Welcome back to Blackfish, CanucksArmy’s weekly prospect report! Over the years of reading the site, this series has been a favourite of mine and I am extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity to carry on the torch. That having been said, I am still fairly new to this writing thing, so any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Are the tables legible? Too many stats? Not enough? Did I forget an oxford comma? Please let me know as I hope for this to be a collaborative endeavour between myself and the readers.
Enough housekeeping, prospect season is in full swing and there is a lot to cover!
- Jett Woo is getting acquainted with his new team after an off-season trade that saw him go from the Moose Jaw Warriors to the Calgary Hitmen. He started slow but he has since put up 3 points in his last 4 games.
- Woo’s teammate, Carson Focht, has begun his draft+2 year blazing hot with 9 points in 5 games while averaging 4 shots a game. His 9 points are tied with Philadelphia Flyers defensive prospect Egor Zamula for the team lead. Here is his second and game-winning goal against Spokane from September 27th.
- 4th round pick Ethan Keppen has gotten off to an underwhelming start for the improved Flint Firebirds. I’m hoping to see him shoot more than his current 1.86 shots per game as that is one of his best assets.
- Arturs Silovs has had an extremely strong first three starts in the OHL posting a .933 save percentage. He has been splitting time in net with Jet Greaves but Vancouver’s Latvian has been the better of the two thus far.
- The University of Michigan opened its campaign against Clarkson in a doubleheader. Senior and captain Will Lockwood was held scoreless in Friday and Saturday’s contests.
- Tyler Madden and Northeastern also began their quest for Frozen glory on Friday. In two Northeastern victories, sophomore Tyler Madden had 7 shots on goal.
- Northeastern teammate Aidan Mcdonough did not suit up for the Huskies.
- Harvard’s season does not get underway until November.
- Cornell’s first game is on October 20th.
- Vasili Podkolzin’s start to the season has been quite the storyline for not just Canucks fans but for prospect watchers in general. He started his season in the KHL, hardly averaging any ice time and in-between game days, he would be shipped to the VHL and MHL in order to get his minutes. He would then be called back up to the top club and continue to only play a couple of shifts a game. For such a polarizing prospect in the scouting community, playing big minutes in a crucial development year for him is a must. It appears that he is beginning to find some stability in the VHL which is great news. The points will come and I’m sure he’ll be getting more KHL action in the future. After all, he only turned 19 in June and SKA is a deep team that prefers to play veterans.
#Canucks prospect Vasily Podkolzin recorded a beautiful assist yesterday for the VHL's SKA-Neva. (In Vid 2). Podkolzin reads the play at 0:50 and creates a TO, which leads to a pass to a high danger area. Great forechecking at 1:20. Crash the net power move at 2:03.
Part 1/2 👇 pic.twitter.com/M4kDF8JaCd
— Daniel Gee (@DanielGScouting) October 12, 2019
(Daniel does fantastic prospect shift work on Twitter and I highly suggest you give him a follow if you are into that sort of thing.)
- Yes, we will be following Nikita Tryamkin this season. The Canucks could have a Tolkienesque blue line with the towering Tryamkin and Tyler Myers.
- 21-year old Artyom Manukyan is, to the best of my knowledge, beginning the season on the disabled list. He has yet to suit up for a game and his eliteprospects page has a red cross.
- The highly skilled and tenacious Nils Hoglander began his SHL season on a high with a goal and an assist after his first 2 games. He has since only added one more goal and received a 5-game suspension for a vicious elbow that he threw on October 3rd. Currently, he has served three games and will be looking to get back into the lineup on the 24th. His elbow can be seen here:
— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) October 3, 2019
- Arvid Costmar, who was a pleasant surprise at the 4-nations tournament when I watched his versatility, scored 10 points in 7 games for Linkoping’s J20 team before being called up to the SHL squad. In his first taste of SHL action for the season, he had a time on ice of 2:45. However, in the two subsequent games he had 10:12 and 12:17 respectively.
- Linus Karlsson is back in the Allsvenskan looking to build upon the 18 points in 52 games from his previous season.
- While Plasek has a lone assist to his name, he has the opportunity to play on the second line with Thomas Plekanec as his centre. One would think that with the opportunity to flank a former NHL centre in a top six role, some points will come.
- Petrus Palmu is looking to get his NHL journey back on track after a tumultuous first year in North America. He decided the AHL was not the best place to hone is craft and has gone back to the Liiga to continue developing. He came flying out of the gate scoring two goals and added two helpers in his first game of the season. There is a possibility that he returns to the AHL once his season is done with JYP.
- Toni Utunen has yet to man the blueline for Tappara in regular Liiga action but has shown decently in the games I saw from him in the Champions League as a middle pairing defender.
- Kole Lind exploded for 3 assists in Utica’s season opening win. He’s started the season on the top line with Reid Boucher and Carter Camper.
- Lukas Jasek scored the overtime winner against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Also, check out the patience and pass from Brogan Rafferty to set up Jasek
— Utica Comets (@UticaComets) October 13, 2019
- Guillaume Brisebois scored in the season opener off of one of Lind’s assists.
- Olli Juolevi also is back in game action and has looked sharp moving the puck. He made a great stretch pass to begin the sequence on the Comet’s first goal of the season.
— Utica Comets (@UticaComets) October 6, 2019
- Mike DiPietro has yet to make his AHL debut.
The Canucks currently have defenceman Mitch Elliot and goaltender Jake Kielly in Kalamazoo. The K-Wings dropped their first game 5-2 and Kielly surrendered 4 goals on 26 shots. Eliot was held pointless.
With that, the first Blackfish of the season is finished. While prospect mania is not what it once was, with most of the team’s top prospects having graduatedto the NHL over the past few years, this next wave of players will be very important for the organization moving forward as they try to develop young and cheap NHLers out of this crop. If some of these talents make a legitimate NHL impact and coincide with Vancouver’s NHL upswing; the Canucks will be in healthy shape to supplement their already young core with even more youth, an essential ingredient for contending teams.