The Canucks hoped to send AHL Abbotsford to the great end, but the Sharks couldn’t look away.

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Jonah Gadjovich, the burly winger with a nose for the net (AHL), is no longer a Vancouver Canuck.

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The 22-year-old was claimed by the San Jose Sharks on Thursday morning.

The Canucks were hoping to reassign Gadjovich, whom they drafted in the second round in 2017, to AHL affiliate the Abbotsford Canucks.

But it wasn’t going to be. Because he signed his entry-level contract, he was not exempt from exemptions this season.

Gadjovich took his time finding his rhythm as a professional. He signed his ELC in October 2017, months after he was drafted, allowing the Canucks to “slip” the actual start of his contract for two years.

He had a good final junior season with the Owen Sound Attack and earned a spot with the Canadian world youth team.

But then his first season with the then-AHL Canucks team, the Utica Comets, was a struggle. His skating put him behind the eight ball and he struggled to get into the lineup, and even when he did play, he didn’t play much.

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His second professional season was more in line with what both he and the Canucks expected. He spent the offseason working on his fitness and skating and it paid off.

In a diluted AHL last winter, his third season as a professional, he was absolutely dominant for the Comets, eventually landing his NHL debut at the end of the Canucks’ difficult season.

He didn’t play much in that one game against the Calgary Flames, but he fought, in an obvious effort to show his mettle. (His Elite Prospects page continues to use as a profile photo one that shows him bloody on his chin while playing for Owen Sound.)

Canucks head coach Travis Green admitted that he was disappointed to lose to the winger, that he had worked hard on his skating over the summer and had performed quite well in a couple of preseason games.

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“He’s a good boy and you want the best for him,” he said. The Canucks had planned to call him at some point later in the season, Green added.

Sources indicate that various teams were interested in Gadjovich, and San José was not the only team to claim the player.

Most prospects don’t pan out, but Gadjovich’s physical playstyle and nose for the net always attract the interest of GMs.

The Sharks, for example, developed a player with a similar youth career at Barclay Goodrow into a solid NHL fourth line, taking a big man who is not the best skater and is not a playmaker but who scored a ton. of goals. in junior and turning him into an abrasive striker who makes life miserable for the opposition.

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That’s unlikely, of course, but you can understand why an NHL team would want to take a look at Gadjovich beyond what he has shown in 101 pro games to date.

At the same time, you wonder if he would fare worse than some of the fourth line options that still exist, like Zack MacEwen, another big guy who is an average skater, doesn’t really kill penalties, possibly a poorer shooter than Gadjovich. , or Matthew Highmore, a good skater who kills penalties but is mediocre in all offensive facets?

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