Welcome back to my top ten prospect series.
Last time, I took a look at the Toronto Maple Leafs’ farm system in a two-part article on Editor In Leaf (another website I contribute for). You can find it here. In that post, we discovered a trio of talented Swedes highlighting the list, in Rasmus Sandin, Timothy Liljegren, and Carl Grundstrom. Today, we’re going to head to the west coast of Canada and check out the Vancouver Canucks farm system. Without further ado, let’s have a look.
1. Quinn Hughes (1st Round, 7th Overall in 2018)
Hughes’ brother Jack is garnering most of the hype in his family as he’s the projected first overall pick in the upcoming 2019 NHL Draft, but Quinn is no slouch. He’s currently in his sophomore season with the University of Michigan and has 20 points in 17 games thus far. He’s a gifted skater and has a true ability to quarterback a power play, and despite his small stature he plays a very good defensive game as well. It’s hard to believe the Canucks won’t at least give him an extended look at training camp next season.
2. Thatcher Demko (G, 2nd Round, 36th Overall in 2014)
Demko has been in the AHL for a few seasons now but in a Canucks’ crease that possesses a lot of uncertainty, he has a real shot to eventually take over the starting goalie role in the big leagues. The 6’4 net-minder has a record of 8-5-0 with a save percentage of .911 and a goals against average of 2.58 this season and like Hughes, could be given an extra look at training camp next year.
3. Olli Juolevi (D, 1st Round, 5th Overall in 2016)
After bouncing around between the OHL, SM-Liiga, and AHL since his draft year, Juolevi has a real shot to make the Canucks roster full time next season. He hasn’t played a single NHL game yet, but he has 13 points in 18 AHL games for the Utica Comets this season and is showing no signs of slowing down. The 6’3 left handed defenseman is effective in all zones on the ice and plays a similar game to Pittsburgh Pernguins defenseman Olli Maatta.
4. Jonathan Dahlen (LW, 2nd Round, 42nd Overall to Ottawa in 2016)
The Canucks lucked out big time in the way they acquired Dahlen. They traded fan favourite but regressing Alex Burrows to the Ottawa Senators for Dahlen, and while Burrows is now retired, the Canucks have a young intriguing prospect to look forward to. The undersized Swede currently has 18 points in 36 games with the Utica Comets of the AHL and will be furthering his development down there until he’s NHL ready.
5. Michael DiPietro (G, 3rd Round, 64th Overall in 2017)
In terms of who’s going to be controlling the Canucks’ crease in the future, Thatcher Demko has some competition in Michael DiPietro (and no, he’s not related to former Islanders first overall pick Rick DiPietro). In 21 games with the Windsor Spitfires this season, DiPietro has a record of 11-8-1 with a GAA of .920 and a save percentage of 2.32. He was recently traded to the Ottawa 67s as part of the trade deadline approaching, and will look to make a run for the Memorial Cup with them.
6. Petrus Palmu (RW, 6th Round, 181st Overall in 2017)
If you looked for the word “Undersized” in the dictionary, Palmu’s picture would come up as a result. Standing at only 5’7 and 179 lbs, Palmu is far from the biggest player on the ice, but he has skill and speed to make up for it. After starting this season with the Utica Comets of the AHL, he’s returned to his native Finland and is currently playing alongside of projected second overall pick Kaapo Kakko with TPS Turku. He has five points in seven games since coming home to Finland.
7. Kole Lind (RW, 2nd Round, 33rd Overall in 2017)
Lind could have very well been a first round pick in 2017, but slipped to the second round where the Canucks were more than happy to select him. After putting up unfair totals in the WHL last season with 95 points in 58 games, the 6’1 right winger is currently in his first season with the Utica Comets where he currently has six points in 23 games. It might take a few years, but Lind could turn out to be a very skilled winger for the Canucks in the future.
8. Jett Woo (D, 2nd Round, 37th Overall in 2018)
Like Lind, Woo also could have gone in the first round, but slipped to the second round as well and as a result, got selected by the Canucks with their second round pick. Despite a track record of injuries, Woo is having an amazing season for the Moose Jaw Warriors this year with 33 points in 33 games and will have at minimum one more WHL season to burn under his belt before he turns pro.
9. Tyler Madden (C, 3rd Round, 68th Overall in 2018)
With the selections of Hughes, Woo, and Madden, it’s looking like a very solid draft for the Canucks so far. Madden is currently in his first season with Northeastern University of the NCAA this year and has 15 points in 14 games so far. He’s a highly skilled offensive player who just finished representing the United States as the World Juniors, finishing with four points in seven games
10. Jonah Gadjovich (2nd Round, 55th Overall in 2017)
Gadjovich is a tough left winger with a solid offensive ability as well as a tendency to get under opponents’ skin. He’s currently in his first season with the Utica Comets of the AHL but is off to a bit of a slow start with only four points in 21 games. Still, he’s a solid prospect and could very well end up as a middle six power forward for the Canucks.
Thanks for reading! Tune in next time where we’ll check out the Vegas Golden Knights’ prospect system.
stats from eliteprospects.com
featured image photo credit – Nikos Michals