Four games have passed since the last Monday mailbag. The Canucks have gone 1-3-0 through the first four games of their season’s toughest road trip.
With the team back in action, it’s been nice to have actual games to talk about.
Let’s rip open the mailbag and see what the wonderful people of Canucks Twitter asked this week!
Yes, there are rumours of the black skate jersey returning this season. The rumours were all but confirmed when Thatcher Demko rocked the throwback pads in a practice and got all of the flying skate fans excited to see the return of the best selling jersey.
As for a timeline, it’s got to be pretty soon. The team is all but guaranteed to wear the fan favourite jerseys this season and it will once again be greeted with excitement and passion. Fans love these jerseys and they look so damn good in person and on TV. It would be a shame to not wear them.
I’m just guessing here, but I’d expect to see some kind of video announcement before the end of February.
Well, the real trader Jim may begin to show as we still await a general manager announcement. The trade deadline is March 31st this year and one thing to note about Rutherford’s trading is that he has been known to set the market, so we could see a move in the next six weeks.
There are plenty of young defence prospects around the league that could be used in a trade to acquire a J.T. Miller, Brock Boeser, Tyler Motte, or if you ask Allan Walsh, a Matthew Highmore.
I know you brought up the Los Angeles Kings, and the obvious name there is Brock Faber. The Kings currently sit at second place in the pacific division and could end up being buyers with their massive prospect pool. If the Kings were to go after a big name like Boeser or Miller, one of the pieces to ask for in return should be Faber. Faber is one of the top 50 NHL prospects and rising in a lot of scouts’ eyes. He will participate in the Olympics this year as a part of team USA and if the Kings want to go for a big fish, the right-shot defenceman, Faber will likely be in the return.
As for another couple of names of defencemen prospects on teams that could be buyers at the deadline…
Tampa Bay has a defenceman by the name of Jack Thompson, who was a third-round pick in the 2020 draft. He has shown some good offensive potential as nearly a point-per-game player in the OHL this season. He is a 6’1″ right-shot defenceman who is beginning to get rumblings as a rising prospect.
Lukas Cormier may be another option but he is a 5’10” left-shot defenceman in the Vegas Golden Knights’ pipeline. His size and left-handedness may keep him off the Canucks’ trade radar as they have a similar prospect with Jack Rathbone.
Anyways, there are a couple of names to potentially keep an eye on. Faber is a star in the making while Thompson really fits the Canucks’ need at RD in their prospect pipeline.
I think the Canucks’ next general manager is going to be Patrik Allvin. He’s been around the game as a scout for 20 years and is the type of person who has worked his way up in management because of his good work. Canucks’ president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford obviously has a good relationship with Allvin and at 47 years old, Allvin makes a lot of sense to be the general manager doing more of the work as Rutherford settles into more of a presidents role with the organization.
Allvin seems to check a lot of boxes and his name has been talked about from the start. I think he will be announced as the general manager in the next three-four weeks.
When it comes to just the forwards, there is only really Will Lockwood who could make the team next year. I expect Lockwood to be a piece on the Canucks’ fourth line at some point this season but if not, he will definitely be winning a spot out of camp for next year. Lockwood does so many things well at a high speed. He is improving his penalty killing and adding confidence to his game this season in the AHL.
Lockwood will be in the NHL next year with the Vancouver Canucks.
The only other name that intrigues me is Sheldon Rempal. If you watch an Abby Canucks game, you are always noticing Rempal. He’s a smart player who does a good job of clearing the puck out of his own zone and forcing teams to regain possession. The most impressive part of his game, however, is his playmaking. Rempal is a tremendous passer who can bring offence to a fourth line.
Rempal needs to get a bit quicker and be more of a penalty-killing option to get an opportunity at the NHL, and as an RFA next season, the Canucks may be able to give him a shot to crack the roster next year.
I think there will be heavy evaluation once a general manager is in place.
This is why I believe they want to get the right person in the position by the end of the month. They likely want to continue to evaluate this team all the way up to this season’s trade deadline.
If you’re looking for a future defence partner for Quinn Hughes, there’s one near the top of this year’s draft in David Jiricek.
With his value of position as a right-shot defenceman, I doubt Jiricek gets out of the top-five and would be absolutely shocked if he falls out of the top-10 at the draft. The Canucks would need to fall off hard this season or trade up to get Jiricek.
If you’re looking into a second-round pick-level defenceman, right-shot Maveric Lamoureux out of the QMJHL is a pick that I like. The Canucks are, of course, without their second-round pick and would need to trade up because I don’t think Lamoureux will be there in the third round.
As for a 3C, there’s lots of potential in this coming draft. I’ll go with a couple of picks outside of the first round who I like.
Luca Del Bel Belluz may have the best name in the 2022 draft and after missing a full season of hockey last year with the OHL shutdown, he may be one of the highest risers after this season. Del Bel Belluz has the ability to finish but also possesses strong playmaking ability. He’s at his best when playing with a sniper on his wing to be the main scorer of the line and at 6’1″, he is not small either.
As a late-round pick, I like Swedish centre Tim Almgren out of the J20 league. He’s not big at just 5’11” but has really quick hands that look like they could develop into the type of stick-handling skill that you need to have to be an NHLer.
That wraps it up for another mailbag.
Thanks again for all the great questions and we will see you next Monday!