Vancouver Canucks Update: Youth Keeps Coming


The Vancouver Canucks are not afraid to push the youth. Could David Rundblad be the next one in line?

The Vancouver Canucks will have Alex Burrows, Chris Higgins, and Henrik Sedin all in the line-up tonight against the L.A Kings. Expect Ronalds Kenins and Linden Vey to come out from the winning lineup. Ryan Miller will be out for another week or so, with that cramp of his giving Jacob Markstrom another start against a Pacific division rival.

But Burrows and Higgins have combined for 14 points and a minus-17 rating in a total of 56 games this season between the two. Does it benefit much to play these two over Kenins, or even Vey?

Related: Why we should love the Utica Comets

Defenceman Ashton Sautner was recalled yesterday, hoping to fill in on Chris Tanev‘s vacancy. It is unlikely that he draws into the lineup tonight, but it is a good time to reflect on what GM Jim Benning has done thus far. Sautner was signed nine months ago as an overage player out of the Western Hockey League’s Edmonton Oil Kings, the team he had captained until coming to the AHL Utica Comets.

GM Jim Benning has done well to shore up some depth in the organization, and though none may make the NHL, raising the compete level in the AHL squad through these signings is a good strategy in a growing organization. The Canucks might need to do some work on the goaltending though, as Clay Witt does not seem ready for Utica.

David Rundblad on waivers

Should the Canucks claim David Rundblad?

The 25-year-old defenceman was put on waivers by the Chicago Blackhawks this morning.

This season, Rundblad has played nine games in the NHL, and has posted a good 54.9 Corsi-For percentage, though under highly sheltered deployment. He had 59.6 percent of his zone starts in the offensive zone, averaging a respectable 14:22 of ice time per game.

More from The Canuck Way

Rundblad would be a welcomed body on the injured Canucks squad, who was pushed to call up Sautner as Taylor Fedun is out with a hand injury. The Canucks have now dressed nine Utica Comets this season, and called up 11.

Rundblad would replace Adam Clendening on the depth chart, who was lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Brandon SutterNick Bonino trade this past offseason. With Benning under criticism for losing out on Frankie Corrado and Clendening, the Canucks GM will be tempted to pick up a young defenceman from the waivers.

As for the Blackhawks, it would suck to have two prospects picked-off by rival Canucks. Ryan Stanton was also picked off waivers by the Canucks, if you recall. Just for those who might be wondering, Sautner does not have to go through waivers.

But the Canucks have no reason to not claim Rundblad, except for his contract perhaps. Rundblad’s contract is for two years at $1 million each, granting him a restricted free-agent right at the termination of the contract. However, Rundblad would be right below Andrey Pedan on the depth chart, both as able seventh defencemen for the Canucks. Speaks to the quality of defencemen Vancouver has, eh?

Next: Week #13 Outlook: Home Sweet Home

The Canucks can restock their NHL-ready defensive depth through Rundblad. Although Vancouver finds themselves eighth in the waiver priorities today, with the first seven teams unlikely to acquire another defenceman, the Canucks might be able to land Rundblad and shore up on their much-needed blue liners.

*Stats from and