If what Alain Vigneault told the media on Friday is any indication, it appears right winger Victor Oreskovich has earned a job on the Vancouver Canucks fourth line in the playoffs as the team prepares to gun for their first Stanley Cup victory in their 40 year history.
In his latest recall, he was impressive in his six games and recorded two assists. One setting up Daniel Sedin for a goal on a two-on-one and the other accepting a stretch pass from Keith Ballard to setup Alexandre Bolduc for a goal, which turned out to be the eventual game winner.
When Bolduc was re-assigned to the minors on April 2, head coach Vigneault wasn’t all that emphatic about his play.
“I think he did alright. We played him at centre [and] on left [wing],” he told the media.
“He’s got good speed, killed some penalties for us, so we feel if we need him in the future he’ll be able to come up and help us.”
Asked if the only scenario we would see Bolduc again was if there were injuries in the playoffs, Vigneault gave a resounding “Yes.”
Vigneault sounded much more impressed by Oreskovich, on the other hand, and didn’t issue an ultimatum on his future with the team.
“He skates well, he’s big, [and] physical,” Vigneault said on Friday.
“He definitely brings an element to our lineup on that fourth line that I like.”
Money is on Victor Oreskovich returning for Game 1 of the Canucks’ first round series.
Unless there is an injury, the Canucks will have to use one of their remaining three call-ups to bring him up. This restriction is in effect until the end of the Manitoba Moose’s season.
The Canucks chose not to convert his call-up to a regular call-up in order to maintain roster and cap space flexibility to activate defensemen Andrew Alberts and Alexander Edler off long-term injured reserve and to get them into game action before the end of the regular season.