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Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

Monday Mailbag: NHL calibre prospects, who will surprise at training camp and if Tyler Myers is tradeable

We are back for another Monday Mailbag!

I’ve also got a mailbag update for you, from now on, I, Chris Faber will be taking over the majority of the Monday Mailbags.

I’ll answer your Twitter questions and try to bring some good answers.

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Every time I write the mailbag, I find it so easy to write and really enjoy taking questions from our readers and followers. I’ll be throwing out the call for questions every weekend before the mailbag so be sure to follow along on Twitter and get your questions in!

Let’s reach into the mailbag and see what you wonderful people have asked this week!

I hope you had a good weekend too, Devon!

As for the surprise, I’m going to go with Will Lockwood.

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His game fits exactly what tends to shine at a training camp. Many of the drills at camp are typically full ice rushes. There’s a lot of open ice for players to work with and that is going to benefit Lockwood’s strengths. He will be 23 years old this season and began to really figure out the pro game in the second-half of last season.

I thought Lockwood looked fine last year when he made his NHL debut and ended up getting into two games.

With the added depth that the Canucks acquired in the offseason, it’s going to be much more of an uphill battle for Lockwood to make the team, but as I mentioned earlier, his speed is going to shine at camp and if he can produce in preseason like he did in scrimmages last year, he will make it a tough decision on Jim Benning to send him down to the AHL.

Another couple of names to keep an eye on are Olli Juolevi and if a full offseason will have helped him work on his skating and Phil Di Giuseppe, who will look to win a job on the fourth line or may end up being the 13th or 14th forward.

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I sure as heck hope so.

The team looks to have improved enough to believe that this is very possible. A lot is going to depend on Thatcher Demko continuing to be an elite goaltender. As much as this team’s roster has improved, the guy who will have most pressure on him is going to be Demko. He will need to continue to trend toward Vezina trophy conversations for the Canucks to be successful.

To answer your question, yes I do think they will have a positive goal differential. I’ll even throw a pair of numbers out there, 268 goals for and 241 against.

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We’ve been asked this a lot, mostly by Andy…

I’ve got some good news and some annoying news.

First, the good news, we are planning on bringing live events to the Vancouver community this fall as we want to grow CanucksArmy’s presence in the Vancouver area. I’m heading this project with some help from our bosses at the Nation Network. I’m excited to get out and meet (most of) the readers and commenters of CanucksArmy.

As for the annoying news, we don’t currently have a date established as we are looking at which location works the best for us and those who will be attending.

When we set a date, we will also be recording a live episode of the Canucks Conversation podcast with myself and David Quadrelli. Followed by me hosting the event where we all can gather and watch a Canucks game with some beverages.

We will keep you posted when a location and date is established for the first CanucksArmy watch party that will feature a live recording of the Canucks Conversation podcast.

The problem is that Tyler Myers is more than likely a negative value contract at this point.

He has this season and two more left with his $6,000,000 cap hit. There are some cap savings to be had if you look to buyout his contract after this season so that may be an option but you will still see a $5,888,888 cap hit on the 2023-24 season due to his $5,000,000 signing bonus in that season.

I’ve always wondered what it would take for Myers to be dealt. He has to go with at least a second round pick and prospect or even a first and a prospect in my eyes. He’s a guy who can contribute for an NHL team and will bring offence but his fit is just so bad with the Canucks’ current defence core and he’s likely to slot into their bottom pairing at the beginning of the season.

I thought that Myers should have been exposed in the expansion draft for the Canucks to have a chance of him being selected so that the team could have added money to go long with Hughes and Pettersson while also adding a defenceman at third pairing money.

I’m not saying Myers is unmovable because there’s always a market for right shot defencemen. The problem still remains that Myers is probably a negative value contract and will require prospects and draft picks added to his contract to make him a moveable piece.

It might be best to just play out the final three years.

This is a tough one to answer. Obviously, we cannot be cheering in the press box but as a Canucks content creator, I want the team to be successful. As a lifelong fan of the team, I want success as well. To me, the part where you need to renounce your fandom comes when you are working. I want the team to have success but when I am evaluating the organization as my job, I have to try and be as honest as possible.

The thing I cheer for the most is a good story, I want to see a Vasily Podkolzin hat trick or Quinn Hughes to have four points in a game. I don’t want the team to be bad. Those type of stories suck to write about, so, to a degree, there is some fan left in me but I have also been kind of shocked how much the fandom disappears when your full-time job becomes producing content about the team.

The biggest thing is hiding the fandom in the press box. When Höglander scored his first goal in his first game, it felt amazing after covering him so closely for the two years prior to him coming to the NHL. Obviously, I was excited for him to have success and wanted to cheer but it turned out to just be a big smile underneath the mask as I was happy for the story.

There are three players who I think will play NHL games as soon as this season or next season at the latest.

Jett Woo is likely the lowest out of my trio. He is pretty far away from being an NHL defenceman. Another full season in the AHL will help his development a ton and he needs to be the top penalty killing defenceman for the Abbotsford Canucks this fall. If he can improve his decision-making and passing, Woo should compete to play NHL games during the 2022-23 season.

Depending on how his junior season goes with Northeastern, I can see Aidan McDonough making the jump to professional hockey sooner, rather than later. If he rips up the NCAA this season, he will make a push to join the Canucks in mid-April. I personally expect him to sign after this season and he may need some time in the AHL before coming to the Vancouver Canucks. A lot is going to depend on his development and how he produces this coming season. Either way, I think he gets some NHL games in for the 2022-23 season.

The last is Mikey DiPietro. He is now just down the road in Abbotsford and will likely be Vancouver’s backup for the 2022-23 season. If an injury occurs, DiPietro will be right up to the NHL to be the backup for the duration of the injury.

Another couple of names are Will Lockwood and Jonah Gadjovich — both will play games this season when injuries hit the Canucks. Each of these two have interesting skills and traits that can help a fourth-line and it will be good for both to get a run of games next season to see if they are NHL calibre players.

That wraps up our Monday Mailbag for this week.

We will see you next Monday!