It may have been predictable, but it’s unfortunate all the same. Hunter Shankaruk, the Canucks 24th overall pick in the 2013 NHL entry draft, was assigned to Vancouver’s AHL affiliate in Utica this morning.
This just in…Hunter Shinkaruk has been assigned to Utica. #Canucks
— TSN Radio Vancouver (@TSN1040) October 3, 2014
After a strong showing in preseason last year, the 19 year old from Calgary impressed once again in the four games he played this year, notching two goals and collecting another two helpers. However, with several veterans ahead of him in the depth chart (not to mention the excellent play of fellow rookie, Linden Vey), Shinkaruk once again finds himself on the outside looking in.
Most people saw this coming (even if we didn’t want to admit it). Shinkaruk wasn’t really being used to his strengths and skill set and as a player made in the mold of a top 6 winger, the former Medicine Hat Tiger will get big minutes with the Comets and should have the opportunity to skate against strong opposing players. He doesn’t face the same dilemma as Bo Horvat with regard to his eligibility in the pros. He has already played his four years in Medicine Hat, thus the move to Utica.
While the consensus was that Shinkaruk would be sent down, the majority of people (fans, media, upper management *fingers crossed*) also believe we’ll see Shinkaruk back up with the Canucks should injuries become an issue. His speed, stick handling, and shot release are fantastic and would be a nice addition to a Canucks team that has based a lot of it’s attack on possession.
Utica will play their first two regular season games against the Toronto Marlies on October 11th and 12th. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on Shinkaruk’s play and status with the Canucks.
Featured Image: canucks.nhl.com