL.

          • My understanding was that the Vaxjo contract will bind Pettersson to Vaxjo only if he chooses to play in Europe. But he can leave anytime and sign a contract in North America without any restrictions. The SHL is actively campaigning the NHL to allow prospects more time to develop in Sweden because they got tired of their top talent spending only a year and then jumping to the NHL.

          • argoleas

            It may very well be that Pettersson decides he needs an extra year of development, and that the SHL is the best place for him, in which case, that’s what will happen. And there’s a perfectly legit argument for it as opposed to Utica, nevermind the NHL. Closer to home, gives him another year to get stronger, and he would get more opportunities to place Center there as well.

            Development of a slight 19-yr old is still priority, and Canucks will probably be absorbing more than enough rookies for Green’s liking.

          • Having dominated the SHL, I would think that Pettersson needs a new challenge, that being adapting to the smaller ice surface and more physical play in the AHL. This offseason, a year in Utica, and then the next offseason…he could easily get to 180+ lbs. I think he has already put on 5-7 lbs of muscle since he was drafted.

      • TD

        I agree in the weight. Pettesprsson will have to learn to play with a slight frame. He’s tall, but will never be heavy, I doubt that the weight room will significantly change that. To much weight may hamper his performance.

        • He’ll fill out a bit but as you say, he’ll never be heavy.

          He’s the same height as the Sedins and they’ve played most of their careers in the 180-190 range. I think it’s reasonable to expect Pettersson to end up in that range as he matures. It’s not like the Sedins needed to be 220 to effectively protect the puck.

    • Nuck16

      All I can say as look at Wayne Gretzky when he entered the league..he had a boys body and the culture in the league was far more violent…but Gretzky never got hit. If Elias can be slippery like that, he may not have an issue.
      I expect he’ll start packing on some weight soon. FWIW, I was same height (inch taller) and build as him at his age, also of Scandinavian descent, and I was putting on 5-10 lbs per years of muscle at his age, getting up to 195 by about 21. I was 165 at 18.