Canucks had scouts in Pittsburgh Thursday Night, @ WBS game Friday night
As the Vancouver Canucks are open for business and the Penguins believed to be mulling a serious run for Ryan Kesler, the Canucks at first glance appear to be doing their homework on the Penguins organization.
The Canucks had scouts in attendance for the Penguins – Canadiens game Thursday with many in NHL circles believing they were checking out Brandon Sutter (hope they didn’t come to see Simon Despres) and Friday night Vancouver had scouts in attendance for the Wilkes Barre/Scranton – Syracuse Crunch game.
Top-5 prospect Brian Dumoulin was not in the lineup but the likes of Scott Harrington and Philip Samuelsson were, along with Jason Megna.
The Penguins regard Derrick Pouliot, Scott Harrington and Brian Dumoulin as the top-3 prospects in their system (Olli Maatta has graduated already). The word since about the summer is the Penguins view all three higher than Simon Despres who the Penguins are very willing to move in the right deal.
When it comes to Kesler and other top names the Penguins are looking at, the buzz continues to be that Derrick Pouliot, the Penguins top prospect, remains a no starter while others feel Kesler could be a special situation that has them at least thinking about it. Still lots of denials that Pouliot is or will be in play from the Penguins end. We’ll see there.
However, the Canucks possibly evaluating trade candidates in the Penguins organization isn’t believed to be only on the Penguins excellent organizational depth on the blueline.
Making multiple calls Friday, Tristan Jarry’s name is starting to pop up as a potential top prospect of interest to the Canucks. Vancouver people tell me the Canucks have no goaltending depth in their system. Jarry was the Penguins second round pick in 2013 and Penguins officials believe he has the ceiling of a potential No. 1 goaltender.
Jarry is 39-12-2 with a 2.21 GAA and .914 save percentage. He has seven shutouts on the season for the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL.
Sources say the Canucks are believed to covet a 4-for-1 package for Kesler: Young NHL center, two top prospects and a high draft pick.