Canucks prospects tracker: Lind lights, fights it up; excessive on the Hog


The precise-shooting winger carried out some rising up this season with the Utica Comets.

It’s the newest version of the weekly tracker, the place we tally up the efforts of the Vancouver Canucks’ highest-profile prospects:

Kole Lind

He’s not backing down this time round.

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Final 12 months, Lind struggled as an American Hockey League rookie. He was inconsistent, looking for his area of interest that made him a prolific scorer in junior with the Western Hockey League’s Kelowna Rockets. He struggled with the pace of the skilled recreation and sometimes rode the pine.

It didn’t look good for the expert 2017 second-rounder (33rd total). However boy, oh boy has the 6-1, 180-pound right-shooting winger carried out some rising up this season with the Utica Comets.

Lind put that development on show this previous week, scoring a pleasant objective, superbly organising one other and getting concerned — twice — within the sort of fisticuffs the 21-year-old would have shied away from simply final season.

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In Wednesday’s Four-1 win over Syracuse, the Shaunavon, Sask., native backed up a teammate getting cross-checked in entrance of the Crunch web. Lind was dragged to the ice from behind, however got here up swinging as soon as he wriggled himself free.

He completed the sport with one shot, two roughing penalties and a complete lot of moxie proven.

In Saturday’s Four-Three win on the Toronto Marlies, Lind was again to contributing offensively, organising Canucks cast-off Sven Baertschi with a candy one-touch cross on the facility play earlier than changing his personal one-timer from the slot. He additionally despatched Baertschi in on a breakaway, which was stopped.

Lind completed the sport with a objective, an help two photographs on web and a plus-one score.

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The imply streak was again on Sunday, as Lind dropped the gloves with Leafs 2018 first-rounder Rasmus Sandin and obtained the higher of him by a number of haymakers.

Afterwards, the cameras caught Lind strolling down the tunnel like a boss, gloves off and giving fist-bumps.

The Kole Lind we’re seeing now’s the Kole Lind the Canucks thought they have been drafting. He’s laborious on pucks, has the imaginative and prescient and confidence to make nifty performs and the scoring contact deserving of a second-round choice. He’s one in all 4 Comets to play in all 22 video games this season and has 16 factors to point out for it, together with 4 objectives.

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The Comets are 13-Eight-1 and sit in third place within the AHL’s North Division, six factors again of the Marlies.

Nils Hoglander

He’s streaked his solution to the highest of the teenage charts that Tiger Beat could come calling.

Hoglander has factors in 4 straight video games — together with objectives in three of them — because the Canucks’ 2019 second-rounder (40th total) can now boast having essentially the most objectives for a under-20 participant within the Swedish Hockey League.

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The affable but intense 18-year-old left-shot winger scored as soon as and had two photographs on web in Rogle BK’s Four-Three additional time win towards Malmo on Thursday. His objective got here on a 2-on-1 rush, with Hoglander holding onto the puck and zipping a wrist shot brief facet.

Then on Saturday, the dynamic 5-9, 190-pound Swede added an help in a Four-Three loss to Leksand, preserving the factors streak alive.

Hoglander has six objectives and two assists in 18 video games this season. He’s additionally a minus-four total.

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Tyler Madden

The Hobey Baker discuss has began and Canucks followers could also be feeling a bit of deja vu.

In 2017-18, it was Adam Gaudette. Two seasons later, it’s Madden, who leads the NCAA in objectives and photographs on web enjoying for a similar Northeastern Huskies.

This previous weekend, the right-shooting centre took half within the Friendship 4 event in Belfast, the place he placed on a clinic for the Irish followers in attendance.

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In Friday’s Four-Zero win over New Hampshire, Madden had a few assists, 4 photographs on web and a plus-one score. He was harmful all recreation, particularly on the facility play, the place he and fellow Canucks prospect Aidan McDonough helped arrange captain Ryan Shea for a objective from the slot.

Later within the recreation, Madden had a shot deflected into the online for his second help.

The subsequent evening, Madden scored a objective because the No. Eight-ranked Huskies brushed apart Colgate College for a Four-Three win and the Belpot Event title.

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The Canucks’ 2018 third-rounder (68th total) scored the Four-Zero objective within the first interval, as he fired in a wrist shot after his preliminary shot was blocked. Madden, who upped his factors streak to seven video games, had seven photographs on web within the win, although he was a minus-three enjoying at centre.

The Deerfield Seashore, Fla., product now has 12 objectives this season, matching his output from final season in 20 fewer video games. He additionally has 68 photographs on objective and 22 factors in 16 video games, which locations him third total within the NCAA.

That is the sort of level manufacturing you’d sometimes see from a first-rounder, so Madden is effectively forward of the curve in his sophomore season.

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The one criticism directed his manner continues to be about his weight, which he addressed in an interview with TSN 1040’s Rick Dhaliwal on Monday.

“I don’t care about what individuals say about my weight — that’s my enterprise. I’m 155 kilos proper now and I’m not getting thrown across the ice,” Madden mentioned.

Carson Focht/Jett Woo

First, the excellent news.

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Canucks 2019 fifth-rounder (133rd total) Focht continued his scoring methods this previous week, netting the objective that introduced down the bears on Teddy Bear Toss evening in Calgary on Sunday. The left-shot centre was named the sport’s first star in a Three-2 additional time loss to the Pink Deer Rebels.

The objective was Focht’s 15th in 22 video games this season. He additionally scored within the Hitmen’s two different video games this previous week, a Four-1 win towards the Regina Pats on Wednesday and a 5-Four loss on the Edmonton Oil Kings on Saturday.

Teammate and fellow Canucks prospect Jett Woo additionally had an honest week, directing 15 photographs heading in the right direction, getting one help and going a mixed plus-three total.

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However Focht and Woo would possibly need to maintain onto a teddy every as each have been left off of Staff Canada’s World Junior Championship camp roster on Monday.

Woo’s exclusion marks the second 12 months in a row the right-shooting blueliner didn’t make the lower. The Canucks’ second-round decide (37th total) from 2018 hasn’t stored up his torrid scoring place of a 12 months in the past, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a shock he wasn’t invited.

Focht’s exclusion comes as extra of a shocker, because the centre has carried out every little thing proper this season, getting 24 factors in 22 video games because the Hitmen’s high pivot and in addition going a plus-nine total.

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Absolutely he may have competed in camp for a spot as a depth ahead, contemplating his robust all-around recreation.

Vasili Podkolzin

He nonetheless hasn’t scored his first KHL objective, however Canucks administration likes his progress nonetheless.

“Jim (Benning) tells me his group is extraordinarily happy with progress of a number of of our prospects together with Madden, Podkolzin, Hoglander,” Canucks proprietor Francesco Aquilini tweeted out throughout Sunday evening’s Canucks-Edmonton Oilers recreation.

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Podkolzin, 18, got here ever nearer to bumping the stoop. In Wednesday’s Four-2 win for St. Petersburg over HC Sochi, the 2019 first-round decide (10th total) had a wonderful probability in entrance of the online, solely to get thwarted by a shocking toe save.

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The left-shooting winger performed in two KHL video games this previous week, seeing the ice for 10:10 in Monday’s Four-1 win over Kunlun and 9:17 towards Sochi.

Jack Rathbone

No. 12-ranked Harvard had its largest check but this previous Friday and didn’t cross it, dropping a Four-2 resolution to No. 10 Boston Faculty.

However that isn’t to say the Canucks prospect didn’t ace it himself.

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Rathbone had a power-play help and 6 photographs on web, enjoying his up-tempo, offensive-minded recreation from the blue line. At one level, the left-shooting rearguard took the puck from behind his personal web and went for a skate, going end-to-end solely to be stopped on a wrap-around try.

Rathbone, a 2017 fourth-round decide (95th total), has three objectives and 5 assists in seven video games this season. He’s additionally a plus-four total.

Mike DiPietro

He’s enjoying assured, even dominant at occasions, because the No. 1 goaltending job in Utica appears to be like prefer it’s his to lose.

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DiPietro, who began the season as a spoke within the Comets’ three-ring goalie circus, has been on a roll — and has been a mainstay within the crease of late.

The Canucks’ 2017 third-rounder (64th total) was the second star within the Comets’ win on Wednesday towards the Crunch, stopping 23 of 24 photographs for the victory. He was excellent within the win, making a number of nice stops, together with a save of the 12 months candidate as he threw his physique throughout the crease to cease what seemed like a sure-fire objective.

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“I actually like the best way he’s enjoying,” mentioned Comets coach Trent Cull after Wednesday’s win. “As a younger man, he’s carried out an important job. He’s definitely incomes his begins.”

DiPietro was again within the web for Saturday’s win in Toronto, with the Windsor, Ont., native stopping 22 of 25 photographs in entrance of a throng of household and pals.

Possibly Mikey wanted a relaxation on Sunday, as he let in 5 objectives on 22 photographs within the loss to the Marlies. Even so, the AHL rookie nonetheless has glowing numbers this season, with a 2.22 goals-against-average and .923 save proportion in 18 video games, incomes a call-up to the Canucks on Monday to again up Thatcher Demko whereas No. 1 netminder Jacob Markstrom flies dwelling to his native Sweden for his father’s memorial service.

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Will Lockwood

It’s been a troublesome begin to the season for Lockwood and the Wolverines. However issues obtained a bit of simpler because the Michigan senior had a robust displaying this previous week.

Lockwood, a hard-nosed 2016 third-rounder (64th total), scored a objective and added an help because the Wolverines break up a two-game weekend collection at No. 19 Wisconsin.

In Saturday’s Three-2 loss, the right-shot winger scored a power-play objective on a deft deflection in entrance of the Badgers’ web.

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Lockwood was buzzing on this one, utilizing his nice skating potential to create a number of probabilities. He even took a run at 2019 fifth-overall NHL decide Alex Turcotte, who obtained the higher of him.

Sunday went a bit of higher, with the Wolverines successful Three-1. Lockwood had a power-play help within the victory.

Lockwood, 21, is the workforce captain and will have turned professional final summer season. He determined to remain and lead a younger Wolverines workforce, which has struggled with a 5-9-1 document, together with going 1-6-1 within the Large Ten convention.

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The Bloomfield Hills, Mich., product, who had 31 factors in 36 video games final season, has 4 objectives and one help in 12 video games this season.

Olli Juolevi

No matter is mistaken with Juolevi, we nonetheless don’t know. What we do know is it’s a lower-body ailment not associated to an earlier knee harm.

That being mentioned, the star-crossed (injuries-wise) blueliner taken fifth total within the 2016 draft was noticed strolling out of the Comets’ locker room on Wednesday in what’s seen as progress.

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mraptis@postmedia.com

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