Horvat and Shinkaruk – Canucks To Keep Pair of 18 Year Olds?


Maybe it is a result of a team that was in a cap crunch, or maybe they forced the hand by their play, but the Vancouver Canucks look to be breaking camp with both of their 2013 first round draft picks on the roster.

Sep 18, 2013; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Mark Acrobello (62) reaches across Vancouver Canucks forward Hunter Shinkaruk (48) during the third period at Rogers Arena. The Edmonton Oilers won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Bo Horvat, who was selected with the 9th overall pick that the Canucks acquired from the Devils for Cory Schneider, and Hunter Shinkaruk, the 24th overall pick, have both put themselves in a position to at least get a look in the early going as the Canucks re-tool their aging lineup with some new blood.

It is also a way to fit in under the cap, should they want to carry 23 players, and then there is always the question of the health of David Booth.  Carrying one 18 year old is a risky endeavour, unless they are top 5 picks.  After that it  is a crapshoot as to whether the players’s development is best served by returning to junior or to stay with the NHL club and maybe get less quality ice time.

I can’t remember a time when a team had two 18 year old rookies in the lineup at once, that made a real impact.  The Canucks are taking a risk, especially with a demanding new coach in John Tortorella, and this seems like a move that will do more harm than good in the long run.

It might be an audition, but I would be surprised, if not shocked, if both Horvat and Shinkaruk are still on the Canucks roster having played more than 10 games this season.