Monday Mailbag: Rounding out the top-10 Canucks prospects, Nils Höglander for Anthony Beauvillier, and Jett Woo SzN

Photo credit:Matthew Henderson
By Faber
1 year ago
We are back with another Monday Mailbag here at CanucksArmy!
The Vancouver Canucks currently sit at eighth in the reverse standings and have a 6% chance of winning the draft lottery.
It was a better week for those still grasping at a chance of moving up in the reverse standings. The Canucks lost three games this week, two of the losses earned a loser point and after a 10-2-0 run, the team has regressed and lost to the St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames, and Los Angeles Kings this past week.
Over those three games, Filip Hronek got shut down for the season, Akito Hirose made his NHL debut, Aidan McDonough scored his first NHL goal, and Quinn Hughes averaged 29.28 of ice time per game.
It’s been yet another busy week.
The Canucks are getting a chance to test some of their depth and so far, head coach Rick Tocchet has been impressed with the newcomers and AHL call-ups’ ability to play in the NHL. Guillaume Brisebois, Kyle Burroughs, Jack Rathbone and more are being asked to play NHL minutes and face some desperate teams.
This is a good audition for some NHL hopefuls and they are getting significant ice time due to injuries on the Canucks’ backend.
Speaking of ice time, this is just too much for Quinn Hughes. This should be a time where you see how Rathbone looks in a top-four role with 17-21 minutes a night instead of putting so much useless pressure on 29 minutes of Hughes. You just want him to come in and be effective next season and perhaps a gear-down is due now that the Canucks have officially been eliminated from playoff contention.
Tocchet spoke about Collin Delia getting half of the remaining starts and that would be good to see because Thatcher Demko is being used more than the Doordash app at 4:21.
We’ve seen the Canucks push and try to raise their standard for expectations, but the final six games are a great runway for testing.
There are some things we would love to see before the offseason.
Let’s get Aidan McDonough in the top six as well as on the power play, let’s see Jack Rathbone take some shifts with Hughes, we could potentially get a look at Jett Woo in the NHL — there are a lot of new things to try as the season comes to an end. It’s time to cut back the time of the stars and see if anyone can help their chances of getting NHL minutes next season.
Just like the coach has said, it’s time for this to be an extended training camp.
We have six games left and we hope to see a lot of trial and error.
I think we’ve wasted enough words in the intro but we are a little short on questions this week. I did see a comment last week that they enjoyed me answering more questions with short answers, so we will do something similar this week.
Let’s dive into this week’s mailbag and see what the wonderful people of #CanucksTwitter had to ask this week.
Akito Hirose looked pretty calm in his own zone in his NHL debut. He looked like he was missing those fast-reactions that you like to see from an NHLer but it was his debut and he likely had to shake out a bit of nerves and really see a new level of hockey.
His ceiling is a bottom-pairing defenceman in the NHL but he will need some time in the AHL. He looks like a player who will add to what Abbotsford does next season.
I’d bet that they don’t sign a top-four right-handed defenceman this summer.
It’s more likely that they trade their first-round pick in a package for a defenceman to play with Hughes.
Maybe they look at the 2023 draft and view Axel Sandin Pellikka or David Reinbacher as the right-shot defenceman to add to the organization.
Perhaps they wait for the 2024 summer to explore free agency and look toward a Brett Pesce or Jani Hakanpaa instead of diving into this year’s class.
They may want to find Hronek a partner this summer. Niko Mikkola has our attention.
I’d say you need to include Lucas Forsell in there.
The team really likes Filip Johansson, who will be coming over from Sweden next season.
Jacob Truscott showed well this season before his injury.
Arshdeep Bains has found a new level in his rookie season of pro hockey as well.
I’d say the two names I’d throw into your eight would be Forsell and Bains.
Both can add a lot, but if you can only choose one, I’m probably going with the tomato paste. You can do a lot with the pasta that you can’t do with the canned tomatoes.
It’s going to require some injuries because the Canucks are out of recalls, but if they can get some guys some games, it would be great for development to come in and make your NHL debut with no pressure.
Arshdeep Bains is the leading forward who deserves an NHL game this season. He has been excellent in the AHL of late and has really bought into what the development team in Abbotsford wants from him.
Jett Woo has been playing great in the AHL over the past few months. He’s currently on a two-game scoring streak as well. Woo is playing the best hockey of his life and he could get a go in the NHL and we’d be excited about it instead of worried — and that’s a big shift from what we thought earlier in the season.
If you get a few injuries, it might be really good for Danila Klimovich to get the carrot and a run with Elias Pettersson or J.T. Miller late in the season. Klimovich leads the Abbotsford Canucks in plus/minus and has really shown improvements in his defensive game this season. Putting the Belarussian sniper in an offensive-minded spot in the Canucks lineup would be a nice gesture to keep him working during the AHL playoffs and the offseason.
I’d stay away from signing any more wingers. The best bet is to keep him producing next season and move him at the deadline for a draft pick or prospect.
Nils Höglander is the only name on the farm who I can legitimately see playing in Anthony Beauvillier’s role next year.
The signing of Nikita Tolopilo doesn’t torpedo the chances of Collin Delia returning, but if Tolopilo comes to North America, the team likely wants to get him in the AHL as a backup. This makes things difficult for Delia, who likely wants to be a 2 or 3G for some team next season.
Delia has played well enough to be a backup on some team in the NHL. It may be Arizona or Chicago, but he’s earned that from his play this season.
We don’t know for sure but from what we’ve heard, two of these three are going back to school.
Ryan McAllister has just signed with the Florida Panthers.
As for Austen Swankler and Collin Graf, they are both young and they will have even more NHL teams after them next season.
Swankler sounds like he’s going back but Graf could end up being a late signing this season.
If Luke Schenn wants to sign in Vancouver for cheap, the Canucks should be all over it. Nobody is better for this locker room.
Arturs Silovs will likely be the AHL starter next season who is first to come up and back up if there’s an injury.
If Reinbacher is there at 10, you run up to the stage and draft Hughes’ future partner.
We really like Reinbacher. He would be huge for the Canucks’ prospect pool.
It’s also very possible that Reinbacher jumps right into the AHL, and that would be awesome to get the Canucks’ development staff working on him just down the highway.
Well, that wraps-up another Monday Mailbag here at CanucksArmy.
Thank to everyone who sent in a question and we will be back next Monday.

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