Canadian — Canucks | Noah Juulsen hung on

(Vancouver) Here we are in the middle of the voting season for the Bill Masterton Trophy. Print journalists who cover the NHL must currently vote to elect a representative from each team, who will be a candidate for the trophy which recognizes “the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to one’s sport.”

We’re guessing Noah Juulsen will receive votes when the reporters assigned to covering the Canucks hold their ballot.

The old choice of 1er The Canadian will return to action on Thursday evening, against his former team, after two games spent in the stands. It will be his 51e match of the season, by far a personal best. Hence its relevance to the Masterton.

At training camp, the defenseman achieved what would have seemed impossible four years ago: securing a position in the NHL. When the pandemic broke out, stubborn migraines, linked to two stick blows to the eye received in the same match, on November 19, 2018, tormented him. Thus, he was limited to 13 games in 2019-2020, then to 18 the following season.

These years were morally difficult. “I no longer felt that I loved hockey,” he confided to The Press two years ago. “I was injured for a long time and it was hard physically and mentally,” he added after training on Thursday, in front of a group of journalists.

What allowed him to hang on instead of giving up everything? “I love hockey, and I really didn’t know what else I would have done. But it’s also the time spent at the arena every day, with the guys. It played a big role. There are very few jobs that involve coming to have fun with a gang of guys. »

Here he is in a depth defender role. He is sometimes left out, and when he plays, it is in a third duo, to the tune of 14 min 49 s per game. But the fact remains that for the first time in his professional career, at 26 years old, soon to be 27 years old, he remained permanently in the NHL without going through the American League.

On February 17, he even scored a first goal with the Canucks, 1930 days after his previous goal in the circuit, scored in the CH uniform.

Obviously it was a good feeling, it had been a long time. But you’ve seen me play, you know that my style is not offensive. I was happy to score despite everything.

Noah Juulsen on his first goal with the Canucks

In the Canadian locker room, Michael Pezzetta sympathizes with his former Rocket teammate.

“I’m happy to see him break through and spend a full year in the NHL,” said the hairy winger. We participated in several camps together, then he was transferred to Laval. It was weird, he was playing and he was starting to have these vision and head problems. He looked okay, but he wasn’t. I’m glad he found his rhythm. He’s such a good guy and when he played in Laval, he had the right attitude and he was positive. We still text each other from time to time. When I got called up, he texted me and when he won his job at camp, I sent him a note on Instagram. »

Canucks who bounced back

Juulsen brings depth to a team unrecognizable from last season. They are currently on track to obtain 112 points, which would be almost thirty more than their total last year (83).

“Rick Tocchet arrived last season, he held us accountable and created a standard,” said forward Brock Boeser, already authors of personal highs with 36 goals and 66 points this season. At the end of the year, he spoke to everyone to work hard. Two weeks before camp started, everyone had arrived in town and that set the standard. »

Who knows if a long run in the playoffs won’t smile on Juulsen? With four defensemen becoming free agents at the end of the season, including Tyler Myers and Nikita Zadorov, there could be some movement on the Canucks blue line this summer. A good end to the season will help Juulsen position itself for next year.


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