Prospect Ramblings: Canuck fans love glimpse into future (March 25)

Mark Allan

2017-03-25

Hours after signing his first pro contract, Brock Boeser paid immediate dividends to the Canucks, scoring the winning goal in a 4-2 win over the host Minnesota Wild.

 

Eagerly awaited 2015 first-rounder Brock Boeser made a large impact Saturday on the slumping Canucks, scoring the winning goal as Vancouver toppled the host Minnesota Wild 4-2.

Pressed into NHL service on the same day he left NCAA hockey early by signing a three-year, entry-level contract with Vancouver, the right winger made the most of only 12:44 on the ice. Without any time on special teams, the skilled scorer, playmaker and puckhandler finished plus-1 with four SOGs, three hits and a takeaway.

His goal was assisted by Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi in a preview of things to come for long-suffering Canuck fans, who had watched their guys drop seven of the previous eight games. If Boeser plays all of Vancouver’s remaining eight games, it would burn the first of the three seasons on his contract yet would offer hope to supporters of a team that has not won hockey’s Holy Grail in its entire existence of almost 50 years.

The 23rd-overall pick in 2015 posted sensational collegiate stats in two seasons for North Dakota, amassing 94 points in 74 games.

This is an intriguing time of the year for prospect hounds, as NHL teams sign previously unavailable players to amateur-tryout and/or entry-level contracts.

A review of this week’s transactions reveals the following additional nuggets, including more examples of NHL teams signing players to entry-level deals starting next season and getting them to ink amateur tryout deals with their AHL affiliates. That gets prospects immediate exposure to pro hockey while deferring any NHL salary-cap implications past the current season.

Not to be left behind by the Canucks, the Ottawa and Minnesota organizations also signed first-round draft picks this week. C Colin White signed an amateur tryout contract with the AHL’s Binghamton Senators. C Luke Kunin signed a three-year, entry-level contract, and amateur tryout contract with the Iowa Wild of the AHL.

 

Colin White was drafted 21st overall by the Ottawa Senators in the 20125 NHL draft:

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A tremendous skater, White meshes his feet with a superior hockey IQ and heightened defensive responsibility. Ottawa’s 21st-overall pick in 2015 wins his share of battles along the boards although, at 6-0 and 183 pounds, he’ll be challenged to continue this in the pros without adding muscle.

White followed two seasons in the USHL program with 19 goals and 43 points in 37 games in his debut with Boston College, adding 33 points in 35 games for BC this season. He spurred the Americans to the 2017 WJC championship with seven goals in as many games, adding an assist. A year earlier, he had seven points in seven games for Team USA.

Mature for his age and already a coach’s favourite, Kunin plays a complete game, employing a relentless work ethic to cover both ends of the ice. A good skater, Minnesota’s 15th-overall pick last year shoots well but has to prove he can produce offensively in the NHL to get top-six minutes.

 

Luke Kunin scores against Ohio State earlier this month:

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After two seasons with the USHL, he notched 19 goals and 13 assists in 34 games with Wisconsin, improving to 22 goals and 38 points in 35 games this season. He registered two goals and two assists as White’s teammate on the gold-medal U.S. team at this year’s WJC, rambunctiously adding 25 PIMs.

In other transactions in a busy week of signings:

Boston Bruins

C Ryan Fitzgerald signs two-year, entry-level contract, and amateur tryout contract with Providence Bruins (AHL).

D Emil Johansson signs three-year, entry-level contract, and amateur tryout contract with Providence Bruins (AHL).

Buffalo Sabres

G Jonas Johansson signs amateur tryout contract with Rochester Americans (AHL).

Calgary Flames

D Josh Healey signs two-year, entry-level contract, and amateur tryout contract with Stockton Heat (AHL).

C Dillon Dube signs three-year, entry-level contract.

Carolina Hurricanes

C Janne Kuokkanen signs three-year, entry-level contract.

C Hudson Elynuik signs amateur tryout contract with Charlotte Checkers (AHL).

Chicago Blackhawks

C Tanner Kero signs two-year contract extension.

Detroit Red Wings

D Filip Hronek signs amateur tryout contract with Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL).

Philadelphia Flyers

D Mark Friedman signs one-year, entry-level contract, and amateur tryout contract with Lehigh Valley Phantoms (AHL).

St. Louis Blues

RW Samuel Kurker signs amateur tryout contract with Albany Devils (AHL).

San Jose Sharks

W Noah Rod signs three-year, entry-level contract.

Tampa Bay Lightning

D Libor Hajek signs three-year, entry-level contract.

Toronto Maple Leafs

RW Jeremy Bracco signs three-year, entry-level contract.

Winnipeg Jets

D Luke Green signs amateur tryout contract with Manitoba Moose (AHL).

Keep coming back to Dobber Prospects, the best website for news and analysis about up-and-coming young hockey players on the Internet.

 

Mark Allan

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