The Canucks host the Seattle Kraken Thursday evening, a team Vancouver managed to beat all four times they faced them last regular season. The preseason records don’t mean much, other than the fact the local boys would like to get a win tonight considering who’s in the line-up.
The Canucks will dress the likes of J.T. Miller, Tanner Pearson, Elias Pettersson, Conor Garland, Quinn Hughes and Thatcher Demko.
Lefty Hughes will skate on the right side with Oliver Ekman-Larsson to his left as that legitimate line-up experiment continues.
Professional try-out (PTO) invitee Danny Dekeyser will likely play to the left of Tucker Poolman, who appears to have returned to good health after battling headaches last season, while prospect Jack Rathbone will get another game while working with local boy Kyle Burroughs.
The Karlsson Factor
Linus Karlsson has played his way into the minds of the Vancouver Canucks brass this preseason, lighting the lamp in multiple situations. The 22-year-old Swede was projected for AHL Abbotsford this coming season, but he’s opened some eyes and will get another chance to prove himself this evening.
“He’s a goal scorer, we’ll give him an opportunity to work in tight, he puts the puck in the net,” Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau said Thursday morning, “if you want to give people fair chances, you put them with the best, so that’s what we’re doing.”
Expect Karlsson to play on a line with fellow-Swede Pettersson against the Kraken, while also seeing some time on the second power play unit.
“Ever since the first day of rookie camp, his pace has been picking up,” Boudreau added. “So that’s what I’m looking at, to see if his pace keeps increasing to get to be an NHL pace.”
“I am looking forward to playing, such good players I’ll play with, it’s a great opportunity for me tonight to show how good I am,” Karlsson said Thursday morning. “It’s a high pace out there, but I feel I’m getting used to it.”
Karlsson had a 46-point in 52-game effort last season in Sweden’s top SHL. He dominated during Canucks Development Camp in July, scored three goals during the Young Stars Classic in Penticton earlier this month, and scored multiple goals in training camp scrimmages last week.
“It means much to me to get the opportunity to pay with such good players, now it’s up to me to show what I want and try to get a spot.”