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Canucks Prospects Update: Utica Comets

...a look at Canucks prospects with the Comets

by Ryan Biech @ryanbiech / Vancouver Canucks

The Utica Comets are a month into their AHL season and currently sit in 5th place in the North Division with a 5-7-1 record.

Given the number of injuries that the Canucks have battled, which has resulted in quite a few recalls, and that same injury issue in Utica, it's encouraging to see the Comets compete every night. Just over one month into the season and the Comets have dressed 30 different players for at least one game. A couple have only played one game, but that does illustrate the strain placed on the roster so far.

With 13 games in the books already, we can get a sense of what prospects that are currently up with the Canucks have done so far this season.

F Reid Boucher - The winger hit the ground running to start the season with 12 points (9-3-12) in the first eight games, but has missed the last five games due to an injury. His absence has left a big void on the first line and powerplay unit.

F Zack MacEwen - The rugged winger has continued to develop this season and currently sits second on the Comets with five goals and six assists in 13 games. Coming into last season, there wasn't much known about what his projections as a prospect, but he has worked extremely hard with the Comets and could very well earn a call-up soon.

C Tanner Kero - Acquired in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks over the summer, Kero has been a stabilizing force for the Comets throughout the injury bug. He has three goals and eight assists in 13 games and has primarily played as the first line centre. 

D Olli Juolevi - The Canucks 2016 1st round pick has been playing fairly well over the last month for the Comets. There has been some hiccups here and there, but overall Juolevi has been displaying the skills that make it easy to project him as a part of the Canucks defence for years to come. He has three assists in the last three games for Utica.

F Jonathan Dahlen - Acquired in a trade with Ottawa, Dahlen has been effective in his first professional season in North America. His tenacity, edge work, and awareness have been setting him apart as he looks to earn a call-up in the near future. He had two assists on Wednesday night against Laval.

F Michael Carcone - Sitting at two goals and four assists, Carcone has been continued to be that versatile and speedy winger that is relentless on the puck. His ability to play on the power-play and penalty kill allows him to get some much needed minutes.

D Guillaume Brisebois - It's been a whirlwind month for the former 3rd round pick. Earning a recall to the Canucks a few weeks ago, Brisebois has returned to the Comets and played well over the past week in particular. He had two assists in three games over the past week and currently sits at four assists in 10 games.

F Lukas Jasek - Jasek had a fantastic debut with the Comets to close out last season with seven points in six games, but hasn't been able to sustain that this season with two goals and one assist in nine games thus far. Despite the lack of production, Jasek has been playing well and should be rewarded with some more points soon.

F Kole Lind - The 33rd overall selection from the 2017 NHL Entry Draft has been limited to six games due to suffering an injury in the October 20th against Syracuse. Lind had started to find his footing under him leading up to the game, showcasing his playmaking abilities and offensive awareness. He has two assists in six games with the Comets thus far. 

D Jalen Chatfield - Chatfield has appeared in eight games for the Utica Comets this season due to suffering an injury and spending some time up with the big club. Although he only has one assist in those eight games, Chatfield had been extremely effective in defending his own blue-line and completely zone exits with possession.

D Evan McEneny - Coming back from a serious knee injury suffered last season, McEneny has started to look like the defender that he was last season. He only has one assist thus far, but leads all Comets defencemen with 26 shots on goal. The old saying of 'get pucks to the net and good things will happen' is true and if McEneny keeps doing what he is doing, the points will come.

D Ashton Sautner - After appearing in five games for the Canucks to close out last season, Sautner has gone down to Utica and continued to display his underrated game. Sautner moves the puck well and provides a stabilizing defensive presence for that group. He is also willing to be physical and muck it up when the need is there. That combination of good defensive reads and physicality are why he earned that two-year contract extension this past March. 

F Jonah Gadjovich - The other 2017 2nd round has been noticeably better over the last couple of games. He has been playing the last couple of games on an energy line with Carter Bancks and Jasek, and they've been effective at pressuring opposing defence. It's encouraging to see that he is starting to find his way in professional hockey. He hasn't been able to register a point in the seven games he's appeared in, but like Jasek, keeping doing what he is doing and that should change.

F Petrus Palmu - The Liiga rookie of the year for last season has also been held off the scoresheet this season, but has been showing his quick feet and active stick to limit opponents chances against. With the injuries in Utica, Palmu has started to see some time on the man advantage.

G Thatcher Demko - Demko has returned to practice and is hoping to back-up Ivan Kulbakov soon.

The Comets have started to get some players back which will bring some stability to the lineup, but the young guys have done well in their elevated roles thus far.

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