Expectations for Ty Mueller and Sawyer Mynio, the two newest Canucks prospects to land in Abbotsford

Photo credit:X/@OmahaHKY
Dave Hall
1 month ago
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The youth movement is in full swing down in Abbotsford.
After years of limited prospect depth, it’s clear that the Canucks, as an organization, are committed to the development of their depth chart.
In fact, one could argue that their roster is getting a bit too crowded now.
Over the past three weeks, the farm team has added five new prospects to their roster — two forwards and three defencemen — bringing the total number of skaters to 29.
Not all have been drawn into the lineup, though. Some are here to vie for roster spots this season, while others were brought in simply to soak in the professional environment and participate in the team’s day-to-day activities as the team gears up for a playoff run.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to have them in our environment and just be around to see how we’re running things, what we value as far as how we want the team to play, and what it’s going to take to have success in the league.” Jeremy Colliton told Postmedia on Tuesday.
“Every day they spend with us, especially this time of year, it’s big games all the time, heading into playoffs. For them to be around that is going to speed up their transition going forward. So, I think it’s invaluable for all those guys. Whether some guys may play, some won’t, some are just practicing, it’s just a really good opportunity for us to just move things ahead.”
This proactive approach should be music to the ears of all Canucks fans, as it lays out the foundation that is being instilled by this new regime.
It’s not all just about playing games and racking up points in junior; it’s about the process and most effective pathway to becoming true professionals and important members of this organization’s future.
In addition to recently signed NCAA free agent Christian Felton and highly-touted prospects like Jonathan Lekkerimäki and Elias Pettersson, the Canucks also brought in two lesser-known names to join the team.
First up is Ty Mueller, who arrived fresh off his team’s (Omaha-Nebraska) elimination from the NCAA Frozen Four tournament.
The Cochrane, Alberta native was drafted last summer in the fourth round (105th overall) and entered his draft-plus-one season as a seasoned 20-year-old double-overager.
Since his freshly signed ELC doesn’t kick in until next season, the club offered him an Amateur tryout. This tryout allows him to participate in games this season, should they choose to insert him into the lineup.
Although his points-per-game were down from last season, Mueller showed potential in his Junior year. He finished third on his team in scoring, with personal bests in assists (16) and points (26). These efforts led to a nomination for the Hobey Baker Award’s initial wave of entries.
After three seasons, he wraps up his collegiate career with 64 points (31 goals, 33 assists) across 98 games, all with Nebraska-Omaha.
Now that he’s officially a pro, it’s probably safe to assume a slow and steady approach to easing him into the lineup.
Setting career highs in College hockey is one thing, but translating that success to the AHL is a whole new can of worms.
Aidan McDonough’s recent journey serves as a prime example. He took some time to find his stride in the pro ranks before finally finding his groove and producing points.
Unlike McDonough, Mueller brings good skating ability. While he possesses a strong release and nimble hands, his greatest asset lies in his motor, which should make creating opportunities an easier transition at the AHL level. He’s often described as a versatile, jack-of-all-trades type player but not necessarily elite in any specific area — although, we do think highly of his release.
Listed at 5-foot-10 and 201 pounds, he boasts a pro build. Mueller’s frame, combined with his forecheck, should allow him to withstand the rigours of pro hockey.
With all this said, expecting Mueller to make an immediate impact and rack up points right out of the gate might be overly optimistic. Not only is he transitioning to the professional ranks at 21, but he’s doing so during a critical playoff push where every game is crucial.
Comparing him to Max Sasson, who joined around the same time last season, should provide some context. In seven regular season games, Sasson scored one goal and had two points during their playoff run. Of course, he was older and that much more mature.
Given the Canucks’ crowded forward lineup—with 16 forwards, 14 of whom could be considered regulars—Mueller might find himself rotating in and out of the lineup.
For now, the focus might be more on gaining experience and getting acclimated to the professional environment rather than immediate production. As Coach Colliton suggested, simply being a part of the team and absorbing the atmosphere could be invaluable for a 21-year-old like Mueller.
As for Sawyer Mynio, who was also drafted last year, we anticipate his schedule will be a little less game-heavy.
Colliton hinted in his post-game conference that some players were here strictly to practice and soak in the environment, and the 18-year-old likely falls into that category.
After a strong run of back-to-back WHL finals, the Seattle Thunderbirds were a team in distress this season – Mynio being one of their few shining spots.
The 6-foot-1, 181-pound defender has a lot to bring to the table and finished the season second on his team in goals and points. He enjoyed minutes in all situations and was considered one of the top-producing defenders league-wide.
While he flexed his offensive muscles this year, he had previously been known for his two-way ability in his draft year, mainly in the shutdown department.
He was, and still is, an ace on the penalty kill and plays sound and responsible hockey. But it’s his release that set him apart this year. He scored 16 goals, most of which were to the credit of his blistering one-timer.
Signing Mynio to his entry-level deal directly out of training camp is a tell-tale sign that the Canucks recognize his potential.
So, introducing him to the pro team instead of having him dive right into his off-season routine provides the perfect opportunity for him to immerse himself in the day-to-day activities with his future teammates.
While he still needs to mature physically, his game should translate well to the AHL level in due time. But for now, we expect him to remain on the practice squad.
That is, of course, unless he forces his way into the lineup…
“Look like you can be a player,” Colliton hinted at how these young prospects can squeeze into the lineup. “I think the more competition we have, the better, and if you look like you can help, we’ll play you.”
“We do a lot of small battle, small area games. It’s pretty easy to get a feel for where a guy is and how close they are to helping us in those moments. Then, you know, make the most of their opportunity. And if guys aren’t ready to play yet, that’s fine, that’s just not unexpected. But then for them, they get a picture of what it’s going to take next year or down the road to be in that position. So, it’s good for both sides for sure.”
Regardless if he finds some time on the squad this spring, you can expect Mynio to return to the WHL for one last season before making the full-time jump to Abbotsford.

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