The Vancouver Canucks have are 1-1 in the preseason so far and there are a few names that stand out early.
“I’m about as hungry as I’ve ever been to make a team and compete for a spot here,” said Rathbone prior to training camp.
So far it’s safe to say, Rathbone has been the better of the the three during the preseason and as of now it is his spot to lose.
The 5’10”, 177 pound defencemen has the offensive capabilities and has the potential to be a top four defencemen in the NHL.
In the first Canucks preseason game against the Seattle Kraken, Rathbone managed a goal and an assist. After a turnover, a penalty, he sprung out of the penalty box and turned on the jets and beat Philip Grubauer cleanly. Talk about making amends.
He displayed great skating here as he tried to centre the puck.
Rathbone also managed four shots on net in the game against the Kraken and looked comfortable on the power play and even got some penalty killing time.
We all know about Rathbone’s skating, shot and offensive game but what about his defensive game?
In the preseason so far, he has excelled at that.
Here, he makes a nice read to prevent Seattle from entering the Canucks zone.
He also did a great job batting Brandon Tanev on the boards.
In the second preseason game against the Calgary Flames, Rathbone showed more of what he can do defensively. He was breaking up passes, winning the defensive battles and he even threw the body around hitting the bigger Brett Ritchie.
Rathbone was working hard on the boards against the Flames as shown here.
He also does a great job transitioning back and denies the Flames offensive zone entry.
Rathbone showed competitiveness, excellent breakout passes and was very defensively sound in the first two preseasons. He was good with the puck and without it.
So far, it looks like Rathbone is going to make this team. No, at this rate, he has to make this team.
Yes it is only has been two preseason games and mostly against AHL-level competition, but Rathbone has really impressed on both ends of the ice and expect him to continue his form during the rest of the preseason.
Rathbone looks NHL ready and there is a little doubt about that.
Let us know your thoughts on Rathbone’s preseason in the comments down below!