Monday Mailbag: Abbotsford’s six best defencemen, when Danila Klimovich will make his NHL debut, and setting expectations for the World Juniors

Photo credit:Matthew Henderson
By Faber
1 year ago
Believe it or not, it’s World Junior Championships week!
The rescheduled tournament starts on Tuesday and we will finally have some Canucks-related on-ice play to talk about.
Jacob Truscott (USA) and Joni Jurmo (Finland) have made their national U20 teams and should get some ice time in the tournament. Both USA and Finland have eight defencemen on their roster and these two left-shot defencemen were on the bubble to even make their national junior teams in the first place. Any ice time will be good for Truscott and Jurmo at the World Junior Championships.
Jonathan Lekkerimäki should play in scoring situations for Sweden. He might even be in their top-six.
We’re hoping to see the Canucks’ 2022 first-round pick show well on that roster and would you look at that? We opened up our mailbag and found the first question being about Lekkerimäki.
So, without wasting any more words. Let’s dive into the mailbag and see what we have this Monday.
There are a few different situations that present themselves here. I’m expecting Lekkerimäki’s team to be one of the best in the Allsvenskan this season but we cannot guarantee that they are promoted to the SHL for the 2023-24 season.
If they are still in the Allsvenskan, you can bet that there will be a long playoff run with all the young talent that Djurgårdens currently possesses.
The Allsvenskan playoffs concluded on May 4th this past season. Even in 2023-24, I don’t expect to see the Canucks wanting to bring Lekkerimäki over after his Allsvenskan season concluded as that is a lot of hockey for a teenager. After a rough playoff run, I’m sure some time off will be exactly what he needs.
We expect to see Jonathan Lekkerimäki come in to camp for the 2024-25 season, and try to win an NHL job out of camp.
With additions like Curtis Lazar and Dakota Joshua, the Canucks’ fourth line is already getting pretty damn crowded.
Will Lockwood was a training camp star last season and he will have to repeat that performance this fall to earn a spot on the NHL team out of training camp.
Jason Dickinson, Sheldon Dries, Phil Di Giuseppe, Nils Höglander, Justin Dowling, and Nils Åman will all be fighting for a fourth-line role at camp and unfortunately for Lockwood, I don’t see his name being the one that rises to the top.
Lockwood will be a nice call-up option for the Canucks next year. His energy will provide a boost to the team but he needs to begin to produce some offence at the NHL level. After working hard at penalty killing last season, this year in Abbotsford, Lockwood now needs to find his offensive game.
I don’t believe he will be on the opening night roster for Vancouver. I see Lockwood as the first-line right winger in Abbotsford to start the season.
There are no waivers. The Vancouver Canucks would be able to mutually terminate an AHL contract with the Abbotsford Canucks to sign a certain player to an NHL contract if their play is worthy of said situation.
It’s rare but it does happen. We will see with Chad Nychuk, I liked his play at development camp and thought he showed poise with the puck.
He is one I will be excited to see in Abbotsford. The problem is that Nychuk may begin the season as the 10th defence man on the AHL depth chart. He’s got a ladder to climb just to get into a game.
I’m guessing that Arturs Silovs will be the backup in Abbotsford.
You hope Silovs pushes hard through the season to be the goalie that Abbotsford trusts for the playoffs.
That would be ideal for Silovs’ development.
I’ll guess January 18th, 2024.
I’m curious to see what the comments section thinks about this question.
It’s a good one!
Yep, that’s where he played his best hockey.
Sign him, and then partner with Comedy Central and have the Canucks Comedy Central Roast of Ryan Kesler with Kevin Bieksa hosting. Make it fun because that’s what Kesler did for Canucks fans during his hay day.
I’ve got an article that predicts the entire Abbotsford lineup but my editor Quads has been too busy stuffing cannolis to edit and post it. Editor’s note: It will be posted Monday morning after the mailbag, you’re so impatient!
Here are my top six defencemen in Abbotsford to start the season.
Jack Rathbone, Noah Juulsen, Christian Wolanin, Wyatt Kalynuk, Brady Keeper, and Guillaume Brisebois.
These are the six defencemen I expect to see on the Abbotsford roster.
I didn’t expect much from Jurmo or Truscott so would be pleasantly surprised with anything from them. Truscott might get some time with Luke Hughes and that may represent the best chance for Truscott to showcase his strengths and have a big tournament.
I hope to see Lekkerimäki getting power play time and scoring for Sweden at the WJC. None of the Canucks’ prospects should really have high expectations at this world juniors.
Doubt it, this is a very young kid who more than likely needs two more years.
I don’t believe that Brock Boeser is as bad as some of the commenters here suggest. Some of the commenters have pointed out legitimate deficiencies in Boeser’s game but he isn’t necessarily relied upon to be the physical, board-crunching bruiser.
I’ve seen valid criticisms here for his foot speed and consistency. There are some commenters who are way off with their take and seem to not like the player that Boeser is.
I’m not sure why…
Boeser has stronger defensive breakout and zone-entry numbers than you’d imagine and shouldn’t be looked at as a liability in his own zone at all.
That’s just a loud minority of Canucks fans, and my best advice would be to just ignore them if you don’t like their takes.
Well, that wraps up another Monday Mailbag here at CanucksArmy. We will see what the World Juniors gives us over the next week before we begin to prep for Young Stars in mid-September.
It’ll be great to see some live hockey over the next few days and though this tournament doesn’t have the hype or great feel of a usual WJC, hopefully, it will turn out to be some fun and give us a nice jolt of August hockey.
Thanks as always to the readers for asking questions. You can do so on Twitter when I make my call for questions on Sunday afternoon. Or, you can leave a comment here that begins with #MM and I’ll pick some to use in next week’s mailbag.
Have a good week and hopefully that wedding you went to on Saturday didn’t give you a two-day hangover!

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