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Article: Fool's game - predict top 10 goal scorers


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Fool's game: Paterson predicts the Canucks' top 10 goalscorers

Jeff Paterson


Last season, the Canucks had just 10 players score more than six goals. Two of them – Radim Vrbata and Jared McCann – don’t play here anymore. For comparison’s sake, the Dallas Stars – the NHL’s highest-scoring team – had a dozen players in double-digits.

So goals were being scored around the NHL. They just weren’t scored with any regularity in Vancouver.

The hope is that will change this coming season, and certainly the free-agent addition of Loui Eriksson will help in that regard. Projecting NHLers’ goal totals is always a fool’s game, which makes me fully qualified to hazard this guess as to who will put the puck in the net for the Canucks in 2016-17 and how often they’ll do it.

For the sake of this exercise, we have to assume players will stay healthy and play relatively full seasons. So here are my top 10 Canucks goal-scorers — and their projected totals for next season:


1. Loui Eriksson

Goals last season: 30 (as a Boston Bruin)

Welcome to town. Now start scoring. I’m expecting the newcomer to reach 30 again in his first season with the Canucks. Based on his age, the fact he’s twice reached the 30-goal milestone in his NHL career, his projected role alongside the Sedins at even strength and on the power play and his $6-million salary, it will be a disappointment if Eriksson isn’t able to score 30.

Daniel Sedin.

2. Daniel Sedin

Goals last season: 28

I have a feeling Eriksson may score a few of Daniel’s goals next season, much as Vrbata did in his first year as a Canuck. As such, I see a slight decline on the horizon for the franchise’s all-time leading goal scorer. I’ll put Daniel down for 24 goals, which is four fewer than he scored last year, but four more than he scored two seasons ago.

Sven Baertschi.

3. Sven Baertschi

Goals last season: 15

I saw enough from Baertschi in the second half of last season to believe he’s capable of cracking the 20-goal mark for the first time in his NHL career. Baertschi scored just two goals in his first 27 games last season, before collecting 13 in his final 42. I’m looking for Baertschi to take a significant step and score 22 goals next season.


4. Brandon Sutter

Goals last season: 5

Limited to just 20 games because of two separate injuries, Sutter barely factored in the Canucks’ goal-scoring last season. Twice a 21-goal scorer earlier in his career, Sutter should be in that ballpark as the second-line centre on this team. I say he’ll come up just shy of 20 and will pencil him in for 19 goals – still his third-best total in nine NHL seasons.

Bo Horvat

5. Bo Horvat

Goals last season: 16

Like Baertschi, Horvat’s season was split in two. He couldn’t buy a goal early, then led the team in scoring in the second half of the schedule. With Sutter expected to play ahead of Horvat on the depth chart, that will eat into his ice time. However, he may see more favourable match-ups, which should allow him to see a slight bump in his goal total. I have Horvat scoring 18 goals next season.

Jannik Hansen

6. Jannik Hansen

Goals last season: 22

Unsure how he’ll be used or where he’ll be slotted, Hansen seems likely to see a dip in his output. However, his versatility and adaptability will still allow him to produce with a variety of linemates. I predict Hansen will score 18 goals.

Anton Rodin

7. Anton Rodin

Goals last season: 16 in 33 games for Brynas in the Swedish Elite League

This one’s a wild card. Rodin’s a 25-year-old rookie coming off three decent seasons in his homeland, but will that translate at the NHL level? I think a 15-goal campaign in the NHL would qualify as a success.

Jake Virtanen

8. Jake Virtanen

Goals last season: 7

As a rookie, Virtanen showed he could handle the physical grind of the NHL. Now, as a top draft pick, he needs to find his scoring touch. He should be more comfortable in his second full season and that will lead to a boost in production. tI’d expect Virtanen to nearly double his output of a year ago and score 13 goals.

Henrik Sedin

9. Henrik Sedin

Goals last season: 11

The captain rarely shoots, so it’s not a surprise he doesn’t score much. He’s a playmaker, but as a top-line centre it would likely help his linemates if he was a threat to score occasionally. He doesn’t venture near the opposition crease much these days. If he’d attack the net a little more, he’d find a few loose pucks to bang home. Let’s give him one more than he scored last season. We’ll go with a 12-goal season for Henrik, who had 18 just two years ago.


10. Emerson Etem

Goals last season: 7

Etem scored seven times in 39 games after being acquired from the New York Rangers in January. But four of those goals came in the team’s final five games, when there was nothing to play for. Perhaps those late goals will help his confidence heading into the new season. In a limited role, Etem should be able to score 10 goals for the Canucks.

Want more butts in the seats? Scoring more goals will help.


The Bottom Line

Last season, the top 10 goal-scorers on the Canucks produced a combined total of 137 goals. My predictions add up to 182, which offers up an additional 45 goals for the team next season.

That may be an ambitious leap, to think the Canucks can inject that much offence over the summer, but they’ve got no choice but to find a way to generate more offence it they’re going to be competitive.



Folks are wondering where the O will come from?   Well there's Paterson's take.

Not including the D, he has an uptick of 45 goals from their top 10 forwards alone.  


Should make for some interesting CDC predictions.


What does your top 10 look like?

(note - I could not care less if the thread concept has been done before, so save your elvising)

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Thanks for posting! 


My predictions 


1) Eriksson -  repeat 30 goal season 

2) D Sedin- I agree Eriksson will take away some goals from Daniel so I'd say 26

3) Baertschi will add to his totals from last year and score 24

4) Horvat - I have him pencilled in at 24 as well.

5) Sutter- if a healthy season I say 20

6) Hansen- depending where he slots I'd say 18

7) Rodin- as a wild card I'd say 17

8) Hank - 15

9) Virtanen- if he has a full season with the big club I'd say 14

10) Etem and Edler- 10

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1 - Dragon Slayer 33 

2 - King Daniel 32

3 - Loui 28 

4 - Hansen 27 

5 - B sutta 23

6 - Bo 19 

7 - Hank 18


9 - Bae 14

10 - Etem 10 


Pretty freaking ambitious ^

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2 hours ago, oldnews said:

Loui and Dank 28 each

Baertschi and Sutter 20 each

Bo, Hansen, Etem, Virtanen 18 each

Hank 12

Burr, Granlund and Edler 10 each


Baer and Hutton hit the 30 assist mark.



Wow virts with 18 eh!?


id be thrilled.  Combined with his hits.  A fun player to watch.

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Eriksson: 31

Daniel: 26

Sutter: 21 (played at a 20 goal pace last year)

Baertschi: 19

Horvat: 18

Hansen: 17

Rödin: 14

Henrik: 14

Burrows: 12

Gudbranson/Virtanen: 10


I think a PP unit of Sedin-Sedin-Eriksson-Hutton-Gudbranson will be lethal. 

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This is bound to make me look like an idiot by the year's end, but what the heck, I'll shoot.


  1. Eriksson - 30
  2. D. Sedin - 24
  3. Baertschi - 21
  4. Horvat - 19
  5. Sutter - 18
  6. Hansen - 15
  7. H. Sedin - 13
  8. Rodin - 12
  9. Etem - 12
  10. Edler - 10

I tend to be more conservative with my estimates.

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Daniel..26  A solid campaign, with lots of helpers.

Baer ..24   Like Danny, starts to snipe consistently

Eriksson  ..22  From injury misses 15~20 games. Team is pleased with his balanced contributions.

Bo  ..21  Solid at both ends. Helps a variety of wingers to play their best.

Hansen  ..18  H Badger showin' last yr was no fluke. Plays up & down lineup.

Sutter  ..17   Provides depth, stability & PK speed. 6 shorties.

Rodin  ...15  Slow 1st half(after last yr's injury), really picks it up later.

Grenier  ..14  The big surprise, starts employin' size.. Virt has a strong yr developing in the A, called up for PO's.

Larsen  ..12  PP bomb from the point, to educate Edm on proper Larseny.

Etem  ..10  Humble number, but he contributes in multitude of ways.


TOTAL- 179 is mighty fine. Our D improves too, en route to a 14th overall finish!

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