NHL Rumors: Young Canucks Forward May Start Season in AHL

The Vancouver Canucks have really loaded up their forward group this season as they added two more top-nine pieces to the team in free agency. The arrival of Ilya Mikheyev and Andrei Kuzmenko make the forwards much more crowded than last season.

With the lack of space, Rick Dhaliwal suggests that Nils Hoglander may be bound for the AHL this season. There is an argument there considering the young forward may develop better on the first line and all special teams in the AHL rather than the bottom-six and no special teams in the NHL.

The Canucks have nine forwards who they would likely choose to play in the top-nine over Hoglander and those players would be J.T. Miller, Elias Pettersson, Bo Horvat, Brock Boeser, Tanner Pearson, Conor Garland, Vasily Podkolzin, Kuzmenko, and Mikheyev.

If Hoglander is playing on the fourth line with Curtis Lazar and Jason Dickinson, there is little ice time available and few offensive opportunities. Next season there will likely be a top-nine role once again available for Hoglander considering Horvat and Kuzmenko will need new contracts. Since Hoglander is still exempt from waivers, it gives the Canucks the option.

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