Jacob Markstrom has been playing like a Vezina-calibre goalie since roughly the start of the new year. There’s just no other way to put it. Meanwhile, backup Thatcher Demko has started just 5 games this season and while he appears to be developing at a steady pace, still looks be a long way off from being the Canucks undisputed #1 goaltender. Markstrom has just one year left on his contract, and looks to be in line for an extension; but when Mikko Koskinen costs three years at 4.5 million dollars AAV, you have to think he’ll be worth a pretty penny. He’s also going to turn 30 midway through next season, and there’s no guarantee his strong play will continue.
How would you handle the goalie situation next season? Would you sign Jacob Markstrom to an extension?
Last week I asked: Are you satisfied with the way the Comets have handled their youth this season? If not, what would you change?
Coming from a hockey fan, not a coach, its easy for us to question why for example Arseneau was getting shifts over Gadjovich, but it seems like Cull likes to insulate his rookies with solid vets. As Cory has commented, he puts the young players in big time situations. Early in the season there were just simply too many young players for Cull to fit all in. All in all, from the information I have, I feel they are doing an adequate job. If I was in the room, I might have a different story, but we just do not know.
Maybe Cull has an abrasive manner that’s rubbing some kids the wrong way, maybe the Canucks are just dumb and don’t want their prospects to develop, maybe Dahlen is a entitled whiner. We really don’t know. Since this is really the first time since Edler, Bieksa, Hanson, Burrows & Kesler were in the minors we’ve had any prospects of note playing or on their way to our minor league affiliate, it’s really too early to tell what is going on.
If more prospects speak out or ask out, we’ll know there’s a problem. If things settle down and prospects start rising though the ranks then it’s business as usual, nothing to see here.
Those NHL ready players in the future will increasingly be Canucks picks.
There is one change that should definitely be made in Utica. The organization needs to do a better job evaluating if young players are ready to play there. If not leave them in Europe or Junior or the ECHL. The roster had too many wingers all season. If they are close (Dahlen) make sure he is pushed and can be given the ice time to develop. I really wonder if Dahlen isn’t destined to be a Ried Boucher or Linden Vey who develops into a good AHL scorer but can’t turn the corner.
I am not surprised about how the year has gone for Gadjovich or Lind. Gads skating just is not good. I watched Lind all through his junior. He was along way from pro ready at the end of his draft +1 year. He weighed a skinny 170 and had no clue how to use a physical check to gain puck possession. He way too often went out of his way to avoid any contact. He was always chippy, slashing and punching after the whistle, running his mouth. His skating was above average for the dub which equates to just adequate in the pros. Don’t forget Linden Vey and Emerson Etem had very similar PPG rates in junior. Lind was always a decent 200 ft player so if he puts in the work he’ll make it. If not he won’t.