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The 4 Canucks prospects who give us ‘playoff performer’ vibes

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Photo credit:@orebrohockey on IG
Faber
By Faber
8 months ago
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The Stanley Cup Final tends to bring the best out of certain players.
Stakes get higher, pressure can consume you, the hockey world is watching with a keen eye, and the stage is set for anyone on the ice to become a hero.
There’s a certain profile of a player who thrives in a playoff situation. You need to outwork your opponent while also being good with your stick to win those 50/50 battles and be able to have quick reaction time as every play has the potential to be a series-altering moment. Big mistakes cannot happen while big plays still need to be made.
We spent the season following along with the Canucks prospects and getting in as many viewings as possible. We’re also in the midst of releasing prospect rewind profiles while watching the final take place in the NHL.
So, let’s throw it all together and look at the four Canucks’ prospects who give us ‘playoff performer’ vibes.
Josh Bloom, LW, 20 years old — 2023-24 team prediction: Abbotsford Canucks
When the Canucks traded away Riley Stillman, we didn’t think they would get a good asset in return. Josh Bloom is a good asset in return.
The 2021 third-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres is a great forechecker and has some skill to go with his great motor. He is coming off an OHL playoff run where his North Bay Battalion fell in the OHL Championship to the Peterborough Petes. Bloom had five goals and seven assists in 20 OHL playoff games but was a massive piece of the Battalion’s penalty kill unit and did a great job keeping possession in the offensive zone during his shifts.
Bloom is physical, quick and has good enough hands to get by. He’s also looked at as a leader in the room and should fit right in with the Abbotsford Canucks next season as the AHL squad looks to lean toward youth instead of veterans.
Bloom isn’t likely to be a top-six NHLer but if he can become a penalty-kill specialist who takes care of himself in his own zone, we will be looking at a nice depth addition to a playoff lineup. Bloom has a reputation as an extremely hard worker who needs to outside motivation to work his ass off. He was a great pickup for the Canucks in exchange for Stillman and we will have to see how he looks in his rookie professional season next year — we expect to see him be a very important player for Abbotsford in the 2024 AHL playoffs.
Arturs Silovs, G, 22 years old — 2023-24 team prediction: Abbotsford Canucks
It’s pretty obvious that Arturs Silovs was going to be on this list after what he just did under so much pressure at the World Championships.
Certain goalies get hot in the playoffs and carry their team to glory — Silovs has the potential to do that as there are times where he finds his game and is a force between the pipes.
Silovs relies a lot on his athleticism but has taken huge strides in terms of his technical play over the past 12 months. He has been a shining star over the past two World Championships and could be the man for Abbotsford’s next AHL playoffs or potentially be backing up Thatcher Demko in the next NHL playoffs.
Elias Pettersson, LD, 19 years old — 2023-24 team prediction: Örebro (SHL)
One of the positive surprises from the past year of covering Canucks prospects has been the emergence of Elias Pettersson (D-Petey).
After being selected in the third round of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, D-Petey went on to play in the SHL and then earn a spot with Sweden’s world junior team. The World Junior Championships was where Pettersson got us excited about his playoff play. He stepped up big for his home nation and was the Swedish defenceman with the most shorthanded ice time in the WJC.
Pettersson did that as an 18-year-old and really impressed a lot of us who watched him at the WJC.
His physical style of play in combination with his sneaky shot from the points makes him a playoff contributor candidate from a depth position.
It’s not likely that D-Petey becomes a front-line NHLer but he certainly has the potential to play in the bottom-four of an NHL lineup. This coming season will be interesting to watch as D-Petey is expected to play in an SHL top-four for the season and he should get plenty of penalty killing time. Another area to keep an eye on Pettersson will be the 2024 world juniors. Pettersson has the potential to be Sweden’s top defenceman at the tournament and will certainly be relied upon to provide physicality as well as be used heavily on the penalty kill.
He’s got that DAWG in him and we love to see that type of player compete in the playoffs.

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Arshdeep Bains, LW, 22 years old — 2023-24 team prediction: Abbotsford Canucks
Arshdeep Bains had a massive playoff performance in game two of the Abbotsford Canucks’ second round series against the Calgary Wranglers.
He scored two shorthanded goals during one penalty kill and he was a pest throughout the six playoff games he played in. Bains was the most trusted forward in the Abbotsford lineup during the playoffs and it was because of his solid defensive play as well as his ability to maintain the puck in the offensive zone and be a part of creating scoring chances with his playmaking ability.
The other aspect to look at here is the local factor. Bains is born and raised in Surrey and you have to imagine that there’s nothing he would like to do more than bring a Stanley Cup to Canucks fans or a Calder Cup to the great folks out in the Fraser Valley.
Bains also raised his physical play in the playoffs and that was something he didn’t show on a regular basis through the regular season. Seeing him raise his game in the playoffs was a great sight to see. This is why we consider him a potential playoff performer.
Honourable mention here for Jonathan Lekkerimaki as well.
He was a point-per-game player in the Allsvenskan league this past season but he’s going to need to show us that type of effort next season before we really believe he could consistently be a playoff performer. He doesn’t give us playoff performer vibes but he showed up this past playoffs and that was damn impressive.

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