WDYTT Summer Debates: Which Canucks prospect will make the biggest impact at the NHL level?

Photo credit:© Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
Stephan Roget
9 months ago
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Welcome back to WDYTT, the only hockey column on the internet that is still going on about there being gold in them there hills.
Speaking of prospecting, it’s something that the Vancouver Canucks are slowly-but-surely getting better at. Long gone are the days of Yann Sauve and Mario Bliznak cracking the organizational top-five, and while the Cauncks still have a long way to go before they’re credited with a quality cupboard, the situation has undoubtedly improved.
Our own Chris Faber has been hard at work laying down his own list of the Canucks’ top-ten prospects, with the #1 slot expected to drop on the very same day that this WDYTT does. And far be it from us to ever disagree with Faber, the preeminent prospect guru in the market.
We’ll leave that up to you.
Just kidding, but not really. Faber’s list of top-ten prospects is a good one, it’s a great one, but such lists are inherently subjective, and everybody’s got their own opinion to share. In fact, one of the big issues with consolidating prospect rankings is that everyone has their own idea about what should go into the equation. Is it the player who is best in this present moment? Or the player with the most projected growth? Or the one whose game will best ‘translate’ to the big leagues?
That’s why we’re taking this Summer Debate in a very specific direction, and asking you to parse through the Canucks’ prospect cupboard and come up with an answer to the following question:

Which current Canucks’ prospect will make the biggest impact at the NHL level?

Make your case in the comment section.
Last week, we asked:

Does fighting still belong in (Canucks or NHL) hockey?

You debated below!
Hockey is a contact sport played at high speed.
Given the recent clamp-downs on even tapping a player with one’s stick being a minor penalty, there is little recourse to physical retaliation but to fight and take the other guy with you.
Don’t know the stats, but it would seem logical with all other physical “contacts” being minor penalties that fighting will increase.
And, as Stafford Smythe said almost 100 years ago, “you can’t beat them on the ice if you cant beat them in the alley.”
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
Yes, reluctantly.
In an ideal world, where the NHL is a league that respects its own rule books, there would be a prohibition on fighting. There are plenty of ways for players to acquire CTE without taking head shots.
Cherry used to warn us that without fighting, it would just be Ice Capades with pucks, but that’s from the perspective of someone who never got a sniff at international competition, where the game is too important. The Olympics are hockey’s proof of concept, where those who have skill are more valued than those who impede and punch.
But in this world? Coach Tocchet seems to want his players to approach the intensity that he himself brought to the game. Fair enough. That seems like good winning hockey to me. It means that some guys on the other team are going to get rocked by hard hits, which in the current hockey culture means that the hitter will be challenged. Therefore the hitter and/or his linemates are going to have to be able to throw down.
So, yes. In order to play the style they want to play, a good style IMO, it means that the Canucks will be answering the bell regularly.
Johnny Canucklehead:
I don’t think you will totally eliminate fighting from the game, but it’s less important than ever before.
You can still have a tough, hard-hitting team without fighting.
Vegas proved that.
FV Fan:
I don’t advocate banning fights, but refs need to have a wider window to work with, to further deter.
Example: Anyone who throws a big clean hit has to automatically fight someone else on the ice. Ridiculous! To me that is a game misconduct always, and say an automatic three-game suspension for the instigator.
No player should fear making a hit because they will have to fight.
Example 2: Two guys in the corner battling it out for a shift and finally have had enough where both drop the gloves. Get them to the box for five each and out they go, no further discipline.
Definitely there is a need to have players who can allow the smaller skilled players do their thing without fear.
Someone has to step up if Ryan Reaves were to take a run at Petey, albeit good luck catching him. We all remember Matt Martin being a loser and going after Troy Stecher, what if that were to happen to Hughes?
I do not subscribe to the fights after a clean hit, but I do if it is a star player being targeted by a meathead or fights that happen in the heat of battle.
The Canucks are currently pushovers and easy to play against in the physical department, so ya, the Canucks need some players who can drop them from time to time.
There is lots of ways of getting licks in that are within the rules. No need to allow fighting. If the refs called the chippy stuff according to the rules, there would be no excuse for fights and if they were not tolerated and heavily penalized, they would disappear. I love hard hits, but the ones from behind, head shots, and those involving sticks should also be heavily penalized, as they are what lead to fights.
defenceman factory:
Most fights in hockey are pretty dumb but no, banning fighting isn’t necessary and wouldn’t be as simple as it sounds, to implement. I’m glad the staged fights have diminished. Fights now are most used to try and shift momentum by firing up the losing team. When winning, players should be disciplined and not accept.
A good scrap will always be a crowd-pleaser, and a game as fast and physical as hockey needs an outlet. There should be clearer guidelines around instigator penalties following clean hits.
Hitting in hockey is primarily about separating a player from the puck. Blind side hits and hits where there is a big size mismatch are dangerous, even when considered “clean.” No one benefits when star players are injured. The game is too fast for refs to properly gauge every scenario in a heartbeat. Sometimes justice needs to be brought from elsewhere. Canucks might not need a sheriff, but they could sure use a few more deputies.
Never stop teaching players to keep their head up.
Craig Gowan:
When I watch international play, the lack of fighting doesn’t seem to negatively affect the quality of the game. I am not going to advocate banning fighting from the NHL, because the refereeing does not mete out justice to cheapshot artists who target star players. For whatever reason, the NHL does not protect its stars — which I find inexplicable. In any event, I wish the NHL would throw out (two-minute penalty + game misconduct) players who instigate fights after an opponent makes a clean hit. That’s a terrible new “tradition,” it seems.
Now that we know there are long-term effects to these players including concussion, depression, and loss of brain function, it is time to take fighting out of the sport.
It is said that fighting is needed to police the game, but it is more often used as an excuse to fight a player who lays out a clean hit that is not liked.
It is up to the NHLPA and the NHL to police the games and properly punish rule-breakers, so that the players don’t have to police the game themselves.
We already know with International and Olympic Hockey that the games can be exciting to watch and that fighting is not necessary. The IIHF and the Olympics do a way better job of policing games, and the NHL can learn from those organizations.
It is sad that fighters usually end up as broken shadows of what they were. These players often suffer from various drug/alcohol addictions, and are more prone to depression and suicide.
The league should do the right thing and remove fighting from the game. It is also time the NHLPA and the League mete out proper punishment to cheapshot artists. You can’t remove fighting without also addressing punishments.
Joe in Vancouver:
One of the primary reasons the NHL is a second-tier league is that they allow fighting. Public perception has changed since Gordie’s day. The modern perception is that hockey is akin to Roller Derby. The league continues to style itself as a blood-sport though, a serious disservice to the game!
Hockey as a sport is evolving away from fighting despite the antiquated views of the current NHL governors.
Eventually, the NHL leadership will be made up of players and owners whose hockey careers and experience were not full of vigilante justice and they won’t think twice about banning fighting altogether.
Fighting is commonly the most exciting part of many games and should be grown in the game. It also plays a role of keeping players in line when poor reffing doesn’t.
ray mac:
As long as there are cheapshots in hockey, targeting skilled players, etc, there is room for spontaneous fighting in hockey. But the having to fight right after a good hard CLEAN check hurts the game! Hit the instigator with five for instigating, five for fighting, and a game misconduct. Make the team and the player pay, and that garbage will end.


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