by Ron Spence
The Moose are playing in the first game of the AHL semi-finals tonight.
Many Vancouver fans will be cheering for them because there are some Canucks’ prospects on their roster. Contrary to what some people believe, Manitoba is not a Vancouver farm team.
Of the 32 players listed on their roster – as of today – 18 have signed Canucks’ contracts.
One Moose is a Phoenix property and four are Dallas prospects.
The Phoenix farm team is actually the Hartford Wolf Pack, and Dallas doesn’t have a dedicated AHL team this season.
They have had players in Iowa, Peoria, Houston, Grand Rapids, Hamilton, and Chicago.
Jeff Cowan – as many ‘nucks followers will remember – spent most of the winter in Peoria as the Moose had more than their quota of veterans.
The Moose have some players of their own – some were signed for the season, while others are on professional and amateur tryouts.
All of them, of course, are hoping to be the next Alex Burrows.
Many of the Canucks’ properties are fillers – signed in case of injuries – and many are long shot, high round draft picks. To illustrate this, I have created a column – on the right – which shows how many games each player played in a Canucks’ uniform this past season.
The Canucks – as the graft shows – have been bringing along young defensemen. They even brought up Taylor Ellington – a 2nd round pick – to give him experience.
Michael Grabner, a 1st round pick, didn’t see any NHL action this season, and is a long shot to make the Canucks.
The two players to watch during the series are: Cory Schneider, who we saw in a Vancouver uniform for 8 games, and Cody Hodgson, the best player not in the NHL – according to Hockey’s Future.
MOOSE GAMES – $8