The offseason is short for the Vancouver Canucks as news never stops trickling in from all over Canucks Nation.
The Vancouver Canucks may not be playing yet but so many other things are happening to make the offseason interesting on a daily basis. We have a signing to report, as well as a few prospects action to tell you about.
After spending most of last year with the ECHL’s Alaska Aces, netminder Michael Garteig will serve as the third-string netminder for the AHL’s Utica Comets. Garteig is behind two netminders signed by the Canucks to NHL contracts, Richard Bachman and Thatcher Demko.
Garteig, the 25-year-old netminder from Prince George, BC, played his college hockey in Quinnipiac University and recorded an impressive 1.91 GAA and .924 Save% in his last season in college. Last year, Garteig was a 3.11 GAA and .906 Save% in the ECHL (22 games) and a 3.01 GAA and .897 Save% in the AHL (eight games).
Known for his rather unorthodox style and highlight-reel saves, Garteig isn’t projecting to be a starting NHL netminder but perhaps make the big leagues as a backup. He isn’t too small (6-foot-1) but with newly-drafted Michael DiPietro playing a similar style and with likely a higher ceiling, Garteig’s time in Vancouver may be coming to a close soon.
Since this is an AHL signing, Garteig will not be able to play for the Canucks unless further signings are made.
Prospects Action: Pettersson, Jasek, Gunnarsson & Juolevi
With some of the European leagues starting up today, Canucks prospects playing in the Champions Hockey League are getting their season debuts. Elias Pettersson and Lukas Jasek faced off against each other as the Vaxjo Lakers and the Bili Tygri Liberec played to an overtime decision, a 4-3 win for Vaxjo.
It was Pettersson who scored to force overtime. Pettersson played on the top unit even-strength, on the top power play unit, saw second-unit penalty kill time, and started the 3-on-3 overtime frame.
Pettersson made two great blocks and used his speed to neutralize enemy chances. His passing was the most impressive, as well. Though he isn’t able to do much with regards to size, strength and in the faceoffs, he is dominant in the skills, speed, and effort department.
On the other hand, Jasek played quite a bit which was a surprise to me after he disappeared from the Canucks prospects radar. Jasek was also on his team’s top powerplay unit and displayed good forechecking abilities.
Frolunda HC and the recent Canucks draft pick Kristoffer Gunnarsson are also in action for Champions Hockey League. They are playing against the Zurich side that begat Auston Matthews a year ago.
Meanwhile, Olli Juolevi is scheduled to play for Team Finland in the World Juniors Exhibition match against the Czech Republic. Juolevi, listed at 6-foot-2 and 183 pounds, will be wearing the Alternate Captain’s “A” for Finland.
October is still a few weeks away but hockey is already being played all over the place. With the improvement of the Canucks’ prospects pool, there will be a lot of names to watch out for in the coming months. Exciting times ahead!