Future Watch: Vancouver Canucks Hockey Cards, trio to collect – The Vancouver Canucks failed to make the playoffs in 2021. The biggest reason may be the amount of time the team was shut down due to COVID-19. When they returned, they just didn’t have the endurance to play a super-condensed schedule so they could finish the 56-game season. Don’t mistake them for not having young talent. This trio proves that.
Kole Lind was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks with the 33rd overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Known for his scoring and having to work on his defensive play, the Canucks let him marinate slowly in their system and that usually produces the best results in the end.
Lind spent four seasons with the Kelowna Rockets from 2014-2018. In that time, Lind scored 83 goals with 141 assists in 204 games. When you average over a point-per-game for your career in any league that’s going to garner some attention. In 2018, Lind got in six games in the AHL with the Utica Comets, and then he played in 120 more games scoring 70 points.
At 22, he can be an NHL regular next season as a third-line right wing.

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KOLE LIND – THREE EARLY CARDS


 
Nils Hoglander was drafted 40th overall in 2019. It was a steal. Sometimes when a player is 5′-9″, teams feel there is some risk involved. Vancouver saw a goal scorer with a pro-body and got themselves a potential star player.
The Swede played at different levels of play with Rogle BK. The highest level is the SHL, and in 2019, after coming out of the J20 level, the winger scored seven points and had seven assists in the regular season and no points in two playoff games against men. During that season, Hoglander scored seven points in eight games in the U20 World Junior Championship. The next season in the same tournament, he scored 11 points in seven games helping Sweden land a bronze medal.
Hoglander approached 30 points in his NHL rookie season on a weakened team. He will be a bigger factor next season.

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NILS HOGLANDER – THREE KEY CARDS


 
Michael DiPietro was drafted 64th overall in 2017. This talented netminder is a winner. 2016-17 was his year. While playing for his hometown Windsor Spitfire led the CHL in shutouts with six and had an impressive .917 save percentage and 2.35 goals against.
In the playoffs he was money. He had the same save percentage and walked away a Memorial Cup Champion. He won the CHL Most Outstanding Goaltender Award. Considering the pressure, a Canadian goalie endures playing in that tournament, this shows he can play at his best when the lights are brightest.
DiPietro got his first taste of the NHL in 2018-19. Then for the majority of the next two seasons, he was in net for the Utica Comets. In 40 games, DiPietro has a .909 save percentage. That’s good, and the fact that he’s had to play through these odd COVID-19 impacted seasons means he could spend a bit more time in the AHL. Don’t sleep on him.
He will be 22 next season, so there’s plenty of time for him to shine.

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MICHAEL DIPIETRO – THREE KEY CARDS

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