Tomorrow’s Vancouver Canucks: Will Lockwood
Canucks of Tomorrow assesses all prospects in the Vancouver Canucks system and what they plan to be in the future. We’ll look at the strengths and weaknesses of their game, as well as what the future holds for them if and when they progress through the Vancouver organization. Today we present Will Lockwood.
Position: Right wing
How acquired: 2016 NHL Draft, 3rd round, 64th overall
Statistics 2021-22: (GP-GAP) 46-9-16-25, 38 MIPs (with Abbotsford), 13-0-0-0, 9 MIPs (with Vancouver)
Contract status: One season under a bilateral NHL/AHL agreement.
Planned team 2022-23: Abbotsford Canucks
Will Lockwood will be a very interesting player to watch with the Vancouver Canucks this pre-season. We’re looking at perhaps the breakthrough year for the 24-year-old with one season remaining on his contract. Does it stay legitimately or does it become an “almost” permanent. He has certain characteristics that make him a good candidate, others that could keep him on the wrong side of the NHL bubble.
It’s going to be a big training camp in 2022 for the Royal Oak, Michigan native and former Michigan Wolverine.
Speed control. Physics, check. Intensity, check. Speed, check, Desire, check.
Offensive asset, not so much. Timing and decision making, wait and see. Dangle, not really.
His NHL stats are somewhat tokenistic. He has played 15 career games on the big show and is yet to score a point. It’s not that it exactly accumulates ice time opportunities, and like the stock market, past performance is no guarantee of future results. But attacking timing and touch will be the next checkpoints. It’s not his game, but he’s going to have to come up with something.
What really stands out is Lockwood’s fearlessness. It will hit any opponent that moves and it will quickly close in on them. Hard to play against is a highly desirable trait in a league that is getting easier to play, at least heading into the playoffs.
In 13 games with the Vancouver Canucks last season, all late in the campaign, Lockwood had nine penalty minutes, including his first game in the NHL. He came against Noah Gregoire on April 9 at home in a 4-2 win over the San Jose Sharks.
It was a revenge (video). Lockwood of the Abbotsford Canucks fought Gregor of the San Jose Barracuda in an AHL game earlier in the season on Nov. 14.
The flip side of Lockwood’s reckless abandonment is his height. He’s not a huge man at 5-foot-11 and 175 pounds. In fact, it’s a bit small for the game it’s playing. Durability and longevity could be an issue.
Nice boy, sincere, well spoken, the type of player the fans love to support. He prorates at a fairly fair number, a ceiling of $842,500 hit at the NHL level, while earning just $70,000 in the AHL. It would only add to his desire.
There could be an opportunity for him on the right side or as a reserve striker depending on his most important side.