Will the Vancouver Canucks be at least better than the newest team in the NHL?
Are the Vancouver Canucks ready to welcome the Vegas Golden Knights with open arms? I do not think so. Vegas’s arrival to the Pacific Division can only mean competition for the Canucks.
Whether it be battling for that final wildcard slot for the playoffs or competing for the better odds in the draft lottery, Vancouver and Vegas will have to compete.
Needless to say, it makes up for an interesting matchup. I actually have a difficult time deciding which team has the stronger roster today.
Vegas’s Top Players by Position
Vegas Golden Knights (Expansion, 2017)
2017-18 vs. Vancouver
Nov. 16 @Vancouver
Feb. 23 @Vegas
Mar. 20 @Vegas
Apr. 3 @Vancouver
3 Storylines to Watch in 2017-18
- Assessing the Luca Sbisa pick
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After a decent showing last season, Sbisa will allow Vegas to sell their other defencemen for future assets as he plays as a top-six defender for the expansion side.Considering that Gaunce is injured and that Boucher was an unsigned RFA at that time, picking Sbisa was probably the best choice for them.
Considering that Gaunce is injured and that Boucher was an unsigned RFA at that time, picking Sbisa was probably the best choice for them.
How will Sbisa play in Vegas, where he will be under a lot less pressure than he was in Vancouver? Will Boucher or Gaunce have a superb year this season and make Vegas regret its choice?
Also of interest, could former Canuck Jason Garrison end up playing on a pairing with Sbisa?
2. Jonah Gadjovich and Nick Suzuki
The Golden Knights had three first-round selections thanks to a masterful trade work by GM George McPhee. With one of them, Vegas selected Owen Sound Attack forward Nick Suzuki, a very skilled centre who recorded almost a hundred points last year.
Very frequently, Suzuki centred Jonah Gadjovich, Vancouver’s second-round pick in the latest draft. The duo was also frequently accompanied by Petrus Palmu as well, the seventh-round pick for Vancouver who was a double overager.
Palmu has already begun his season overseas but Gadjovich and Suzuki will likely return to the OHL and hope to add to what was a very promising season last year. The two will enjoy facing off against each other in the years to come as Vegas and Vancouver play in the Pacific Division rivalry.
3. Tanking the Pacific Division?
It would not be weird at all to see Vegas at the bottom of the standings in seven months, hoping to land star prospect Rasmus Dahlin or Andrei Svechnikov. But would the Canucks be also in the mix alongside the Golden Knights?
Though draftists may rejoice, it would certainly be a sad sight to behold for new head coach Travis Green and all these new and young players the Canucks could have this year. It is, however, a real possibility.
Goaltending, for instance, is far superior in Vegas than it is in Vancouver. The offence may also be stronger in Vegas than it is in Vancouver.
Vegas has already handcuffed the Canucks once. Their overabundance of blueliners has heavily decreased defencemen’s trade values in the NHL and that has factored into how Chris Tanev is still with the Canucks. Let’s hope that’s all the harm Vegas will do to Vancouver.
Well, if Vegas wins the draft lottery next year despite favourable odds for Vancouver…