The Vancouver Canucks are finally back at Rogers Arena.
After falling to the Calgary Flames at the Saddledome on Friday night, the team returned to Vancouver the next day, and are now hoping to put their losing ways behind them when they face off against the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday afternoon.
The Canucks PR team released the roster list through their official Twitter account on Sunday morning, giving fans a better idea of who will be suiting up in blue and green for the team’s fourth preseason contest of the year.
For many fans, the most notable name on the list, once again, is Jack Rathbone.
The 22-year-old blueliner will be playing in his fourth consecutive preseason game, and is looking to build off of his impressive training camp campaign so far. Rathbone played most of Friday night’s preseason tilt alongside Luke Schenn, who struggled mightily on the right side of the blueline. Schenn won’t be in the lineup on Sunday, meaning that Rathbone could see time with Madison Bowey, Tucker Poolman or Kyle Burroughs instead.
Rathbone will be joined by Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Brad Hunt on the left side of the blueline, once again putting Olli Juolevi on the outside looking in. The former 2016 fifth overall draft pick was defensively sound on Friday night, particularly on the penalty kill, and even registered an assist on Jonah Gadjovich’s second period tally, but is still trailing Rathbone and Hunt in the race for the final spot on the third-pairing.
Gadjovich won’t be in the line-up either but, given his recent outings, will likely get a few more looks later on in the week as a possible addition to the fourth line come opening night.
Green will also be going back to rookie Vasily Podkolzin, who could find himself back on a line with Conor Garland and J.T. Miller. This will be the third preseason contest for Podkolzin, who posted a minus two rating and zero SOG in just over 15 minutes of ice time on Friday.
Back-up netminder Jaroslav Halak is also expected to make his Canuck debut between the pipes.
The team will still be without Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes on the ice, but not for much longer. The two RFA stars signed new contract extensions over the weekend, and could be back at practice as early as Monday.
Travis Hamonic is also still absent from the team due to a “personal family matter”, according to General Manager Jim Benning. On Friday evening, Benning announced that Hamonic will not be opting out of the 2021-22 season, but is reportedly still in Manitoba dealing with the situation.
It appears that Winnipeg will be dressing a more prospect-heavy roster on Sunday, with players like Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor all getting the day off. The Jets are playing the second half of a back-to-back, falling to the Edmonton Oilers by a score of 4-3 on Saturday night.
The Canucks will be looking to get back to a preseason record of .500 with a win on Sunday afternoon. Puck drop is set for 4pm PST.
What are your thoughts on the roster for Sunday’s preseason game? Let us know in the comments!