Welcome back to WDYTT (short for ‘What Do You Think Thursday?’), the only hockey column on the internet to not release its own reverse retro web design this week.
Speaking of departures (from the norm), the Vancouver Canucks experienced many departures this offseason, including MVP Jacob Markstrom and high-profile acquisition Tyler Toffoli. But their greatest loss of all may have come in the leadership department, where the steady, reliable, and downright dad-like Chris Tanev had played a vital role for the better part of the last decade.
In 2019/20, Travis Green’s Canucks started out with four alternate captains and then named Bo Horvat as the official captain a few games into the season, leaving Tanev, Alex Edler, and Brandon Sutter to wear the ‘A’s.’
With Tanev already gone, and both Edler and Sutter on the last year of their current contracts, it’s about time for a major leadership shakeup. Expect the Canucks to name at least one, but probably two, further alternate captains for the 2021 campaign. But who on the current roster is worthy of an additional letter on their chest?
Will it be an established veteran with Cup-winning experience like Jay Beagle or Tanner Pearson?
A member of the young core, like Elias Pettersson or Brock Boeser?
Or maybe even someone perfectly situated between those two ends of the spectrum, like Tyler Myers or JT Miller?
Coach Green certainly has options, but before he chooses from them, we want to give you the chance, because this week we’re asking:
Who is your choice for the Canucks’ new alternate captain (or two)?
Last week, we asked:
Who do think is the Canucks’ most underrated prospect? Who is your dark horse candidate to eventually make it to the NHL?
Your responses (all of which are themselves underrated) are below!
Zlodeyev, on the theory that Russian prospects tend to be discounted in North America.
He’s a smart, creative, two-way player who plays both the power play and penalty kill. He didn’t make the national junior team, but has a good chance next year. He’s not terribly physical, despite being a good size for a junior. He’s got good speed, but lacks some technique in his skating. If he can work on those things, the Canucks will have something.
Ken Priestlay Fan:
I feel like there are a few really. I think Jack Malone might be better than the box scores suggest; he was buried on a stacked Cornell roster, but you would hope that he learned a lot and will get more opportunity (if this NCAA season happens). People seem to be waking up to Costmar, but I wonder if Linus Karlsson may be a bottom-six option in a few years. He’s obviously not that offensively-gifted, but he’s still pretty young and has played a lot of hockey against men. Finally, from this draft, Jacob Truscott. Seems to me that what he’s marked down on is how slight he is. But getting bigger is one of the easier things to do, so if he can reach an “NHL size,” he seems to have the smarts and skating to be better than many seem to think.
But then you guys are supposed to be the experts so what do I know?!
I think a surprise prospect to make it will be Silovs in goal. He has the size and athleticism and Ian Clark likes him! That’s good enough for me.
I think it’s the guy you’re showing in the picture at the top of the article – Lind. Everybody always seems to want to throw him in as a sweetener to get rid of a bad contract, but I think he has the skills, some size, and the attitude that will make him at least an effective third liner and maybe more.
I like what Arvid Costmar has been doing. We should get a chance to see him perform at the WJC and I’m guessing the former seventh round pick will open a few eyes.
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
Kole Lind is the most underrated/appreciated prospect. Given that a lot of scouts (and famously Jim Benning) thought Kole should have been drafted in the first round, there are surprisingly very low expectations for him to succeed and make the NHL. He has a high draft pedigree but no one really talks about him, and he has been consistently improving over time.
He has a very strong work ethic and a drive to constantly prove his doubters wrong, and I think that is going to propel him to the NHL. It’s a shame that Covid is derailing his development, but this may be a blessing in disguise since he is eligible to be taken in the Seattle expansion draft, and Seattle may pass him over because of his low profile.
(Winner of the author’s occasional award for mixed sports metaphors)
I agree (with those saying Lind). Kole seems to have gone under the radar, but he could still turn out to be a useful third or fourth line player. Not every pick turns out to be a home run; sometimes bunt singles gets the job done too…
Awarded best defenseman in Utica this past season, beating out the shiny players like Rafferty and Juolevi.
I’m a believer in Lind and Woo. Others, too, but these are the most underrated that I think are going to have success in the NHL.
Playing in the WHL at 16 years of age, Carson Focht.
Played U16 and U17 for CANADA and a WHL All-Star.
5th round dark horse.
To qualify my answer, I am going with the guy who seems the most unheralded but whom I think will have the largest impact on the team.
That guy is Jett Woo. He has had a very solid WHL career and is set to become a pro this season if there is a pro league he can play in. His qualities are he is big, strong, great work ethic, of course the coveted RHD, he is mobile, and physical. He is pretty much built like a brick outhouse. Sounds like a Bieksa-style or perhaps Shea Weber-style; this is style only, not that he will be these guys, but hopefully he lands somewhere in between. Jim Benning has been quoted as calling Woo an important part of the Canucks future.
His downfall is that, statistically, he had a downfall in points last year but he was traded from Moose Jaw to Calgary. The good thing was he was reportedly rounding out his game. Woo also has had a few injuries in his career, he was slated as a first round talent at the beginning of his draft year and slid nicely down to the Canucks in the second.
Underrated? Hockey Prospector has Woo as a 74% of making the NHL and 39% of becoming a star, pretty great odds. Why undertated you ask? Probably because he is a very good talent that is talked about the least. Perhaps because he isn’t playing right now or is not a high scoring forward or defenseman. Personally, I am very excited to have some toughness on the back end while still not sacrificing mobility.
At the risk of being distracted by the newest bauble (recency bias), I’m going to say 7th rounder defenseman Viktor Persson. No one expects any 7th rounder to even be close, but I’m saying he makes the NHL within 3 years.
I think as a group, the defence prospects are also very underrated, but are very close now. I believe that one or both of Rathbone and Juolevi will potentially be pushing into second pairing minutes by the end of this season. Woo will be a standout in Utica, and be in a Canucks uniform after two years with the Comets.