Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

Monday Mailbag: Turkey laughs in Ham’s face, keep your eye on Arvid Costmar and the two rookies who will start on opening night

Another Monday, another mailbag.

I am covering for David Quadrelli this week as he has been tasked with holding onto the famous Quadrelli marinara sauce recipe and he claims it’s a 24-hour job and he hasn’t slept in days.

Let’s see what you wonderful people asked this week!

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This is a great start to the mailbag as it seems the Höglander hype train has never had so much speed, and my goodness, I am all aboard. The skill and creativity of Höglander would definitely work alongside Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser. The question about that is if he will be able to have success against the tough matchups that the Pettersson and Boeser duo command.

Sure, Höglander is extremely skilled and pretty dang tough for a player his size but he has never played against NHL competition. The speed of the game will be quicker and he will have to adjust quickly to make this team let alone be a top six contributor. I think the door is wide open for him to win a spot out of camp and knowing how he performs in training camps, (see prospect development camp last year) I wouldn’t be surprised if he does so.

That being said, the trio of J.T. Miller, Bo Horvat and Vasili Podkolzin is nasty. They have size, speed and are demons on the forecheck. It’s a safe bet to say that Podkolzin will play alongside Horvat at some point in his career. It likely won’t take long as general manager Jim Benning has already talked about the idea of Podkolzin flanking Horvat’s wing.

My bet is that the second option would be more daunting to play against and seriously has the potential to be one of the grittiest lines in the NHL that can also score goals. They would absolutely wear down their opposition and all three players do a great job in the first two-thirds of the ice and each have different finishing abilities in the offensive zone to boot.

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The thing is, the duo of Miller and Pettersson has been a go-to for coach Travis Green. These two players have a ton of success together and I think that chemistry will continue to grow over the years. As long as Miller can keep up his scoring in a top-line role, I don’t think they will take him away from Pettersson.

I like espresso.

I can deal with martinis.

Espresso martinis sound like a treat.

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I’ll look at this question from a couple of angles.

First, I’ll address which rookies I believe will be on the Canucks’ opening night roster then I’ll look at which rookies will play their first NHL game this season.

Opening night will feature a rookie in some capacity. I believe there will be two that start on opening night for the Canucks.

The first is Nils Höglander.

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I believe that there is a path for Höglander to play in the top six for the Vancouver Canucks as soon as opening night. Jake Virtanen is his most likely competition and if there’s one thing I’ve learned from covering camps, Virtanen is not great at them.

On the other side, Höglander is excellent during camp. He is very skilled with the puck on his stick and according to his coaches and teammates in Rögle, he is electric in practice.

I think Höglander finds his way into the Canucks lineup for opening night.

The other rookie on opening night will be Brogan Rafferty.

Rafferty brings a unique look to the third pairing and can saddle up with the defensive Jordie Benn. Rafferty can carry the puck and provide offence to a third pairing that has lacked those things in the past few years.

Juolevi is another option here but I do think that it’ll be tough for Green to pencil in five left-shot defencemen in his opening night roster card.

Rookies like Juolevi, Kole Lind, Jalen Chatfield, Jack Rathbone and maybe even Vasili Podkolzin if we’re lucky will play this season for the Canucks. It’s a nice second wave of talent coming through to hopefully continue to support the young core.

It’s Podkolzin.

The ceiling is very high on Höglander too but a true power forward with first line potential is hard to bet against.

Podkolzin does so many things right that it’s hard to bet against him. The only negative thing about this kid is his KHL contract. He is going to be a different type of superstar rookie. He may not put the points up like a Boeser, Pettersson or Hughes but he will make an immediate impact on the Canucks’ roster and will be a top six player in short order.

Right now it looks like Arvid Costmar or Linus Karlsson will be that guy.

Costmar is set to play in a top six role for Sweden at the World Junior Championships and he should have some extremely talented wingers on his sides. He is a two-way machine who has improved a lot since last season. He is now getting regular ice time in the SHL and should look strong against U20 players at the WJC.

Karlsson just turned 21 and has been over a point per game in the Swedish second-tier Allsvenskan league this season. We should keep an eye on him as he may move to the SHL next year or attempt to migrate into the AHL.

On the low, Arturs Silovs is a goalie prospect that we should begin to hear more and more about as time goes on.

The turkey versus ham debate is laughable.

Turkey wins every day and three times on Sundays throughout the year.

Ham is a good side dish at a turkey dinner but it does not carry enough weight to be the centre of attention at a family gathering.

We have a tradition of drinking Alien Hemorrhage shots at our family gatherings. I’ll definitely be missing that this year with COVID-19 limiting my ability to travel home to the island.

My go-to Christmas treat is typically peanut brittle or peanut butter cookies with Frosted Flakes in them. Grandma Faber is elite in the baking department and for the past few years, a tin of each of those treats has been one of my favourite Christmas gifts to receive. On the low, Disaronno and eggnog is a sneaky good drink.

As for the second part of that question, I’ll miss Chris Tanev the most. His contract is way too high, but the boy could block shots with the best of them. I think Jacob Markstrom is a happy man knowing that Tanev will be killing penalties for him once again.

Well, that wraps it up for another Monday mailbag! Quadrelli should be back to write next week’s article and I’ve got a lot of work to do on Arvid Costmar and Vasili Podkolzin before the World Junior Championships get going.

Be sure to follow Quads on Twitter and keep an eye out for the call to action!