Hey. Have you heard? I know you have. The Canucks are good again! It feels like it’s been forever since the Canucks were a true contending team that is winning night in and night out. They’re firing on all cylinders and overall are having a fun time this season. It’s such a breath of fresh air that Canucks fans have been missing for a long time. It’s like when your room has been extremely messy for a long time and then you finally clean it up and it looks great and you just enjoy every second of the clean room.
The Canucks have a lot of ambition going into the playoffs but they still have a lot of work to do at the trade deadline. In the case of injuries, they’re going to want to get some extra players to make sure they can keep their roster a competitive one if someone significant goes down. It can never hurt to have a bunch of fresh bodies on your roster and I’d imagine the Canucks will add a few guys at the deadline to make sure of that.
However, if they do need to add some more players to their roster, maybe they should consider looking in-house. The Abbotsford Canucks have had a pretty good season and many of their players are having great seasons. Some of those players even have NHL experience so they do know what it takes to step in and play a role on an NHL team. So let’s go over a few names the Canucks could call up from the AHL and discuss whether or not they are ready for that spotlight or not.
One player who is most ready to be called up to the Canucks roster is Arsheep Bains. Bains has been a very productive player since turning pro and this year has been no exception. Bains has been a point per game player this year as he’s put up 38 points in 38 games and that total already ties his point total from last season but he put up 38 points in 66 games that season. Bains is a player that plays with an edge and could provide a nice little boost to the Canucks lineup. He seems like the kind of player that Rick Tocchet would love and I think he will become a regular Canuck very soon.
All-Star Bains delivers a feed from his stomach to find Nick Cicek to even things up. #Canucks
What an effort from Arshdeep Bains!! pic.twitter.com/Gu2JXVYLzk
— Dave Hall (@hall1289) February 4, 2024
I’m not sure if Bains will get a call-up this season and I don’t really think he should unless there’s injuries to call for it. Bain is a creative player who has good vision and is a good passer and although he could be nice for the Canucks to have, he doesn’t necessarily need to be with the team just yet. I think him playing out the rest of the year in the AHL will be good for his development and I think he will likely be a full-time NHLer next season if he keeps up his great play. However, if the situation calls for it, I think he could be a great NHL player right now if need be.
If there is one player that should be with the Canucks, it’s probably Vasily Podkolzin. The reason is that he has NHL experience and is a former top-ten draft pick so he’s had the potential as well. However, Podkolzin’s time in the NHL hasn’t been the greatest which is why he was sent to the AHL to develop more. And so far, his time there has done him well. Podkolzin has been working away at his game and improving the things that make him great. He’s a physical player who some have called a bulldog type player. He’s got a great shot and can go on some great end-to-end rushes. He has the ability to drive play but hasn’t really shown a ton of that just yet. He could be a better play driver in the future if he continues to develop that aspect of his game but that’s a wait-and-see situation to see how well that ends up going in the future.
An absolute rocket of a shot from Vasily Podkolzin on the power play. 🚨
It’s been a busy first period for Podz. He’s just an assist away from a Gordie Howe hat trick. pic.twitter.com/Doko2SgOEz
— 𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 Faber 🔥 (@ChrisFaber39) January 28, 2024
Podkolzin is another player who is probably ready to be on the full-time NHL roster but I would leave him in the AHL for the rest of the year. Let him continue to develop and get his confidence up keep his scoring touch intact. He’s also in a similar situation as Bains where he could be ready to play in the NHL if he needs to be but I’d prefer him to spend the rest of the year in the AHL. I think if Dakota Joshua leaves this team in the off-season then Podkolzin could be the guy to take over his role since he plays a relatively similar game to Joshua. Podkolzin still has some room to grow and I fully expect him to be an NHL player next year. And if the opportunity calls for it, I think he could kill it with the Canucks this season.
I know I’ve talked about a couple of guys so far that may not exactly be call-ups for this year, but I think Tristen Nielsen could be. Nielsen has had a pretty productive year as he’s had 19 points in 29 games. While he may not be putting up points in the same way that other players are, I think what he can provide fits more of what the Canucks may need for their fourth line. Think of it like when you’re trying to choose a leader for a group project. The smartest and most skilled ones may be great, but you want to pick someone who has the best leadership skills which doesn’t necessarily have to be the smartest or most skilled (Don’t take that as me saying Tristen Nielsen isn’t smart, it’s just a comparison). Nielsen could play on the fourth line if injuries happen and he could fit the role quite well. He’s a winger who can play center and he seems like the kind of feisty player you would love to have in the playoffs.
Tristen Nielsen cuts to the slot, deking around William Trudeau for a shot on Jakub Dobeš that gives Abbotsford the lead.
— Cody Severtson (@CodySevertson) December 3, 2023
My friend Sean once said that Nielsen reminds him a lot of Alex Burrows and I tend to agree with that. Both were also undrafted players who found a role that works for them and excel at it. It’s incredibly hard to find players who are like Alex Burrows in that they are productive offensively and will be a pain in the ass to play against, but I think the Canucks may have found one in Tristen Nielsen. I would love to see him get a shot on the fourth line for now and see how he fairs and then maybe down the road he can make his way up the lineup. This is a player Canucks fans should be excited for because he seems like the kind of player that would be a fan favourite.
The Canucks system is much deeper than it’s been in a long time and they have a ton of players they could call up who I didn’t even mention. What a great time it is to be a Canucks fan and there is still so much more to come for you to be excited for!