2024 midterm Vancouver Canucks prospect rankings: Honourable mentions outside of the top-10

Photo credit:X/Vancouver Canucks
Dave Hall
5 months ago
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Last week, we launched our 2023-24 top-10 midterm prospect rankings, starting with a prequel which outlined the criteria guiding this year’s selection of top prospects and honourable mentions.
The main guideline to take note of is our age restriction. For this list, we will be sticking with the under-23 crop, which renders a few notable prospects ineligible.
Here’s a recap of the players not eligible for this list: Arshdeep Bains, Max Sasson, Tristen Nielsen, Filip Johansson, Akito Hirose, Aidan McDonough, Linus Karlsson, and Nikita Tolopilo, Ty Glover. Vasily Podkolzin also remains outside of the list, given his previous NHL experience.
Additionally, Jacob Truscott, who was originally a top-10 candidate, has been removed from consideration. On Friday, Rick Dhaliwal reported that the Canucks will not be pursuing Truscott’s rights, effectively making him an unrestricted free agent free to explore opportunities with other teams. While the Canucks currently retain his rights, Truscott will no longer be viewed as a part of the organization’s depth moving forward.
Now, let’s delve into our list, beginning with our honourable mentions.

Ty Mueller

Position: Forward
Handedness: Left
Height/Weight: 5-foot-11, 201-pounds
Ty Mueller, a 5-foot-11, 201-pound centre from Nebraska-Omaha University, was an unexpected choice when he was drafted in the fourth round of the 2023 entry draft as a double-overager.
Initially, some questioned whether the pick was a tad early, but as he’s progressed through his junior NCAA campaign, it’s becoming quite clear what the Canucks’ scouting team saw in this kid.
The Cochrane, Alberta native has proven to be a versatile player, showcasing a wide range of two-way skills in his game. His agility, speed, and strong edges make him a dynamic offensive presence, whether he’s leading the rush, maneuvering in one-on-one situations, or firing powerful shots on the power play.
Centring the top line, he’s leading the charge for his team, tallying eight goals and 23 points in 28 games while maintaining just below a point-per-game pace since December.
Beyond the offence, Mueller also plays a responsible two-way game, contributing in all three zones and excelling in the face-off circle — he has taken the second most face-offs among all NCHC centres while carrying the third most wins with a .552% on the year.
To top it all off, he’s enjoyed back-to-back Hobey Baker nominations and has slowly become one of our top “feel good” prospects of the season here at CanucksArmy.
Ceiling: Mueller’s potential ceiling lies in his ability to provide energy and contribute offensively in an NHL middle-six role. While he narrowly missed cracking our top 10 list due to his age, his solid skating, scoring ability, and defensive acumen offer a promising foundation for his future.
Floor: Mueller’s intriguing blend should allow him to carve out a career as an AHL scorer.
ETA: In terms of his NHL timeline, Mueller may sign a deal with the Canucks this spring, but it’s more likely that he’ll complete his senior year before making the transition. If he joins Abbotsford next spring, he’ll likely spend two years in the AHL before competing for a spot in the NHL lineup during the 2026-27 season.

Vilmer Alriksson

Position: Left-wing
Handedness: Left
Height/Weight: 6-foot-6, 214-pounds
Vilmer Alriksson, a towering 6-foot-6, 214-pound teenager, has made the transition from the Swedish junior circuit to the OHL in his draft plus-one season this year.
Despite his imposing size, Alriksson defies the stereotype of clunky skating and stiff hands often associated with players of his stature. Instead, he showcases relatively smooth skating and hands, allowing him to generate speed on the rush and maneuver through defenders effectively. His exceptional reach helps protect the puck and act as a buffer between the puck and defenders.
Additionally, Alriksson possesses a formidable shot, capable of beating goaltenders from a distance with a quick snap. He’s versatile enough to play both the half-wall and the netfront, but his combination of size, hands, and shot make him particularly effective inside the paint.
In his debut North America season with the Guelph Storm, he sits sixth on the team with 25 points in 52 games. He’s up to 10 goals on the year, six of which have come from the man advantage. While we like his ability to cash in on the power play, we wouldn’t mind seeing a little more production at even strength. Hopefully, that will come with some additional minutes in 2024-25.
Of course, his season hasn’t been without its ebbs and flows. While he initially came out the gate providing energy, physicality, and offensive contributions, his game has slightly tailed off in the second half. He has just four points since the calendar turned to 2024, and in recent weeks, he’s seen demotions to the team’s fourth line and even experienced his first healthy scratch in hopes of injecting some fire into his veins.
These challenges are simply part of the adjustment process as Alriksson navigates his transition to North American hockey. Whether it’s adapting to a new country, a different ice surface, a higher level of play, or unfamiliar teammates, everything is brand new for him.
As a project prospect, he presents a wide range of possibilities for development.
Ceiling: Alriksson’s potential ceiling lies in his ability to carve out a role as an NHL middle-six forward, particularly in a crash-and-bang capacity. His combination of size, skating, and scoring touch makes him an intriguing prospect, especially in power play situations.
Floor: Run-of-the-mill AHL’er. He feels like as much of a project prospect as you could get. While he carries tons of intriguing qualities, there is a wide range of possibilities regarding his development.
ETA: His second season will be crucial in determining his trajectory, and if he continues to progress, a transition to Abbotsford could be on the horizon as soon as next spring. However, given his status as a project prospect, don’t expect to see him in a Vancouver jersey before the 2028-29 campaign.

Aku Koskenvuo

Position: Goaltender
Handedness: Left
Height/Weight: 6-foot-4, 194-pounds
Aku Koskenvuo, drafted in the fifth round in 2021, is the first netminder on our prospect top-10 list. Standing tall at 6-foot-4, he possesses excellent size and takes up a significant portion of the net.
His development path has been somewhat slow, as he made the move across the pond as a Harvard commit last season. Unfortunately, he was limited to third-string duties, appearing in just four games over the entire year, which included a forgettable two-game stint for Team Finland at last year’s World Juniors.
Overall, it was a stagnant season in terms of game action.
However, he has been handed much more responsibility this year. Splitting duties with last year’s backup, Derek Mullahy, he has 12 starts under his belt so far, and he has performed admirably when called upon.
While his 3-5-3 record and .899 goals-against average may not immediately catch the eye, it’s important to consider the context. Harvard’s offensive output ranks among the lowest in their conference, placing added pressure on Koskenvuo to keep his team competitive. He has faced 30 or more shots in nine of his 12 starts, with a peak of 49 shots against. He has contributed to three out of the team’s four total wins and even achieved a three-game winning streak, including a shutout.
The optics may look bad, but his game has been much stronger than the numbers suggest.
Ceiling: In terms of potential, Koskenvuo’s ceiling is intriguing, given his frame and athletic profile. With the guidance of Ian Clarke, there is a possibility he could develop into a serviceable goalie at the NHL level.
Floor: At the very least, he should be able to carve out a respectable AHL career.
ETA: He will need a professional contract by June 1st, 2025, meaning he will have to sign next spring if he hopes to pursue a professional career within the Canucks system. As is the case with many goaltenders, the timeline could be quite long. Especially with names like Thatcher Demko, Arturs Silovs and Nikita Tolopilo in the mix.

Josh Bloom

Position: Left-Wing
Handedness: Left
Height/Weight: 6-foot-2, 183-pounds
Josh Bloom, a 2021 third-round pick, joined the Canucks organization via a trade that sent Riley Stillman to the Buffalo Sabres late last year.
Standing at 6-foot-1 and weighing 200 pounds, Bloom embodies an energized and physical style of play, characterized by a strong forecheck and a persistent on-ice presence.
His journey this season has been one of highs and lows. Beginning the year in Abbotsford, he struggled to find his footing, managing just a single assist in a 14-game stint while having a tough time securing consistent minutes, often skating on a bottom-line role.
That resulted in a brief stint in the ECHL, where he tallied just two assists in eight games.
After failing to garner any solid momentum at either level, the organization made the strategic decision to send him back to junior hockey to regain confidence and compete for a Memorial Cup with the Saginaw Spirit, this year’s tournament hosts.
A former Saginaw captain, he spent the first two-and-a-half seasons of his junior career with the Spirit before being traded to the North Bay Battalion last year. He played a pivotal role in helping the Battalion reach the OHL Eastern Conference final.
While he is typically known for his strong work ethic and penalty-killing prowess, Bloom has shown the ability to contribute offensively as well. Since returning to the junior level, he has notched four goals and 16 points in 19 games while playing in top-six minutes in his second go-around with the Spirit.
Despite facing some challenges this season, Bloom continues to offer an intriguing skill set for a bottom-of-the-lineup role, particularly on the penalty kill.
Ceiling: His profile projects as the perfect piece to a team’s energy lines, while shutting down opponents on the penalty kill. Don’t let his low-utilized pro performance deter you, he can chip on the scoresheet in a variety of ways, to boot.
Floor: His mix of grit and offensive tools is enough to keep him relevant as a future AHL middle-six.
ETA: He is expected to take his second stab at carving out an AHL spot next season. We can expect him to take a year or two to adjust, fighting for a spot in Vancouver by the 2026-27 season.

Jackson Dorrington

Position: Defence
Handedness: Left
Height/Weight: 6-foot-2, 192-pounds
If you’re into physical, shutdown defenceman, look no further than Jackson Dorrington.
Drafted in the sixth round of the 2022 entry draft, Dorrington’s path to the NHL may be lengthy, but he possesses all the qualities of a penalty-killing, third-line shutdown defenseman if all goes according to plan.
Interestingly, while he may not be prolific in goal-scoring, Dorrington has a knack for producing highlight-reel moments. During his freshman season with Northeastern, he tallied zero goals and just six assists while primarily deployed on the third defensive pair.
However, as a sophomore, Dorrington wasted no time showcasing an added offensive touch, scoring his first collegiate goal in his season debut this year. That paved the way for five goals and a career-high 10 points across 25 games so far this year.
Despite his offensive contributions, Dorrington’s true value lies in his defensive prowess. Known for his willingness to sacrifice his body for the team, whether through delivering hits or blocking shots, he currently ranks third on his team with 30 blocked shots on the year. Unfotuenly, the NCAA does not track hits, otherwise, he likely takes the cake on Northeastern.
Mike Komisarek from Canucks player development was quoted while speaking to Chris Faber of Canucks.com and highlighted his defensive snarl.
“He’s just a mean player down low, and in or around the net. He’s great on the penalty kill, and he’s come a long way with his skating and his puck-moving ability. We’ve seen the added responsibility and the trust that he’s got from the coaching staff. I love the competitiveness, the fire and how he’s engaged in every shift – he never takes shifts off. He’s just a hard guy to play against.”
Ceiling: Given his profile, Dorrington’s upside is likely to peak as a third-pairing, penalty-killing stalwart. While he possesses decent hands, improved skating and a respectable shot, it’s his physicality and defensive acumen that will garner the most attention at the NHL level.
Floor: AHL depth. While he may not possess many elite traits, he offers enough as an all-around depth piece for an NHL organization. His willingness to sacrifice his body on the penalty kill adds value to his game and makes him a valuable asset in a depth role.
ETA: We anticipate it to be a lengthy development path for the 19-year-old defenseman. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him complete his full four-year tenure at Northeastern University, utilizing the Vancouver Canucks’ staff’s guidance as he continues to develop both on and off the ice during his collegiate career.
That’s a wrap on our Honourable mentions, now it’s time for the real deal.
Let us know if there were any names on this list that you believe should be in the top 10.
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