The talk leading up to the season and I'm sure it will be sprinkled through the year, will be how much the team will miss the twins and how much they may suffer without them. It's probably a fair point, but at some point in time during this rebuild, it was bound to happen. It just so happens to be right now.
The rebuild in Vancouver has been slow, but steady, yet divisive, as the team has seen some changes to its upper management group in recent weeks and it will be interesting to see where that leads. Still, the team's youth movement has been seeing some early results and there is plenty of optimism heading into the year, although the playoffs do seem like a long ways away to most.
The Canucks are going to be banking on the electricity that some of their youth should be bringing to the table this season, as they have done well to draft and sign some of these kids, now is the time that they start reaping the fruits of their scouting labours. It may not make them a great team to pick from for the hockey pool this year, but they could be an interesting side to watch through the year.
|Michael Del Zotto||D||20||N|
Table last updated on August 13th
Most Intriguing or Breakout Player
The hype machine for Elias Pettersson in a Vancouver Canucks jersey has been working overtime in the last 12 months and it's high time for it to actually happen. The 2017 1st round draft pick for the Canucks lit up Sweden like it was a kids birthday party and he now has his sights set on the biggest club stage in hockey.
This kid is a human highlight reel, all by himself, and you can have a look at YouTube to prove it. The question does remain, how will those skills transfer to the NHL? Not only that, will the Canucks provide the right atmosphere for his skills to develop? I guess we'll wait and see, but this kid sure in intriguing coming in.
First Round Picks
The list of pool worthy Canucks is looking awfully short and there's certainly no opening round picks in that list, but that isn't to say they are not on their way. The youth movement has been making positive strides, but patience is still required before it happens.
Other Pool Worthy Forwards
Last year's campaign was marred with injury among the top forwards for the Canucks and that has had an impact on their scoring projections, as each one of the core players missed significant time, but are expected to bounce back this year. Brock Boeser, Bo Horvat, Sven Baertschi and Brandon Sutter are among those that should collect a lot of ice-time and capitalize on it. There are a number of bubble forwards that are just outside, which could make the jump up, if the offense starts to fire up, but these guys are good Waiver Draft options.
Other Pool Worthy Defensemen
Alexander Edler and Derrick Pouliot were the only two defensemen on the side that made the list, both should see significant power play time, assuming that they can stay healthy as well. Michael Del Zotto was the only blueliner on the team to play in all 82 games and he's only a fringe defender, at best.
The goaltending duo of Jacob Markstrom and Anders Nilsson return for year number two, with Markstrom likely to get the bulk of the work again. Expectations for wins are going to be fairly low, but both goalies do have the ability to steal a game, here and there, but it could be a long season for them.
Team to Pick From Late?
The depth of the Canucks is still fairly young and untested. I wouldn't suggest it to be a good idea to go looking specifically for some of their youth, unless they have a tremendous camp and preseason. I think there are teams better suited to pick up players as sleepers elsewhere, heading into this season.
Unsigned Players and Salary Cap
The Canucks were able to take care of all of their key free agents early on in the off-season and they are one of the handful of teams that have more than $10 million in salary cap space, as the rebuild has been very cost effective for this team. Not having $14 million in cap hits towards the Sedin twins has really opened up the ledger.
Lots of people were holding their breath waiting for word on Brock Boeser's back injury, but everything seems to be on track for him and being ready for training camp is on the horizon. Everyone else does appear to be ready to go for the coming season, so have your pick sheets ready.