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WWYDW: Olli Juolevi

With Quinn Hughes electing to return to Michigan, it’s looking more and more like the Canucks could come back with the same defence they iced last year. The only question mark that remains is 2016 fifth-overall pick Olli Juolevi, who will be making his return to North America after spending the 2017-18 season with HC TPS in Finland.

The team currently has a full complement of defensemen signed for next season, which means Juolevi will have to make room for him if he plays well enough to earn a spot. Where would you like to see Juolevi start the season, and how would you go about making room for him?

Last week I asked: Who would you like to see as the new President of Hockey Ops?

Forever 1915:

See what Benning can do as VP of Hockey Ops. Hire an assistant GM to design trades, identify UFA’s, and negotiate contracts. You know, everything that Benning is bad at.

Gino’s 3rd Cousin:

Francesco should get back on the horn with Ralph Krueger to see if they can pry him from South Hampton.

Rodeobill:

Somebody in the Province threw Chris Pronger out there as a maybe, whoever it is they find, I hope it is on the merit of his aptitude at that job; negotiating, contracts, and trades, PR, etc. I have nothing bad to say about Linden, he was ultimately probably a good choice for the hard times they were going to have to go through, and old fan fav to help keep the fans on board, but the next regime will be responsible for carefully managing contracts of blossoming superstars and cap issues, while building a team that can win games against the leafs and lightning over the next 4 or 5 years. Time for shrewdness and competency now rather than loyal figureheads.

Goon:

Think outside the box – Benning is a classic “hockey man” with a particular set of skills and an obvious set of deficiencies as well. Get a lawyer, or former player agent, someone in the Gilman/Gillis mold, who excels in the areas Benning is poor – contracts, outside-the-box thinking, willingness to experiment and take risks. Someone whose skillset will compliment Benning’s, rather than another “hockey man” who will merely duplicate what Benning already brings.
Whoever Aquilini hires, he should give him independence to run the team. Ownership meddling has caused a lot of problems for the Canucks post-2011, and if they’re going to get the team back on track they need to put a plan in place and execute on it without interference from ownership.

Jabs:

I’d be curious to look to Hockey Canada and see if BC guy Tom Renney would be interested in returning to the NHL.
As a coach, he had very little success with this team but he is known to have a very shrewd hockey mind and is a brilliant tactician and visionary. Also, as CEO of Hockey Canada, he does have front office experience.
All in all, the Canucks will should look away from ex-players and look to those with good front office competencies and a strong vision for leadership.

  • Doodly Doot

    He should be in Utica until it’s clear that his conditioning and play force the issue. It would be fine if he spends the entire year down there. He’ll get his callup(s).

  • TheRealPB

    I went back and watched a bunch of highlights from TPS and the WJC. I can’t believe we are as down on Juolevi as some seem to suggest. Big guy, great skater and accurate shot. Cannot wait to see him in the lineup, whether it’s this year or next. He had worked his way up to the first pairing by the playoffs and had 7 points in 11 games. Dahlen, Palmu and Pettersson get lots of love (rightly) for their work in European leagues but Juolevi gets way too much flack. He’s going to be a good one.

  • Rodeobill

    I think it is inevitable he starts in Utica. If in preseason, he plays as good, or even better than most our current roster, like Stetcher before, he will go to Utica to start, this doesn’t feel fair, but seems inevitable. Roster players (especially bottom of the roster guys) are hard to move at this time of year with so many FAs having just been acquired, prospects graduating, and buy low FAs still out there to consider at the cost of nothing but $ spent. Point is, everyone wants roster space to be made for him if he earns it (me too), but that is easier said than done. If he waives a player and he gets claimed, everyone will scream bloody murder about asset management, picks they could have gotten in a trade, and so on. Unless he comes into camp and makes them look like fools not to have him in the opening night lineup, he will go down, be and injury call up and buy JB some time to manage assets. I’m ok with that. Maybe Hutton, pouliot, MDZ will really pick it up this season and get us some better trade value, which furthers the rebuild too.

  • Nuck16

    Assess pre-season performance, but regardless start the season in Utica…but use his pre-season performance as a gauge to decide on when/if to call him up during the season.

  • canuckfan

    Training camp is to gauge payers fitness levels and to introduce systems. Exhibition games are to assess players abilities who is able to play with who. If Juolevi comes into camp fit and shows he can play then he should make the team. If he is sent down because we don’t want to lose a player on waivers who shouldn’t make the team that is just wrong. Who cares if we lose someone on waivers. This is about dressing the best team possible. Sure Hutton has shown promise in the past and has a nice smile he has not looked good the last couple seasons maybe it is motivation which means he should then come into camp motivated and if he looks best to make the team keep him on the team same with other players on the bubble. If Juolevi has shown he deserves a spot then it should be his. Likely hood of losing a player to waivers at the beginning of the season is small given all other teams have put their bubble players on waivers. To keep a bubble player to trade for picks is not going to work as no one has wanted these same bubble players available now.