Photo Credit: NHL.com

Where the Canucks prospects will be: NCAA

The Canucks have done well with their American born draft picks in recent years.

All of those players went through collegiate hockey, took tangible steps forward in their development, and then inked an entry-level contract with the Canucks.

This year, the organization will be well represented in the NCAA with a plethora of prospects across the United States.

Yesterday, we took a look at the prospects that will be in the CHL and today we dive into the NCAA prospects.

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Tyler Madden

Tyler Madden had a fantastic freshman season with Northeastern that saw him represent the United States at the World Juniors.

After posting 12 goals and 16 assists for the Huskies last season, he will head back and look to improve on those totals as the team’s number one centre.

The Huskies lost their top defenceman Jeremy Davies to professional hockey this summer, so it will be interesting to see how they adapt to him not being there. He was a big part of their offensive game and as a result, players like Madden really benefitted for Davies’ play.

They will look to defend their BeanPot and Hockey East titles and push for the NCAA championship.

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It’s possible that Madden will turn pro at the conclusion of the season and sign with the Canucks.

Aidan McDonough

Aidan McDonough will be joining Madden at Northeastern this fall.

The left-winger was selected with the 195th overall pick this past draft after an encouraging USHL rookie season that saw him post 42 points (21-21-42) in 50 regular season games.

Like Madden had last season, McDonough has a chance to secure a top-six role with the Huskies this season as they look to improve their depth. Given his size, McDonough could be a natural fit with Madden – with McDonough using his size to create space for himself and the tenacious Madden.

The Canucks are familiar with the Northeastern program and feel confident that McDonough is in the right situation to round out his game over the next couple of years. It runs even deeper as McDonough has gone through the same path of Cedar Rapid (USHL) and Northeastern (NCAA) as Adam Gaudette did.

Add the fact that Jack Rathbone and Aidan McDonough are lifelong friends and played as recently as 2017-18 together with Cape Cod Whalers:

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Matthew Thiessen

Goaltender Matthew Thiessen makes his way to the University of Maine for the 2019-20 season.

Drafted in 2018, Thiessen went to the USHL last season that saw him start 47 regular season games posting a 3.01 GAA and 0.889 SV%. He had a stellar playoff for the Fighting Saints with a 2.48 GAA and 0.925 SV%.

Maine has Jeremy Swayman as their starting netminder, so Thiessen may not see a lot of nets this season but should be poised to take over for Swayman when the Bruins prospect turns pro.

Jack Malone

Selected after his draft plus one season, Jack Malone will head to Cornell next season.

During his first year of draft eligibility in 2018, Malone didn’t produce enough to justify being selected but exploded offensively this past season and the Canucks were happy to snap him up in the 6th round of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.

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Cornell is going through a transition as their two leading scorers from last season, Morgan Barron and Mitchell Vanderlaan have concluded their NCAA careers and are headed to professional hockey. Vanderlaan played two games with the Comets to close out last season.

So, Malone has a good opportunity to get into the program and work his way up the roster.

Jack Rathbone

Jack Rathbone will head back to Harvard for his sophomore season this fall.

The Crimson took a big hit with Adam Fox turning pro and joining the Rangers but that means there is an opportunity for the remaining players.

Rathbone had been playing with Fox at even strength play but was mostly deployed on the second unit with Fox and Riley Walsh taking up the first power-play spots. That could change this season, as Rathbone is probably the best suited there.

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The left-handed defender exploded offensively to start last season but then slowed as the season went along. This season, I would expect a little more consistency throughout the season and really take advantage of that PP1 spot that should be available.

William Lockwood

Despite only being 21, Lockwood is entering his senior season with the University of Michigan where he will be the program’s captain.

Many people were concerned about what Lockwood was going to be able to do last summer after suffering another shoulder injury but he proved us wrong as he played some of his best collegiate hockey last season. Particularly in the second half of the year, Lockwood was noticeable almost every time he stepped on the ice.

Being the captain of the team will mean that he will need to be a leader for the team that lost some major pieces over the summer. The loss of Quinn Hughes and Josh Norris will be softened by the additions of Cam York and John Beecher but it’s still a big loss for the team.

Lockwood will obviously complete his NCAA career this year but it is expected that he will sign with the Canucks rather than try to leave via free agency. Obviously, things can change between now and then but Lockwood himself said that he plans to play for the Canucks.

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