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December prospects report

An in-depth look at Vancouver's prospect depth

by Tyson Giuriato @TysonGiuriato / Canucks freelance writer

Carl Neill and Rodrigo Abols shined bright in the QMJHL during the month of December, while Adam Gaudette closed out 2016 with a bang.

…The Utica Comets went 3-4-5 during the month of December and are currently in 13th place in the AHL's Eastern Conference with a 10-15-6 record.

Thatcher Demko appeared in nine of the Comets' 12 games last month, going 3-4-2 with a 3.18 goals-against average and an 88.5 save-percentage.

Alex Grenier leads the way for the Comets up front with 23 points (8-15-23) through 29 games, including nine points (2-7-9) in 12 games during December.

Jordan Subban sits fourth among AHL defencemen with eight goals on the season. Subban added six points (3-3-6) in 11 games during the month and is currently second in team scoring with 20 points (8-12-20) in 29 games. He also leads the team with 76 shots on the season.

…A four-goal in five-game stretch kicked-off the month for Jake Virtanen, who finished with five points (4-1-5) in 12 games.

Carl Neill leads all QMJHL defencemen with 46 points (10-36-46) through 36 games and also sits 10th amongst all skaters. Neill had 14 points (3-11-14) in 11 games during December. He has registered at least one point in 14 of his past 17 games. Neill was drafted in the fifth round, 144th overall, in 2015 and will need to sign his entry-level contract prior to June 1 or else he will re-enter the NHL Draft.

…The Prospect of the Month for December may be Rodrigo Abols. The 6-foot-5 forward netted 12 points (5-7-12) in seven games during the month. After a slow start, which saw him register only seven points (2-5-7) in his first 13 games with Acadie-Bathurst, Abols has exploded for 17 points (8-9-17) in his past nine games.

Brock Boeser has been out of action since November 19 as he recovers from wrist surgery. There is a chance he could return January 6 as North Dakota takes on Nebraska-Omaha.

…There are no signs of slowing down for Adam Gaudette, who finished off December with six points in just two games. He sits with 26 points (10-16-26) through 17 games this season at Northeastern, just four points shy of the 30 points he notched as a freshman last season, in 41 games.

Will Lockwood picked up three points in six games during the month of December, giving him 13 points (7-6-13) in 18 games with Michigan so far this season.

Jakob Stukel scored five times and assisted on three others in 12 games during December. He started 2017 red hot, notching five points (1-4-5) in two games to kick-off the New Year. Stukel is now up to 25 points (12-13-25) in 34 games with the Calgary Hitmen.

…It looks like defenceman Tate Olson has a chance to be playing meaningful hockey late into the season as his Prince George Cougars sit third overall in the WHL with a 27-10-2 record. Olson leads all PG blue-liners in points with 15 (3-12-15) through 37 games.

…It was a World Juniors to forget for Olli Juolevi and Finland. The defenceman posted just one assist as Finland went 1-3-0 in the preliminary round. Juolevi will now turn his attention back to the OHL's top team, the London Knights, which are poised to make another run at the Memorial Cup.

Lukas Jasek finished without a point in the tournament as the Czech Republic were ousted by Canada in the quarterfinals.

Brett McKenzie posted a strong December with seven points (5-2-7) in nine games. The 6-foot-1 forward is up to 39 points (18-21-39) through 35 games with North Bay this season.

What's on in January?

…For those with Shaw TV, you can watch Jakob Stukel and the Calgary Hitmen on January 6 against the Regina Pats.

…You can catch prospect Cole Candella and the Hamilton Bulldogs live on Sportsnet January 14 as they take on Ottawa.

Olli Juolevi and the London Knights will be featured on Sportsnet on January 28 when they take on Owen Sound.

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