The Canucks are going to be rather young tonight


Remember when the Vancouver Canucks desperately needed to get younger?

Well, with Henrik Sedin expected to be sidelined until after the All-Star break and Brandon Sutter still not ready to return from sports-hernia surgery, the Canucks could have a 19-year-old, Jared McCann, playing first-line center and a 20-year-old, Bo Horvat, playing second-line center tonight against the Rangers in New York.

Is that young enough?

“I’m probably going up against their best line and I’m going to take it as a challenge, and I always like a challenge, so it’s nice,” McCann told The Province yesterday. “I’m a competitive guy and I want to play every night, and I want to make the most of it.”

McCann is the 10th-youngest player to have appeared in an NHL game this season…


…and remember that Daniel Sprong and Mikko Rantanen aren’t with their NHL teams anymore.

Vancouver winger Jake Virtanen, even younger than McCann, is expected to sit tonight. It was originally thought Virtanen, 19, may replace veteran Brandon Prust, but apparently coach Willie Desjardins decided otherwise.

Tonight’s Canucks are also expected to feature a 22-year-old rookie defenseman in Ben Hutton and a pair of 23-year-old forwards in Sven Baertschi and Emerson Etem.

Related: Etem on time with Rangers: ‘Sometimes you go in there and you just don’t fit in