Photo: Alexandre Grenier made his NHL debut in 2015-16, not accomplishing much on the scoreboard during six games, but emerging in one piece (courtesy of Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)
For the Vancouver Canucks, the question of whom to select at the 2011 NHL Draft was secondary. After clinching the President’s Trophy and a Western Conference title, the primary concern was adding pieces to make another run to the Stanley Cup finals, not the state of the prospect pool. Read more»
Photo: Now that Louis Domingue has turned pro, Quebec Remparts goaltender and Ottawa Senators prospect Francois Brassard is taking advantage of his status as that team's #1 goalie (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
The development of goaltenders in Canada has been a cause of concern for quite some time, especially with how it affects international competitions like the World Juniors.
Photo: Nicklas Jensen, shown here skating for Team Denmark, is expected to return to North America after his season ends in the Swedish Elite League. (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
For the Vancouver Canucks organization, regular season success over the last half-decade has been a dual-edged sword. Winners of multiple President’s Trophies and continually atop the Northwest Division standings, any neutral hockey enthusiast might think it is crazy to label their success a bane. But on two levels, this success has presented challenges that few organizations would covet.
Photo: Sudbury defenseman Frank Corrado could parlay a hot start to his season into a roster spot on Canada's entry at the World Junior Championships. (courtesy of Terry Wilson / OHL Images)
For the Vancouver Canucks, the 2012 draft was all about size and grit, with a strong NCAA connection. To obtain that desired size (the average height of players drafted was 6’2), they chose players headed to Maine, Boston University, and Yale. A number of their junior prospects have already come of age, now developing at the pro level or overseas. Therefore, there are a small but promising handful of junior prospects developing within the Canucks' organization.
Photo: Chicago Wolves goaltender Eddie Lack leads a shallow group of netminder in the Vancouver Canucks' prospect pipeline. (courtesy of Zuma Press/Icon SMI)
Had the NHL lockout not come to pass, it certainly would have been an interesting training camp in Penticton this season for the Vancouver Canucks. They have graduated a number of players over the past five years, leaving only a couple of select, higher-tier prospects to mature and come of age. With Ryan Kesler and Alex Edler still on the shelf after surgeries, it was shaping up to be an impromptu game of musical chairs to fill the holes left by Kesler’s and Edler’s convalescence.