Several Vancouver Canucks prospects have made their professional hockey debuts this season with the AHL’s Utica Comets and the Kalamazoo Wings of the ECHL. The Comets came into the 2015-16 season with high expectations after competing for the Calder Cup in 2014-15. Several major personnel changes were made in the offseason however and it could be difficult for Utica to replicate the success they had a season ago. Here is a look at the personnel the Canucks have deployed in Utica and Kalamazoo this season and an assessment of how each player is doing so far in the 2015-16 season.
There are a number of NHL teams relying upon young talent gracing their lineups to contribute on a nightly basis. International stars Aleksander Barkov, Nikolaj Ehlers, and Rickard Rakell are all performing under pressure, and hometown hero Frankie Vatrano is off to a nice start in Boston. Also in this week’s Prospect Impressions, an unexpected goal from a Rochester Americans forward, a Utica Comet has a memorable night full of firsts, and a Quinnipiac Bobcats goaltender keeps the team undefeated in regulation. Read more»
Vancouver’s prospect pool is largely a professional group this season. Though the Canucks have looked to the United States college path as a developmental course with great success in the past (Ryan Kesler, Cory Schneider, R.J. Umberger, Adrian Aucoin), the last significant draft selection was 2009’s first round pick used on Jordan Schroeder, who disappointed as a Canuck. Boston College’s Thatcher Demko will look to reverse that trend.