Jump to content
The Official Site of the Vancouver Canucks
Canucks Community

Thumbs down Naysayers: I like the Team's development this year


*Buzzsaw*

Recommended Posts

Sorry to all the Naysayers who are screaming for the heads of half the roster... I like the plan JB has in place and I like the Team's development.

First of all, this is a team which is rebuilding.  That is clear.

So we can't expect to be contending for the Division lead or tearing up the NHL.

What I like is the continued development of new and rookie players and their incorporation into a permanent spot on the team.

New and Rookie Player Report Card:

Bo Horvat:  The Bull in his second year, and while he had a slow start to the season, what with all the extra responsibilities thrust on him with the injury to Sutter, in the period leading up to the allstar break showed he is developing into a cornerstone player for the team's future.  I expect he will become a 60 point shutdown center leading the second line, who can take charge physically and show the leadership the future team will need.  Rating B+

Sven Baertschi:  Another slow starter, but one who I believe will be a future top six for the Canucks, Sven showed responsible defensive play from the start, and like Bo, also broke through offensively just before the break.  I expect him to peak at 40-45 points a year depending on whether he makes the first team powerplay.  He has shown signs in the last few games of becoming the kind of PP Quarterback for the second unit Canucks have wanted for a long time.  Rating: B

Jake Virtanen:  It is still very early in Jake's development, he is still a very young 19, and yet I am really excited by what I see.  Watching the Bruins game made me a believer.  While he didn't have a goal or even a point in the game, he was a big factor in the Canuck's win.  From his first shift, he made the entire Bruins defense very aware of his presence.  When was the last time you saw a Canuck's player lay a hit on Charra, annoy the heck out of him, and then refuse to back down?  When was the last time you saw the entire Bruin's defense tip toeing around and looking over their shoulders in case big Jake was coming their way?  Jake was also a threat offensively on quite a number of occasions.  He has that combination of size, acceleration, joy in hitting, and quick heavy shot which makes opposing team's start to sweat.  I think it will be quite a while before he develops to his full potential, but that potential could be HUGE.  Right now I think he is like a Monster Truck engine on idle... just ticking over at low RPM's, not even close to the player he could be when he gains confidence and maturity.  Needs to work on his passing, and on defensive zone coverage... especially needs to start hitting opponent's in the defensive zone... that would be really scary.  Rating: B

Ben Hutton:  An unexpected bonus on the season, Ben Hutton has to be the new bright spot in the generally low wattage Canuck's defense this year.  He has calmly shouldered 3/4 responsibilities, showing Tanev like composure defensively, as well as improving puck handling and offensive skills as the season moves on.  Rating:  B

Alex Biega:  While he is no spring chicken at 27, Alex Biega has filled in for the failure of Yannick Weber to sustain last years play with a solid workman like performance in the 5/6 position.  Perhaps he is on the small side, but he makes up for lack of poundage with better than average speed, excellent positioning, aggressive physicality and a refuse to back down attitude.  And he is a LOT cheaper CAP hit than Weber.  Rating C+

Jared McCann:  A true rookie, and one who might be expected to be challenged more by his lack of size, McCann has showed an unexpected hard nosed attitude... is he a 'Rat' in the making?    Good shot, good speed, good dangle, he needs to work on his faceoff, passing, cycle and defensive play, but overall, a welcome new addition to the team.  Still very young, but potential as a 50 point center, maybe even a first liner if he gets physical wingers who can complement his skills.  Rating:  B

Linden Vey:  Still too early to make a judgement on his season.  Has played better than last year since he has been called up... has formed a partnership with Etem and Burrows which could provide for a decent 3rd line.  Overall potential to be a B, but time will tell.

Emerson Etem:  A bit early to make a judgement, but I am optimistic.  Good size, good hitting, good speed, decent cycle play.  May be gelling with Vey and Burrows on the 3rd line.  Worthwhile pickup.  Rating C+ ?

Jakob Markstrom:  Save the best for last... and I think Markstrom has to be the Canuck's real 'Rookie of the Year'.  After a shaky start in his first few games, with the gentle touch of WD and the sure tutelage of Rollie Melanson, Markstrom has turned much of his season into a hi-light reel.  By my assessment, Markstrom is clearly a future #1, combine his play and the fact Thatcher Demko is shutting them down in the College leagues, and it looks like the Canucks goaltending needs will be well cared for in the forseeable future.  Rating A

Vets Report Card

Daniel:  What needs to be said... 35 and still dominant.  Rating:  A+

Henrik:  Painful, and yet inspiring to watch Henrik struggle through the cheap-shots and lack of respect from the game officials as he nurses a serious injury.  Yet he is still up there in league scoring.  Rating:  A

Jannik Hansen:  Having a career year offensively, still a dominant penalty killer, still able to provide the defensive responsibility required to play with the Sedins.  Hopefully remains with the Canucks for the next 2 years at least.  Rating B+

Radim Vrbata:  Unfortunate to see the dropoff in his production after last year's Canuck MVP performance, but he is still finding a way to contribute and is still 4th in scoring.  Hopefully he will pick it up with the return of Sutter.  Still time for a return to form, and in any case, still a worthwhile trade asset at the deadline.  Rating:  C+

Alex Burrows:  Age is beginning to tell.. but still contributing in many ways... leading shot blocker, 8th on the team in scoring, good PKer, overpaid only if you don't factor in the past years when he was underpaid.  His contributions as a mentor and leader are not acknowledged enough... very well liked team member.  Unlikely to be traded... but I am going out on a limb and predicting the Canucks will do some kind of deal with him next year whereby he takes a playing/coaching position with his existing salary or some other arrangement.  Rating: C+

Derek Dorsett:  Occasional poor judgement in taking penalties, but his good speed, occasional goals, aggressiveness, team play and willingness to stand up for the side and fight makes Dorsett a good roster player.  Rating C+

Brandon Sutter:  Still too early to make a judgement on his season.  He could be a very valuable player down the stretch if he can form a partnership with either the Sedins or Vrbata.  Was headed for a B rating when he was injured.

Adam Cracknell:  Servicable utility player who was there as needed to fill in for injured players... had a good early part of the season, but has tailed off offensively a bit before the break.  Responsible defensively.  Rating C

Chris Higgins:  Biggest disappointment of the season.  Expected to produce 25-30 points after a good previous season, his broken ankle could possibly be a career killer.  Hopefully there could still be a return at the deadline if the Canucks swallow part of his salary.  Rating D-

Brandon Prust:  Obviously a disappointment, but what can be said... an ankle injury is difficult to recover from.  He was only asset offered the Canucks in exchange for Kassian who was going nowhere with this team and who needed the wakeup call administered in the minors.  Prust could still yield a late draft pick at the deadline.  Biggest failure... not providing the level of toughness expected.  Rating D-

Alex Edler:  Not up to the level of play he showed last year... the stabilizing effect of Tanev as partner has been missed during that player's injuries... plus Edler is being required to play longer minutes than he is really capable of.  A solid dependable #2 defenseman who is being asked to be a #1.  Rating B

Chris Tanev:  His player development has now plateau'ed, Tanev is what he is, a reliable and calm influence on the back end who moves the puck well and makes very few mistakes defensively but who is not much of an offensive force... Canuck's 1/2 pair actually has two #2's.  Rating  B

Luca Sbisa:  Hampered by his injury... but he does continues his slow development towards being a decent #4.  Rating C+

Matt Bartkowski:  A #6 defenseman who is sometimes asked to be to be a 3/4, which he isn't.  Decent partner with Biega in the 5/6.  Rating C

Dan Hamhuis:  Sad to see one of the team's 'Nice Guys' go down.  Too early to make a prediction on his season... was headed for a B or C+ rating as a 3/4 defenseman, but with his injury, recovery to that level may be difficult.  Do not think he will be trade bait at the deadline... his uncertain future as a result of his injury status makes it unlikely many teams will be interested.  May be dealt in the summer if his play picks up after he returns.  A class guy who makes any dressing room better, he adds leadership to any team he is a part of.

Yannick Weber:  Big disappointment... or not, depending on whether you saw his last season as a fluke or well deserved.  Has lost all his offensive confidence, and now crippled defensively... you almost want to hide your eyes when he handles the puck in the D Zone.  Soon to be a non-Canuck.  Rating D-

Ryan Miller:  Perhaps not quite as good as last season, but can still steal games for the Canucks.  And the good news is he has a better backup.  Still an indispensable member of the team, still too early for Markstrom to take over #1.  I do not expect him to be traded at the deadline... but I do think he will be gone at the draft when Benning will try to parlay him into an extra #1 pick or perhaps a chance to move up.  Rating B+

-----------

Biggest problem for the Canucks remains their back end... Benning has already acknowledged this, and I expect to see a focus on drafting defensemen, with perhaps a trade to move up.  Strongest point is team goal-tending.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

43 minutes ago, *Buzzsaw* said:

Sorry to all the Naysayers who are screaming for the heads of half the roster... I like the plan JB has in place and I like the Team's development.

First of all, this is a team which is rebuilding.  That is clear.

So we can't expect to be contending for the Division lead or tearing up the NHL.

What I like is the continued development of new and rookie players and their incorporation into a permanent spot on the team.

New and Rookie Player Report Card:

Bo Horvat:  The Bull in his second year, and while he had a slow start to the season, what with all the extra responsibilities thrust on him with the injury to Sutter, in the period leading up to the allstar break showed he is developing into a cornerstone player for the team's future.  I expect he will become a 60 point shutdown center leading the second line, who can take charge physically and show the leadership the future team will need.  Rating B+

Sven Baertschi:  Another slow starter, but one who I believe will be a future top six for the Canucks, Sven showed responsible defensive play from the start, and like Bo, also broke through offensively just before the break.  I expect him to peak at 40-45 points a year depending on whether he makes the first team powerplay.  He has shown signs in the last few games of becoming the kind of PP Quarterback for the second unit Canucks have wanted for a long time.  Rating: B

Jake Virtanen:  It is still very early in Jake's development, he is still a very young 19, and yet I am really excited by what I see.  Watching the Bruins game made me a believer.  While he didn't have a goal or even a point in the game, he was a big factor in the Canuck's win.  From his first shift, he made the entire Bruins defense very aware of his presence.  When was the last time you saw a Canuck's player lay a hit on Charra, annoy the heck out of him, and then refuse to back down?  When was the last time you saw the entire Bruin's defense tip toeing around and looking over their shoulders in case big Jake was coming their way?  Jake was also a threat offensively on quite a number of occasions.  He has that combination of size, acceleration, joy in hitting, and quick heavy shot which makes opposing team's start to sweat.  I think it will be quite a while before he develops to his full potential, but that potential could be HUGE.  Right now I think he is like a Monster Truck engine on idle... just ticking over at low RPM's, not even close to the player he could be when he gains confidence and maturity.  Needs to work on his passing, and on defensive zone coverage... especially needs to start hitting opponent's in the defensive zone... that would be really scary.  Rating: B

Ben Hutton:  An unexpected bonus on the season, Ben Hutton has to be the new bright spot in the generally low wattage Canuck's defense this year.  He has calmly shouldered 3/4 responsibilities, showing Tanev like composure defensively, as well as improving puck handling and offensive skills as the season moves on.  Rating:  B

Alex Biega:  While he is no spring chicken at 27, Alex Biega has filled in for the failure of Yannick Weber to sustain last years play with a solid workman like performance in the 5/6 position.  Perhaps he is on the small side, but he makes up for lack of poundage with better than average speed, excellent positioning, aggressive physicality and a refuse to back down attitude.  And he is a LOT cheaper CAP hit than Weber.  Rating C+

Jared McCann:  A true rookie, and one who might be expected to be challenged more by his lack of size, McCann has showed an unexpected hard nosed attitude... is he a 'Rat' in the making?    Good shot, good speed, good dangle, he needs to work on his faceoff, passing, cycle and defensive play, but overall, a welcome new addition to the team.  Still very young, but potential as a 50 point center, maybe even a first liner if he gets physical wingers who can complement his skills.  Rating:  B

Linden Vey:  Still too early to make a judgement on his season.  Has played better than last year since he has been called up... has formed a partnership with Etem and Burrows which could provide for a decent 3rd line.  Overall potential to be a B, but time will tell.

Emerson Etem:  A bit early to make a judgement, but I am optimistic.  Good size, good hitting, good speed, decent cycle play.  May be gelling with Vey and Burrows on the 3rd line.  Worthwhile pickup.  Rating C+ ?

Jakob Markstrom:  Save the best for last... and I think Markstrom has to be the Canuck's real 'Rookie of the Year'.  After a shaky start in his first few games, with the gentle touch of WD and the sure tutelage of Rollie Melanson, Markstrom has turned much of his season into a hi-light reel.  By my assessment, Markstrom is clearly a future #1, combine his play and the fact Thatcher Demko is shutting them down in the College leagues, and it looks like the Canucks goaltending needs will be well cared for in the forseeable future.  Rating A

Vets Report Card

Daniel:  What needs to be said... 35 and still dominant.  Rating:  A+

Henrik:  Painful, and yet inspiring to watch Henrik struggle through the cheap-shots and lack of respect from the game officials as he nurses a serious injury.  Yet he is still up there in league scoring.  Rating:  A

Jannik Hansen:  Having a career year offensively, still a dominant penalty killer, still able to provide the defensive responsibility required to play with the Sedins.  Hopefully remains with the Canucks for the next 2 years at least.  Rating B+

Radim Vrbata:  Unfortunate to see the dropoff in his production after last year's Canuck MVP performance, but he is still finding a way to contribute and is still 4th in scoring.  Hopefully he will pick it up with the return of Sutter.  Still time for a return to form, and in any case, still a worthwhile trade asset at the deadline.  Rating:  C+

Alex Burrows:  Age is beginning to tell.. but still contributing in many ways... leading shot blocker, 8th on the team in scoring, good PKer, overpaid only if you don't factor in the past years when he was underpaid.  His contributions as a mentor and leader are not acknowledged enough... very well liked team member.  Unlikely to be traded... but I am going out on a limb and predicting the Canucks will do some kind of deal with him next year whereby he takes a playing/coaching position with his existing salary or some other arrangement.  Rating: C+

Derek Dorsett:  Occasional poor judgement in taking penalties, but his good speed, occasional goals, aggressiveness, team play and willingness to stand up for the side and fight makes Dorsett a good roster player.  Rating C+

Brandon Sutter:  Still too early to make a judgement on his season.  He could be a very valuable player down the stretch if he can form a partnership with either the Sedins or Vrbata.  Was headed for a B rating when he was injured.

Adam Cracknell:  Servicable utility player who was there as needed to fill in for injured players... had a good early part of the season, but has tailed off offensively a bit before the break.  Responsible defensively.  Rating C

Chris Higgins:  Biggest disappointment of the season.  Expected to produce 25-30 points after a good previous season, his broken ankle could possibly be a career killer.  Hopefully there could still be a return at the deadline if the Canucks swallow part of his salary.  Rating D-

Brandon Prust:  Obviously a disappointment, but what can be said... an ankle injury is difficult to recover from.  He was only asset offered the Canucks in exchange for Kassian who was going nowhere with this team and who needed the wakeup call administered in the minors.  Prust could still yield a late draft pick at the deadline.  Biggest failure... not providing the level of toughness expected.  Rating D-

Alex Edler:  Not up to the level of play he showed last year... the stabilizing effect of Tanev as partner has been missed during that player's injuries... plus Edler is being required to play longer minutes than he is really capable of.  A solid dependable #2 defenseman who is being asked to be a #1.  Rating B

Chris Tanev:  His player development has now plateau'ed, Tanev is what he is, a reliable and calm influence on the back end who moves the puck well and makes very few mistakes defensively but who is not much of an offensive force... Canuck's 1/2 pair actually has two #2's.  Rating  B

Luca Sbisa:  Hampered by his injury... but he does continues his slow development towards being a decent #4.  Rating C+

Matt Bartkowski:  A #6 defenseman who is sometimes asked to be to be a 3/4, which he isn't.  Decent partner with Biega in the 5/6.  Rating C

Dan Hamhuis:  Sad to see one of the team's 'Nice Guys' go down.  Too early to make a prediction on his season... was headed for a B or C+ rating as a 3/4 defenseman, but with his injury, recovery to that level may be difficult.  Do not think he will be trade bait at the deadline... his uncertain future as a result of his injury status makes it unlikely many teams will be interested.  May be dealt in the summer if his play picks up after he returns.  A class guy who makes any dressing room better, he adds leadership to any team he is a part of.

Yannick Weber:  Big disappointment... or not, depending on whether you saw his last season as a fluke or well deserved.  Has lost all his offensive confidence, and now crippled defensively... you almost want to hide your eyes when he handles the puck in the D Zone.  Soon to be a non-Canuck.  Rating D-

Ryan Miller:  Perhaps not quite as good as last season, but can still steal games for the Canucks.  And the good news is he has a better backup.  Still an indispensable member of the team, still too early for Markstrom to take over #1.  I do not expect him to be traded at the deadline... but I do think he will be gone at the draft when Benning will try to parlay him into an extra #1 pick or perhaps a chance to move up.  Rating B+

-----------

Biggest problem for the Canucks remains their back end... Benning has already acknowledged this, and I expect to see a focus on drafting defensemen, with perhaps a trade to move up.  Strongest point is team goal-tending.

 

 

 

This team really has done quite well, all things considered. It takes time to turn the youth into stars, our approach of keeping a strong core of veterans around them seems to be working, and we're able to remove a few of the veterans as the young guys get their experience and confidence levels up.

Looking forward to the trading deadline and seeing what we do to move out guys like Vrbata for picks and prospects.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote

 

I'm not a tanker either, I'm a truster. A truster in Jimmy B. Agree with buzz saw, we are rebuilding. We also need to be patient with the young guys. Check out the Sedin's stats in their first five seasons. Go Nucks!!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, homersexual said:

This is grading on a curve? Virtanen's 2 goals gets a B and Hansen who is having a career year is a B+. I wish you were my teacher in high school.

I assume expectations factors into the grading in some fashion. Defensively he's delivered as expected, scoring more than usual. (Sedin effect? :P ). Virtanen as a 19 year old has performed admirably. Probably more of a C/C+ than a B though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, VegasCanuck said:

This team really has done quite well, all things considered. It takes time to turn the youth into stars, our approach of keeping a strong core of veterans around them seems to be working, and we're able to remove a few of the veterans as the young guys get their experience and confidence levels up.

Looking forward to the trading deadline and seeing what we do to move out guys like Vrbata for picks and prospects.

Just wondering how you can rate us as doing quite well. WE are in 24 th place of 30 teams. 

Would you hoping for us to finish 29th out of  30 teams ?

We are now in a shoot out with the worst team in the league..   Do your really think we have a pretty good team ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, homersexual said:

This is grading on a curve? Virtanen's 2 goals gets a B and Hansen who is having a career year is a B+. I wish you were my teacher in high school.

As mentioned, I separated the team into two groups and I judge the new guys differently than the Vets.

And Virtanen is all about the intangibles right now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, *Buzzsaw* said:

As mentioned, I separated the team into two groups and I judge the new guys differently than the Vets.

And Virtanen is all about the intangibles right now.

Virtanen is all about other things than hockey.  The league is too fast now to be out of shape, because of poor off ice choices.  I have been a HUGE Virtanen defender on CDC, but his recent poor choices do have me concerned.  The sooner we get his FAT ASS to Utica the better.  I think this kid needs to be broken, like a young colt.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...