Storyline No. 4: Never Enough Prospects?
Rarely do fourth-round picks ever draw any attention after draft day, unless they reach the NHL after years of hard work in the CHL and the AHL.
But because the Vancouver Canucks and their fan base are so focused on making either making the playoffs or flipping rental players for picks, no one has had the slightest tinge of guilt for ignoring prospect Dmitry Zhukenov and his stellar performance in his draft+1 year.
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Nobody really talks about the 44 points in 48 games the 18-year-old has scored in the QMJHL. The former MHL centreman was expected to struggle to bring his game to the Canadian ice, but that does not seem to be a problem for the 5-foot-11 fourth round selection.
His performance has been shadowed by the play of Thatcher Demko and Brock Boeser in the NCAA. Just giving you a heads up in case he surprises at camp next year. Seems that nobody really cares about kids like Zhukenov who work hard to bring their international game to the CHL.
But this is embarrassing for Canucks fans. Even the Russian folks took notice before we did.
Maybe not so under the radar is Anton Rodin, the former Chicago Wolves who now evolved into one of the top scorers of the Swedish Hockey League. 37 points in 33 games for the 25-year-old is the best on his team, even after his season-ending injury. According to the folks at CanucksArmy, the Canucks hold Rodin’s rights until July 1st, 2018.
Again, how many of us really cared about him? Everything about the playoffs and the youth movement seems to have engulfed the fan base.
It is great to be passionate about the Canucks. Not everyone has enough time to think about a compensatory pick, re-signing issues, farm team struggles, and some international prospects action. But let this serve as a reminder to us all that the 82-game season is not all about the playoffs, the tank, the trade deadline, the wins, and the losses.
This is a lament, and it laments the lack of fans who truly understand the building of an NHL franchise. And that was this week’s edition of the Canucklehead Lament.
So what do you think? Let your thoughts be heard in the comments below!