The Vancouver Canucks have called up two players from the AHL Utica Comets.
With the Vancouver Canucks once again hit with a severe form of the injury bug, they have recalled 25-year-old centreman Alex Friesen and defenceman Yannick Weber from the Utica Comets.
Friesen is a Jim Benning type of player who is noted for his two-way play. His 18 points in 41 games in the AHL this season certainly is not eye-popping, but the five-foot-ten left-handed shot has been one of the remaining Mike Gillis picks that got on Benning’s good side.
When the debate was on as to whether Jared McCann should go to the 2016 World Juniors or not, Friesen was among those mentioned by Benning who could step up and fill in the void.
But be sure, this call-up is not so much about deserving it. This is a necessities move on a couple of fronts. The first reason is obvious. A centre went down, so you get another one. But the Canucks had Adam Cracknell sitting around after playing great in the first half. Why bring up Friesen?
Well, it is the season of the youth movement, is it not?
Secondly, the Friesen is set to hit restricted free agency. After the Canucks signed a one-year extension with him in the offseason, Friesen’s stint with the Utica Comets might not continue into next season.
This has to be taken as a move by Benning that will allow him to assess what he has in Friesen. Perhaps the purge of the Gillis picks will continue in Friesen if he manages to up his value on his call-up. After all, the last thing the Canucks need right now is another rookie centre. Look how hard it is to get McCann into the lineup. Derek Dorsett had to get ill for McCann’s sake yesterday. Utica needs Friesen more than the Canucks do.
Just days after clearing waivers, Yannick Weber is back with the Canucks. I was hoping that Andrey Pedan or Taylor Fedun got another shot with the Canucks. With the rising of Ben Hutton and Luca Sbisa, Weber’s flimsy play should stay in the press box. I wouldn’t mind too much if he sees a game or two, though.
But couldn’t Pedan, Fedun, or even Jordan Subban each earn a call-up? Pedan and Fedun should be called up similarly to how Friesen was called up — both are pending free agents this summer. Subban is carving out a great second half in his first pro season with the Comets. I won’t fuss too much about him staying put for now.
Read More: Jordan Subban Becoming an Offensive Force
But how about Christian Ehrhoff?
After clearing waivers this morning, there are speculations being made that teams might be interested in the 33-year-old former Canuck defenceman. As he cleared waivers, his contract will be much easier to handle than the $1.5 million he was originally getting paid this year.
With Edler out for a few weeks, is Ehrhoff an option for the Canucks? Would be great to see him in a Canucks uniform again, eh? Problem is, the Canucks will probably have to give up a draft pick to the L.A. Kings.
If Jim Benning chooses such route, you know that he is still thinking very much about the playoffs.
What do you think? Did these two earn their callups? Should the Canucks make a bid for Ehrhoff? Let us know in the comments below!