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REPORT: Canucks won’t qualify Derrick Pouliot

The wheels are starting to churn on the decisions to be made for next season and the first one was reported yesterday.

This report isn’t shocking in the slightest as the Canucks were needing to make changes on the back-end and Pouliot hadn’t exactly seized his opportunity. There were flashes of Pouliot throughout his time with the Canucks that made you believe the organization was right in thinking that he might be able to get back to being the player that made him a can’t miss prospect in junior hockey.

Unfortunately, his play in the AHL over the few years before joining the Canucks was a clearer indicator of the player that he was. Which was a defenceman who gave up too much in his own zone but didn’t create enough offence to counteract it:

Which given how dominant of an offensive defenceman he was in the WHL, was a bit of a surprise. But not every player works out and Pouliot just couldn’t quite take that step forward.

The Canucks will be inserting Quinn Hughes into the lineup on a full-time basis, so there was going to have to be changes made. Furthermore, if this team had any designs about taking a step towards the playoffs, changes had to be made. Pouliot was the easy first decision as it opens up a roster spot, contract spot, and allows them to use the ~$1.0M towards another player.

It will be interesting to see how the organization continues to make changes and if we get any more information over the coming weeks.

  • No true Canuck fan ever wants to see anyone on the local NHL team stumble but this is what Pouliot has done and it’s disappointing. We all want our guys to step and succeed but for #5 it never happened. Benning has to make changes and this is one of them. Good luck, Derrick, maybe you’ll be signed by someone else.

  • Everyone knew this one was coming.
    Funny thing is that a world where Pouliot is the only free agent (RFA or UFA) who isn’t brought back seems plausible and down right probable.
    I can see Granlund, Motte, Leivo, Goldobin, Edler, Hutton, and Schenn all being under contract in this organization to start next season, and it makes the part of me that wants to see change from a bottom dwelling team sad.

  • and thus ends the career of a top ten draft pick… hmm… where are the Canucks drafting this year? I sure hope this pick turns out better…

  • For some defencemen like Pouliot it`s all about chasing loose pucks and making the right decision under pressure i.e. panic threshold. It`s really hard to predict in a young defenceman. Maybe that`s what management saw in Tanev and Stecher when they signed them not while realizing that Pouliot and Gudbranson just didn`t have it.

  • I have rarely seen a pairing in which a basic dump-in is handled worse than with Pouliot and Gudbranson. Both which such natural talent but a basic inability to make a quick decision. There were times when Pouliot would make a great stretch pass or actually defend an entry well but for the most part he seemed caught out of position or making the wrong read. I don’t know that his AHL play was that much of an indication of his struggles in the NHL as he scored at .5 PPG or better in three of those half-seasons, but the speed of the NHL game (and decision-making) is something I just don’t think he can handle. He’ll get a chance somewhere else and I wish him better luck there.

    • A basic inability to make a quick decision. Well said!

      My kid plays a baseball and I see lots of big kids with huge talent. However, only the ones with “a basic ability to make a quick decision” survive.

  • The signing of Hughes with the depth of Juolevi,Sautner,Brisebois,Teves and McEneny facilitated this move.Be interesting to see how RFA Hutton pans out as a Canuck.

    • I guess you keep the better player out of Juolevi and Hutton. Trade the lesser player. Sautner and Brisebois look like AHL players to me. Good to get called up in case of injury. Sautner plays a stable game defensively, but isn’t much of an offensive threat. It’s nice that we do have LHD depth.

      • I have been reading that Hutton’s camp wants a contract in the $4m range whereas Juolevi will be on an ELC. If the Canucks trade Hutton this off season it would not be a huge surprise.

        • There are comparables for a $4M ask (e.g. De Haan, Dumoulin) according to Capfriendly but I don’t feel that Hutton really deserves it. When you look at analytics, Hutton pales in comparison (acknowledging they were on better teams). When you dive deeper into point production, 8 of Hutton’s 20 points came on the PP, he contributes very little at even strength despite averaging 22 mins TOI. Even at his current salary ($2.8M), I feel that Hutton is overpaid.

        • If Hutton wants $4mil/yr, Van should definitely take a pic of Ben and email it to 30 GM’s with a note saying best offer by Monday gets him.

          • I guess a guy would have to compare him to other defencemen in the league making 4 million. Ekholm makes $3.75 million and Josi makes $4 million. Both are twice the defenseman Hutton is. So I can’t see him getting $4 million.

          • Kris Russell $4m per until he’s 34 years old
            3G 13A 16Pts
            Josh Manson $4.1m per
            3G 13A 16Pts
            Ben Hutton
            5G 15A 20 Pts

  • Pouliot was an 8th overall pick. 2 spots higher than the Canucks will pick in 2019. It’s another reminder that there are very few can’t miss prospects out there.