Vancouver Canucks prospects of week 12: Hughes, Demko, Carcone

VANCOUVER, BC - MARCH 31: Thatcher Demko
VANCOUVER, BC - MARCH 31: Thatcher Demko /
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In the wake of the Vancouver Canucks ending their losing streak, the Utica Comets have started a winning streak with the return of their netminders. A forgotten prospect tops the list of prospect performances this week.

Last night was not a match for the ages. Not a clash between titans, but an opportunity for the Vancouver Canucks to get out of their worst losing streak of the season. Willie Desjardins and his LA Kings delivered, showing why they belong in 31st place. But let’s be honest here, the Canucks beat the worst team in the league. The bar doesn’t get lower than that, but you have to give it to them for breaking the streak.

Over on the farm, the Utica Comets finally received some help. Anders Nilsson‘s return to the Canucks lineup allowed Richard Bachman to head back to the AHL. Additonally, Thatcher Demko returned after missing nearly two months with a concussion. He did not disappoint, but more on that later.

The team’s European prospects have gone cold and nothing new has happened in the last four days. Why the short time frame? Well, I was late on the new roundup last week and considering what the Comets accomplished this week, I couldn’t wait on this.

Before we get to the top three, let’s just do our quick survey on North America. Jett Woo picked up a pair of assists and has looked solid this season. Michael DiPietro made 26 saves in a winning effort over the Flint Firebirds. Matthew Thiessen has hit a wall, struggling for the last month in the USHL. And Tyler Madden got the game winning goal in Northeastern’s lone game over the weekend.

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Olli Juolevi

Lastly, we need to update you on Olli Juolevi. He raised a couple concerns when he was scratched in Utica’s game against Laval. We weren’t sure if he was hurt, being punished or pulled for a trade/call up. Turns out it was an injury and Jeff Paterson told us that Juolevi would head back to Vancouver to get his knee looked at.

Best case scenario, he’s fine, rests his knee and gets back to Utica. However, what we don’t want to see is surgery. That likely ends his season and for those penciling Juolevi into the lineup next year, he will have an even bigger uphill battle next year.

You can say it isn’t fair since he had his back surgery earlier this year, but the Canucks won’t hold a spot open because they feel bad for him. And with this team’s slow infusion of young players into the lineup, we will be told that Juolevi will have to “earn it,” no matter how arbitrary the standard. So, we’re hoping for the best. But the fact that he has to fly from Utica to Vancovuer tells me that this isn’t nothing. Otherwise, the Canucks wouldn’t bother to go through the trouble and let him recover in Utica.