Jim Benning and the Canucks staff might be practicing self-isolation, but they haven’t put the phones away just yet.
On Thursday, the Canucks announced the signing of the the 64th overall selection in the 2016 NHL Entry draft, William Lockwood.
After finishing his senior year at the University of Michigan with nine goals and 23 points in 33 games, Lockwood officially joined the Canucks by signing a two-year deal. If he didn’t sign by August 15th, he could have become an unrestricted free agent.
However, it’s clear that Benning would be loath to do that, as he sees Lockwood as a useful NHL player.
GM Jim Benning, on a conference call with media: "Lockwood is fast and plays with a lot of energy. He's willing to get in on the forecheck, he's physical and will hit. He's a guy we see as a top-9 forward, at worst a fourth-line energy guy."— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) March 19, 2020
Although Lockwood’s numbers from this season don’t jump off the page, it’s important to look at them in context. The 21-year-old was the second leading scorer on the team by five points, only trailing 23-year-old Jake Slater.
His numbers also dropped from the 33 points he had the year prior...when Quinn Hughes was still a member of the team.
However, Benning pretty much guaranteed that Lockwood is an NHL player, so his progression during training camp and Utica will be worth watching next season.
Canucks sign free-agent Marc Michaelis
Shout out to Jim Benning for providing starved Canucks fans with some news.
#Canucks sign forward Marc Michaelis to a one-year contract.— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) March 19, 2020
"Marc has exceptional offensive instincts and proven leadership," said #Canucks GM Jim Benning. “We look forward to adding his skill and playmaking ability to the franchise." https://t.co/TKK9By3PYW
He also signed 24-year-old NCAA free agent centre Marc Michaelis. I know you’ve never heard of him before, but he did put up some fantastic numbers during NCAA play this season, as noted in the Canucks press release.
“The Mannheim, Germany native was named the 2019-20 WCHA Offensive Player of the Year. Recording 44 points this season, Michaelis ranked t-3rd in the country for scoring, t-2nd in points per game (1.42) and led the WCHA in goals per game (0.65), points per game (1.42), power play points (21), shorthanded goals (3) and game-winning goals (5).”
Granted, Michaelis is a 24-year-old NCAA player, but the Canucks lack center depth in Utica amidst an overabundance of wingers.
In Other News....The Boogeyman has Mojo
There aren’t many...if any, NHL teams that have had a more disappointing season than the San Jose Sharks.
Despite legitimate Stanley Cup aspirations, they found themselves in a tailspin early, fired their coach, and currently have the third-worst record in the NHL.
Yes, even the Los Angeles Kings passed them.
Nonetheless, Bob Boughner still believes he’s the man for the job, he recently told The Athletic.
“I feel good about it. I think that given a fair chance, that I’m the guy for this team,” Boughner told The Athletic in remarks published Thursday. “And I think [general manager Doug Wilson] believes that, from what I know. I don’t want to speak for him, but I’m planning on being back, I’m planning on putting a plan in place for next year, and trying to look forward.”
San Jose went 14-20-3 under Boughner in what’s been a trying season, but it’s good to know that his mojo is still in tact.
Speaking of those Sharks, has any team been more disappointing than them? I’ve laid out a few options here. The New Jersey Devils were supposed to at least contend for the playoffs after a strong draft and a slew of offseason moves. Florida looked primed to make the leap back to the playoffs with Bobrovsky in net. Detroit, well, everyone expected them to be bad, but their failure has been historic.
Which has been the most disappointing team in the NHL this season?
This poll is closed
San Jose Sharks
New Jersey Devils
Detroit Red Wings
And Finally...It’s Binging Time
Have you been starved for NHL hockey? Have you been recycling old YouTube clips and montages to pass the time?
Well, the NHL is doing you a favour while you wait.
The NHL will continue to help fans stay connected to the League's players and the game by providing access to unique content and archived games starting Friday. https://t.co/1UuSozXhI0— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) March 19, 2020
With this announcement, full replays of games played in 2019-20 will be available, along with a slew of other NHL Original Production Content.
I guess it’s time for this blogger to catch up on the seven-game win streak he missed in Australia...let us know what you’ll be watching in the days to come as well.