Saturday, March 10, 2007

Moose call!

Over the course of the season, the Canucks have called up various players from the farm to fill up roster spots. So far we have recalled Alex Edler, Patrick Coloumbe, Brad Moran, Brandon Reid, Lee Goren, Jesse Schultz, Nathan McIver, Rick Rypien, Tyler Bouck and Yannick Tremblay from Manitoba Moose to replace players who has been injured, or sometimes to add some depth during a road trip or see if anyone can help with our depleted offense back in the beginning of the year.

I think most of those players were able to make the clear day rosters for the Moose except for Tyler Bouck (who I think was injured for most of the year) and Patrick Coloumbe who was sent to our ECHL affiliate, Victoria Salmon Kings.

Out of all those players, Alex Edler is the one that left the most impact in terms of how quickly he has developed and he gives the Canucks fans something to look forward to once his playing career in the NHL begins.

He is pretty solid for a rookie defenceman who has only had 1 season of experience playing North American style of hockey. On the first day he was called up, he had a rare shift in which he ended up on the same ice as Joe Sakic (Colorado Avalanche) and Edler played him as if he was a veteran defenceman by not giving him a scoring chance or making the rookie mistake of panicking and taking a penalty. Everyone was impressed.

In his first stint with the Canucks, he was good defensively and also showed that he can be an advantage offensively. He knew when to join the rush, made some great first passes out of the zone, and can just see ice very well and quickly analyze the situation to make a smart play. It seemed like Edler can do no wrong! He was almost perfect everytime he was asked to step up, and this did nothing but increase his confidence on the ice.

The down side of Edler's play, however, is his size. He may be tall, but he can get easily pushed around by other players. In the off-season, he definitely needs to add more muscle mass. Right now, I don't think he is used to the very physical side of North American hockey. He doesn't hit very often, instead, he's the one who receives those hits, but at least he compensates for his current lack of physical play by making smart plays.

As for him being NHL-ready next year? Definitely. He is NHL ready this year, which no one expected. No one even knew about him except for Vancouver Canucks and Detroit Red Wings on the year he was drafted. Vancouver, apparently, had to trade up just to make sure Detroit wouldn't draft Edler ahead of them. If we weren't so packed with defencemen right now (Vancouver currently has 7), I'm sure Edler would have stayed with the big club after his first call up. But for now, we just have to wait for next season and hope he is a much more complete player by then.

Related articles:
Canucks call up gives rookie boost (Winnipeg Sun)
Edler's Moose career won't last (Winnipeg Free Press)
Moose gets promising rookie Edler for tune up (Winnipeg Free Press)
Edler has made long, graceful strides ( AHL update)


Objectionable Conduct said...

You guys sent Patrick down? I am seriously pouting. I mean, I know he needs more ice time, but this sucks, because he was far too fun for his own good.

Objectionable Conduct said...

Patrick is back in Manitoba lol. Which is good. Stupid Canucks.