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Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

Mailbag Part 2: Tyler Madden, Free Agency, and Fashion Advice for Dan Murphy

The Canucks have drafted a few late bloomers out of the USHL who have gone on to impress in their draft+1 seasons and I see them all as having similar upside, albeit for different reasons. When asked this question in the past about Adam Gaudette and Will Lockwood, I said they likely topped out as high-end third line players who could play up the lineup when called upon. I’m tempted to put Madden in the same box, but to be honest based on what I’ve seen from him at the World Juniors and in the NCAA I think he has better offensive instincts. If everything goes right, maybe the Canucks have a future second-line winger in Madden. Maybe.

I don’t think there’s anything Woo could have done to make that team. The roster is just so stacked this year. Canada’s right side boasts two first-round picks in Evan Bouchard and Noah Dobson and their third right-handed defenseman, Josh Brook, is no slouch either. I don’t think there are any deficiencies in his game that kept him off the roster. Those three players are just better.

This is such a hard question. It really depends on how Olli Juolevi and Cody Glass work out.

If you look at the four players involved I think you can make a pretty strong case that it shakes out like this:

Pettersson>Glass

Boeser>Konecny

Tkachuk>Juolevi

Nylander>Virtanen

You’re being cute if you try to make an argument any other way. Sure, players can always take a leap in their development and surprise you, but the only player in this group that’s a totally unknown quantity at the pro level is Cody Glass, so if anything the Canucks are getting the advantage here by having their two best players already in the NHL.

I see Boeser/Konecny and Nylander/Virtanen as basically a wash, so it essentially comes down to how much better Pettersson is than Glass, and what kind of player Olli Juolevi turns out to be. If Juolevi can be a second-pairing defenseman for them for a long time, Pettersson’s superiority over Glass can probably make up for the value lost in taking Juolevi over Tkachuk. If I’m going in blind, my instinct is that the Canucks’ group is probably worth less than the other group, but it’s close.

I have a bad habit of getting to these questions just as they become irrelevant. I’m genuinely surprised they were able to move Nilsson. I thought they were going to have to just ride that one out. It’s far from a big move but getting a 6th and being able to call up Thatcher Demko is a win for them.

I’ll be surprised if the team doesn’t take a run at Tyler Myers. The defense needs a shake up and he seems like exactly the type of defender Jim Benning would covet. As far as who they should be looking at, there isn’t really anyone that pops out at me that isn’t going to get a massive payday. There are going to be plenty of good players hitting free agency this year including Mark Stone, Jeff Skinner, Matt Duchene, and Jake Gardiner, and some intriguing mid-tier guys like Jordan Eberle, Gustav Nyqvist, Kevin Hayes, Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Ryan Dzingel, Jakob Silfverberg, Joonas Donskoi, Micheal Ferland, etc. that I could potentially be interested in at the right price, but overall what I’d really like to see is the team’s front office just put their phones away on July 1. That won’t happen, though.

I think we should honour their countries of origin. So, when Roussel (France) or Goldobin (Russia) scores, we can celebrate their history by overthrowing the ruling class and celebrate when Eriksson (Sweden) scores by replacing them with a peaceful social democracy. I will not be reading the comments and so I can only assume no one will get mad at me for this.

As I addressed in the previous mailbag, I don’t think the Canucks will trade Sutter this season. I think there’s a good chance it happens before the end of his contract, though, and he could fetch a decent return if he can stay healthy. Obviously the market changes every year but I would think his trade value would be similar to that of Jannik Hansen and Alex Burrows a couple of seasons ago. You’re not getting a first-round pick or a blue-chip prospect, but you could get a second-rounder and/or a good prospect.

I’m not a huge fan of the idea, to be honest. Gaudette projects as a player who could bring real value to the Canucks but only if he’s playing down the middle, and he’s not going to develop at that position if he’s playing on the wing. If he’s used on the wing sparingly when Travis Green desperately needs a faceoff win I’m not going to complain but I don’t want to see him there with any regularity.

Tearaway pants were a popular answer with a lot of our mutuals, and I can definitely see the logic in that. The best bet, I would think, is to leave room in your carry-on and layer up. I’ve only been to Edmonton a handful of times, but as long as it’s not snowing, the dry cold can usually let you get away with a simple T-shirt-long sleeve shirt-hoodie-jacket combo, and then you can strip away the layers at your discretion when you get to Tampa.

I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t point out that a few extra trips to In-N-Out with Cheech and Shorty might give you the padding you need to keep warm in the Alberta cold.

  • It was -16 in northern BC two days ago, and is +7 today, so I can sympathize with Murph’s dilemma. As Jackson points out, if you’re not outside for too long, the -10 – -20 range when it’s dry is really not that bad and you can certainly get away with jeans, a t-shirt, and a pullover hoodie. I wouldn’t want to go for an hour walk dressed like that, but five minutes outside waiting for a cab, you’ll barely feel it.

  • They complain about the cold when it dips under 20c here near the equator.
    When it is mid-30’s in the shade in the dry season 20c really feels like winter.
    Animals die,the fruit stops growing and everybody yearns for March.
    -35 in Shoal Lake MB. this week.Good thing the Nucks weren’t playing in WinterPeg.

  • The question of which 4 players is interesting and your response reasonable, one thing to consider though.
    There is only one superstar in that list, Pettersson. If we say Boesser & Tkachuk are a wash, that means you would trade EP, Virtanen & Juolevi for Nylander, Konecky & Glass. Sorry, I wouldn’t trade EP straight up for those 3 let alone throw in OJ & JV. The only reason you trade away a potential top 5 player in this league is if your name is Chiarelli and you want to be fired from 2 GM jobs in 5 years (Thornton, Seguin, Hall, good god) or the player has made it clear they’re leaving.
    It’s true there is better depth and some really good players available from the next pick group but EP’s value to this franchise is worth more than a couple of really good players and a good prospect

    • Yeah you have to have extremely high expectations for Glass to even consider taking the other side. Considering he’s the same draft class as Petterson and hasn’t made the NHL yet, I think it’s reasonable to cool your jets on him. Is he the next Schiefle? Highly unlikely. Also there’s a gap between Nylander and JV. That said, JV is on pace beat Nylander’s best goal total while playing on a below average team and below average linemates. Nylander has produced playing with Mathews. The gap isn’t as wide as some believe.

      • Not to mention Jake’s skating , toughness and physicality. He just needs to take the next step. Nylander at just short of 7 mill. Nah I think I’ll pass. I wouldn’t trade Jake for Nylander.

  • I don’t get how Jackson thinks a younger Sutter for at least a full season is only worth the same as an older Burrows or Hansen. I think he could easily garner a late first round pick from a team prepping for a playoff run. A second round pick from a contender is almost a third round pick.

    • Yeah I think he’s a touch low on that as well. Bur and Hansen were wingers and the value just on position alone is lower. Sutter being a “good depth C” will automatically bump his value up by it’s very nature. If it’s true that he’s held in high regard by more than a couple of other teams in the league then it is probably reasonable to assume he could bring back, as you said, a first round pick (from a playoff team) or solid prospect. Again though…those would have to be ranked by position as well. Sutter is not bringing back any high end D prospect or top Center prospect. He’d bring back B level center prospect and probably even lower D prospect. He could fetch a higher level wing prospect though. My opinion of course.

  • The Pettersson group worse than the other . That is ludicrous . Boesser will be a superstar and Petey could well b come a top five player of all time . Juolevi will be a regular nhl defensemen and Virtanen a regular nhl forward with a solid two way game.