The Nikolay Goldobin era in Vancouver got off to a flying start, when the former first round draft pick of the Sharks scored in his Canucks debut on a breakaway on March 4 against the Kings.
Nothing much has happened for the 21-year-old since then, though. Goldobin is scoreless in his last nine games with Vancouver, missing some time due to illness, and was a healthy scratch against his former organization on Sunday at Rogers Arena. That’s despite the Canucks dealing with a number of injuries and icing a weak lineup that the Sharks took advantage of in a 3-1 win.
Just like in his few games with the Sharks, Goldobin’s ice time has been limited with Vancouver. He’s averaging just over 10 minutes per game with the Canucks.
His compete level, an issue with the Sharks and AHL Barracuda, was seemingly questioned by his newest head coach, too.
“I think he needs to prove he’s going to go hard at this level. He’s got to go hard. It’s a two-way street,” Willie Desjardins told the Vancouver Province.
Desjardins was asked if he was sending a message to Goldobin.
“I’m not sending a huge message,” Willie said. “He’s a skilled player. You have to get your skill working hard and I don’t think he worked hard quite enough last game.”
Friend of the show Jason Brough, of NBC’s ProHockeyTalk, recently suggested that Goldobin is better off playing with Utica, the Canucks’ AHL affiliate. Would he be better suited there?
“He’s played time in the AHL. It would be different if he hadn’t played there. He knows the AHL,” Desjardins said.
“We just have to get him more engaged.”
The Canucks visit the Sharks on Tuesday in the second of a back-to-back. There's no word on whether Goldobin will return to the Vancouver lineup.
Goldobin, the 27th overall pick in the 2014 draft, was traded to Vancouver on Feb. 28 along with a conditional fourth round pick in 2017 for forward Jannik Hansen. The fourth round pick becomes a first round pick if the Sharks win the Stanley Cup.