Welcome to the 2022 Edition of the Vancouver Canucks Top 25 Under 25 Rankings.
This is our third iteration of the list since I’ve been with Nucks Misconduct. We got this going again in 2020 during those good ol’ lockdown days, and ran it again during the 2021 calendar year.
During the last two annual rankings, Elias Pettersson finished first overall.
Will that continue for our 2022 list?
Hopefully you’re one of those “it’s about the journey, not the destination” kind of people, because we won’t reveal #1 on this year’s list for a few more weeks.
For now, we kick off our rankings with some notable players who have aged out of contention or have left the team since our last ranking.
To be eligible for this year’s list, players must be born after April 15th, 1998. This eliminates anyone who might turn 25 during the NHL season. It’s an adjustment from previous rankings, since January 1st, 1997 was the cut-off for last year’s list.
Also, if you’re interested in checking out our past rankings, you can check them out below.
The “Who Got Old” Category
1. Brock Boeser
Turned 25 on February 25th, 2022
2021-22 Stats: 71 GP, 23-23-46
After five full NHL seasons, Brock Boeser is officially no longer a youngin’.
It’s been well-documented that the 2021-22 campaign was a tough one for Boeser. Nonetheless, he received a new contract (and a raise) during the offseason.
Number 3 on last year’s list will look to hit the 30-goal plateau for the first time in his career in 2022-23.
2. Will Lockwood
Turns 25 on June 20th, 2023
2021-22 Stats: 13 GP, 0-0-0
Will Lockwood, who ranked 11th in 2021, missed the cut by 10 days.
He likely would have ranked top-10 if he were included, which is more an indictment of the Canucks dwindling prospect depth, rather than a pat on the back for ol’ Will.
This is a proverbial make-or-break season for Lockwood, who’s entering his third pro season since leaving the NCAA.
3. Noah Juulsen
Turned 25 on April 2nd, 2022
2021-22 Stats: 8 GP, 0-2-2
While we were writing our rankings up last year, Olli Juolevi (ranked 8th in 2021) was traded for Juho Lammikko and Noah Juulsen.
Like Juolevi, Noah Juulsen was a former first-round pick who suffered through a slew of injury issues. Thankfully for him, Juulsen made it through a full pro-hockey campaign for the first time since 2017-18.
He was re-signed by the Canucks on July 1st to a one-year, two-way extension.
4. Wyatt Kalynuk
Turned 25 on April 14th, 2022
2021-22 Stats (CHI): 5 GP, 0-0-0
The Canucks took a flier on 25-year-old Wyatt Kalynuk on the opening day of free agency this offseason.
Back in 2020-21, Kalynuk rocketed up the Chicago Blackhawks depth chart. The defencemen posted 10 points in 8 AHL games before being recalled to the NHL, where he then posted nine points in 21 games.
Not bad for a blueline call-up.
An ankle injury limited his effectiveness last season, but the relatively young defencemen should at least give Jack Rathbone a push during training camp.
5. Guillaume Brisebois
Turned 25 on July 21st, 2022
2021-22 Stats: 1 GP, 0-0-0
Ahh, who could forget BREEZE-BAH.
I always love a good reminder of the dearly missed Jason Botchford. RIP.
In terms of Brisebois, he’s played 10 NHL games total, including one last season. He’s a serviceable AHL defenceman who was re-signed to a one-year, two-way contract during the offseason.
The “Who’s Departed” Category
1. Olli Juolevi
2021 Canucks’ Top 25 Under 25 Ranking: #8
2021-22 Stats: 18 GP, 0-0-0
How time flies.
Former 2016 fifth-overall draft pick Olli Juolevi is on his third NHL team since being traded from the Canucks last October. He played 10 games with the Florida Panthers before being claimed off of waivers by the Detroit Red Wings, where he played another eight games.
Juolevi signed a one-year deal with the Anaheim Ducks this offseason.
2. Jonah Gadjovich
2021 Canucks’ Top 25 Under 25 Ranking: #12
2021-22 Stats: 43 GP, 1-2-3
In the midst of writing up our Top 25 Under 25 profiles last season, one of the biggest climbers, Jonah Gadjovich, was plucked off of the waiver wire by the San Jose Sharks.
Despite scoring nearly a goal per game in 2020-21 with the Utica Comets, Gadjovich found himself in more of an old-school, enforcer role with the Sharks last season.
His 10 fights tied him with five other players for seventh overall in the NHL last season.
3. Lukas Jasek
2021 Canucks’ Top 25 Under 25 Ranking: #19
2021-22 Stats (Liiga): 54 GP, 13-38-51
Despite slowly ascending on the Canucks’ organizational depth chart, former sixth-round pick Lukas Jasek bolted to SM-Liiga in Finland last offseason.
He had a successful season, finishing third in league scoring.
Ironically enough, one of two players ahead of him in league scoring was former Canucks’ draft pick, Petrus Palmu.
4. Toni Utunen
2021 Canucks’ Top 25 Under 25 Ranking: #21
2021-22 Stats (Liiga): 59 GP, 4-7-11
Best remembered for his overtime-winning goal in World Junior action against Michael DiPietro and Team Canada during the 2019 World Juniors, former Canucks’ draft pick Toni Utunen spent another season in Finland.
The steady defencemen officially had his rights released by the Canucks this offseason, when they chose not to sign him.