Summer is slowly fading away, but that means the NHL is nearing a return and the Canucks have a lot to look forward to in this new season.
Vancouver has new wingers, new defencemen, and still have their young core that will hope to get even better and might be able to keep them inches away from some form of playoff race.
But right now there’s only a couple things on every fan’s mind. The most prominent and important thing right now — especially after Nikolay Goldobin’s one-year, $900,000 contract signed on Wednesday — is if Brock Boeser will sign a new contract before training camp.
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) September 5, 2019
Based on quotes from GM Jim Benning, the two sides are close to agreeing to a deal that will be officially signed in the next couple of weeks. It might be before training camp or during, but it sure sounds like Boeser will take part in at least the majority of the preseason exhibition games for the Canucks.
Vancouver has reportedly been close to signing the winger to a four-year deal somewhere around a $7-million AAV, but Benning mentions that they have been discussing both long and short-term deals.
“Our options are open on both,” said Benning. “We want to figure out something that’s fair for the team here moving forward with all these good young players we have, and that’s fair to the player. We are just trying to find that common ground, and when we get to that common ground we’ll get a deal done.”
Speaking of young players, Elias Pettersson has been preparing hard for his sophomore season in the NHL.
Are we going to see a *quicker* Elias Pettersson this season? 😳
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) September 4, 2019
The reigning Calder Trophy winner has been working all summer to get stronger in preparation for a season with a little more pressure on his shoulders.
He earlier spoke with Chris Johnston about his previous season and how he felt going through the motions of a full-length NHL schedule. Pettersson mentioned not feeling fully engaged and healthy going into every game, but he has been working on that specifically this offseason.
“This summer, I knew what I was preparing for. So I’ve been working a lot on my conditioning to get more leg power, and to hopefully play a full 82-game season and, hopefully, playoffs. I know what I’m expecting now,” Pettersson told Iain MacIntyre.
Another player that has injury troubles in the past — and hopes to keep them there — is Olli Juolevi. He has yet to play an NHL game, but he’s only 21-years-old and has just 18 games of professional North American hockey to go off on.
Through those 18 games for Utica, Juolevi put up 13 points, a stellar amount for a defenceman that wasn’t even legal to drink where he played. But unfortunately for him, he’s been battling a knee injury for most of the summer.
At least now, it appears he’s finally getting back to full health.
Benning on Juolevi: “It’s full speed ahead for him. He’s cleared for contact.”
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) September 4, 2019
According to Benning, Juolevi seems to be available for all of training camp and will most likely play in the preseason for the Canucks. Because of those limited games last year, he will most likely be sent down to Utica to start out the season again, but he always has the chance to work his way up to making his NHL debut.
This will be an interesting and exciting season for Vancouver, from every angle there’s something going on that should point towards some notion of success in the near future.
More news will start to pour out as we get closer to opening night.