The Vancouver Canucks finally have a respectable prospects pool after a couple of years of strong drafting and developing under general manager Jim Benning.
The Vancouver Canucks may have committed to a full rebuild only a few months ago but under scout-turned general manaer Jim Benning, their prospects pool already boasts some top-end talent and depth. The 2016-17 season resulted in a major change in the landscape for Vancouver’s prospects pool, thanks to trade deadline acquisitions as well as a strong draft.
Just from the two trades and the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, the Canucks were able to add ten prospects, filling up every position with at least one player.
The bottom line? The Canucks prospects pipeline is an ever-changing scenery with more new names than ever before. With the addition of so many prospects and the rise and fall of many players already in the system, it’s time for The Canuck Way Canucks Prospects Ranking.
The Canuck Way 2017 Canucks Prospects Ranking
Our TCW staff ranked all Canucks prospects. The criteria: whatever each writer thinks is important. Current position in the organization, talent, potential, and chance of NHL success. All prospects under 24 years of age were considered as long as they did not spend significant time in the NHL.
After looking at defenceman Jack Rathbone yesterday, here is No. 16, Petrus Palmu!
No. 16 F Petrus Palmu
Weight: 172 lbs
DOB: 1997-07-16 (Age 20)
Drafted: 181st Overall, 2017 Entry Draft
2016-17 Stats: 62GP – 40G – 98PTS – 34PIM (OHL, Owen Sound Attack)
As the second-last pick for the Canucks at the 2017 Entry Draft, Petrus Palmu comes an overager and as the shortest player selected in the draft. Did the Canucks take the right risks in taking such a “small” player? Let’s see what Palmu has got to offer.
Strengths: Complete offensive upside & Strength
There is not much that Palmu lacks offensively. He has the shot, he has the hands, he has the creativity, and he has the vision. His shot enables him to score from wherever he wants once he gains the offensive zone. Both his wrist shot and his slapshot are deadly.
Thanks to his vision, he manages to find open teammates that are in dangerous scoring positions. He also sneaks into the soft coverage areas and gets himself in a good position to score. Because of this, he can score not only off the rush but also on the power play and through possession.
Excuse me for jumping to the weaknesses already, but Palmu is undersized. Scouts make sure to use the word “short” and not “small” in describing Palmu, though. Why? Palmu does not play a small man’s game.
He is strong and battles hard, he never gives the puck up without a battle because he is strong on the puck.He is a pretty decent skater too, strides being stronger rather than being bigger.
Weaknesses: Lack of size
This is obvious, but Palmu struggles in the size department. The difficulties of being short extend above what skating and strength can make up. A shorter wingspan and reach means less ability to defensively disrupt passes and poke check. It means that Palmu can be easily wrapped up and neutralized by a tall, lanky enemy.
Watching the Prospects Showdown for signs of brilliance from Palmu was a bit of a disappoint for me. He was not able to capitalize on his few chances and it seemed that he struggled against larger players who have good skating ability.
Top 6 Scoring Winger vs. Just another good AHL scorer
So what’s the bottom line? Is Palmu a second Martin St. Louis in the making or is he hopelessly bound for a long career in the AHL as an undersized forward? Palmu likely is one of those players with an extremely high ceiling and a low floor. He could be a top-six winger producing 40+ points or he could be a lifelong AHL forward who struggles because of size.
Let’s hope that this rings true and that the Canucks get to see Palmu sooner rather than later in the NHL. He is bound for the Finnish Liiga next season, set to play for assistant coach Sami Salo.
– 2017 TheCanuckWay Prospects Ranking Top 20 –
The “new NHL” certainly allows for smaller players to make some noise as offensive dynamos. After playing against men in Liiga or in the AHL, will Palmu find a way to be the next St. Louis or the next Johnny Gaudreau?