Monday Mailbag: AHLers in the preseason, Quinn Hughes’ goal total this season, and more!

Photo credit:Matthew Henderson
By Faber
8 months ago
Welcome to the Monday Mailbag, brought to you by the great folks at Zephyr Epic! Use promo code “HockeySeason” for $5 off your order. Free shipping of trading cards Canada wide on any order over $50 as well! Shop local!
We are back with another Monday Mailbag here at CanucksArmy, and it’s the final one before we kick off into the regular season.
The Vancouver Canucks were busy on Sunday, sending 21 players down to the AHL with five of those players requiring to pass through waivers.
Jett Woo, Jack Rathbone, Sheldon Dries, Zach Sawchenko, and Matt Irwin are the five players who will need to pass through waivers to make it down to Abbotsford. We will get to them later with a question in the mailbag.
The roster is nearly set and now holds 23 position players along with two goaltenders. 14 forwards and nine defencemen make up the 23 position players with the bubble players including Nils Åman, Dakota Joshua, Jack Studnicka, Guillaume Brisebois, Cole McWard Christian Wolanin and Noah Juulsen.
There are two more preseason games for players to earn or lose a job and then we kick things off with the home opener on Wednesday of next week.
We are so damn close, folks.
Until then, we have a lot to cover here at CanucksArmy and that coverage begins here with the Monday Mailbag. So, let’s see what the wonderful people of #CanucksTwitter asked this week and rip open that mailbag.
No more wasted words. Let’s go!
Well, DSto, we can cut Vasily Podkolzin from that list as he was sent down just after you sent this tweet.
Phil Di Giuseppe feels like he’s head and shoulders above the rest of this group. Rick Tocchet just loves the way that this guy plays and PDG’s three-point night on Saturday was enough for me to say that there’s a 99.9% chance he makes not only the NHL roster but the opening night lineup. PDG is going to be a penalty killer for the Canucks, which was something we wanted to see for a long time during the final year of the Travis Green era as well as the entirety of Bruce Boudreau’s time as the head coach.
PDG is just a Rick Rocchet guy. He’s going to get top-nine time until someone plays their way into his current spot.
Jack Studnicka has shown more than Nils Åman through training camp and preseason and Åman seems to be the player who could get more out of an AHL stint.
I’d assume with you that Nils Höglander will be in the top-nine, at least until Ilya Mikheyev is healthy enough to play.
Ultimately, we see Åman heading down to the AHL with Podkolzin.
From there, it’s going to be between Studnicka and Joshua. This wouldn’t have been much of an argument but Joshua hasn’t exactly lived up to expectations this preseason and though he has improved, Joshua will need to show well in the final two preseason games. It’s a three-horse race for the 13th forward spot in our eyes and it’s between Joshua, Åman, and Studnicka.
Vasily Podkolzin’s demotion to the AHL feels like it’s just circling back on basic development that Podkolzin has not been able to receive ever since he was drafted.
I dove into this topic last week in an article here at CanucksArmy. 
Podkolzin’s journey since the day he was drafted has had little to no practical development time and Tocchet said it best at Sunday’s practice when he said there’s more to gain playing big minutes and all situations in the AHL compared to getting 10-12 minutes in the NHL and not having more than a fourth-line role carved out for him on the team.
The Canucks are in a good spot with Podkolzin just down the highway in Abbotsford and fans in the valley will be in for a treat — getting a chance to watch a player who should be one of the most dominant young players in the AHL. Ultimately, it hurts a bit if you are a fan of Podkolzin but it’s not the end of the world. He is finally being developed correctly and this will make him a better and more confident NHLer when he returns.
Yeah, I’d say I am a bit surprised that some of these players didn’t get a bit of a chance but after the 10-0 loss, it felt like the team shouldn’t mess around with rosters that are half-full of AHLers. I know it’s just preseason but 10-0 losses hurt and can’t do anything but hurt confidence.
I would have liked to see the fourth line of games 1-4 be full of hungry AHLers who want to showcase what they got and Tristen Nielsen is the perfect example of that. With an NHL contract this season, Nielsen is so close to getting his first taste of the show.
You can make the argument that someone like Arshdeep Bains got enough of an opportunity to impress — which he did.
As for guys like Akito Hirose, Jett Woo, Jack Rathbone, and Aidan McDonough, maybe they didn’t get enough of a look but they weren’t able to pop enough during their short preseason.
We should see the waiver-eligible players pass through and the NHL will be there waiting for them and the ELC guys all season long.
Maybe someone wants to take a risk on Jett Woo or Jack Rathbone but I’d be surprised.
Actually, maybe Rathbone…
We will see.
My CHL sources are telling me to keep an eye on the Soo Greyhounds this season.
The Greyhounds has a hell of an opening weekend. They went 2-0 and outscored their opponents 18-8 in those games.
Kirill Kudryavtsev has four points through two games and he is a defenceman to keep a close eye on this season. This kid is about to take a big leap in his development.
I hope we can get some information on Dmitry Zlodeyev but there are also a lot of defenceman who could be moving down the ECHL for ice time.
Quinn Schmiemann and Chad Nychuk are a couple of defencemen who may be in the ECHL while Zlodeyev and Karel Plasek are a couple of forwards who may spend time down there.
If Zach Sawchenko is getting games in the AHL over Nikita Tolopilo, you can expect Tolopilo to be down in Kalamazoo for some games as well but my belief is that Tolopilo should win the backup role with Arturs Silovs being the starter in Abbotsford.
Sorry for the long SPEED ROUND answer but you struck to right chord with an AHL question!
I sure hope so. Canucks fans deserve some playoff fun.
Skate for sure. Also, bring back the mustard yellows.
I sleep from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m. every day and then get a 3-5 hour nap in at some point during the week. I just can’t sleep for longer than six hours and it kind of sucks. If I get to bed at midnight, I’ll be up at 6 a.m., guaranteed.
My best guess is 14 but David Quadrelli thinks he will drop 28.
Dogs can totally look up. Tristen Nielsen does it to all of his teammates.
I’d go with the under on this one because it feels like we will have a lot more 3-1 victories instead of 7-6 shootouts between poor defensive teams. It depends on how Elias Pettersson shows on the power play this season. I do expect him to be a top-five points producer at even strength this season.
Well, this wraps up another Monday Mailbag here at CanucksArmy.
We will be back next week to give the first post-preseason mailbag and that should be a fun one.
Thanks to everyone who sent in a question this week. You all make this such a fun article to write.
I’ll be off next week for the mailbag as I get to marry the love of my life on Sunday and probably shouldn’t be writing after the ceremony.
David Quadrelli will be taking over even though he’s a groomsman at the wedding. I’ll make sure he isn’t writing during the ceremony.
Be good to each other and (I won’t) see you next Monday!

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