Photo: Vancouver Canucks prospect and Sherbrooke Phoenix captain Carl Neill fits the profile of the steady stay-at-home defender but his offensive ability should not be underestimated (courtesy of Francois Laplante/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)
The Vancouver Canucks have done a fine job of re-stocking their prospect pool over the last few seasons and the good scouting and smart drafting has finally begun to bear fruit. Former CHL stars Bo Horvat, Jake Virtanen and Jared McCann are all now full time NHL players. The wisdom of having Virtanen and McCann in the NHL this season could be debated but they should play important roles for the Canucks for many years to come. Here is a look at the Canucks prospects currently playing in the junior ranks of North America.
Photo: Calgary Hitmen defenseman Jake Bean and Regina Pats forward Sam Steel go head-to-head in a Thanksgiving Weekend encounter of top 2016 NHL Draft prospects (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images and Aaron Bell/CHL Images)
In this week’s Prospect Faceoff, the reigning Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week will try and slow down one of the QMJHL’s most proficient scorers. Two Toronto Maple Leafs prospects will go head-to-head in a Thanksgiving Day matinee, while two ‘A’ rated 2016 NHL Draft-eligible skaters clash in the WHL. In the USHL, a pair of Clark Cup champions go one-on-one, while two of the NCAA’s finest freshmen collide. Read more»
Photo: London Knights forward and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Mitch Marner (L) and Mississauga Steelheads defenseman and 2016 prospect Sean Day (R) go head-to-head this weekend in a marquee OHL matchup (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
Two of the biggest names in the OHL collide this weekend, as Mitch Marner guides the London Knights into Mississauga, where he will go head-to-head against Sean Day. In the WHL, two top defensemen clash, while two high-end import selections face off in the QMJHL. The CHL Canada Russia Series comes to a conclusion, where one hulking forward hopes to help the CHL take a clean sweep, but a talented Russian playmaker is hoping to write a different story. Finally, two of college hockey’s finest teams go one-on-one as a first-round NHL talent will try to shut down one of the best freshmen in the NCAA. Read more»
Photo: Boston College goaltender and Vancouver Canucks prospect Thatcher Demko, and Michigan State forward and St. Louis Blues prospect Mackenzie MacEachern go head-to-head in NCAA action this weekend (courtesy of Richard T. Gagnon/Getty Images and Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
Can anyone beat Vancouver Canucks prospect Thatcher Demko? Mackenzie MacEachern and the Michigan State Spartans are going to try to break Demko’s second long shutout streak of the season. The CHL Canada Russia Series continues this week, as Ottawa 67’s captain Travis Konecny is hoping to stay hot. Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Cody Donaghey will try to slow down Conor Garland’s assault on the scoresheet, while Brendan Guhle will attempt to do the same against Jayce Hawryluk. In the SHL, two of the league’s youngest players go head-to-head in a matchup of a late-round pick versus a 2016 draft-eligible. Read more»
Photo: Vancouver Canucks prospect Brendan Gaunce played center as a junior but has been even more effective as a winger during his pro career (courtesy of Steve Nurenberg/Icon Sportswire)
A long awaited injection of youth has finally come to the Vancouver Canucks franchise after years of competing with a mostly veteran lineup. Bo Horvat was able to stick with the big club for the 2014-15 season and Jake Virtanen, Jared McCann and Ben Hutton have earned their way onto the roster for the 2015-16 season. With solid options at all positions the Canucks prospect pool is as strong as it has been in a decade or longer and the future looks extremely bright for the organization.