Vancouver Canucks top prospects of week 24: DiPietro, Dahlen and Lind

VANCOUVER, BC - MARCH 29: Adam Gaudette
VANCOUVER, BC - MARCH 29: Adam Gaudette /
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A pair of prospects made their NHL debuts last week as the playoffs continue in the CHL and Europe. Here are your top Canucks prospect performances.

2018 has a different feel to it. As another predictably bad season comes to an end, the conclusion of the current season is not as soulless compared to what came before. By this point, we expect the Vancouver Canucks to mentally check out and hopefully lose out for the benefit of the draft.

However, injuries have ripped this roster wide open. The prospects caught between the AHL and NHL are getting the chance to show what they have. Despite flirting with the league’s contract limit at the start of the season, the Canucks made room to sign Adam Gaudette.

Canucks fans were treated with two prominent debuts. Gaudette was showcased against the Edmonton Oilers and Columbus Blue Jackets. Although he did not collect any points, there was something promising there with Jake Virtanen and Brendan Gaunce on his wings.

Honestly, I was a nervous about Gaudette’s debut. This market has a serious problem with setting appropriate expectations. After the dust settled in Edmonton, it appears fans are being reasonable (for now).

Additoinally, Thatcher Demko made his debut on Saturday. For the most part, he played as well as anyone could have asked. The post saved him several times in that first period and the team in front of him threw away a 4-1 lead with 10 minutes to go. But Demko finished strong, backstopping a 26-save win; his first in the NHL. Congratulations, Thatcher!

Ryan Biech also let us know that 2015 sixth round pick, Lukas Jasek signed an amateur tryout with the Utica Comets. He made his debut on Saturday and impressed, scoring a goal and adding a pair of assists. Not bad for his first pro game in North America.

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Playoff updates

Olli Juolevi and Petrus Palmu advance with TPS Turku to the Liiga semifinals. The duo had no points in two games this week and will look forward towards facing off with Tappara this Wednesday. Växjö now has an opponent for the SHL semifinals. The Malmö Redhawks begin game one with Elias Pettersson starting today.

First round of the OHL playoffs has officially come to a close. Let’s start with the Canucks prospects who were eliminated. Matt Brassard and the Oshawa Generals lost a tough series against Niagara 4-1. Through those five games, Brassard had a goal and two assists.

Rick Dhaliwal confirms that a shoulder injury will prevent Brassard from joining the Utica Comets on an ATO. I am interested to see if the Canucks sign him. It would be preferable to wasting a contract slot on Cole Candella.

Owen Sound advances to the next round, sweeping the London Knights. It’s worth noting that Jonah Gadjovich has not registered a point in the playoffs yet. Brett McKenzie picked up an assist in their lone game this week. They will face their toughest task against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds next.