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Canucks in the running for two top NCAA free-agents

Canucks insider Rick Dhaliwal with another scoop!

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According to a report from Vancouver Canucks insider Rick Dhaliwal, the Canucks are currently pursuing NCAA free-agent defencemen Brady Keeper and Colton Poolman.

Keeper, a 21 year old blue liner from Cross Lake, Manitoba recently concluded his season with University of Maine where he put up six goals and 22 points in 37 games. Poolman, brother of Winnipeg Jets draft pick Tucker Poolman, just concluded his sophomore season with North Dakota where he played with Canucks rookie Brock Boeser last season. This season the 22 year old blue liner put up seven goals and 29 points in 40 games. The East Grand Forks, Minnesota product is no stranger to BC as well, having played 57 games with the Penticton Vees back in 2015-16.

Insider Report: Plans for three Canucks prospects leaked

According to several reports from Vancouver Canucks insider Rick Dhaliwal, Canucks general manager Jim Benning has some big plans for this upcoming offseason for a trio of Canucks prospects.

No, this isn’t about top prospects Elias Pettersson and Jonathan Dahlen, both of whom are absolutely TEARING up the Swedish Elite League this season, rather Dhaliwal uncovered Benning’s plans for prospects Will Lockwood, Cole Candella and Jakob Stukel.

Up first, it looks like Stukel’s time in the Canucks system is coming to an end:

The Surrey, BC native has 37 goals and 64 points in 71 games with the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen this season, but seeing as how he’s 21 years old playing mostly against 18 and 19 year-olds, his points total is likely a bit inflated. 

While the former 6th round pick (154th overall) may not have a future with the Canucks, his agent is hopeful that he can generate interest from another NHL team this upcoming offseason.

Up next, Sudbury Wolves defenceman Cole Candella:

 The smooth skating blue liner has five goals and 33 points in 68 games with the Wolves this year and has likely earned himself a spot with the AHL’s Utica Comets for the 2018-19 season. Welcome to the big leagues, Cole!

Finally, University of Michigan winger Will Lockwood:

Smart move. Lockwood, a former 3rd round pick (64th overall) of the team in 2016, is just 19 years old and has been limited to just 16 games with Michigan this season. He should come back strong next season and put up big numbers in his junior season.