The notable recall of Sven Baertschi on Friday morning was made possible by the placement of fellow veteran forward Micheal Ferland on injured reserve. At the time, the team did not state why Ferland was sidelined, but have since updated the situation. Head coach Travis Green revealed that Ferland has been placed in the NHL’s concussion protocol. The team gave no timeline for his return to action, quite possibly because Ferland’s history of head injuries could be complicating his condition. The Province’s Patrick Johnson believes that Ferland suffered the concussion at the hands of Kyle Clifford, as the two fought in Wednesday night’s match-up between the Canucks and Los Angeles Kings. Toward the end of the fight, Clifford hit Ferland with several hard rights, and the Vancouver winger seems somewhat dazed and hesitant to retaliate. Now enduring the third documented concussion of his pro career, Ferland has opted not to change the style of his game despite the health risks, as Johnson writes that he told the Vancouver media he had “zero concerns” about his concussion history when he arrived as a free agent this off-season. Now, both the player and team just have to hope that this latest concussion didn’t inflict lasting damage that could keep him out long-term.
- With Baertschi now back in Vancouver, the next man up for the Canucks in the event of another injury up front would very likely be Reid Boucher. Boucher has been named the AHL’s Player of the Month of October after recording ten goals and 13 points in eight games with the Utica Comets. Now in his fourth season with the Canucks organization, the 26-year-old forward saw his NHL games played drop from 38 in 2016-17 to 20 in 2017-18 to just one game last season. His minor league production held constant during that time too at or above a point-per-game pace. The difference so far this season though is the goal totals. While Boucher, once considered a top NHL prospect, has always had a nose for the net, ten goals and eight games is another level of scoring production. A forward with NHL experience enjoying a hot streak in the goal department is a nice asset for the Canucks, and Boucher has earned another shot at an NHL role if an opportunity arises in Vancouver.
- The AHL’s Rookie of the Month comes from the rival Vegas Golden Knights. Swedish import Lucas Elvenes took home the honor with 15 points in his first ten games with the Chicago Wolves. The 2017 fifth-round pick continues to exceed expectations and, as The Athletic’s Jesse Granger writes, he is quickly becoming a prized prospect for Vegas. Elvenes, 20, was held scoreless in a dozen games in the top-level Swedish Hockey League in his draft year. The next year, he surprisingly jumped up to 16 points in 28 games and then last year took on a regular role in the SHL for Rogle BK. Now in North America, he has already surpassed his goal total from last year with four tallies to go along with eleven assists. Granger notes that there were signs of this sudden offensive development at Golden Knights training camp, but now it is on full display in the AHL. While he doubts Elvenes gets a shot at the NHL right away this season, Granger believes that Elvenes could be just what the Knights need in an otherwise barren pipeline of young prospect talent at forward.