The Vancouver Canucks may not have the deepest prospect pool out there, but they certainly have some high-end talent in it.
The Vancouver Canucks are in a rebuild. That’s the way it is. We have reached a point where there is no way aroud it, no denying it. It is not a retool, it is not a rebuild on the fly — it is simply a rebuild. And the Canucks need prospects for that.
General manager Jim Benning and head coach Willie Desjardins are doing a good job integrating prospects in the NHL lineup.
Defenceman Ben Hutton is a regular in the top four — mainly thanks to injuries to veterans Dan Hamhuis and Alexander Edler. With Edler out of the lineup, he even moved up to the first pairing, where he plays alongside Christopher Tanev. Hutton would never be in that position on a good playoff team, but it is nice to see him get lots of ice time with the Canucks.
Then there are forwards Jared McCann and Jake Virtanen. The duo started the season being rotated in and out of the lineup, but both players have become regulars. Virtanen only played in 38 of the first 63 games of the season but is currently a member of the second line with Markus Granlund and Sven Baertschi. McCann only missed 10 games so far, but he is stuck on the fourth line.
But what about non-NHL prospects? Benning decided to trade Nicklas Jensen to the New York Rangers for Emerson Etem and Hunter Shinkaruk to the Calgary Flames for Markus Granlund. Understandable moves that might shorten the rebuild just a tad, as both Etem and Granlund are NHL-ready now, while neither Jensen nor Shinkaruk have proven to be NHL material.
So, who is left in the Canucks’ prospect pool?
Our TCW staff ranked all Canucks prospects. The criteria: whatever each writer thinks is important. Current position in the organization, talent, potential, probability of NHL success, probability of NHL success with the Canucks — all of that.
The numbers in brackets indicate each player’s average rank. Here’s the top 10; off we go!
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