2016-17 Utica Comets

Talk about your favorite prospects and the happenings of the Canucks AHL affiliate, the Utica Comets.

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SKYO
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2016-17 Utica Comets

Post by SKYO » Wed Oct 12, 2016 5:47 am

Forward:
Derek Hulak - Mike Zalewski - Michael Carcone
Joseph LaBate - Cole Cassels - Borna Rendulic
Carter Bancks - Wacey Hamilton - Alexandre Grenier
Darren Archibald - Michael Chaput - Curtis Valk/Marco Roy
(Cody Kunyk - Danny Moynihan - Jayson Megna)

Defence:
Andrey Pedan - Troy Stecher
Jordan Subban - David Shields
Ashton Sautner - John Negrin
(Evan McEneny - Chad Billins)

Goalie:
Thatcher Demko
Richard Bachman
Michael Garteig

For Canucks purposes besides Stecher getting a quick look in Utica, long term I hope Cassels and Rendulic become a combo pairing, with LaBate.

Plus Zale and Carcone, Carcone played pretty awesome in preseason, hope he keeps up his hustle/crash bang play.

Go Demko! he should start off mediocre till he settles down and Rollie starts to work with him a lot with the technical aspects of the game.

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** canucksarmy did a good job of introducing all the comet players this season -
http://canucksarmy.com/2016/10/14/the-c ... -new-faces
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Re: 2016-17 Utica Comets

Post by ESQ » Mon Oct 17, 2016 11:20 am

This is kind of interesting - in 2 games so far, Jordan Subban has been in on every Comets goal so far with 2g/2a in 2 games.

Grenier is the only player with a + rating so far after two 5-2 losses.

Meanwhile, Stecher has one assist thus far.

Looks like Subban wants to be the first call-up.

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Re: 2016-17 Utica Comets

Post by Lloyd Braun » Mon Oct 17, 2016 12:33 pm

I still think Stecher is the first call-up (or #2 after Pedan), regardless of Subban's numbers. I've meant it when I've said all along that Subban will likely provide more offense, at least if his past production is to be believed. But Stecher is a stronger all-around player. He's more of a "good puck mover" than he is a "good point producer," which is fine. A couple excellent preseason games is too small a sample size to count for more than his past production at lower levels, which has been pretty good, but not nearly enough to qualify him as an "NHL-level offensive-defenseman prospect".

We shouldn't compare the two on point totals, because if we do, Subban's gonna look much better than he actually is.

In my mind, Subban looks like Larsen-lite, whereas Stecher is a different category of player entirely. He's somewhere between a smaller but quicker Tanev, and a better, faster, Biega. And like those two, if he puts up 20-30 points or so in his prime, it'll be a big bonus because he won't be counted on to outscore any defensive deficiencies.

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Re: 2016-17 Utica Comets

Post by lostinarink » Mon Oct 17, 2016 1:46 pm

SKYO wrote:Forward:
Derek Hulak - Mike Zalewski - Michael Carcone
Joseph LaBate - Cole Cassels - Borna Rendulic
Carter Bancks - Wacey Hamilton - Alexandre Grenier
Darren Archibald - Michael Chaput - Curtis Valk/Marco Roy
(Cody Kunyk - Danny Moynihan - Jayson Megna)

Defence:
Andrey Pedan - Troy Stecher
Jordan Subban - David Shields
Ashton Sautner - John Negrin
(Evan McEneny - Chad Billins)

Goalie:
Thatcher Demko
Richard Bachman
Michael Garteig
For me, I do not look at the team in terms of AHL potential, but rather NHL potential. What sort of organization depth/future NHL impact do theses players represent.

Goalie - Strong depth. Demko has potential to be elite. Garteig, while higher risk, is still likely to be a future NHL goalie. Whether it will be as a starter or backup will be determined by the impact of finally getting strong goaltender coaching for the first time in his career.

Defense - Good depth. I see Stecher as having top 4 potential while all of Peden, Subban, Sautner, and McEneny (and Nilsson) all have potential to carve out decent NHL careers. I would not expect all 5 of them to make it, but each should at least get a taste at some point. What they make of it only time will tell.

The Comets lineup of course does not capture the full strength of the D prospects: Juolevi has potential to be top 2, Brisbois may end up top 4. The rest are bigger question marks but I am not ready to write off Candella, Olson, Neill yet, - even Cederholm may surprise like Rodin or Larson. When you consider the full prospect depth, the rating would be higher (ie strong depth)

Forward - Very Weak depth - This is where things start to fall apart in terms of looking at the current Comet lineup. I see the group as career minor leaguers and/or NHL callups at best. Of the group, Cassels appears to be the only one that still has decent chance at an NHL career, however, he would need to make major steps forward before that would happen. If the Canucks were to release all NHL signed Comet forwards, and started from scratch, they probably not notice any drop in quality.... These Comets do not look like they will be part of the Canuck future.

Fortunately, the story at the junior/NCAA level is different. That is where the future is: Boeser, Zhukenov, Gaudette, Jasek, McKenzie, Stukel all still look like they have potential.


When the Canucks come calling for callups, the Comets have the depth at the back end with goalies and defense. The front end however is a total disaster. There is no organizational depth at the forward position that the Canucks will be able to draw on this year. It is no wonder they tried to sneak Etem down. They needed him there. Any forward callups that they make are likely to be press box bench warmers at best.

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Re: 2016-17 Utica Comets

Post by ESQ » Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:52 pm

Lloyd Braun wrote:I still think Stecher is the first call-up (or #2 after Pedan), regardless of Subban's numbers. I've meant it when I've said all along that Subban will likely provide more offense, at least if his past production is to be believed. But Stecher is a stronger all-around player. He's more of a "good puck mover" than he is a "good point producer," which is fine.
Subban is looking like more of an "excellent point producer", and brings something different to the table than Stecher - both in terms of as a call-up and in terms of long-term potential.

I'm not yet sure if Jordan is demonstrating that his ceiling is incredibly high (he is the guy who PK said was the most talented Subban), or if he will wind up as an elite AHLer. I'd hate to see his offensive development stunted because he's a risk-taker.

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Re: 2016-17 Utica Comets

Post by Lloyd Braun » Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:19 pm

I don't think it's possible, in today's NHL, to play defense without being at least a capable defender. That's why Larsen's spot has been in question despite having a great offensive game, and why Subban was sent down so early.

You look at a guy like Cam Barker, who scored 40 points in 68 games at age 22 in his first full NHL season... then disappeared. He always had a great offensive skillset (hence his KHL production: the league's only D with a better PPG than Larsen), but didn't have the speed to recover from his risk-taking style, or the physicality to bowl a guy over when caught out of position. Soon, he was coached to avoid taking chances because it was understood that he lacked recovery speed, and his numbers plummeted as a result. He was out of the league very quickly. Great offensive d-man, but couldn't play in the NHL.

Subban, like Larsen, has plenty of recovery speed. But his decision-making is suspect. If we choose to believe the media, then apparently he keeps making the same positioning errors, and unless he improves that, he will never be an NHL regular.

But he'll still be a fantastic player in the KHL, just like Barker.

We'll know within the next couple of years or so. It could easily go either way.

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Re: 2016-17 Utica Comets

Post by SKYO » Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:06 pm

Lloyd Braun wrote:I don't think it's possible, in today's NHL, to play defense without being at least a capable defender. That's why Larsen's spot has been in question despite having a great offensive game, and why Subban was sent down so early.

You look at a guy like Cam Barker, who scored 40 points in 68 games at age 22 in his first full NHL season... then disappeared. He always had a great offensive skillset (hence his KHL production: the league's only D with a better PPG than Larsen), but didn't have the speed to recover from his risk-taking style, or the physicality to bowl a guy over when caught out of position. Soon, he was coached to avoid taking chances because it was understood that he lacked recovery speed, and his numbers plummeted as a result. He was out of the league very quickly. Great offensive d-man, but couldn't play in the NHL.

Subban, like Larsen, has plenty of recovery speed. But his decision-making is suspect. If we choose to believe the media, then apparently he keeps making the same positioning errors, and unless he improves that, he will never be an NHL regular.

But he'll still be a fantastic player in the KHL, just like Barker.

We'll know within the next couple of years or so. It could easily go either way.
As for Cam Barker this random guy on reddit said this about him, it's a pretty good post.
A combination of many things really. There are rumours that he was a lazy and unmotivated player, and while I can't say that was the case for sure I can definitely say the below:

- Skating: Can Barker was an average skater at the junior level, thus at the NHL level he was a below average skater. He didn't have the speed or mobility to hang with the top guys in the NHL

- Hockey IQ: Lack of footspeed can be made up for if you can anticipate plays and stay in position, but Barker could not do that.

- Injuries: He got hurt a lot, which made it difficult for him to make those improvements.

You might be asking then, why was he such a highly touted prospect?

It was his combination of size and offensive flair. Scouts saw a big guy who could work in his own end by outmuscling guys and put up big point offensively. Sadly this caused issues like skating and hockey IQ to be masked. There's no doubt that Barker had great offensive instincts -- in Chicago he had proven himself to be a great PP quarterback. Sadly, no other aspect of his game was NHL caliber.

I've always maintained that two of the biggest things to fear when drafting a young player are blazing speed or tremendous strength. A guy who is simply faster or stronger than his opponents at the junior level (or younger) is at risk of depending on those tools as a crutch and not developing the other aspects of his game well enough to stick at the NHL level when those advantages eventually diminish.

When you draft a player at 18 you're drafting potential. These are guys who have had success throughout their hockey career and who you expect to be able to adapt their game to the NHL level based on how they play the game, how their personalities are, etc. For some guys what they did in junior doesn't translate to the NHL and they have to adapt. Brad Stuart, for example, was an offensive defenseman until he made it to the NHL. A lot of guys who dominated on size as great scorers can't reproduce that as NHLers and have to take on a checking role. Some centers need to make the transition to wing because they don't have the skill set to stay at centre at the NHL level.
All solid points, it's also why I think Stecher will have a good NHL career as he has everything Barker didn't, Troy has the IQ, skating, skills, all out hustle and determination to get better, plus he's vocal (a small attribute that should be good for playing with sbisa)

Larsen should be good as a temporary stop gap. :mrgreen:
But I admit it's nice to see his speed and above average passing ability, just someone has to tell him you don't have to pass to the Sedins 24/7 on the powerplay, it's ok to shoot the puck more.

Subban all summer has been pumping iron, so he's in supreme shape, but seems the Canucks already had their mind set before preseason started to send him to the minors, it's too bad as I wanted to see what he could do vs the some of the NHL pros.
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Re: 2016-17 Utica Comets

Post by micky107 » Thu Oct 20, 2016 1:01 am

As did I. It's his time now and he will do everything he can to get noticed.
Subban is a big time competitor and won't just drift away into never-never land.

It will be hard for him competing with Stecher for dibs on first call-up.
Hell, I like them both, but;

Hard to imagine seeing them both with the parent club at the same time, too bad really.
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Re: 2016-17 Utica Comets

Post by Lloyd Braun » Thu Oct 20, 2016 6:34 pm

micky107 wrote:Hard to imagine seeing them both with the parent club at the same time, too bad really.
I can't see all three of Subban, Larsen, and Stecher on the team... but I can see two of them, especially if one is Stecher who has similar size/skating but plays differently compared to the other two. Of course, Tanev and Gudbranson both also being right-handed means there'll need to be a trade or one lost as a UFA in order to open up that second RD spot.

Larsen is four years older than Stecher and five years older than Subban, which is why he's easily the most developed of the three and why he's started the year on the team. But the other two will be nipping at his ankles for a long time to come. It'll be interesting to see which one (or two) of the three doesn't make it.

It reminds me of the situation Nashville has been in for years, which is a very good thing. They've consistently had too many NHL-ready defensemen pushing their way onto the team. It's given them plenty of opportunities to upgrade other positions as needed, such as in the Seth Jones trade. We talk about our obvious lack of high-end scoring forwards, but if a Seguin-like situation pops up in the future, our deep defense will allow us to make a big trade and find that star forward.

Okay... I'll go ahead and say it... "Benning is a genius!" It's wonderful how he's managed to quickly turn around our aging defensive core. He deserves more credit for that. Two years ago, the situation was dire.

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Re: 2016-17 Utica Comets

Post by micky107 » Fri Oct 21, 2016 12:44 am

Lloyd Braun wrote:
micky107 wrote:Hard to imagine seeing them both with the parent club at the same time, too bad really.
I can't see all three of Subban, Larsen, and Stecher on the team... but I can see two of them, especially if one is Stecher who has similar size/skating but plays differently compared to the other two. Of course, Tanev and Gudbranson both also being right-handed means there'll need to be a trade or one lost as a UFA in order to open up that second RD spot.

Larsen is four years older than Stecher and five years older than Subban, which is why he's easily the most developed of the three and why he's started the year on the team. But the other two will be nipping at his ankles for a long time to come. It'll be interesting to see which one (or two) of the three doesn't make it.

It reminds me of the situation Nashville has been in for years, which is a very good thing. They've consistently had too many NHL-ready defensemen pushing their way onto the team. It's given them plenty of opportunities to upgrade other positions as needed, such as in the Seth Jones trade. We talk about our obvious lack of high-end scoring forwards, but if a Seguin-like situation pops up in the future, our deep defense will allow us to make a big trade and find that star forward.

Okay... I'll go ahead and say it... "Benning is a genius!" It's wonderful how he's managed to quickly turn around our aging defensive core. He deserves more credit for that. Two years ago, the situation was dire.
Yeah, totally agree and great post!
Trying to "Overstay" our window was very nearly catastrophic. I look at the average age of this new Comet team now, compared to two years ago and think it's fair to say "Good job Jim".
Already reflecting on the Canucks..
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Re: 2016-17 Utica Comets

Post by Ronning's Ghost » Sat Oct 29, 2016 12:56 am

Has anyone seen or heard any news of how Demko is doing ?

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Re: 2016-17 Utica Comets

Post by micky107 » Sat Oct 29, 2016 6:00 am

Ronning's Ghost wrote:Has anyone seen or heard any news of how Demko is doing ?
The Comets have lost all 6 of their games with Demko playing 3 of them allowing 11 goals.
Bachman lost the other 3 games.
Goalies have been left out to dry... :(
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Re: 2016-17 Utica Comets

Post by micky107 » Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:32 am

The Comet's site isn't always accurate.
So it now seems Demko os 0 and 3
Bachman is 2 and 2.

I am not going to let go of this notion of seeing what Jordan Subban could do playing wing.
Still on the point on the PP though.
I do not think this is a joke.
I honestly think he can have an NHL career, and a decent one, if this could work.....
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Re: 2016-17 Utica Comets

Post by ESQ » Mon Nov 07, 2016 11:45 am

The Comets have been dreadful, but:

Jordan Subban has points on 11 of the team's 25 goals scored this season.

Demko hasn't gotten blown out in any of his 4 starts.

...alright, its stretching for positives at this point!

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Re: 2016-17 Utica Comets

Post by Tanti09 » Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:33 pm

So after 13 games the Comets are last overall in the AHL with 7 points and struggling to score goals (sound familiar?). Chaput is the leading point-getter with 13 points, followed by Subban and Grenier (11 points). Curtis Valk leads team with 5 goals. Labate is leading PIM taker with 34.

Hopefully Jake can get there and make some noise offensively.

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