The 2016 – 2017 Canuck season was… Not great. Bottom of the table, shitty draft lottery draw, and some flimsy depth. The offseason signings of Patrick Weircoch, Michael Del Zotto, Sam Gagner, Thomas Vanek, Alex Burmistrov, and recently the trade for Derrick Pouliot have already started to look like decent moves.
The Canucks have seen some production thus far (I know, it’s early, shutup) from guys like Vanek and Burmistrov, but what’s happening in the farm is what should have Canucks fans excited.
It appears that sparks are flying between Reid Boucher and Nikolai Goldobin who have 6 and 5 points respectively in 4 games this season. Thatcher Demko has started hot as well with a 1.34 SV% and .953 GAA in his first 3 tilts. At this rate, it is going to be harder and harder for the current Canucks roster to stagnate. As youngsters in Utica produce and improve as the season progresses, there is less and less room for dead-weight on the NHL roster.
In addition to the screaming hot start of some Comet kids, we also have some promising young studs lighting it up in junior and abroad. Again, a very small sample size. Let’s take Kole Lind for example, our first second round pick of last year’s draft: 18 points in 10 games for the Kelowna Rockets. Elias Petterson, our blue-chip prospect is producing at nearly a point per game rate in the Swedish Elite League. Adam Gaudette has 7 points in his first 3 games at Northeastern University, and even our stout 6th rounder Petrus Palmu has 5 goals and 5 assists in 15 games in the Finnish Elite League.
Any of the aforementioned prospects could threaten to crack the A squad next season if their play continues to improve, and I haven’t even mentioned Olli Juolevi or Jonathan Dahlen.
If Benning and company decide to swap vets for prospects again at this year’s trade deadline (ie Vanek), add a couple of feet to the prospect pool and dive the fuck in… We’ll be sitting pretty in no time.