Now that Canucks camp is underway, we can finally talk about hockey matters again.
Namely, that Ryan Kesler is still injured and can’t move his arm above his surgically reconstructed shoulder.
His absence leaves a giant void in the middle of the second line that the Canucks will scramble to find an answer for during this shortened training camp.
Maxim Lapierre is an option, Andrew Ebbett too, but neither of those guys should make you comfortable in a top six role.
Instead, the wild card and major question of this year’s mini training camp is 2009 first round pick Jordan Schroeder. The diminutive pivot has a chance to finally make his NHL debut if he can prove he belongs on the second line.
A bundle of nerves?!
It would also allow Lapierre to move down and centre the third line, allowing greater flexibility throughout the entire line-up.
The question is…..is Schroeder up to the task?
Initial reports out of camp have Jordan a bundle of nerves, gripping his stick tightly, making mistakes in drills and getting pushed around by Andrew Alberts. He has a decent 19 points in 30 games with the Chicago Wolves this year, coming off a 44 point campaign the year prior.
But he’s still a 2009 first round pick, who pre-draft was ranked in many people’s top 10, who has yet to play an NHL game.
A while back my colleague here at NWSB Mitch said “If Schroeder is able to adapt his game and be a versatile player who can play a different role other than second line centre, then there is no reason why he couldn’t battle someone for a job.”
I agree 100%.
This is Schroeder’s big chance to start his NHL career, so let’s hope that he has the ability to step up and take it.
If he can’t, the Canucks have a giant hole on that second line with an indeterminate return date for Ryan Kesler and David Booth getting an MRI on his groin to determine just how long he’ll be out for.
Secondary scoring could be non-existent, and a slow start by the Canucks will be awfully tough to overcome in a season this short.
Unless of course Tyler Bozak is the answer.
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