Canucks, Soucy and Juulsen

Soucy’s Imminent Return Will Juggle Canucks D-Corps

The return of big left-handed defenceman Carson Soucy is getting close for the Vancouver Canucks and his arrival off injured reserve will lead to some decision making on the back end.

“We’re gonna have some tough decisions,” Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet said after practice on Saturday. “When Souc’ gets back, whoever is gonna go out is a good defenceman. It’s a good problem to have.”

Although it may throw off the ideal 3 lefty – 3 righty balance, there’s a likelihood that 26-year-old, right-handed defenceman and Surrey native Noah Juulsen is the odd-man out. With the acquisition of giant lefty blueliner Nikita Zadorov from the Calgary Flames on November 30th, a deal that came almost three weeks after Soucy’s injury, the Canucks will be going with a enormous crew of D-men, reminiscent of the type around the NHL that have won recent Stanley Cups.

“When Souc’ gets back in our line-up, when you look at our D, it’s very long and big,” Tocchet said. “Which I think, when you play a team in a seven-game series, those are the teams that are hard to play against. We’re trying to create that, but you’ve still gotta make plays, you’ve still gotta protect the middle of the ice and stuff like that. We’re still not there yet, but we’re getting there.”

If Soucy is not back in the line-up for the home game on Tuesday night against the Ottawa Senators, there’s a strong likelihood he’ll dress in St. Louis against the Blues on Thursday night to start the Canucks seven-game road trip. He’d be a strong candidate to play the right side, something he’s done in the past, while leaving Zadorov and Ian Cole on the left.

Soucy last played November 12th in Montreal when he was injured against the Canadiens on a blocked shot.

A family friend of Soucy’s who grew up in his hometown of Irma, Alberta, has been added to Team Canada’s World Junior roster. That would be forward Jagger Firkus, a Seattle Kraken prospect who plays for the Moose Jaw Warriors in the Western League.

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Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.