Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Various News and Notes: Boeser’s contract, Pettersson’s summer, Juolevi nearing return

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

    • DogBreath

      I’d like to share your optimism, but it’s going to be a scramble to get in. Most projections show them coming up short or just getting in. Hopefully you’re right.

      I think what the Canucks have done is really interesting. I’m interested to see whether their unconventional build model is going to work (draft well, overpay veterans to support young player growth). I’m interested see how the forward group jells (mostly the top 9). I’m looking forward to a more physical brand of hockey (with high skill from the youth). Finally, of course, watching the next wave of young players on the team take another step in their development.

      Of course, an 0-6 start might make it way less fascinating. The beauty of September anticipation….

    • CanuckRealist

      Dream on dolt… SJ, Vegas, St Louis, Colorado, Calgary, Dallas, Smashville are ALL locks with the eighth and final spot going between Chicago, Winterpeg, AZ and Deadmonton. Vancouver not squeaking in ahead of any of those. No chance.

    • Marvin101

      after all benning’s free agent signings and drafting, it’s all gonna come down to the guy gillis traded for. if markstrom plays lights out, the sky’s the limit. if he regresses, adios jimbo.

      • truthseeker

        Not that simple. If Markstrom struggles then Demko gets his shot. No reason to believe he can’t start to take over as the number 1. He’s done well at every level. It’s hardly as black and white as you’re suggesting.

  • Kanuckhotep

    Goaltending is the whole key if the Canucks want to go anywhere. Who knows? If Marky and Thatcher play great they just might go somewhere in a division where only Vegas seems likely to win the division. (But MA Fleury has to bring it a third year in a row for that to happen) Anyway you look at it it’ll be either a glory or flop year with no in between.

  • J-Canuck

    I think Olli is due for a good season in the AHL to work on his game. Which is fine with me.
    We have a lot of new faces that will improve the defense and staggering Olli and Jett Woo coming up makes the contract situations in the future easier to lay out. The Canucks have the potential with Quinn, Olli, Jett to have three young defensemen that are compliments to each other. If Olli and Quinn were both considered #1 Left defensemen then one would eventually have to go.Olli slotting as a solid #2 is again, fine with me for 10+ years!
    The future is bright!

    • CanuckRealist

      Haha aint that the truth Fred. Brutal sicknote pick over Sergy, McAvoy, Keller and superstar Matty Tkachuk too name a few NHL PROVEN studs.

      Juolevi will need a Lidstrom type career now to appease for this Benning disaster and anyone with brain knows that ain’t happening.

      Worst high draft pick in Canucks history boys. Virtanen a close second… ‘Draft guru’ my a$$.

      • Robby-D

        This comment is so ridiculously pessimistic and based entirely on nothing. He’s 21 for crissakes. He may still wash out, but here’s the kicker: he may still end up a 1st-pairing D-man.

        Even if it turns out he’s less valuable than the players you listed, that doesn’t make it a completely failed pick. Suboptimal, yes, but that happens ALL THE TIME in the draft. Like all the freakin’ time. Nobody has a crystal ball and talent evaluation is difficult for established NHL players’ upcoming seasons, nevermind for kids who haven’t played pro.

        Your expectations need adjustment.