As the NHL gets closer to a return to play and with players starting to make their way back into their respective cities, rosters will start to form for the 24 teams that will have a chance to continue playing if and when the season resumes.
The NHL has stated that additional players will be permitted above the 23-man roster, essentially offer a cushion for teams that may face injuries or find their players test positive for COVID-19. This will include minor league players from a shutdown AHL and/or international prospects who are close to NHL action. It won’t take long for news of these rosters to become public.
In one case, it looks like that process has already begun. Postmedia’s Ben Kuzma reports that the Vancouver Canucks have finalized their recall list. He writes:
For post-season play, the number shrinks to 28 skaters plus unlimited goalies, but those on injury reserve do not count toward the totals. The Canucks are adding forwards Sven Baertschi, Tyler Graovac and Justin Bailey, defencemen Brogan Rafferty, Ashton Sautner, Guillaume Brisebois, Olli Juolevi and Jalen Chatfield plus goaltender Mike DiPietro.source -‘Ben Kuzma: NHL COVID-19 cases test Vancouver’s ‘fervour’ as possible post-season hub’ Ben Kuzma – The PRovince – 06/22/2020
The Notable Names
Sven Baertschi and Olli Juolevi are the names that should stand out for most fans. Baertschi has a wealth of NHL experience having played over 291 games. 225 of those games have been for the Canucks and but only six of them were this season.
Olli Juolevi is a highly-touted defenseman who has yet to play a game in the NHL. He was drafted fifth overall in 2016 NHL Entry Draft and scored 25 points in 45 games for the Utica Comets this season.
Don’t Forget About Ferland
Not on this list but still in the running to land a roster spot is Vancouver forward Micheal Ferland. He’s been dealing with concussion issues but is back skating and the belief is he may be ready to go by the time the season kicks back in.