Report: Coach Green criticizes top pick Juolevi

The new bench boss isn’t impressed, so what should the Canucks do with Juoelvi? Keep him in the NHL? Send him to Europe for a season?

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Brand new Vancouver Canucks head coach Travis Green has had an odd start to his NHL coaching career. While most new coaches are afforded the opportunity to evaluate their roster during training camp and preseason, Green had to essentially split his camp into two teams with one half remaining in Vancouver and the other heading to China for the NHL’s inaugural NHL China Games.

One of the players left behind in Vancouver was 2016 5th overall selection Olli Juolevi. While Green hasn’t been able to evaluate Juolevi’s performance based on first-hand knowledge the evidence presented to him has been less than stellar. When asked to describe the young Finn’s performance in training camp and preseason, Green didn’t mince words.

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Ouch. While that’s not an outright shaming, it’s certainly not a vote of confidence for the youngster. In his defense, Juolevi is still just 20-years-old and is fresh of a junior career without having any time to adapt to the pro level. It’s expected that he’ll remain with the team for the balance of the preseason before being loaned to TPS in the Finnish Liiga for the 2017-18 season. 

Still, is this the kind of message that the Canucks staff should be sending to the promising young player? What would you do Canucks fans? Should Juolevi get an NHL audition to start the season? Or is he better served by playing in Europe for a full campaign?