WWYDW: Centre or Wing

We’ve officially reached the dog days of summer. The hockey world had ground to a halt, and anyone still following the Canucks has precious little elements left to dissect. In other words, it’s the time for lineup speculation.

One player a lot of Canucks fans are speculating about Elias Pettersson. Not only about his potential linemates, but whether he starts at centre or wing. Where do you put Petersson in the lineup? What linemates would you like to see him with?

Last week I asked: Where would you like to see Quinn Hughes next season?

North Van Halen:

I’d sign him and start him in Utica with the rest of the kids. As the season wears on and attrition and/or trades take their course, I’d give him some games to get him used to the NHL pace. I’d be in no hurry to surpass the 9 game threshold unless he was blowing the doors off the AHL. Even then, there’s no hurry.
This year and next should be about developing the young core. Having a bunch of them bond & grow in Utica certainly can’t hurt the process.
The problem with this theory is I doubt Hughes signs to play a majority of the year in Utica, it’s more likely he goes back to Michigan which is fine too, but that’s what I’d try.


Michigan has a strong hockey program and is a good school. But given where Hughes was drafted, the degree won’t really be his future meal ticket (Rathbone at Harvard, by contrast, is a completely different story.) So, I’d rather see Hughes turn pro and develop under the eye of professional coaches with his future teammates in either the NHL or AHL depending how camp goes. Yeah, Hughes could build up some more strength, but Bobby Orr wasn’t much bigger than Hughes when he entered the league.


If Hughes agrees, send him back to Michigan where he can finish another year of school, hit the gym, and dominate the NCAA with Lockwood. Focus on finding ice-time for Juolevi, if he shows he’s ready for the NHL. Definitely sign Hughes for 2019-2020, when you can figure out if Edler wants to resign on a team-friendly deal, JB and Green can figure out if Pouliot and Hutton are worth keeping, and you can let MDZ walk as a UFA. For now, we can pencil in rookie Hughes, a more experienced Juolevi, and a veteran like Edler as our 2019-2020 starting LHD with a other decent LHD as depth (e.g. Brisebois, McEneny, another Utica standout).


Not to repeat myself from last week but…

Give him a cup of coffee at the NHL and then send him down to Utica with Kole Lind, Adam Gaudette, Thatcher Demko, and possibly even Elias Petterson. Follow the Leafs’ example from 15-16 – stack your AHL team with potentially-elite young talent and let them wreck worlds while forming chemistry and personal bonds, and then bring them up as a group the following season.

Hughes will get professional experience, make some money, and be given time to develop his game further in an environment that will be more forgiving of mistakes and more open to experimentation than an NHL roster, and the Comets will have a very good shot at the Calder. Then bring him (and the rest of that young crew) up in 2019 so he can take a run at the other Calder.


  • TheRealPB

    I don’t entirely understand the suggestion of having him play C with a natural center who’s good on draws like Sutter on the wing. Isn’t the point that there’s a lot more responsibility in the C position, both defensively and helping tracking the breakouts?

    Does anyone know why he was played mostly on the W in the Swedish leagues? Is it because of the preference for veterans to play in the middle there (I guess that’s probably true in the NHL too)? In the World Championships they had him on the wing with Backlund. I can’t tell by looking at the rosters (there’s about 8 Cs listed for Vaxjo and Timra for his three years). If that’s the position for him to be the most successful then perhaps we should follow that lead.

  • DB1282

    Bobby Orr was approximately 5 ft 11 in and 175 lbs at the age of 18, he joined an NHL that was a lot rougher and dirtier than it is today, Quinn Hughes believes he is ready for the NHL so what’s the problem? sign him up, lets see what the kid can do.

    • Bud Poile

      Orr scored 2 PPG in his last year of junior for Oshawa.
      Quinn scored .33 PPG for the US Development program @ 16-17 years.
      Every kid says they are ready,whether they should play or not depends on many other factors.

      • truthseeker

        It’s a real simple question Bud.

        If Hughes shows in camp that he is obviously one of the top defenders on the team, do you think he should he make the team?

        • Bud Poile

          Easy answer:
          How about Brock? What does Brock say?
          Brock said today on 650 that his second year in college was extremely helpful for him to add size and weight for the NHL.
          Brock is 6’1″ 191 lbs.
          He still sustained serious wrist and back injuries.
          So,here’s a question for you.
          Will you the rabid fan be content if 5’10” /170 lb. Quinn Hughes has a career -ending injury?

          • TheRealPB

            A more reasonable answer would be to actually see whether or not he’s ready at camp. I don’t think it’s about his size or weight; it’s not like he is going to gain a few inches in height, no matter his weight. It’s about whether or not he’s ready to play in the NHL and on that score I would think it would be better especially for a defenseman to take time to get prepared. But if he did outplay others in camp then you have to give him the opportunity. During this regime there has been every indication that such an opportunity will be provided, with Horvat, McCann, Virtanen, and Stecher all making the team after camp or shortly thereafter based on their early play. I would expect the same for Hughes.

          • truthseeker

            Do you know what a red herring argument is? (I guess not).

            Way to be you, Bud.

            What you just did is as far away from an “easy answer” as could possibly be.

            I’ll try again. It’s a simple yes or no answer Bud. You don’t need all that other stuff. Just a yes or a no.

            One more time…

            If Hughes shows in camp that he is obviously one of the top defenders on the team, do you think he should he make the team?

            As for your question I’ll answer it, after you answer mine.

          • Bud Poile

            The most reasonable answer is you protect the future of your franchise at all costs.
            Throwing an 18 year old into the NHL on one of the weakest NHL teams isn’t very bright.
            Juolevi is 6’2″ 185 lbs.,20 years of age and has played a full season against men.
            Juolevi is ready. Hughes is not.

          • The question about bring a top defender at training camp is a poor question. It’s not so black and white. Sure, he could be one of the top defenders, maybe the best. But our defence is crap, that’s sandbagging which makes Hughes look better relative to the competition. It’s possible to be the best defender but still have areas of improvement – specifically building strength to handle physical forwards. Tory Krug is an elite 50-60 pt PP specialist and yet he’s on the trade block to find a more physical defender. If Hughes looks good but still needs work, he should (ideally) go back to Michigan.

        • truthseeker

          Lol…OK coach Bud. You know he’s “not ready”.

          So even though you’re still avoiding answering the question, I’ll take it as a no. You don’t believe a player who shows their ready to play in the NHL in camp should be playing in the NHL.

          Now let’s get to your absolutely stupid “what if” arguments.

          1) The Brock Boeser argument.

          First illogical assumption. Because Brock Boeser got injured then Hughes will get injured. F…king stupid.

          Second….So Brock played that extra year, put on the “size and weight” yet you THEN say he got injured. lol…what was the point of putting on the size and the weight then? Obviously it didn’t help him right? You really didn’t think that through Bud. F…king stupid #2.

          The stupid what if argument. I said I’d answer it so I will. Of course I wouldn’t be content. Don’t be stupid.

          Now it’s my turn.

          What if he doesn’t get injured?
          What if he goes back to the NCAA and has a career ending injury there?
          What if he never puts on anymore weight and this is just the “size” he is? Are you going to just wait forever and never give him a shot?
          What if he goes back to the NCAA and decides he wants to wait it out and become a FA?
          What if you stopped just assuming that he will get injured simply because you want it to fit your narrative?

          You’re f…king ridiculous Bud.

          What if he looks good and doesn’t need more work Forever? You’re arguing about points I’m not making. I never said he shouldn’t be sent down if he “needs work”.

          And yeah…If he shows he can easily handle it in the preseason then it is black and white for me. You don’t keep top talent out of the NHL simply because you’re scared of his size.

          • Bud Poile

            Killer Marmot,take note:

            Three “stupid’s”,
            One “fu**ing ridiculous”,
            and two
            “fu**ing stupids”
            is now acceptable discourse once again on Canucks Army.
            This is fondly reminiscent behaviour of just last summer when ‘the Dud’ belittled and demeaned CA posters.
            I guess it’s the hazy,lazy days of summer at CA.

          • truthseeker

            whine all you want Bud. Keep making those red herrings. It’s common with sensitive little people like you to focus on a few harsh words while ignoring the argument which destroys your own.

            I’ve said it before. I don’t suffer fools. And each time you go without addressing a point you are either exposing your own stupidity because you really don’t understand you are making those fallacies, or you are knowingly using those fallacies because you know you don’t have a legitimate response. The more you do it the less respect you deserve. Simple as that.

            Your arguments are stupid, simple and childish. If you don’t like that….tough. Prove me wrong by addressing the points made or simply have the courage to admit what you say doesn’t make any sense. But don’t expect me to tolerate a constant flow of illogical arguments that you never seem to learn from. It’s like arguing with a global warming denier. At some point it just becomes pointless. Might as well insult them. You’re at that point Bud.

  • Bud Poile

    “Horvat, McCann, Virtanen, and Stecher all making the team after camp or shortly thereafter based on their early play. I would expect the same for Hughes.” PB
    McCann and Virtanen should have never been thrown in the NHL at a young age.
    Bo was 19.5 years of age entering the NHL. 6′ 225 lbs. Started in Utica.
    Stetcher is the only d-man and a fair comparable as he is the same height as Hughes.However,Stetcher had 15-20 lbs. more muscle than Hughes and four more years of hockey (plus Utica) when he entered the NHL at 22 years of age.

    • Super Pest

      Why? Did Bo need “seasoning”? Uh, no perhaps, Hughes does not. Just sayin’
      And I’m f’ing tired of this cast of characters. Give me Demko, Gaudette, et al. I’m so tired of Ericsson and the rest. It isn’t personal; it’s just not interesting. And I’m the paying public…

  • Super Pest

    Where’s the write up on Stecher’s contract? Opinions people!! Wuz up with Virtanen’s negotiations? This USED to be THE place to go. Now? SportsNet Dhaliwal? How far the Army has fallen. Sad…

  • jaybird43

    Quinn Hughes should be signed, and tested at training camp for his readiness for an NHL job. If he’s not, then he should be going down to the AHL, where the competition is better than college hockey. By all accounts, he was the best defenceman in college hockey over the last 2-3 months of the season, so having him there is kinda pointless. Either the AHL or the NHL … one of those two is his next step and should play there this season.