The Vancouver Canucks announced early this morning that they would be recalling Arturs Silovs, Filip Johansson, Max Sasson, Aatu Raty, Linus Karlsson, and Arshdeep Bains from the AHL Abbotsford Canucks just three days after they were sent down.
The move comes ahead of the Canucks’ preseason matchup against the Seattle Kraken at Abbotsford Centre at 7 p.m., and it’s important to note that this is not expected to reflect the status of Elias Pettersson’s health. Pettersson, alongside Quinn Hughes, Ian Cole, Noah Juulsen, J.T. Miller, Teddy Blueger, Phillip DiGiuseppe, Connor Garland, Ilya Mikheyev, and Thatcher Demko, practiced in a small group this morning. None will play against the Kraken.
It’s likely that with Pettersson missing a few days, the Canucks are just trying to be cautious with their NHL regulars as the preseason begins to wind down. In addition, none of the recalls will have to pass through waivers to go back to Abbotsford, so they can get some extra NHL reps in the meantime.
The Canucks’ partner for Quinn Hughes is…
Of the Canucks’ training camp roster, only Guillaume Brisebois and Juulsen remain – excluding the recalled group – and Juulsen won’t be playing. What seems to be the final roster battle will come down to those two and youngster Cole McWard.
With Hughes being excluded from the lineup tonight, McWard will be tested without the defense partner he’s managed to build so much chemistry with. Although the 22-year-old would likely play with Hughes on a regular basis, it’s also important to see how he meshes with the rest of the team in the wake of injury, poor performance, or otherwise.
Both Juulsen and Brisebois have spent the majority of their time in Vancouver’s organization in the minors, although the former first-round pick Juulsen has struggled to put together a complete season; he’s played 50 games in a season once since 2015-16.
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Tonight’s game against Seattle should provide more clarity on the Canucks’ plans with the dawn of the regular season on the horizon. For now, expect the young group of AHL players to just be getting some extra reps.