For now, everything is going pretty darn great for 19-year-old Jared McCann.
The worry is that it won’t last.
McCann scored twice for the Canucks in last night’s 5-1 win over previously unbeaten Montreal. The young center with the wicked shot leads the team with four goals in seven games.
Yet with the nine-game threshold looming, the club still hasn’t publicly committed to keeping McCann. The alternative is returning him to junior.
Last night, Vancouver coach Willie Desjardins was asked to share his “biggest worry” about keeping McCann.
“The biggest worry is that down the road he gets worn down and the league gets hard for him and he loses his confidence,” said Desjardins. “He’s too good of a player that we don’t want him to lose his confidence and just feel that he’s got to dump the puck. We want him to feel he can handle the puck and make plays.”
The answer was not surprising to hear. McCann is not a particularly big player — he still has some filling out to do — and playing center in the Western Conference can be a grueling job.
The Canucks still have a couple of games left to evaluate McCann. They have three before they have to make a decision on winger Jake Virtanen, also 19.