Thought #2: Setting Expectations for the Next European Pros
Is Nikita Tryamkin setting the expectations high for the next wave of Europeans or what? The 6-foot-7 giant is giving this faltering season a reason to cheer about and watch. Every shift he is on the ice, my eyes are looking out for the giant number 88 wearing visors that can’t come low enough to cover anything but his forehead.
Good thing he is 6-foot-7. Hopefully, that is tall enough to evade rising slapshots for Dan Boyle among many other pucks and sticks that are coming six feet above the ice surface. Dan Hamhuis, Alex Biega, and Brandon Sutter will all tell you.
But really. Look at where Tryamkin has settled in now. He certainly is in the top-four on a pairing with Ben Hutton, arguably in the top pairing, depending where you view Hamhuis to be right now. Tryamkin is certainly not a top-four player in the elite teams of the NHL but he is what the Canucks needed and will need to build around in the future.
Coach Willie Desjardins has been impressed.
Sorry if you haven’t noticed, but his sweeping stick check is a beauty. He swallows up the play by either taking the puck or the man and never neither. The effort and the urgency are there for him.
So what does that say to Anton Rodin and Philip Larsen? I think the Canucks like the message here. The two are going to have to stick with a rebuild and see it through as active members of the Canucks. They are going to get their opportunity to prove themselves, and if they do as Tryamkin has done, they will get their places in the lineup.
Which leads me to my next thought.
Next: Thought #3: Too Many Reasons to be Playing Urgent Hockey