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Anton Rodin finally set to debut for Canucks after long, winding road to NHL

IIHF World Junior Championship - Semifinals -  Sweden v USA

SASKATOON, SK - JANUARY 3: Anton Rodin #18 of Team Sweden skates with the puck while being defended by David Warsofsky #5 of Team USA during the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship Tournament Semifinal game on January 3, 2010 at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Team USA defeated Team Sweden 5-2. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

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It’s a long time coming for Anton Rodin, who’s making his NHL debut for the Vancouver Canucks tonight.

Usually, PHT’s “Looking to make the Leap” feature is for players who can’t legally buy alcohol in the United States. Even taking NCAA-developed prospects into account, Anton Rodin was a relative graybeard for that off-season series.

(He was 25 at the time of that writing; he’s now 26.)

We’ve already seen one inspiring story of a 26-year-old making his NHL debut this week, but Rodin’s story is a little more complicated. As Jason Brough wrote, he seemed like a failed prospect (53rd pick of the 2009 NHL Draft) for the Canucks:

Most Canucks fans had already written off Anton Rodin. He was the guy who came to North America in 2011 and couldn’t even cut it in the AHL. Just another draft bust for an organization that’s had plenty of those in its history.

He showed some promise in Sweden, and even with knee issues really hampering his climb, Rodin finds himself here today. It should be fascinating to see what he can do against the Calgary Flames tonight.