Vancouver Canucks preseason: 5 Lineup battles to watch in the last games

VANCOUVER, BC - OCTOBER 29: Jake Virtanen
VANCOUVER, BC - OCTOBER 29: Jake Virtanen /
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VANCOUVER, BC – OCTOBER 29: Jake Virtanen /

There are only two games remaining in preseason for the Vancouver Canucks after the games in China and in North America.

This preseason seemed to have passed rather quickly for the Vancouver Canucks. There were so many talking points, from the emergence of Brock Boeser as a proven NHL-caliber goal scorer to the two 2017 NHL China Games against the Los Angeles Kings. There were so many other things to watch for this year, making preseason quite the interesting affair this year.

For better or for worse, the split-squad games exposed nearly all of Vancouver’s prospects to other NHL prospects and veterans here in North America while the veteran Canucks were in China.

Also for better or for worse, the NHL decided to crack down on faceoff violations and more importantly, the slashing infractions. There were more powerplay and penalty kill opportunities in each of the games than two un-slashed hands could count. It seems that the league has sent its referees a memo, telling them to loosen up on the slashing calls a bit.

As for the Canucks, many things have changed as well.

Much of the North American youth squad was sent down a couple of days ago to the AHL, where they are going to participate in the Utica Comets’ main camp under new Utica head coach Trent Cull. He had ample opportunity to observe his young players in action while coach Travis Green was away in China. The Canucks sent these ten players down on Saturday.

  • RW Michael Carcone
  • LW Yan-Pavel Laplante
  • D Evan McEneny
  • C Zack MacEwen
  • F Griffen Molino
  • D Ashton Sautner
  • D Jordan Subban
  • C Brett McKenzie (to UTI camp)
  • D Aaron Irving (to UTI camp)
  • RW Alexis D’Aoust (to UTI camp)

Now, Green and his assistants return to Vancouver with many questions to answer, the most pressing ones pertaining to the NHL-ready youth and the depth players. There are still spots on this Canucks lineup to be had and uncertainty on who will be the 13th forward and the 7th defenceman.

These players are going to battle it out until there are just 21 skaters and two goaltenders left for opening night, excluding injuries.

Here are five storylines, battles to watch as your Vancouver Canucks look to make their final cuts with just two preseason games remaining.