In this edition of Vancouver Canucks’ News & Rumors, the club traded Olli Juolevi after the defenceman found himself as the odd man out. The San Jose Sharks claimed Jonah Gadjovich, while the Canucks still have to start contract talks with Alex Chaisson. Meanwhile, the team provides an update on when Brock Boeser could return. Lastly, the Canucks made their final cuts on Sunday morning.
Canucks Trade Juolevi
The Canucks reportedly traded Juolevi to the Florida Panthers for depth players Juho Lammikko and Noah Juulsen on Sunday. On Saturday night, reports emerged the club had been attempting to trade Juolevi (from ‘What we’re hearing about Olli Juolevi and the Canucks’ plans as final cuts approach,’ The Athletic, October 9, 2021). The Finnish defenceman has struggled throughout training camp and hasn’t been in the lineup since Quinn Hughes signed his extension and joined the team in training camp.
Juolevi started training camp in a battle for the third line left defenceman slot with Jack Rathbone and Brad Hunt. He had a tough start to training camp, noticeably during the team’s bag skate drill, and never truly recovered, which resulted in him losing his roster spot. The 2016 sixth overall pick has struggled to crack the main roster throughout his career, finally getting a chance to play with the Canucks last season. He will now get a fresh start in Florida.
Sharks Claim Gadjovich
The Sharks claimed 2017 second-round pick Gadjovich on Thursday morning. The Canucks included the 22-year-old forward in their second round of cuts, placing him on waivers on Wednesday. The Athletic’s Thomas Drance and Rick Dhaliwal added the team was disappointed in losing the forward, but the decision came from key organizational members.
“Ultimately key organizational leaders weren’t convinced that losing Gadjovich on waivers was likely, and the club was never going to keep him on the NHL roster just to avoid losing him on waivers. He didn’t factor into the club’s NHL roster out of the gate this season, however, and he was seen as more of a call-up-calibre option for the team.”– Drance and Dhaliwal stated.
Gadjovich showed improvement in skating after losing weight and working hard in the offseason. The Canucks have now lost both of their 2017 second-round picks, as Kole Lind was selected by the Seattle Kraken in the Expansion Draft this past offseason. Gadjovich scored a team-leading 15 goals in 19 games last season with the Utica Comets. He played one game last season with the Canucks late in the regular season.
Boeser’s Expected Return
Canucks’ head coach Travis Green stated Boeser skated on Saturday, and the team is hopeful he will be available for the team’s season opener against the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday. The forward played in the team’s first preseason game against the Seattle Kraken but has not suited up since.
The team will need their 2020-21 goals and points in order to have a strong start to their 2021-22 season. He should start on the top line alongside Elias Pettersson and Conor Garland.
Chaisson Contract Talks
Dhaliwal also reports the Canucks haven’t had any contract talks with Chaisson as of Saturday night. The forward joined the team on a professional tryout, which expires on Monday, Oct 11th.
Throughout training camp, he has lined up next to Pettersson and Garland in Boeser’s absence. If the Canucks decide to sign the 31-year-old forward, he will likely play on the team’s bottom-six to start the season. Although he has scored 101 goals and posted 202 points, he has done his best work on the power play, scoring 32 goals and posting 60 points on the man advantage.
Canucks Continue to Shrink Roster
The Canucks announced their final roster cuts on Sunday. Justin Bailey, Madison Bowey, Phillip Di Giuseppe and Travis Hamonic were the four players the team placed on waivers. Hamonic’s future with the team is uncertain, so it makes sense to waive him. The Canucks may look at the waiver wire to add another right-handed defenceman as a replacement for the veteran. Hunt, Nic Petan, Kyle Burroughs and Zack MacEwen all made the opening night roster.
Along with Gadjovich, the Canucks cut Danila Klimovich, Carson Focht and Will Lockwood last week. Klimovich will likely end up in the QMJHL, as stated by Benning before, but for now, he is being loaned to Abbotsford and could start the season there. Meanwhile, Focht and Lockwood are also being loaned to Abbotsford and will play in the AHL this season.
Season Starts on Wednesday
After losing their last preseason game 3-2 to the Oilers, the Canucks start their 2021-22 season in Edmonton on Wednesday, Oct. 13th. The team starts the season with six straight games on the road before returning to Vancouver for their home opener on Oct. 26th against the Minnesota Wild.
Sartaaj has been watching hockey for over 15 years and covers the Vancouver Canucks for The Hockey Writers.