Author’s Note: I went through some personal stuff this week that made it impossible to complete part two of last week’s mailbag. It’s very important to me that everyone gets an answer, so I’ll be responding to last week’s questions today.
what’s it going to take to get Guddy out? do you think this is the year guys like MDZ go in a trade? he can’t be happy about sitting.
— nucks fanucks (@nucksfanucks) October 22, 2018
I think Erik Gudbranson is going to have to be closer to the end of that 3-year contract before he gets moved. Maybe if Dale Tallon comes calling about his old player a deal could get done, but I can’t imagine there’s a ton of interest at the moment. As far as Del Zotto is concerned, I don’t think he has enough leverage for his opinion on being a healthy scratch to matter. I could see him getting moved at the deadline, but wouldn’t expect much in return.
Do the Canucks have a higher PK% with Guddy in the box?
— Lou Slips (@louslips) October 22, 2018
It’s too early to draw any firm conclusions about this season, but traditionally the Canucks have allowed more shots and scoring chances with Gudbranson out for the PK than without him.
Are we going to keep winning
— Howard Ng (@howardng02) October 22, 2018
Probably not. The Canucks boast the league’s fourth-worst shot share and it’s fourth-highest all situations shooting percentage. That’s a pretty good indication they’ll come back to earth soon. Then again teams have ridden unsustainable performances to a playoff spot on multiple occasions, so it’s not out of the question.
How about that brady tkachuk?
— John Puck (@johnpuck1992) October 22, 2018
He’s certainly making me look foolish for leaving him outside my top ten this summer. I shouldn’t be surprised, though, given the fact that he had almost a full year of development on many of his peers in the 2018 draft. As impressive as he’s been, I’m still not convinced he can keep his pace up.
Is Baertschi better suited to a 1st or 2nd line role? I feel like on a better team he would be a 2nd liner am I wrong?
— Chris Bertenshaw (@noideas89) October 22, 2018
You’re not wrong at all. It can be tough to gauge what Baertschi is exactly because he’s yet to play anything close to a full season, but when looking at points-per-game his pace is pretty consistent with that of an average second-line winger. Playing on the first line is largely a symptom of the team having been short on talent since his arrival. That’s not a knock on him as a player, it’s just hard to put up legitimate first-line offence.
2 Questions = Jumping way ahead to the 2019 draft – as you see it today, would you say the need is still defence or would you choose a centre? (Obviously it would be JH if we're 1st) I'd go defence. Woo's potential is exciting, does he have the skill to make the nucks next year?
— John Butler (@Whostheboes) October 21, 2018
I’m always in favour of taking the best player available. That feels like a bit of a cop-out, but it’s true. The Canucks only have maybe four or five truly untouchable players, they’re going to need a lot more if they want to be contenders in the near future. There’s such a good crop of centres available this year that it’s hard to envision passing on them all to draft a defenseman. Obviously, if Bowen Byram is available in the right spot then you take him, but that’s the direction I’m leaning in at the moment.
When it comes to Jett Woo, I’d advise you to be patient. He’s a long way off, assuming he ever makes the team at all.
Should we be worried about the logjam of forwards down in Utica affecting prospects development this year? Would a prospect like Jonah not be better off returning to Owen Sound?
— Nathan Copeland (@NathanC47616536) October 22, 2018
I think at this point it’s fair to be at least a little concerned about how the rookies are being handled at the AHL level. Utica has played ten games, Kole Lind has sat for four of them and Jonah Gadjovich for six. At this stage in their development it seems like it would be really important for them to get their reps in and instead they’re spending a good portion of their time out of the lineup. If they aren’t ready, I’d rather see them spend time in junior or the ECHL than in the press box.
It's early but looking ahead towards the 2019 draft, what position will have the best crop of talent and which will be bountiful?
— Silver (@DannyH_52) October 21, 2018
It’s early, but so far this year’s draft looks like it will have a centre-heavy first round. Even after Jack Hughes, you’ve got Dylan Cozens, Alex Turcotte, Kirby Dach, Alex Newhook, Raphael Lavoie, Peyton Krebs, and Ryan Suzuki who all look like they could go in the top ten.
Who would you rank starting at the top as the 5 most important players to the organization? Both roster and in the system.
— Silver (@DannyH_52) October 21, 2018
Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes would be the clear top two, followed by either Bo Horvat or Brock Boeser. I’m tempted to give Horvat the edge because he plays the premium position and he’s looked so good recently, but I think Boeser may turn out to be the more talented player. After that, it’s really a judgment call. Olli Juolevi makes sense but so does Thatcher Demko or even Michael DiPietro given the importance of the goaltending position.
If I absolutely have to give a ranked order, I guess it would look like this:
- Elias Pettersson
- Quinn Hughes
- Brock Boeser
- Bo Horvat
- Olli Juolevi