Canucks Stuck in Defensive Limbo for 2023-24 Season
The Vancouver Canucks 2022-23 season might have fizzled out, ending up in the twenty second place in league standings, however there have been indicators of hope. Finishing 12 factors again from the second wild card place held by the Winnipeg Jets, some higher fortune and well being may have made all of the distinction. Despite the Canucks’ stretch of poor showings, a light-weight on the finish of the tunnel is seen with the gathering of youthful gamers and property by means of trades, together with the departure of Bo Horvat.
While Vancouver’s depth on the ahead place accommodates promising younger gamers, the uncertainty on the blue line could also be one thing to observe heading into subsequent season. Barring any main wheeling and dealing from normal supervisor Patrik Allvin, the Canucks are strapped for cash with little or no wiggle room beneath the wage cap, which may result in a quiet summer time in Vancouver. As a consequence, the blue line could possibly be in bother if accidents have an effect on the workforce as soon as once more.
Hughes, Ekman-Larsson Lead Top Four
Quinn Hughes made wonderful strides in enhancing his play on the defensive facet, which fortunately didn’t hinder his potential to pile up factors. Beyond breaking the 70-point barrier, the 23-year-old demonstrated indicators of being a pure chief on a comparatively younger defensive core. Head coach Rick Tocchet recently joined the Missin Curfew podcast, hosted by Shane O’Brien and Scottie Upshall, and highlighted Hughes’ growth final season. “He wants to be the best. He thinks he can be one of the best players to ever play the game, I love that swagger.”
Alongside Hughes, Oliver Ekman-Larsson joins the workforce’s prime 4, however his well being might be one thing to be careful for. He seemed to be a step behind and struggled with puck administration, so it got here to no person’s shock when his ankle harm flared up and landed him on the workforce’s long-term harm reserve. At one hundred pc, Ekman-Larsson will be one of the crucial efficient puck-moving defensemen in the league, and his presence in the highest 4, on the stage he’s able to, is what the Canucks hope to depend on subsequent season.
Canucks’ Third Pairing Up for Grabs
Once Vancouver’s prime 4 shapes up, a number of notable names might be itching to earn their spot on the underside pairing. It will rely on who meshes effectively with their companions and whether or not administration is comfy with having Tyler Myers and his $6 million contract on the third pair or trusting him to carry his personal in an elevated position. Guillaume Brisebois also can make a case for himself after a robust displaying throughout his 17-game stint.
Related: Canucks Prospects Report: Hirose, Woo, Lekkerimaki & More
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If Tucker Poolman can return with a clear invoice of well being, there might be a log jam on the place, particularly contemplating the quantity of restricted free brokers on expiring offers. Ethan Bear, Travis Dermott, and Akito Hirose all await new contracts, creating wholesome competitors and presumably pushing out gamers that fall behind the Canucks’ pace sport.
Vancouver’s Prospect Pool On The Blue Line
Another restricted free agent additional down the depth chart, Jett Woo is an entertaining choice to obtain a have a look at the NHL stage. It’s been 5 years since his choice at thirty seventh general, but the 22-year-old blueliner hasn’t seen a glimpse past the American Hockey League (AHL). Jack Rathbone, who performed stretches with Woo in the AHL, appeared in 11 video games final season and is one other interesting identify to throw into the combination.
Beyond these names, Kirill Kudryavtsev made large enhancements with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League, whereas Elias Pettersson — not that one, the different one — stepped up in the Swedish Hockey League as a 19-year-old defenseman and excelled in his position with Orebro HK. While these two gained’t essentially make any noise in the 2023-24 season, their futures with the membership can come hand-in-hand with the purge of older defensemen when the time is true.
There might be choices throughout this offseason concerning how the workforce will look on the again finish, however these signings will seemingly be restricted to inner returnees. Myers and Hronek enter the ultimate 12 months of their offers, signaling a brand new look is on the horizon after subsequent season.