After winning the Utica Comets’ award for most improved rookie last season, Zack MacEwen has doubled down on his efforts.
Once considered as something of an afterthought in the Vancouver Canucks’ bevy of forward prospects, the 6’4, 212-pound right-winger has had another great season in the AHL thus far. He scored 33 points 66 games last season, his first as a professional. This year, he’s up to 42 points in 49 contests—good for third on the Comets behind veterans Reid Boucher and Tanner Kero.
It’s been a big step for the undrafted Charlottetown, P.E.I. native, and the Canucks have clearly been noticing him. With Sven Baertschi on the shelf for what will likely be an extended period of time as he deals with post-concussion syndrome, MacEwen was called up late Saturday night.
Of course, the Canucks are currently carrying two extra forwards so it could be some time before MacEwen gets into a game, if it happens at all.
But it’s a nice sign that the team is looking to give prospects that have earned their chance a shot with the big club. We’ve been impressed with the big forward ever since we saw him in the summer of 2017, his first prospects camp with Vancouver.
He was strong on the puck, relentless on the forecheck and not afraid to use his big frame. He also had some nice hands for a bigger player.
While the call up was rumoured for some time, it appears a four-point performance on Saturday night against the Rochester Americans sealed his fate.
Will the Canucks sit two veterans in favour of giving MacEwen a spot in the lineup? Hard to say, but it’s pretty obvious coach Travis Green hasn’t been impressed with either Markus Granlund or Tim Schaller of late. It’s not impossible to see the prospect getting a chance on the fourth line. He does seem like the type of hard-nosed grinder Green would love on his roster, after all. Here’s hoping MacEwen gets a look.
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