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Golden Knights Rivals: With Miller Signed, Canucks Can Threaten For Playoff Spot

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Quinn Hughes, Vancouver Canucks defenseman (Photo- Sammi Silber Washington Hockey Now/Vancouver Hockey Now)
Quinn Hughes, Vancouver Canucks defenseman (Photo- Sammi Silber Washington Hockey Now/Vancouver Hockey Now)

Welcome back to a new series here at Vegas Hockey Now, where we will take a look at all the teams in the Pacific Division and analyze what they did this offseason. The Golden Knights missed the playoffs for the first time in franchise history last season, so keeping an eye on the other teams in the division is key.

The Vancouver Canucks are an interesting team to watch in the Pacific Division and one I recommend all Golden Knights fans keep an eye on. During last season’s playoff push, the Canucks nearly caught the Golden Knights and snuck into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Their offseason was all about retention. They re-signed sniper Brock Boeser, superstar center JT Miller, and perhaps most importantly, their head coach, Bruce Boudreau. There are a lot of question marks on the Canucks roster, but overall, they have a couple of solid pieces that could give the Golden Knights trouble in their three regular-season matchups this upcoming season.

VANCOUVER CANUCKS

Last Season- 40-30-12, 92 points. Missed playoffs.

2022-23 Matchups- 11/21, away at 7:30, 11/26, home at 7:00, 3/21, away at 7:00

Notable Additions- Ilya Mikheyev, Curtis Lazar

Notable Subtractions- Alex Chiasson, Brad Hunt, Jaroslav Halak

The Canucks core has slowly been built through the draft over the past couple of seasons, with Bo Horvat, Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, Vasily Podkolzin, and Brock Boeser all coming in. But outside of these players and JT Miller, the Canucks depth is a bit of a concern.

Their defense is worrisome, with veterans like Luke Schenn, Tyler Myers, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson often being the source of defensive criticism and mistakes.

In net they have Thatcher Demko, who has taken over the starting role ever since Jakob Markstrom joined the Calgary Flames. He is most famous in Las Vegas for his 2020 second-round performance against the Golden Knights, where he stole the show and got the Canucks to a game seven.

The Canucks will be one of the most important teams to watch this season if you are a Golden Knights fan, given they are projected to be in a playoff bubble position once more. The Golden Knights and Canucks, despite being in the same division, only play three times this upcoming season.

The two teams have met in a playoff series once, in the aforementioned 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

VHN’s Pacific Division Prediction– 5th Pacific Division, 8th Western Conference

Projected Depth Chart

Elias Pettersson- JT Miller- Brock Boeser

Conor Garland- Bo Horvat- Andrei Kuzmenko

Vasily Podkolzin- Jason Dickinson- Ilya Mikheyev

Tanner Pearson- Curtis Lazar- Nils Hoglander

Quinn Hughes- Luke Schenn

Oliver Ekman-Larsson- Tyler Myers

Travis Dermott- Tucker Poolman

Thatcher Demko/Spencer Martin

Welcome to your new home for Vegas Golden Knights breaking news, analysis and opinion. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and don't forget to subscribe to VHN+ for all of our members-only content the entire Vegas Hockey Now crew plus an ad-free browsing experience.

Owen Krepps covers the Vegas Golden Knights for Vegas Hockey Now. A 2022 Robert Morris University graduate, he has previously written for RMU Sentry Media, Colonial Sports Network, The Titusville Herald, Pittsburgh Sports Now, and Pittsburgh Hockey Now.

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