More Canucks forwards prospects

By Kirk Pedersen

Colorado College Forward Justin Morrison plays a lot differently than his namesake which is currently a Canuck, Brendan. He put up good numbers in his final season of NCAA eligibility, and is still unsigned. The Canucks should make a push to sign Justin before the Draft. ETA: 2004, probably on some other team.

Ryan Ready is a very hardworking youngster whom the Canucks have had in their system for two years. A former Belleville Bull, Ryan is making himself into a pretty decent two-way player down in Kansas City. His skating still needs some work, and he’s not much of a scorer, but he’s a good player in his own end, and can lend a hand in killing penalties. ETA: 2004, on some other team, if not, a high-end career minor-leaguer.

Josh Holden was expected to be a 50-70 point scorer in the NHL when he was drafted. That all looks like a pipe dream now. In fairness, he’s had a lot of injury problems, and has been a steady scorer in Syracuse and Kansas City, but, he still qualifies as a disappointment, because of his inability to stay healthy, and his inability to hold down a job in the NHL. He doesn’t figure into the Canucks’ mix anymore. ETA: This year, or never, as a Canuck.

Pat Kavanagh impressed in the playoffs. He showed vast improvement over his first season in the minors by doubling his point output, and adding fourteen more goals, swelling his season total to twenty-six. In the NHL playoffs, he was understandably nervous, but didn’t make any glaring errors in his limited ice time. He was mostly showcased in penalty-killing situations, and did a very good job of dumping the puck out. He’s not a very good skater, but he’s big enough to make his hits hurt. He needs to get more involved with the physical part of the game along the boards. He could develop into a power-forward type, because he has relatively soft hands, and a good shot. He was a good junior player in Peterborough who was originally a second-rounder by the Flyers, and was acquired from the Flyers for a sixth-round pick in the 1999 Draft, after the Flyers failed to come to terms with Pat. He looks to be a good minor-league player at least. ETA: Full-time 2004, possibly with Vancouver.

Surrey product Nathan Barrett was passed over time and time again by NHL teams in the 2000 Draft. He fell right into the Canucks’ lap at #241, in Round 8. He was passed on by teams because of his modest size. (5’11”,192) He led a sub-par Lethbridge team in scoring this past season with ninety-nine points. (46 Goals, 53 Assists) He looks like he could amount to something if he’s given a lot of seasoning time down in Manitoba of the IHL over the next few seasons. ETA: 2004 on some other team, most likely.