Each week, I will be featuring the Vancouver Canucks’ top three prospects. Here’s a look at who stood out in week 23.
The prospect pool of the Vancouver Canucks remains one of the best among NHL teams despite trading away one of their top five in Tyler Madden. As teams at various levels enter their stretch drives and games take on more considerable significance, it will be interesting to see which prospects elevate their play.
The players listed below certainly have this past week.
1. Jett Woo
This past week must have been a roller coaster of emotions for Canucks’ prospect Jett Woo. His name being bantered about in trade rumours as well as having TSN analyst Craig Button tell the radio world that he isn’t progressing. I attended the game at the Langley Events Centre on Friday night with the Vancouver Giants hosting the Calgary Hitmen and had a first-hand look at Woo. His poise, physicality and leadership were all commendable, and he logged a lot of ice time.
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Statistically, his numbers are down from last season. However, that is due to circumstances. Woo joined the Hitmen this season from the Moose Jaw Warriors and didn’t see action on the first power play unit until Egor Zamula went down with an injury at the World Junior Championships. In his first 30 games, Woo recorded 17 points.
Since then, he has managed 25 points in 27 games. His point production should not measure the strength of his game, as it’s the shutdown, rock-solid defensive play that he contributes that distinguishes himself from other prospects.
Woo is currently on a seven-game point streak. This past week, in four games, he kicked in with six assists in helping the Hitmen to a 3-1 record. I certainly hope he is still part of the Canucks’ organization following the trade deadline, and I look forward to the day he dons Canucks’ colours.
2. Jack Rathbone
The Harvard Crimson ranks first in the NCAA with a 31.2% power play efficiency. Defenceman Jack Rathbone is a significant contributor in that regard. His puck distribution is remarkable, as is his point shot. Despite the Crimson’s struggles of late, Rathbone continues to put up impressive numbers. He registered three assists in two games this past weekend, giving him points in 11 of his last 13 games, with three goals and 13 assists over that span.
3. Will Lockwood
With the clock ticking down on the NCAA career of Michigan Wolverines’ captain Will Lockwood, he recorded his most productive week of the season. His two-goal one assist effort helped down rival Michigan State 4-1. He added another assist in a pair of weekend games versus Notre Dame on the only goal the Wolverines managed, as they dropped those games 2-1 and 3-0.
Carson Focht added two goals and two assists this week for the Hitmen.
Arturs Silovs stopped 114 of the 124 shots he faced for a .919 save percentage helping the Barrie Colts to a 3-0 record.
Please check back next week to see which of these Vancouver Canucks’ talents will be featured.