As Alain Vigneault says, young players need to play. At long last, Jordan Schroeder is about to be get that chance tomorrow night against Calgary (on a related note: guess who else played his first game against the Flames?)
At the start of the season the Canucks opted to go with nine defenseman, but after a slow start and an inconsistent effort from the jumbled second line, Jim Vandeermeer was waived back to Chicago and up comes the best center prospect (currently) in the organization.
The 22nd overall pick from 2009 - who will wear #45 - should eventually end up commanding a second line that includes anyone from Mason Raymond, Chris Higgins and Alex Burrows to Zack Kassian and Jannik Hansen. Ideally big Z stays up with the twins and let Shredder (is that sticking yet?) be the pivot between Burrows and Raymond but staying on the third line with sheltered minutes may make more sense.
In 178 games with the Moose since 2009, Schroeder has added 44 goals along with 56 helpers. We haven't seen much of him play at the NHL outside of preseason events, but from the little we've seen he's got great speed and hands along with the creativity and vision which (we hope) offsets the knock against his stature.
While we're at it, would now be a good time to remind everyone that Schroeder entered the draft ranked #5 among North American skaters while Cody Hodgson was ranked #9 the year before? Probably not, never mind.
As we've bemoaned ad nauseum, there aren't many Vancouver prospects worth being legitimately excited about. Schroeder however is definitely one of them. He's been part of the team's evolution for a few years, but always taking a backseat to Cory Schneider or Hodgson.