It looks like Zack MacEwen won’t follow the same path as other prospects who were recently recalled to the Vancouver Canucks.
Guys like Guillaume Brisebois and Tanner Kero were recently recalled, only to sit in the press box. The same won’t be the same for Zack MacEwen, who will make his NHL debut against the San Jose Sharks at Rogers Arena on Monday night.
Travis Green announced during his morning press conference that MacEwen would slide into the lineup tonight, although he wouldn’t say who would be coming out of the line-up in place of MacEwen.
The safe bet would be Markus Granlund, as Kent Basky pointed out in his game preview. Granlund played a team-low 8:04 against the Calgary Flames on Saturday night. He was also the only player other than Antoine Roussel that didn’t register any time on special teams against Calgary.
MacEwen Earns Opportunity
Travis Green was very blunt when asked what impressed him most about Zack MacEwen.
“He’s improved, quite frankly, that’s what impresses me the most,” Green said during his morning press conference.
MacEwen was signed in 2017 as the prototypical “late bloomer,” but his production in the AHL has dramatically increased this season. He had ten goals and 33 points in 66 games as a rookie in the AHL last season. This season, he has 17 goals and 42 points in 49 games.
Down in Utica, MacEwen has arguably been the Comets most valuable player this season. He’s third on the team in points behind Kero and Reid Boucher. He’s also been a factor on both the power play and penalty kill at points throughout the season.
MacEwen also bring an element that the Canucks lack, and that’s physicality. His foot speed has also been a non-issue at the AHL level, despite the fact that he stands at 6’4”, 220 pounds.
Odds are that MacEwen just replaces Granlund and starts on the same line as Brandon Sutter and Jake Virtanen tonight. Sutter was the only regular forward who participated in the optional morning skate, along with MacEwen this morning.
No matter where he starts, it’s sure to be an exciting night for both MacEwen and the fan base, many of whom have been waiting tirelessly for this recall. Get yourself amped up for his debut by checking out his body of work for the Comets this season.