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Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

Monday Mailbag: Young Stars, Pettersson’s Weight, and Edler’s Leadership

Based on his experience level, status within the organization, and how he looked over the weekend, I think Adam Gaudette has to be the early favourite. I can’t say how high his ceiling is, but he’s a tremendously complete player for someone coming straight from college. He’s fast, has a good frame, plays well in all three zones, and has some offensive upside, too. More importantly, he came to play this weekend. His effort level never wavered, and he looked more consistently engaged than any other player on the ice. He’s going to endear himself to the organization in short order with that kind of work ethic if he hasn’t already. Teams have always valued guys that show up to the rink and give 100% no matter the circumstances. It’s early yet, but it looks to me like he may be one of those guys. The only issue will be finding room for him on the roster.

13-12-25. I think Virtanen is quickly heading towards “he is what he is” territory. He can be better next season, and he might get a few more opportunities offensively, but I still don’t see him as much more than a 30-point guy moving forward. He’ll add to his goal total if he can learn to take the puck to the net with more consistency, but other than that I’m not sure he has much more room to grow.

If the Canucks are as bad as they should be? Losing out on a high-end player in next year’s draft. I love Willie Nylander but I’d steer clear of offering sheets until the Canucks are out of the lottery.

I don’t understand the fixation either, but I think there are a couple of possible explanations. The first is just that a lot of media guys grew up around a different game. Even as little as five years ago, there were legitimate concerns any time a young player came into the league without the physique required to defend himself. Things have changed. The game is more about speed than ever, and the new generation of players just isn’t as interested in gooning it up.

The second and more probable explanation is that the people who have the most control over the media narrative in Vancouver just don’t know all that much about him yet. That’s not a knock on them, it’s just the reality of having to spend most of your time at the rink or on the air. I’d be surprised if many guys on the beat caught any Vaxjo games last year, and I don’t blame them if they didn’t. What they can do is look at a stat line and listen to what other people are saying around the league. If that’s how you’re getting your information on Pettersson, it’s easy to latch on to the fact that he’s slight.

The truth is, his weight isn’t really remarkable. He didn’t stand out in Penticton this weekend for any reason other than his play. In full gear, he looks about the same size as Olli Juolevi. He’s tall, wiry, and has a massive wingspan. There will be growing pains like there are for anyone else, but he’ll be fine.

After what was honestly a fairly disappointing performance in the tournament and at main camp last year, I thought Olli Juolevi returned to form and demonstrated the poise that had impressed me so much two years ago. He made good decisions with the puck, crisp passes, and had a couple of really nice moves, especially in game 1. He’s also really good at getting shots through even if he doesn’t have much power. If it were up to me I’d give him every chance to make the big club but unfortunately I just don’t think there’s any room for him.

It’s too early to say if Woo has an NHL future, let alone in the next 2 or 3 years. It’s also impossible to say if or when Nikita Tryamkin is interested in returning. That said, I think Erik Karlsson is enough to make nearly any team competitive. The Senators were a disaster this year, but made the conference final in 2016-17 without a particularly impressive roster. If the Canucks are indeed interested in Karlsson it makes much more sense to just wait a year and see if they can lure him in free agency. I’m not convinced the fit is there, though.

If Jasek can stick in the lineup and pot a couple of goals here and there that’s good enough for his rookie season. The guy lost almost three years of development to poor handling by his Czech team, so he’s a long-term project at this stage. As far as his ceiling goes, if he makes the NHL , I see him as a Jannik Hansen type who can play spot duty in the top six but ideally would play on your third line.

The Sedins weren’t outspoken guys either, but they led by example and Edler can too. I wonder if some of the reason Edler’s rarely given the benefit of the doubt is that he never gives the media anything. Our concept of leadership in the NHL often boils down to who is most open and honest with the media. I don’t Edler improving in that regard anytime soon, but who knows what he’s like in the room. His teammates seem to like him and I’m sure there’s a reason for that.

If there’s been one takeaway from the scrums this weekend, it’s that Elias Pettersson has a huge personality, so I’m gonna go with him at least as far as who is most likely to belt out a song. Who knows who the T Swift fans are among them, though? These kids were probably like 5 when she burst on the scene so she probably seems as hold hat to them as Madonna does to me.

  • Pat_Quinn_Way

    So many if, buts and maybes surrounding these Canuck prospects and that’s because the WRONG players were drafted and (Boeser aside) are all massive question marks. Remember guys this is a team that could and should have Larkin – Horvat – Middlestadt as it’s top three legit centres and Sergachev or McAvoy running the show on D. Different story then isn’t it blowhards.

    Guys, Petterssen’s lack of size IS a major concern because the Pacific division boasts three big, tough physical Cali teams who are more often in the playoff mix, who will swat small teams like flys as they always do us.

    Indeed, the NHL is cyclical and fickle – speed and skill is the flavour du jour right now because of Pittsburgh, BUT when the likes Washington, LA or the old ‘big bad’ Bruins win cups it all changes back to big and heavy teams again. We are putting all our mini eggs in one basket. Crazy!

    I’m afraid that’s WHY we haven’t seen playoff hockey in Vancouver for years fellas, and until this mess is cleaned up and a clear concise plan to compete in the division is implemented under a new GM/coach y’all will be sucking eggs for the foreseeable.

    Trevor knew it, i know it… so why don’t YOU?!

    • speering major

      Yeah, Benning along with every other GM doesn’t have a perfect draft record. We should hire a fictional GM who can find the mid-to-late first rounders that turn out to be stars every single year.

    • Green Bastard

      @Pat_Quinn… what’s with the we/us/guys sh*t? Other than your other troll handles, you’re IN the douche act game alone. You know EP and OJ are likely co-Calder frontrunners, nevermind Gaudette and Dalen, total domination is right at hand… EVEN you know that! And since you’re so good at sucking your self, will you make another video of your egg sucking skills, where y’all use golf balls?

    • North Van Halen

      I think PQW’s Draft Table Time Machine (Trademark pending) is awesome!!! Hopefully he can go round by round and let us know who he would have drafted, not just since Benning took over, but all the way back to the Hal Laycoe and Bud Poile.
      His brilliance can regale us with, not only the current roster he would have compiled, hopefully right down to the free agents he would have added through his 20/20 hindsight vision, but also the teams we could have had in the 70’s, 80’s & 90’s right through to today if only we couda hired the great PQW and his Draft Table Time Machine (Trademark Pending).
      Such a missed opportunity by the Canucks not to have hired him, but truly a privilege for we mere Canuck fans to learn from the greatest hockey mind of all time.
      Please PQW use your brilliance to enlighten us on the teams we coulda had all these years (in fact don’t come back til yer done!)

      • Defenceman Factory

        I’m particularly interested in seeing the results during the Mike Gillis years. If only Mike had listened to PQW. Instead of burning the franchise to the ground and making himself persona non grata in the hockey world he would still be the GM of an elite team.

      • Green Bastard

        @North VH… That’s an easy job. It’s MOM could use it’s magical looking back crystal ball and make all the right choices. Heck, I’m sure it’s mom would use the magical looking back crystal ball and say, “not without a rubber”, and then we’d only have LASKID trolling here and not multi-troll PQW

    • Confused Canuck

      I’m confused. Why all the hate. PQW is actually talking sense here. The California teams have owned us since what, 2011, and what he didn’t mention was that Vegas are a also huge threat. They just traded for a proven 30/40 goal scoring vet in Pacioretty and haven’t even integrated their draft picks yet. Gonna be super tough to get into the playoffs ahead of these teams any time soon in my opinion.

      • Chuckey

        Holy cr@p Vegas got Paciretti for a bag of pucks!? why can’t we pull off trades like this when we need to replace the sedins points. this guy has over 30 goals per for half his career on a mostly garbage habs team. vegas is a very, very well run org thats for sure, great deal. Sigh

        • TD

          Vegas heavily overpaid. Pacioretty is 30 and approaching the down curve of his career. Tatar is 3 years younger and has been a consistent 20 goal scorer. Suzuki is the 13th OA from a year ago, who had a great D+1 season and has the talent to be a mid range #1 centre if he reaches his potential. And a second round pick.

          If you consider Vegas gave a first, a second and a third round pick for Tatar at the deadline, they paid a hefty price for Pacioretty.

        • A second-line forward, blue chip prospect, and 2nd round pick is excellent return for a winger who is turning 30 and signed for $7 million per until he’s 35.

          Tomas Tatar is good. Nick Suzuki projects to be a very good top-six forward. This is not a “bag of pucks” – it’s effectively two firsts, two seconds, and a third.

        • Kneedroptalbot

          I would of rather kept Suzuki, he has a lot of upside. Pacioretty is on the down swing. Montreal media built him up over the years (and he was very good).

          • wojohowitz

            The only one to come out of this mess looking good is Holland. A 1st, 2nd and a 3rd for Tatar who lasted 20 games in Vegas before McPhee realized how soft his game was. He will probably get bought out before Christmas. McPhee spent 11 years in Washington trying to put a championship team together around Ovechkin without success. Then there`s Bergevin who had to make a choice between one of the best players in the league and a whinney captain and he sides with Pacioretty.

          • North Van Halen

            Only way Vegas shoulda made this trade is if they’ve watched Suzuki enough times and just don’t think he has what it takes to be a top 2 centre.
            He

        • bobdaley44

          Pacioretty’s compete level, especially for a captain, is weak. Great trade for Habs. Suzuki and Kotkaniemi as your future centers and a second and Tatar to boot all for a thirty year old inconsistent one way winger. Raped.

        • Pat_Quinn_Way

          Hahaha listen to these delusional muppets tripping over their own tongues because Stanley Cup Finalist Vegas just got one of the premier goalscorers in the NHL – a player who scores at the same rate per game as P Kane, Marchand and Jamie Benn, a guy who is one of just TEN nhl players to score 200 goals since 2011-2012. A masterstroke from McPhee for next to nothing that Dim Jim can only dream of emulating… great for Vegas guys, BAD for the Ca-sucks. You lot really are PATHETIC.

          Oh yah – and Max is on the down side because he is 30… just like 32 year old Ovechkin, 31 year old Crosby, 32 year old Malkin and 31 year old Kopitar. Keep sucking on the sour grapes boys, my sides are aching from laughing at YOU!

          • bobdaley44

            Ya and now Vegas has to extend him. A lot of cap space for a perimeter player. You comparing Pacioretty to Crosby, Ovechkin, Kopitar and Malkin? Those guys are HOFamers.

          • Beer Can Boyd

            Except for the fact that Vegas COULD have re-signed another ” guy who is one of just TEN nhl players to score 200 goals since 2011-2012.” 31 year old UFA James Neal, who is arguably as good, if not better than Pacioretty, (certainly a lot more physical) for less money and without having to give up any assets, let alone the 13th overall pick and a 2nd rounder. Neal has topped 20 goals in every single one of his 10 seasons. McPhee way overpaid for a soft winger who will be out of the NHL long before his new 28 million$ deal is done.

          • Pat_Quinn_Way

            Yawnnnn… Remind us what top PROVEN UFA goal/point scorer/s the Canucks have signed to replace the Sedins again… laughing-out-loud

            Pacioretty, Neal, Skinner all GREAT offensive signings – Beagle, Roussel, Schaller?… knock knock.

            #bittercanuckfans
            #canuckfansindenial
            #noprovengoalscorers
            #noplayoffs

    • Puck Viking

      Those cali teams will all be some of the worst in the league with in 2 or 3 years when they need to overhaul there rosters like we have had to.

      No one on the planet was taking McAvoy at 5 thats the stupidest comment ever. Sergachev yes as he was seen as the best dman in the draft.

  • truthseeker

    I’m more optimistic about Jake. Of course it does depend on deployment and ice time. He’s obviously not going to improve that much with only 10 minutes a night. But he can be a 20 goal scorer and maybe a 50 point guy if he’s up in the high teens in minutes and playing with anything other than plugs.

    The Canucks/Green need to give him a real shot now. He’s put in the work without complaining and he’s looked much better. Reward him with some quality time and linemates.

    Oli is going to be just fine as well. In the end he’ll be far more valuable simply by virtue of being a top 4 NHL level D man than some cheap shot goon winger like Tkachuk. A top 4 D man would bring back 2 Tkachuks plus a pick in a trade.

    • liqueur des fenetres

      Have you been hangin’ with Jake and the Biebs this summer? He came off a sobering contract negotiation, and in the NHL it seems most guys play better in their contract year than the one immediately after. Hopefully he had the motivation and proper direction to improve over the summer so he can take advantage of the chances he’ll get.

  • apr

    Jake has two years to carve himself a role, or he will be passed by the wave of kids at prospects camp, and possibly a top flight winger in the upcoming draft. Every, every team misses on top 10 picks from time to time. The Hawks, Pens, Sabres (all the time), Islanders (all the time), Oilers (most of the time with the 1st overall pick to boot) have missed out.

    That said, I think management did no service to Jake by gifting him and McCann a spot. I understand the rationale for the vets (Gagner, Beagle, etc..). However, if Dahlen, Gaudette, OJ, etc beat out the vets – JB must create the spots.

    • speering major

      With the way Jake played in the second half of last season he can be a decent 3rd liner. I don’t see him being the next Hodgson. Jake has the tool kit to be effective outside a scoring role

      • argoleas

        If the projection is 13-12-25, all EV, with the still limited amount of TOI he will likely get, then that’s decent.

        I think he will be a very good 3rd line winger, possibly with Gaudette in the future. Speed and havoc. Once we get past his draft position (which is hard, I get that), he is a good piece.

        I expect him to end up with Sutter this year, improving his defensive game, on a two-way line.

      • Chris the Curmudgeon

        What does the “next Hodgson” mean? Guy who was rising fast and then suffered a severe injury that was misdiagnosed, called out by his team for misrepresenting his health issues when he was actually correct, traded while on the rise and put up a strong season for his new team, and then began a quick decline due to what was eventually found to be a debilitating genetic disorder? Or do you just want to slap the “bust” tag on him, perhaps out of spite because his dad was an overbearing prick?

        • Bartholomew Gimble

          Woa! Tap the breaks man. “The next Hodgson” probably just means the next highly drafted (biggish) forward that ultimately turned into a bust for the Canucks. There was no comment on WHY he didn’t make it. At least that’s how I read the comment.

        • truthseeker

          you know…it does suck that he had that medical condition and I’ll cut him some slack for that.
          But this is a kid who whined to the canucks that he should have more playing time, which would come at the expense of Henrik, and Kes, at a point in time when he most certainly hadn’t proved anything. So much so that a group of players (namely Beiksa if I recall) “jokingly” taped a “C” to his jersey in practice one day. If that’s not one of the clearest messages you could get that you’re being a c…t, I don’t know what is.

          It wasn’t just his dad. He acted like a self entitled brat when he was in Vancouver and it was well documented with first hand accounts by reporters.

          Hodgson was one of “those” canuck players where the majority of fans had the blinders on for. Built him up to be something he wasn’t. And that majority of fans were wrong. You’re doing it here. It’s not like the canucks are looking for genetic disorders. He gets and injury they are going to try to diagnose the physical part. Expecting them to find that is stupid. Plus he went to his own doctors for diagnosis on his back and they all confirmed the canuck diagnosis. It wasn’t until later when it was still a problem did everyone find the real issue. And “strong season”….lol…come on…the guy had mediocre point production and was a defensive nightmare.

          Enough with the Hodgson revisionist history. Maybe AV could have been less of an A hole with that one comment towards him. That’s about all you can pin on the canucks side of things.

    • Virtanen’s draft projection ranged from Top 6 forward to 3rd liner. Benning believes that PP QB and power forward are the hardest positions to develop so we really shouldn’t be surprised that he took a gamble on Virtanen or that Virtanen is trending in the bottom 6 direction. It’s disappointing we don’t have Ehlers or Nylander but Virtanen is still young and still has plenty of upside.

    • bobdaley44

      Nobody on that roster or in the system has his combination of toughness, speed, power and physicality. The kids gonna be Tom Wilson with way more tools. Patience. Power forwards take longer but when they arrive change the dynamic of your team. Skilled perimeter guys are a dime a dozen. Guys with JV’s tools are rare. Once he gets some confidence and consistency he’ll be a beast.

      • Cageyvet

        We’re in the minority, bob, but I agree with you 100%. If it wasn’t for the immediate success of those drafted around him you’d see a lot more patience. Pretty screwball for a city that’s watched both Cam Neely and Todd Bertuzzi become cautionary tales for the teams who gave up on them far too soon.

  • speering major

    I think the talk about Pettersons weight is valid. Its a legit talking point. If they want Petterson to become a #1 center, he definitely needs to get stronger. The media would happily report him putting on 10lbs in the off season.

    Petterson was losing draws cleanly in a young stars tournament. He seemed to be on the ice for his fair share of chances and goals against. He was also off his feet and down on the ice quite a bit. Petterson will surely be a NHL player with his skill level but his ceiling will be dependent on him getting stronger. The easiest way for media to gauge that prior to him actually playing in the NHL is to check his weight. Once he’s in the NHL people can just assess his play.

    • Kootenaydude

      The simple fact is Pettersson shouldn’t start at centre. He has a lot of years ahead of him to move to that position. He can start on the wing and eventually move to centre once he’s gotten used to things. Not a big deal at all. The sky isn’t falling. We have lots of centres and he is a growing kid.

    • Jamie E

      Connor McDavid is a whopping 192 pounds. Claude Giroux is 185 pounds. Steven Stamkos is 194 pounds. Matt Barzal is 189 pounds. And, Barzal aside, that’s their “grown man” weight. If Pettersson is 175 pounds as a 19 year old, we’ve really got NOTHING to worry about.

      • Bud Poile

        I’d like to see EP and JD go down to Utica together,play on the same line with whomever they think can protect/help them both.Elias can learn to become a center for one year down there.
        Allow Gaudette the right to challenge/integrate for/into the third line center position this season.
        The Canucks aren’t challenging for a cup and that allows Benning to move out players throughout the season,if possible.
        Bring Olli,EP and JD back after some placeholders are traded for picks.

        • Pat_Quinn_Way

          Wtf… more mindless bi-polar drivel here guys from the class clown who told us

          “”Last year Marner, Tkachuk, Matthews, Nylander, Laine,etc. jumped straight from the draft table into making an impact at the highest level”. – Dud Poile

          ” The Canucks need players that can contribute out of the gate, particularly on D. I would take Liljegren or Heiskanen. Glass or Vilardi if they go for the future. Hopefully it’s a player that is close to NHL ready come September” – Dud Poile

          Woops… crawl back under your rock old mutt… tail between legs AGAIN!

          • Bud Poile

            One has to wonder when the new CA editors will implement the recommendations that were given them or if they’ll allow the clown to continue running their show?

          • Pat_Quinn_Way

            For once we agree you sad little man… how does it go again

            “Bud has generally served to make the comment section an unwelcoming place not just for the authors but also for a lot of the commenters as well. ” – Jackson McDonald

            ”the least I could do is occasionally remind Bud that CA’s readership is constantly growing and if all he is going to do is be rude to other readers he doesn’t need to come back especially because this isn’t Tim Hortons and I don’t get brownie points for smiling and being polite while someone makes the work area a nuisance to be in for staff + customers. ” – Jackson McDonald

            Nextttttttttttttttt

          • crofton

            PQW’s quotes about Bud supposedly coming from Jackson were almost certainly PQW posting as Jackson. If CA really wanted Bud to be gone, as PQW states, they would have banned him.

          • Pat_Quinn_Way

            What are you waffling about Dud, Jackson has already figured it out fool and that’s why you were asked to LEAVE – still the only commenter asked to do so, and don’t think that’s going to change just because JD is gone – NOT WANTED here Dud – now, GO!

  • “The guy lost almost three years of development to poor handling by his Czech team…”

    Can we really blame his Czech club team exclusively? Jasek voluntarily signed a two year deal with them. Couldn’t he have signed a deal with Utica, joined a CHL team, or even signed a shorter 1 year deal and come over earlier?

  • Defenceman Factory

    I’m optimistic Jake can put up more than 25 points. He needs the opportunity to use his backchecking, forechecking, hits, breakaway speed and size in front of the net as a compliment to offensively gifted line mates. He has taken the steps to be defensively responsible and deserves more opportunity and he must retain his focus, fitness and effort level.

    Lind and Jasek are on their way. MacEwan looked good at right wing at young stars and no one is beating Boeser out of a RW spot in the line-up. Virtanen doesn’t have room to falter and I hope he doesn’t. Really want to see him succeed, partly to subdue the draft comparisons but more because he is an exciting player to watch

    • Macksonious

      Virtanen looks like a late bloomer. Assuming his game continues to grow and is given more ice time with better quality players, he could easily exceed 25 points.

  • Reuben

    Speaking of his strong personality and based on things Linden said about Petterson’s work ethic, I have a strong suspicion that the captain position is being held open for Petterson if he really lights it up this year.

  • To sum up Young Stars weekend, It was very good for both Canucks and Comets moving forward. Both teams have a lot to work with. Our prospect pool is rich, and there is lots to like. How can anyone say the rebuild is not on track.

  • wojohowitz

    The Canucks have 12 forwards locked in – including Pettersson while Gaudette and Dahlen both look ready they are waiver eligible, so is Benning prepared to promote one or both and expose to waivers; Archibald, Boucher, Leipsic, Goldobin and Gaunce, not to mention Sautner and McEneny. Does Benning have a plan to turn depth into quality or is he going to hope for the best.

    • Canuck4Life20

      I don`t understand why he would need to expose Leipsic or Goldobin. Even if Gaudette and Dahlen have amazing training camps, why not send them down until an inevitable injury? They did that with Stecher and it worked out just fine.

        • Canuck4Life20

          I know what you’re saying, but as usual I disagree. There are countless examples of players who have great training camps only to falter 10 or 20 games into the season. What do you do then if one of your prized prospects like Dahlen turns out to be in over his head, and you have lost suitable place-holder like Leipsic or Goldobin on waivers?

          I don’t understand the thinking that the opening night lineup is the be all to end all. There is nothing wrong with sitting a player down and telling him that he’s had a great training camp, he’s earned a spot, but they need to open a spot up for him because they don’t want to lose another player for nothing. If it’s communicated the right way and the player is a team-first guy I don’t see how it would be an issue. This type of scenario happens all the time in the real world.

          • I don’t actually disagree with you. I think the best course of action for the Canucks would be to send Juolevi, Pettersson, Dahlen, Gaudette – the whole lot – to Utica to wreck worlds and form bonds there. I just think it’s BS to say “there’ll be spots for the players who earn them” and then, when a waiver-exempt player clearly outplays a waiver-eligible player, sending the exempt player down.

            The solution is to stop with the nonsense rhetoric.

          • Canuck4Life20

            In all fairness to Banning he said he would make room, but I’ve never heard him say it would be on opening night. I think the rhetoric matters a lot more to the fans and media.

    • DJ_44

      Archibald is on a two-way, so he and the Canucks are expecting him to be in Utica. Gaunce will clear waivers, as will Boucher. So your comment rest with Leipsic and Goldobin. I think they should go with 14 forwards. If they can move Gagner (or waive him) so be it. They can also look to move Goldobin. Looks like lots of talent on the wings coming up.

      Also move or waive Hutton. There ya go.

      • wojohowitz

        There is another solution and that is the fire sale before the final cuts. Goldobin for a 3rd. Hutton for a 4th. Gaunce for a 5th. Leipsic for a 6th. That way the uninformed fan can say; Wow! Look at all the picks Benning has accumulated for the Vancouver draft event. Sad but possible.

        • canuckfan

          Not sure Benning could get the return you had suggested for the players you had listed other teams have the same types of players already in their system. Goldobin must come to camp in top shape and give it 100 percent every minute he is on the ice. If he looks lost like he has many times from last season he will not make the team He is a player that can play top six as he is more suited to attacking rather than playing a defensive role.

          • wojohowitz

            I was just tossing numbers 3,4,5&6 in with the names but I think we can assume none of them are worth a 1st or a 2nd and maybe all 4 are worth 3rd rounders. What I`d like to see is Benning put together 2,3,4 players like Guddy, Baertschi, Granlund or Goldobin for a blue chip prospect but that sounds too complicated for Benning.

          • crofton

            wojo thinks any GM in the NHL would be happy to take “2,3,4 players like Guddy, Baertschi, Granlund or Goldobin for a blue chip prospect”. OK maybe not “any”. Most? Some? How about just one? A volume of mediocrity for a single blue chip? That does sound a bit complicated.

  • Blind Side

    I’m not concerned about Pettersson’s weight. I am concerned about whether he is going to be best utilized as a centre or a winger. Has the decision to work him in at centre been made because that is what will generate the most offence or is it a case of the team desperately needing a centre so that’s where he plays?

    As much as the Canucks should still be looking at drafting a top end right side defender, I would not be opposed to drafting a centre with the 2019 first round pick. With the roster full of centres, the coaches would be free to place everyone according to what works best.

    And, you know what, there’s so many positive vibes going around after the weekend young stars game, I won’t even point out that the coaches would have that option right now if you know who had not been drafted, instead of you know who, likely at the insistence of you know who!

    • We’ll have to see how Pettersson plays and run with wherever he excels. Look at Claude Giroux, he posted his highest point total (career high goals, assists, points) ever last season after being switched from centre to wing at age 30. But it would be ideal for him to play at centre given his offensive skillset and two-way play.

      I wouldn’t say we’re desperate for centres. We have Horvat now, Gaudette on the way, and Sutter as a stopgap in the Top 9. We have lots of centre/wingers (albeit mediocre) to cover for injury so at least we don’t need to acquire more players.

      As for next year’s draft – Best Player Available…always. It’s hard to say at this point which position will be BPA. On Eliteprospects, the Hockey Prospects Top 31 has wingers dominating the Top 10 while Future Considerations Top 31 has mostly centres in the Top 10.

      • Blind Side

        Okay, didn’t express myself very well there. You’re right, the team isn’t desperate for centres in general. Horvat et al. will carry the freight for the coming year.

        In the long term, however, I think they are going to need someone other than Horvat or Gaudette to be a number one offensive centre. Maybe I’m selling Horvat short, but I don’t think he really generates enough offence. As the new go-to guy, maybe he will grow and prove me wrong. I really like Gaudette, but not as a number one centre.

        At number one, I want a playmaker, someone who distributes the puck and makes everyone around him better. There is nothing from what I have seen of Pettersson that says he can’t be that offensive powerhouse centre we need. At the end of the day, I just don’t want to see the team forcing the proverbial square peg in the round hole. If he creates more offence off the wing, then he should play wing.

        There will be other opportunities to look for a centre. Who knows, maybe this is the year we win the draft lottery and take Jack Hughes. Ya, I know, lower those expectations!

        • Kootenaydude

          I think that In 2-3 years Petterson will take the number 1 centre role from Horvat. Then we will have that number one centre you want as well as quality 2nd and 3rd line centre men. Horvat and Gaudette .

          • Cageyvet

            We’re in the minority, bob, but I agree with you 100%. If it wasn’t for the immediate success of those drafted around him you’d see a lot more patience. Pretty screwball for a city that’s watched both Cam Neely and Todd Bertuzzi become cautionary tales for the teams who gave up on them far too soon.

          • Cageyvet

            Who knows how my first comment ended up here. I just wanted to say, barring a lottery win and Jack Hughes, this is my hope for an extremely strong top 3 centres if Bo keeps being Bo and the other two pan out as hoped.

  • Defenceman Factory

    I don’t think we should be in such a rush with Dahlen. He has great offensive talents but so does Goldobin. Perhaps Dahlen is better but it’s awfully early to be sure of that. Pettersson is much more talented and Gaudette plays an all round game. Easy to see those two in the NHL. Dahlen needs to be stronger and much better in his own end. The Dahlen, Petterssen, Lind line got pinned in their own end a few times on Sunday and it was largely because Dahlen and Lind didn’t make the right plays in their own end and couldn’t clear the zone.

    Dahlen is a top 6 forward. Let him work on his game in Utica until he clearly beats out the 3 top 6 LWers already on the roster.

  • LTFan

    No shortage of opinions on where and how the Canucks management should deploy players. It would seem to me let’s get to training camp and a couple of exhibition games to see what develops. Then we will have a better idea who should start the season in the NHL or AHL.