It’s strange that Quinn Hughes was the second most anticipated debut of a Canucks’ prospect last season, because fans were extremely excited to watch him play. It’s just that Pettersson’s debut came on opening night, and we had all already heard about how amazing he had been with the Vaxjo Lakers of the SHL.
Hughes only appeared in five games, but had some rather memorable moments in those few games. I wrote a piece on the top three memorable moments from Hughes first games in a Canucks’ uniform. You can read them here.
Hughes looks like he has what it takes to turn the Canucks blue line around, and finally give the Canucks some offence from the back end — something they’ve lacked in for many years now. Expect Hughes to come into camp next year and challenge for Hutton’s spot on the second pairing.
Next season will be a huge year for Olli Juolevi. After being selected fifth overall at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, Juolevi has been dealt a rather tough hand. He already had to overcome adversity after the player chosen right after him, former London Knights teammate Matthew Tkachuk has had a ton of success at the NHL level with the Calgary Flames.
Juolevi played under Canuck legend Sami Salo‘s watch with his Finnish club, TPS Turku, whose coaching staff featured Salo. Salo has high hopes for Juolevi, who arrived this year in Utica and looked good in the games he played before suffering a season-ending leg injury.
Had Juolevi not gotten hurt, we likely would have seen him make his NHL debut at some point this season. Due to the injury, however, that just wasn’t the case. Juolevi has struggled to find quality training time, and as a result, has struggled to crack the NHL. Expect Juolevi to come into camp next year and challenge for a spot.