The Canucks are preparing for home and home series against the Pacific Division leading Edmonton Oilers this weekend. After that, the big club gets ready to spend a lot of the holiday season at home with some exciting matchups throughout the month.
With December, it also means that World Juniors is on the horizon and Canucks fans are eagerly waiting to see which prospects might represent their respective country.
We'll dive into that and more in this prospect update.
- Vasili Podkolzin's is expected to be on the Russian World Juniors team but is making the most of his time between the Canada/Russia Series earlier this month and the training camp for the aforementioned World Juniors. Podkolzin is seeing regular shifts in the KHL over the last few weeks and even squeezed in a game in the VHL, where he scored the OT winner. It's good to see him getting a regular shift with the big club and it's clear that he is getting more comfortable with each passing game.
- Artyom Manukyan has not suited up for a regular game this season after sustaining an injury in the pre-season
- Nils Hoglander is on fire right now. The Canucks 2nd round pick from the past June has scored goals in the three straight games and now currently leads all U20 players in goals scored (6) in the SHL. Like Podkolzin, Hoglander is a lock to make his country's training camp for the World Juniors and given that he was one of the last cuts last year, probably makes the team.
- Hoglander has firmly secured the 2nd line wing spot for his SHL club and will likely return to that spot when he comes back.
- Linus Karlsson picked up one assist over the last two weeks - he currently has five goals and six assists in 25 Allsvenskan games with Karlskrona HK.
- Arvid Costmar returned to the Linkoping HC J20 club since our last update. Although he has been limited to 12 games there this season, he is currently 12th in points per game. At this point, he is working to get himself back up to the SHL and will be in consideration for Sweden's World Juniors training camp.
- Toni Utunen returned to his Liiga team and has picked up two assists in nine games there this season. Given that he was a big player for Finland at the World Juniors last year, he is expected to make the team again this season. His ability to control the play with smart and efficient plays are what has stood about his game thus far this season.
- Petrus Palmu continues to put up points - he sits at 18 points (7-11-18) in 15 games with JYP.
- The least known of the Canucks prospects that could represent their country at the World Juniors is Karel Plasek. The 19-year-old winger has played well for HC Kometa Brno in Czech's Extraliga and should be on the Czech World Juniors team. Although he has only scored two goals and two assists in 21 Extraliga games, the winger is a smart player that when given time and space can pick corners.
- There is no slowing down Tyler Madden. After a two-assist performance this morning, Madden now has eleven goals and ten assists in 15 NCAA games this season. This was after a three goal and one assist performance last Friday night. That vaults him into the top three in NCAA scoring. He's found an extra gear in the last few weeks and it looks like the tear won't be stopping any time soon.
- Aidan McDonough's game has really rounded out over the past few weeks and it's allowed him to become an impact player for Northeastern. He has four goals and five assists in 12 games this season but is noticeable every night. He shots the puck with regularity and displays some nice playmaking abilities.
- William Lockwood has three goals and one assist in 11 games with University of Michigan.
- Jack Malone currently sits at one goal and one assist in seven games with Cornell. The Big Red is a powerhouse team this season, so Malone is seeing limited ice-time but when he is in the lineup, he is making the most of it.
- The smooth-skating Jack Rathbone hasn't been able to produce as many points in the last three games, limited to one assist, but he is still making himself stand out each night. His ability to skate and transition with the puck allows Harvard to get the puck out of their zone. The points will come for the Canucks prospect if he keeps doing what he is doing.
- Carson Focht is hopeful to get an invite to Hockey Canada's World Juniors Evaluation Camp. His ability to be a 200-foot player is something that the management team will look for. Although he is the Calgary Hitmen's first line centre, he could easily slot in as a bottom six guy for Canada and give the team some speed and tenacity there.
- Jett Woo has three goals and ten assists in twenty-two WHL games this season.
- Arturs Silovs only appeared in one game since our last update. Unfortunately, he gave up six goals on forty shots. He is still 8-4-1 on the season for Barrie (OHL).
- Ethan Keppen sits at eight goals and seven assists in twenty-three games with Flint (OHL)