How well do you know your Vancouver Canucks prospects? Not well you say? Great, because it’s time for another edition of our (soon to be) world famous prospect roundup!
In this edition I will update you on Bo Horvat, Hunter Shinkaruk, Joacim Eriksson and Dane Fox.
Bo Horvat – 1st round, 9th overall, 2013 NHL Entry Draft
28 GP – 16 G, 28 A – 44 P – 22 PIM +18
As you likely already know, Bo Horvat made Team Canada for the 2013 World Juniors, and he showed quite well despite not coming home with a medal. Although Horvat only put up 3 points in 7 games, and didn’t stand out offensively, he quietly went about his business playing a great two-way game with some PK time, 2nd power play and top 6 minutes.
Horvat started the tournament on a line with future 1st overall picks, Sam Reinhart (2014 draft eligible) and Connor Mcdavid (2015 draft eligible), but after Canada lost to the Czech Republic in a shootout, he was moved to a line with Scott Laughton and Kerby Rychel.
As mentioned before, although Horvat didn’t excel or standout in tournament, he did show to have a very good mind for the game, and excelled in the defensive end of the ice which should translate very well into the NHL as he continues to hone and improve his offensive side of the game.
Hunter Shinkaruk – 1st round, 24th overall, 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
18 GP – 5 G, 11A – 16P – 29 PIM -2
While Horvat made Team Canada, Hunter Shinkaruk unfortunately did not. Shinkaruk was expected to make the team at the beginning of the season, but suffered a hip injury early in the season which eventually led to Shinkaruk being cut from the selection camp roster as he wasn’t able to show the speedy dynamic skills that he has.
On Tuesday Shinkaruk had surgery to repair his slightly torn labrum as he, the Canucks and the Medicine Hat Tigers decided to opt for the surgery. Shinkaruk is expected to make a full recovery after a 4-6 month rehab. He is expected to be fully recovered for Canucks training camp, and likely will begin his professional career in the fall.
Joacim Eriksson – Free agent, signed June 15, 2013
21 GP – 8-11-1 – 2.84 GAA, .905 S%
Joacim Eriksson (who originally was a Philadelphia Flyers draft pick) was signed as a free agent on June 15 by the Canucks to add depth to the goaltending position after David Honzik and Morgan Clark were not retained.
Eriksson was a standout in the Swedish Hockey League, leading Skelleftea AIK to a league championship, before making the jump over to North America. Eriksson did struggle to begin the season in Utica as he adjusted to the North American sized rink and style of hockey.
But prior to Luongo’s multiple injuries this month, Eriksson was starting to put together a good run in Utica.However with the multiple recalls and re-assignments due to Luongo’s injuries – Eriksson has recently seen limited ice time.
With that being said Eriksson seems to be on the right track to a NHL career as he will continue to hone his skills in Utica for the remainder of this year, and likely next season.
Dane Fox– Free Agent, signed December 28, 2013
40 GP – 46 G, 29 A – 75P – 81 PIM +31
The Vancouver Canucks signed free agent forward Dane Fox on December 28, 2013. Fox has been putting up astronomical numbers this season with the Erie Otters and thus attracted interest from multiple NHL franchises.
While Fox’s numbers are very impressive, it is worth noting that inflated numbers often occur for overagers in the CHL, as they are physically superior to the majority of their competition. With that being said, Fox’s numbers are still very impressive as he has currently put up 46 goals in 40 games. A variety of scouting reports suggested that Fox wasn’t the player doing the ‘heavy lifting’ on his line, as it was usually young phenom Connor Mcdavid controlling and dominating the play. But with Mcdavid in Malmo for the World Juniors, Fox put up a 4 goal, 1 assist performance without his usual centre.
It will be interesting to see how Fox’s game will translate next year in the pros.
The Erie Otters are expected to make a run for the OHL championship as well as the Memorial Cup as they boast tremendous depth and high end talent, so Canucks fans should watch for Fox to make an impact during their playoff run.
Follow Ryan Biech on Twitter: @ryanbiech