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  1. Through 18 games this 2015/2016 NHL season, the Vancouver Canucks currently sit 3rd in the Pacific Division with a record of 7-6-5 (19 points, good for 15th in the League). This blog will detail both team and individual aspects of this Canucks team as they’ve been through the first quarter(ish) of the season, resulting in me giving them a letter grade (from A+ to F) for both the team overall, as well as each individual player. In the first section of this blog, I will be focusing on the Canucks team stats, to analyze how they actually match up against their peers league wide The Canucks currently have a GF/GP of 2.83 and a GA/GP of 2.56, which is actually pretty solid considering their very average record so far. The goals are coming (9th in the League), and the goals against is pretty mediocre (14th in the League), so their record should be better, right? Wrong. The Canucks have lost 10 one goal games this season, including 5 in overtime. While their goals against isn't terrible, the timing of the goals is. They've given up 22 goals in either 3rd periods or overtime (43.1% of total goals against), 3rd worst in the league only behind CAR(46.9%) and CBJ(43.5%). The Canucks are also being let down on special teams. Their powerplay ranks 23rd in the League at 15.8%, and their penalty kill is 20th at 79.2%. Furthermore, they've given up 3 shorthand goals already, good for 3rd most in the league. Taking a look at PP and PK time, the Canucks have the 14th most PP time in the league, and the 22nd most PK time in the league. These stats tell us that the special teams should be benefiting them, since they are more times on the powerplay than they are shorthanded when directly compared to their peers. However, due to the poor conversion rate of their PP and PK, the Canucks special teams are actually hurting their chances of winning games when compared to their normal 5-on-5 play. Face-offs have also been an area of concern for the Canucks. Overall, they win 49.3% of their draws, ranking 21st in the league. Looking more specifically, at even strength they win 49.4% of their draws (21st in the League), 61.9% of their draws when on the PP (5th in the League), and 40.2% of their draws when on the PK (27th in the league) Overall, they’re not fantastic, but not terrible either, however based on the stats, it’s pretty clear that they are struggling hard when shorthanded. This results in less puck possession for the team while shorthanded, and ultimately leads to more goals against. In total, I would give the Canucks a “C-”. The even-strength play indicates a slightly higher grade, however the special teams and face-off driven possession, combined with the untimeliness of goals against really hurts them, and ultimately drags them down a few ratings. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ In this next section of this blog, I will be rating the Canucks players individually, going in order from best to worst, separating them by position. These ratings take into account production, as well as expectations put on the players based on their salary, age, and playing time. Forwards Jannik Hansen: A Hansen has produced at a great offensive clip with 11 points in 18 games and is also a relentless checker who can play in all roles. In my mind, he’s the one of the best 3rd liners in the league. Daniel Sedin: B+ Daniel has 16 points in 18 games, leading the team in points. Although the Twins aren’t as dominant every night they were a few years ago, they still produce at a high level. Henrik Sedin: B+ Henrik has 13 points in 18 games, which is an alright offensive pace. He’s probably expected to produce a bit more based on his salary, but he’s still the straw that stirs the drink for the Canucks offense, and definitely could have had a few more assists. His line is not the one to complain too much about. Jared McCann: B+ McCann made the team unexpectedly as a 19 year old rookie, and has performed exceptionally. He has 7 points in 16 games, and his 5 goals co-lead the team. He seems to be improving his defensive game as well as he learns the system and adjusts to NHL pace, and looks to be a future lock for the top-6. Alex Burrows: B Burrows is a consistent, hardworking, and tenacious player. He has 9 points in 18 games, and is steady at both ends of the rink. While he may not put up the numbers he did in his prime, he is still a solid contributor who can play anywhere in the lineup. Brandon Sutter: B Many people scrutinized Canucks GM Jim Benning for his trade to bring Sutter over from Pittsburgh, however, he has shown to be a good fit for the team. He has excelled defensively, and gives the Canucks a good matchup player besides Horvat, who may become overwhelmed at the age of 20. Sutter has also produced solid offence with 8 points in 16 games, and is another guy who can play up and down the lineup. Chris Higgins: B- Higgins is hard to judge, as he has missed most of the year with injury. Since returning however, he has a couple of goals, and has been relatively solid defensively. He currently has 2 points (both goals) in 6 games. Brandon Prust: B- Prust has exceeded expectations so far this season. While he’s currently out with injury, he was a solid player on the 4th line, and was doing well killing penalties. While not the fastest or flashiest player, he is effective, and has a respectable point total with 5 points (all assists) in 9 games. His toughness is also much appreciated. Adam Cracknell: B- Cracknell is another 4th liner who has exceeded expectations early this season. He has been solid defensively, and has scored some timely goals, with 2 goals and 3 points in 12 games. He is a very hard working player that gives it his all every shift. Bo Horvat: C+ Horvat had high expectations put on him coming into this season, and they were probably unrealistic. After a strong rookie year, including a dynamic improvement in the second half of last season and postseason, Horvat has been given a much more significant role on the team this year. That being said, he’s only 20, so the tougher matchups have resulted in some mistakes playing against better players, as well as some slightly disappointing offence, having 6 points in 18 games. Still, Horvat is a resilient player, and has been getting his chances. I expect him to improve as the season goes on, much like last season. Jake Virtanen: C+ Jake is a tough player to figure out. Physically, he has been great. He is physical, fast, and chippy. That being said, sometimes he doesn’t look too tenacious, and his effort level seems to vary from game to game. He is a young player, so inconsistency is expected, however it would be nice to see a bit more offense from him. Again, like Horvat, he’s getting his chances, but unlike Horvat, his defensive game isn’t too polished, so he doesn’t have the luxury of not being able to produce for long. He has 4 points in 14 games, and is expected to improve as the season goes on. Derek Dorsett: C+ Doresett has played alright, but his new contract is pretty tough to justify. Tangibles are a hard specify the value of, and while he is a mentor and leader on the team, he needs to show a bit more on the ice as well to live up to his contract, with just 4 points in 18 games so far this year. Sven Baertchi: C+ After lighting up the AHL last season, Baertchi hasn’t had too much of an impact at the NHL level this season. While he’s putting up a good point pace with 7 points in 15 games, he hasn’t played like a difference maker, and he has been pretty soft on the puck, especially near the boards. He still plays too much of a perimeter game, but does show promise. Radim Vrbata: C Vrbata has lost most of his confidence this season, and has no puck luck. He has been getting chances as well, but has been uncharacteristically not been finishing. This includes missing a few seemingly open nets, and simply just missing the net. I expect that once he gets a couple of goals (goes on a bit of a hot streak), he’ll be fine for the rest of the year. He has 3 goals and 7 points in 18 games, and needs to pick up the pace if the Canucks have any hope of making the playoffs. Defence Chris Tanev: B+ Chris Tanev has (quite easily) been the best defenceman for the Canucks this season. Offense has never been his strong suit, and he has 4 points in 17 games. Defensively however, he has been very solid, and he really been relied upon in all situations. Ben Hutton: B+ Ben Hutton has really exploded as a blooming young star this season. While may fans didn’t really know about this NCAA gem (I had him ranked #7 for Canucks prospects in my July 2014 blog entry), he came in, made the team, and has just produced. His 8 points in 18 games are 2nd amongst Canucks defenders, and his defensive game is better than expected. His skating, smarts, and on-ice awareness may allow him to become a top pair defender in the future. Alex Edler: B- Edler had a great start to the season, and his 8 points in 17 games are very solid. The past 5ish games however, Edler (along with the rest of the defence) has looked a bit lost out there, causing giveaways and scoring chances for the other team. Furthermore, his mobility hasn’t looked very good, so he could be playing hurt. Dan Hamhuis: C+ Speaking of giveaways and lack of mobility, Hamhuis has looked uncharacteristically poor this season. Hamhuis is still very good in his own zone, but his transition game has been subpar, and his offensive awareness is near non-existent. Again, like Edler, I thought he started the year pretty solid, but he has been playing with a revolving door of sketchy partners, and he may be playing injured. With just 2 points in 15 games, he needs to be better. Mark Bartkowski: C+ Bartkowski is a great skater, in fact, one of the best skating defenceman I have ever seen suit up for the Canucks. However, that’s almost all that he can contribute. While he tries to play a rugged game, he is ineffective at it, and often gets out muscled in the corners or in front of the net. Also, his defensive coverage is spotty, and he is often left chasing the play. His transition game is fantastic, and his skating is much needed, but don’t expect him to be creative and create offense out of that skating ability (5 points in 17 games). He has a role on this team, but currently, he is playing a bit out of his depth in the top-4. Luca Sbisa: C+ Sbisa has played quite well this season, proving a needed physical presence, and looking more confident. He has limited the amount of giveaways he has compared to last season, and may still have the promise to eventually be a top-4 defenceman, when playing with a solid partner who can cover for his occasional poor pinches and giveaways. He has just played 11 games, putting up 4 points, and is currently injured, making way for this next player in the lineup. Yannick Weber: C Weber looked great last season in my opinion, but lost a lot of confidence and looked overwhelmed in the playoffs. Unfortunately, Weber has taken his poor pay from the playoffs and brought it to this season. For an “offensive defenceman”, he has just 2 points in 12 games, and has been poor defensively. He’s not dynamic enough offensively to be poor defensively, and with the poor play of other defenceman, his errors are sticking out even more. Goalies Ryan Miller: B- Miller had a hot start to the season, but has cooled down quickly. While the defence hasn’t helped him out much lately, he needs to be better, and can’t give up weak goals at poor times in a game. Jacob Markstrom: B- Markstrom has been solid, but really it is too early to judge with such a small sample size. Richard Bachman: C+ He was a solid fill-in goalie, but with Markstrom back now, he should get some starter time in the AHL. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ This final section of the blog will take a look at the player stat projections over a full 82 game pace, as well as my expectation for the players. I will also project our GF/GP and GA/GP over an 82 game season, compare it to past seasons and summarize the results. Skater Current Points (GP…G-A-P) Projected Points (GP…G-A-P) Expected Points (GP…G-A-P) D. Sedin 18GP…5-11-16 82GP…23-50-73 82GP…23-52-75 H. Sedin 18GP…5-8-13 82GP…23-36-59 82GP…18-55-73 J. Hansen 18GP…5-6-11 82GP…23-27-50 82GP…16-19-37 A. Burrows 18GP…4-5-9 82GP…18-23-41 82GP…19-25-44 A. Edler 17GP…4-4-8 82GP…19-19-38 82GP….12-25-37 B. Sutter 16GP…4-4-8 82GP…20-20-40 82GP…18-15-33 B. Hutton 18GP…0-8-8 82GP…0-38-38 82GP….3-33-36 R. Vrbata 18GP…3-4-7 82GP…14-18-32 82GP….21-30-51 S. Baertschi 15GP…2-5-7 82GP…11-27-38 82GP…13-23-36 J. McCann 16GP…5-2-7 82GP…26-11-37 82GP…19-15-34 B. Horvat 18GP…2-4-6 82GP…9-18-27 82GP…16-20-36 B. Prust 9GP…0-5-5 82GP…0-46-46 82GP…5-18-23 M. Bartkowski 17GP…2-3-5 82GP….10-14-24 82GP…3-24-27 D. Dorsett 18GP…2-2-4 82GP…9-9-18 82GP…7-15-23 L. Sbisa 11GP…1-3-4 82GP…7-22-29 82GP…3-24-27 C. Tanev 17GP…1-3-4 82GP…5-14-19 82GP…3-17-20 J. Virtanen 14GP…1-3-4 82GP…6-18-24 82GP…9-15-24 A. Cracknell 12GP…2-1-3 82GP…14-7-21 82GP…6-10-16 D. Hamhuis 15GP…0-2-2 82GP…0-11-11 82GP…1-18-19 C. Higgins 6GP…2-0-2 82GP…27-0-27 82GP…14-23-37 Y. Weber 12G…0-2-2 82GP…0-14-14 82GP…6-23-29 Projected total goals: 264 Expected total goals: 235 #1 for 2014/2015 #9 for 2014/2015 #1 for 2013/2014 #8 for 2013/2014 #2 for 2012/2013* #7 for 2012/2013* #2 for 2011/2012 #8 for 2011/2012 #1 for 2010/2011 #11 for 2010/2011 As you can see from the data above, the Canucks are “projected” to have 264 goals (using pure extrapolation). This is, of course, unreasonable, and would be either #1 or #2 in the league over the past 5 seasons. If this was the case, they should have a much better record, because their goals against is not that poor as to counteract this. With my “expected” totals (looking at the game in a vacuum where there are no injuries), the Canucks finish the season with 235 goals. This would put them in the #7-11 range for the past 5 seasons, which I feel is much more realistic, and perhaps even a bit optimistic. - ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Overall, the Canucks are scoring enough goals, but their defence has been subpar at best. If they want to have a serious chance of making the playoffs, the defence and goaltending has to be better, and they must maintain a GF/GP of around 2.8. Please feel free to provide feedback on my article, and don’t forget to answer the poll questions! What do you think the Canucks need to improve this season, and where should they look to bring about these improvements? Thanks!
  2. To open up this blog post, let's review some of the top prospects available in this draft. The following is my ranking of the top-60 players available in the draft this year. Picks are ordered in terms of rankings of player ability/projections in my opinion, not necessarily taking into account team need. NHL 2015 Draft Rankings 1st round 1.) Connor McDavid ©- Elite speed, agility, acceleration, hands, and hockey sense. This kid is a future superstar and could be the new face of the NHL. NHL projection: Generational #1 center. NHL style comparable: Crosby 2.) Jack Eichel ©- Another generational talent, Eichel possesses an impressive blend of speed, smarts, and power, which will make him one of the best in the league very quickly. NHL projection: Generational #1 center. NHL style comparable: Getzlaf 3.) Noah Hanafin (D)- Smooth skating Hanafin is an exceptional player at both ends of the rink, and isn’t afraid to play the body when need be. His skating and quick stick make him the best overall defenceman in this draft. NHL projection: Two-way #1 defenceman. NHL style comparable: Doughty 4.) Mitch Marner (C/RW)- Highly skilled, very elusive, and elite vision make Marner project Marner to be a high end offensive threat at the NHL level. While he is slightly undersized, his skills are too much to pass on early in the draft. NHL projection: 1st line elite scoring winger. NHL style comparable: P. Kane 5.) Dylan Strome ©- Big, offensive, responsible centers seem to always be in high demand, but are very rarely traded due to their high value on the market. Strome has all of the makings of a future #1 center, and could be a force to deal with. NHL projection: Two-way 1st line center. NHL style comparable: Eric Staal. 6.) Ivan Provorov (D)- Great speed, great offensive instincts, not afraid of playing physical, and very responsible in the defensive zone, Provorov excels in nearly every aspect of the game, and projects to be a top pairing defenceman in the near future. NHL projection: #1-#2 two-way defenceman. NHL style comparable: Niklas Kronwall 7.) Zach Werenski (D)-Much like the dmen slated to go ahead of him, Werenski possess elite skating ability and high-end offensive awareness. He goes hard in the corners, and is solid physically. With a little more work in the defensive zone, he could be NHL ready fairly quickly. NHL projection: #1-#2 two-way defenceman. NHL style comparable: Jack Johnson 8.) Mikko Rantanen (RW/C)- One of the most complete players in the draft, Rantanen has improved his footspeed over the past year and is a hulking winger who is tough to contain and has great playmaking abilities. NHL projection: 1st line playmaking winger with size. NHL style comparable: Jakub Voracek 9.) Matthew Barzal ©- A highly competitive player, Barzal can play in any situation and thrive. He has elite offensive vision, as well as good skating. If he can put health concerns behind him, he could be very good NHL player. NHL projection: 1B two-way center who can play all situations. NHL style comparable: Nicklas Backstrom 10.) Lawson Crouse (LW)- A big, complete player, Crouse is an exceptional two-way player and a great forechecker. Although his offensive numbers leave much to be desired, he has the potential to be a top two-way guy in the league. NHL projection: Top-6 two-way winger. NHL style comparable: Rick Nash 11.) Pavel Zacha (C/LW)- Another big body, Zacha also possess fantastic speed and great hands. Although inconsistent, Zacha has the potential to be a high-end powerforward in the NHL. NHL projection: Top-6 power winger. NHL style comparable: Alex Ovechkin. 12.) Kyle Connor ©- Speedy, skilled, and dependable. These are the traits that make Connor such a valuable draft choice, and what could make him an impact player in the NHL. Connor excels in all situations, and will only get better as he adds some weight to his frame. NHL projection: 1B two-way center who can play in all situations. NHL style comparable: Claude Giroux 13.) Timo Meier (RW/C)- Perhaps the best pure sniper in the draft, Meier plays a heavy game and is responsible in his own end as well. NHL projection: Top-6 goal scoring forward. NHL style comparable: James Neal 14.) Jakub Zboril (D)- A dependable player, Zboril can play in any situation, and isn’t afraid to mix it up physically. While maybe not a powerplay quarterback, he certainly has all of the skills to play on the PP, and can be a rock on the PK. NHL projection: #2-3 two-way defenceman. NHL style comparable: Dan Hamhuis. 15.) Travis Konecny (C/RW)- A competitor, Konecny is a tenacious player who plays bigger than his smaller stature indicates. Build very solidly, Konecny also possess great speed and good hands that will enable him to succeed in the NHL. NHL projection: Top-6 two-way forward. NHL style comparable: Brendan Gallagher/Zach Parise hybrid 16.) Colin White (RW/C)- A solid, two-way player, White is a pretty good bet to be an NHL player, but it’s yet to see where he will fit. He is great defensively, probably the best in the draft, however, he needs to work on his skating a bit, as well as develop his offensive skills. NHL projection: Top-6 two-way forward. NHL style comparable: Ryan Callahan. 17.) Evgeny Svechnikov (LW)- A speedy, skilled, big bodied player, Svechnikov only falls this far in the draft due to his “Russian factor”. Great in the offensive end, Svechnikov could use some work on his defensive game, as well as use his size a bit better. NHL projection: Top-6 sniper with size. NHL style comparable: Max Pacioretty 18.) Nick Merkley (RW/C)- Although a bit on the small side, Merkley is a fierce competitor, and is solid on his skates. He sees the ice very well, and has the ability to change the pace of a game to match his own. NHL projection: Top-6 playmaking winger. NHL style comparable: T.J. Oshie/ Jordan Eberle 19.) Thomas Chabot (D)- Smooth skating, offensive defenceman with a great first pass and good shot, Chabot could fill the role of a PMD in the NHL. He should work on his defensive zone coverage, as well as being more physical, however he has shown improvement in these areas. NHL projection: #3-#4 offensive/two-way defenceman. NHL style comparable: Marek Zidlicky 20.) Joel Eriksson Ek ©- A solid, two-way center who is great in the dot, Eriksson Ek should continue to work on his puck skills. He is a tireless worker, and should be an NHL player, it’s just a question of whether that will be in a 2nd or 3rd line role. NHL projection: Top-6/9 two-way center. NHL style comparable: Derrick Brassard 21.) Paul Bittner (LW)- Bittner plays a gritty game, has a good shot, and is very good at using his size to protect the puck. His skating isn’t the greatest, and he needs to work on his consistency, but he has all of the physical tools to be a good NHLer. NHL projection: Top-6/9 big goalscoring winger. NHL style comparable: Scott Hartnell 22.) Denis Guryanov (RW)- Guryanov has explosive speed, great size, and a heavy shot. Will drop due to his “Russian Factor”, but any team that gets him will be getting a potential star. NHL projection: Top-6 speedy power winger. NHL style comparable: Chris Kreider. 23.) Brock Boeser (RW)- A very versatile player, Boeser is a strong player on his skates, and can beat you in a number of different ways. He has the size to play a big game, a great shot to score from anywhere, and is creative enough to beat guys one on one. NHL projection: Top-6 sniper with size. NHL style comparable: Kyle Okposo 24.) Oliver Kylington (D)- Fantastic skating ability, but leaves more to be desired in other areas of his game. He has great vision and puck skills, but is unpredictable, and needs work in the defensive end. High potential due to his skating, but high chance of busting due to other factors. NHL projection: #2-#6 offensive defenceman. NHL style comparable: Tobias Enstrom/Erik Karlsson 25.) Jansen Harkins ©- Solid two-way forward, is very good defensively and has solid offensive ability. Not a flashy player, but uses his teammates well and is a character guy. NHL projection: Top-6/9 two-way center. NHL style comparable: Bryan Little 26.) Jeremy Roy (D)- Offensively gifted and great skater, Roy can be a good PMD at the next level. I have him rated lower on the board due to questions about his defensive game, but if he can overcome those he can be a high-end defenceman in the NHL. NHL projection: #2-6 offensive defenceman. NHL style comparable: Dan Boyle/Kris Letang 27.) Daniel Sprong (RW)- Sprong is a very creative player with high-end offensive skills and great speed. He does have some attitude concerns, and he needs work in the defensive end, but his offensive abilities may be elite. NHL projection: Top-6 scoring winger. NHL style comparable: Alex Semin 28.) Anthony Beauvillier (LW)- Although small, Beauviller plays a feisty game, has good offensive skills, and has a good two-way game. NHL projection: Top-6 undersized two-way forward. NHL style comparable: Jaden Schwartz. 29.) Jake Debrusk (LW)- Smart player who is great around the net. Goes to the hard areas and works hard. Could improve his skating and size and become more consistent. NHL projection: Top-6 goal scorer. NHL style comparable: Patric Hornqvist. 30.) Jacob Larsson(D)- Steady, two-way defender, Larsson really excels in the defensive end, and is a very good skater. Although not overly big, Larsson can play in a shutdown role, as well as be a good puck distributor. He plays a safe game which should translate well to the next level. NHL projection: #3-4 two-way defender. NHL style comparable: Jay Bouwmeester. 2nd round 31.) Ilya Samsonov (G) 32.) Brandon Carlo (D) 33.) Gabriel Carlsson (D) 34.) Vince Dunn (D) 35.) Jack Roslovic © 36.) Jeremy Bracco (RW) 37.) Noah Juulsen (D) 38.) Mitchell Vande Sompel (D) 39.) Zach Senyshyn (RW) 40.) Nicholas Meloche (D) 41.) Ryan Pilon (D) 42.) Jonas Siegenthaler (D) 43.) Alexander Dergachev © 44.) Rasmus Andersson (D) 45.) Thomas Novak © 46.) Filip Chlapik © 47.) Travis Dermott (D) 48.) Dennis Yan (LW) 49.) Mackenzie Blackwood (G) 50.) Graham Knott (LW) 51.) Austin Wagner (LW) 52.) Christian Fischer (RW) 53.) Matthew Spencer (D) 54.) Callum Booth (G) 55.) Nikita Korostelev (RW) 56.) Roope Hintz (LW) 57.) Gabriel Gagne (RW) 58.) Jordan Greenway (LW) 59.) Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson © 60.) Ryan Gropp (LW) What the Canucks should look for this draft For this section, I will be exploring what I feel the Canucks should be looking to accomplish this draft. Although it is likely that trades might happen (Lack, Bieksa, etc.), they are difficult to predict, and thus I will not try to do so. HOWEVER, I will assume that the Canucks will have a 2nd round pick available for them to use, and for arguments sake I will put it at #53. With offensive prospects such as Baertschi, Virtanen, Mccann, Shinkaruk, Cassels, Gaunce, Grenier, and Jensen in the system, as well as young NHL forwards like Horvat and Kenins, and a young potentially elite goalie coming up in Demko, it’s time for the Canucks to turn their attention to the backend. While their are some good prospects, including Corrado, Clendenning, Tryamkin, and Hutton, none of these players project to be much more than #4 guys on a good team. Most Stanley Cup winning teams have a legitimate #1 defenceman, and while their may not be a surefire one in the Canucks range of draft, there still are some very good ones available. My preferred defenceman for #23 (in order of preference) The Big 3 (These guys are almost guaranteed to be gone by the Canucks #23 selection. They have a high likelyhood of being top-pairing defencemen in the NHL) Noah Hanafin (will be gone by our pick) Ivan Provorov (will be gone by our pick) Zach Werenski (will be gone by our pick) The Safe 2 (These guys have a strong likelihood of becoming top-4 NHL defencemen, and have a shot at being top-pairing guys). Jakub Zboril (unlikely to be around by our pick) Thomas Chabot (may be around for our pick) The Risky 2 (These guys are elite in some aspects, but have some major deficiencies that keep them lower in the draft) Oliver Kylington (may be around for our pick) Jeremy Roy (may be around for our pick) The Swedish 2 (These guys are fairly safe picks, but may not have the upside some of the previous defencemen have) Jacob Larsson (should be around for our pick) Gabriel Carlsson (should be around for our pick) The Best of the Rest (These guys still have top-4 or better upside, but are not ranked quite as highly as the previous players) Brandon Carlo (should be around for our pick) Vince Dunn (should be around for our pick) Noah Juulsen (should be around for our pick) I would be happy with any of these defenceman I’ve listed above, in the order that I’ve listed them. The rest of the defencemen on my top-60 list I would not take with a 1st round pick, however, if we got a 2nd I would take one of them. In my personal opinion, I really like Rasmus Andersson and Nicholas Meloche. Other than defencemen, I think the Canucks should consider taking a RW with their 1st, depending on who’s on the board. With only Virtanen at this point projecting to be a top-6 RW in the NHL (sorry Jensen), the Canucks could use another scorer on that side. For RW’s, I would take the following (in this order) Travis Konecny (should be gone by our pick) Nick Merkley (may be around for our pick) Brock Boeser (should be around for our pick) Denis Guryanov (should be around for our pick) In my opinion, I really like the versatility and creativity of a player like Boeser (most likely to be around for our pick). I also think he has some untapped offensive potential, and has an outside shot of being a top line forward, with limited risk in him being at least a top-6. In conclusion Overall, the Canucks need to address the defence in this draft. There are many good, potential top-4 defencemen, and the Canucks need to take one of them in the first two rounds. Depending on who’s available, it may be better to take a player like Boeser in the first and try and grab a player like Dunn or Juulsen in the 2nd, but again, it depends on who is still left on the board when the Canucks pick. Either way, it should be an exciting draft! Let me know who you guys think the Canucks are taking, and/or who you want the Canucks to take! Hope you enjoyed the analysis!
  3. You wanna PM me that list...
  4. Looking for members for an NHL15 GMC League (play) on PS3!

    1. Tangelos


      Ditto but for the sim league

  5. Thank you for your input. @the_grinder: Grenier is a solid prospect, but I believe that the guys I listed all have higher upside. If I had an honorable mentions list, he would be on it. @Absent_Canuck: I'd like to hear your reasoning for these assumptions. All scouting reports indicate that Virtanen very well could be a 30 goal NHL player, he was one of the best, if not the best, pure goal scorer in his class. As for Gaunce, like I said, he looks to be a very good 3rd line center.I compared him to Berglund, who has had one 50 point year, but is usually more in the 35-45 range, which is where I project Gaunce. Demko I agree will be a stud. Mccann I projected as a Valteri Flipula type player, so I'm not sure what you're getting at. Shinkaruk I also think has 1st line potental and while Jensen could,he is projected to be more of a 2nd liner.
  6. ^ a few of these guys could be with the big club next year. I still consider Jensen a prospect, as he has not broken in with the Canucks full time yet. I would rank Fox in the 12-15 range. He may be good, but he also may be a complete bust. Hard to tell with overagers.
  7. Hamhuis2

    My prospect rankings

    Good job. You forgot Corrado though!
  8. The NHL 2014 Entry draft is finished, and much to the disappointment of some fans, the Canucks did not trade up for the 1st overall pick. That being said, having dealt Ryan Kesler to the Anaheim Ducks, the Canucks ended up holding the #6 and #24 overall picks. With these picks, the Canucks drafted speedy powerforward Jake Virtanen and solid two-way center Jared Mccann. This blog entry will focus on ranking the Canucks current prospects, including the ones just drafted, as well as providing a brief insight on how and when these prospects will make an impact in the NHL. I will finish off the post by providing my projected Canucks lineup for the upcoming years. REMEMBER, THIS IS JUST MY OPINION BASED ON RESEARCH THAT I HAVE CONDUCTED. To start things off, let's rank the Canucks top 10 prospects #1: Bo Horvat Despite having the #6 pick in 2014, Bo Horvat is still considered as the Canucks top prospect. While other prospects may have a higher ceiling than Horvat, Bo is as much as a sure thing as you can get. He is already a great defensive center, and his offensive abilities seem to be developing nicely. Career Projection (in his prime): 55 points (70 point career high) Potential Captain High end PKer Horvat projects to be a #2 center in the NHL. His high end potential is a Patrice Bergeon comparable, while his low end is a Jared Stoll comparable. He will most likely end up being close to a player such as Ryan O'Reilly. ETA: 2014/2015 (9 games), 2015/2016 full time. #2: Jake Virtanen The new kid, Jake Virtanen, comes in at #2 on this list. Jake is exactly what the Canucks need, a fast sniper with a physical edge. Jake has higher end potential than Horvat, how ever, there are some concerns over his playmaking ability. People are concerned about his 26 assists, let me remind you that Jeff Carter only had 4 more in his draft year, while posting less goals.While he is almost guaranteed to be an NHLer due to his incredible athletic ability, we will need to wait to see if it will be on the 1st line, or the 3rd. Career Projection (in his prime): 65 points (75 points career high) Potential Captain Top-20 goal scorer Virtanen projects to be a #1/2 goal scoring power winger in the NHL. While some people think that his hockey IQ (or lack of) will limit him to be a 3rd line winger, others believe that his offensive abilities, combined with a playmaking line mate, will allow him to flourish as a top line player. Virtanen's high end upside is a Jeff Carter comparable, while his low end is a Jason Chimera. He will most likely end up being a Blake Wheeler calibre player (smaller, but faster). ETA: 2016/2017 season. #3 Hunter Shinkaruk Hunter Shinkaruk may be the prospect that excites me the most. In my opinion, he has the highest offensive upside of any of our prospects. His game is dynamic, from skating to shooting, he is a very gifted offensive player. What impresses me the most about him however is his compete level. He isn't tiny, but he's not big either. For a guy of his size, he is quite aggressive on the ice. He has heart and passion, which will do him well in his goal to make the NHL. Career Projection (in his prime): 65 points (80 points career high) Top-20 goal scorer Shinkaruk projects to be a #1/2 speedy winger with great hands and sniping ability. While he has elite offensive skills, his size and injury concerns could hinder his ability to make it to the NHL. It's either top-6 forward or bust for him. The good thing is, so far, it looks like he is set to make the NHL in the near future. His high end potential is a Zach Parise type player. His low end is a bust. Most likely, he will end up to be a Jeff Skinner type player. ETA: 2015/2016 season. #4 Jared Mccann Mccann is another exciting prospect. Mccann already possesses solid defensive abilities, and has on just started to touch on his offensive abilities. Mccann is the type of player who is good now, and has the potential to be great. Career Projection (in his prime): 50 points (60 points career high) Top PKer Mccann projects to be a #2 center in the NHL. He has the potential to be creative, two-way player, he just needs to put it all together. His high end potential is a Logan Couture type player, while is low end is a Brandon Sutter type player. Most likely, he will end up to be a Valteri Filppula type player. ETA: 2016/2017. #5: Nicklas Jensen Jensen has all the tools to be a good NHLer. He's already shown flashes of brilliance at both the AHL and NHL level. He has nice hands, good speed and size, and a knack for the net, he just needs to work on his consistency. Career Projections (in his prime): 50 points (60 points career high) Top-40 goals Jensen projects to be a #2 winger in the NHL. His blend of speed, size, and sniping ability make him a rare player, however he will need to work on using his size better in order to reach his max potential. His high end potential is a James Neal (not playing with Malkin). His low end potential is Michael Ryder. Most likely, he will turn out to be a Jussi Jokinen type player. ETA 2014/2015. #6 Frank Corrado Corrado is our best defensive prospect...for now (you will see with #7). Corrado is very mobile and sound defensively. He still has untapped offensive potential, and could work on his physical game. Overall, he is a very good two-way defender. Career Projection (in his prime): 30 points (40 points career high) Top PKer 2nd Unit PP Frankie projects to be a #3/4 d man in the NHL. He is a very safe player, and can provide a steadying presence for his partner. At his best, Corrado could be a Paul Martin type player. At his worst, Corrado could be a Ben Lovejoy type defender. Overall, Corrado will probably end up being a Kevin Bieksa type player, assuming his physicality picks up a bit. ETA 2014/2015. #7 Ben Hutton Big Ben comes in at #7, but could climb up much higher in the near future. I believe he has the most potential of any of our D prospects, but is harder to compare to other prospects (such as Corrado) who have CHL, AHL, and NHL experience. Hutton is a nice 6'3 200lbs, and is a good skater. With the right development, he could be a very good NHL defender. Career projection (in his prime): 40 points (45 career high) Top PP 2nd Unit PK Top-10 goals by defencemen Hutton projects to be a #3/4 defender at the NHL level for now. However, if he builds on his great season from 2013/2014, he could project to be a #2/#3 guy. He is a very dynamic player, who is good at just about everything. He has the potential to be a PP quarterback in the NHL, while still being solid defensively. His high end potential is a Jack Johnson type player, while his low end is a Jakub Kindl type player. He will likely become a John Carlson type player. ETA 2016/2017. #8 Brendan Guance Gaunce is a big, rugged player. He plays a very heavy game, and excels in a shutdown role. Although he doesn't possess high end speed, his first few steps are explosive, and very underrated. Career projection (in his prime): 40 points (50 career high) Top PK 2nd Unit PP Gaunce is a solid all around player who will be a solid NHLer. While he could be a 2nd line center, I think he projects more to be a high end #3 center in the NHL. His size and strength will help him match up well against more offensive forwards, while his offensive instincts and heavy shot will allow him to put up good point totals. His high end potential is a Patrik Berglund type player, and his low end potential is a Kyle Chipchura type player. Most likely, he will end up as a Kyle Brodziak type player. ETA 2015/2016. #9 Thatcher Demko Demko is another player that I believe will shortly shoot up this list. He possesses everything to be a very good NHL player in the future; size, drive, and a good development program. Demko has all the tools, and if he keeps improving a bit every year, the kid could be a star. Career projection (in his prime): 0.920 SV % (Vezina nomination career high) 2.20 GAA 35 wins I believe in Thatcher Demko because I believe in the Boston College Development program. I've be lucky to watch a number of this games over this past year (unfortunately none live), and Thatch has impressed me. He is already a big guy, and seems to be always in good position. He just brings that calming presence to a team that is vitally important in a good goalie. Overall, Demko projects to be a very good NHL #1 goalie one day, with borderline elite potential. At his highest ceiling, Demko could become a Cory Schneider type goalie. At his worst, Demko could be a Anders Lindback type player. Realistically, I can see Demko becoming a Ben Bishop type goalie. ETA 2018/2019. #10 Cole Cassels Cole is a very interesting player. He seems to have a high compete level, and sees the ice very well. He is also incredibly versatile. With the great season he had in 2013/2014, he has made it up to the #10 spot on my list. Career projection (in his prime) 40 points (50 career high) 2nd Unit PK 2nd Unit PP Cassels reminds me a lot of Chris Higgins, if Higgy played center. He is good in all things, and works hard every night. I like that he plays with a bit of an edge as well, as it makes him very versatile in either a top-6 or a top-9 role. He could be a perfect #7 forward. At his high end, he could be a Frans Nielsen type player, and at his low end, he could be a Dominic Moore type player. Most likely, he ends up as a Derrick Brassard type player. ETA 2016/2017. That concludes my top-10 prospect rankings, feel free to offer your own suggestions in the comments section below. Now, I will give my projected Canucks lineup for the next few years. 2014/2015: Sedins-Vbrata Burrows-Bonino-Kassian Higgins-Horvat/Mattias-Vey Mattias/Sesito-Richardson-Hansen/Dorsett Hamhuis-Bieksa Edler-Tanev Sbisa-Stanton Corrado Miller Lack
  9. Wow I was way off! The Canucks ended up in the best possible position that they could.
  10. ^Good call, I completely forgot about that when I wrote this. I'm not gonna edit the blog post, but thanks for pointing that out.
  11. "Just" another Hedman? That would be fantastic if he could be! Hedman is a huge 2-way dman who is already top-2 on most teams, great defensively and finally tapping into his offensive potential. I would put him on par, or maybe slightly lower with our own Dan Hamhuis.
  12. Anyone interested in a more in depth analysis of the upcoming draft please check out my latest blog entry (it's on CDC). I'm relatively new to blogging but would like to get into it more. All feedback is appreciated, and sorry for the plug!
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