The Vancouver Canucks have one more game left on the preseason schedule. The Edmonton Oilers come to town on Saturday and then they will face them on opening night in Edmonton on Wednesday.
As the preseason winds down, the main roster will start to look more clear. A bunch of players have been cut and there will be more coming. There are battles for the bottom six and of course battles for a spot on the blue line.
On the defensive side, multiple players are competing for the prize of a spot on the third pairing. It’s like Netflix’s Squid Game but without the deadly consequences, of course.
Here is how the Canucks lined up for practice on Friday according to Thomas Drance of The Athletic.
You might be wondering where Olli Juolevi is. At the time of this writing, he hasn’t been cut. According to Drance, Juolevi was not in the Canucks practice group. He also wasn’t at practice on Wednesday.
Before training camp, the only battle on the defensive side is the third pair’s left side. With Travis Hamonic’s situation still unclear, a spot has opened up for the right side too.
Let’s take a look at which defencemen could make the Canucks opening night roster at this point and then predict the defensive pairings. (You are free to yell at me and tell me I’m wrong in the comment section, Facebook comment section and in my Twitter mentions.)