Chatting With Harman Dayal About The Vancouver Canucks

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Harman Dayal of The Athletic Vancouver  (@HarmanDayal2

Dayal primarily writes about the Vancouver Canucks and uses quite a bit of microstats to help drive home his point.

In the interview with Dayal, we talked about various topics including who might be great off-season additions for the Canucks, the Canucks farm system, some of their RFAs and who the Canucks should look to trade. 

So, let’s jump in and see what Dayal had to say about the Canucks.

The Interview

Josh: When you look back on last season, what surprised you the most about the Vancouver Canucks? 
 
Harman: I think the outcome of the season as far as the Canucks missing out on the playoffs was rather predictable, but the way that the youth carried the team was really impressive. For one, for as good as Elias Pettersson was in Sweden the year prior, I don’t think anyone would have expected him to emerge as a near point a game centre. It’s a massive boon for the rebuild moving forward for Pettersson to be the face of the franchise type number one centre that every contending team has. Bo Horvat had arguably the toughest deployment of any centre in the league and continued the development of his two-way game while posting a career high 61 points. Brock Boeser fought through injuries, but was a consistent scorer when in the lineup.
 
Josh: In one of your recent posts, Project Petey, Part 1: Impact players the Canucks can add right now by leveraging their cap space, you discussed potential targets for an offer-sheet. You discussed how Andre Burakovsky would be a good target. Do you have any concern about Burakovsky’s performance last season in Washington?
 
Harman: I don’t because Burakovsky’s production was suppressed in large part because he was marginalized in the bottom-six. He averaged just over 11 minutes per night and saw no power-play time. Looking at his 5-on-5 scoring rate per hour, he still produced at a clear cut second-line rate. I have no doubt that he’d rebound under better circumstances.
 
Josh: Do you believe that Jason Zucker would be a good fit in Vancouver? If you do/you don’t, can you please explain why.
 
Harman: Jason Zucker would be a great fit. He’s scored 20+ goals in three consecutive seasons and would likely be a 50+ point player if his tough luck from last year regresses and he plays with better centres than he did with the Wild. Moreover, Zucker is a phenomenal two-way play-driver whose value goes way beyond the points that he puts up. Zucker would legitimately elevate the play of someone like Pettersson or Horvat whilst also bringing the speed and transition ability that the Canucks so desperately lack.
 
Josh: Should the Canucks sign Josh Leivo or do you believe the Canucks might try to trade his RFA rights?
 
Harman: I think they should re-sign Leivo. Leivo might just be one of the most underrated Canucks because his value goes far beyond his offensive production. What gets forgotten is that when he’s on the ice he’s an excellent possession driver with his team usually doing much better at controlling shots, scoring chances and goals compared to when he’s on the bench.
 
Josh: Alexander Edler is a UFA this offseason. Should Jim Benning look to re-sign Edler? If yes, what do you believe his next contract might look like?
 
Harman: Jim Benning has no option but to pursue an extension for Alex Edler because there are no other viable options on the blue line to take the mantle as the team’s top left-handed defenceman. The stipulation in the negotiations will certainly be about expansion draft protection as I can’t imagine Vancouver would be thrilled about the idea of having to protect a 34 or 35-year-old Edler for the Seattle expansion.
 
Josh: Based on what you’ve seen from Thatcher Demko and Michael DiPietro, who do you believe will be the future number one goaltender in Vancouver?
 
Harman: Goalies really are voodoo and they’re quite tough to project. Demko likely has the better shot because he’s graduated to the NHL level and thus closer to the end point. Ultimately, goalie development is fickle and so only time will tell. It’s definitely good that they’ve got another top prospect in DiPietro.
 
Josh: How much do you believe that Brock Boeser will able to net in his next contract?
 
Harman: Boeser will probably be able to net something in the $7.4-7.6 million range on a six year deal based on past contract comparable.
 
Josh: Which Canucks prospect are you most looking forward to seeing in the NHL down the road?
 
Harman: I don’t know if I still get to call him a prospect because he had his cup of coffee this past season, but I’m stoked to see what Quinn Hughes will be able to deliver next year. He’s an electrifying skater who adds a much needed offensive punch to Vancouver’s blueline. I don’t think the city’s frankly ever seen a defenceman as exciting or with as high a ceiling as Hughes.
 
Josh: Recently, you wrote the post, Why the Canucks should sell high on Ben Hutton. Who do you believe would be a good trade partner for Hutton?
 
Harman: It’s tough to speculate on who’d be interested in Hutton as an outsider, but I figure you’ll be trying to target teams searching for left-handed defencemen. The Jets are one team who’s desperate for help on the left side. Ottawa and Boston have been previously rumoured to be interested in Hutton and if the Bruins move Torey Krug or if Zdeno Chara retires I could see them kicking tires.
 
Josh: Do you believe that the Canucks will look to lure Artemi Panarin to town? A line comprised of Panarin-Pettersson-Boeser could be the most dominant line in the NHL. Should Jim Benning look at making this happen?
 
Harman: I can’t speak for the Canucks interests, but I personally believe that they should be all over Panarin. I see him as a top-25 forward in the league and at 27 he’s definitely one of the younger UFAs in recent times. Anytime you can add a player of that calibre without giving up anything but cap space you have to try and take advantage.

Thank You

Thank you Harman for taking the time to answer my questions on the Vancouver Canucks. Look forward to interviewing you again in the future.

Is Pettersson A Lock For The Calder? Who Else Could Win?

One of the most perplexing aspects of every NHL season is rookies, more specifically the race for the Calder Trophy. And, this season is no different, with a variety of strong candidates making convincing arguments for the title of best rookie.

Goalies

Jordan Binnington-G St. Louis Blues

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Binnington, a third round pick  of the Blues (88th overall) in 2011, shone bright for St. Louis as an unexpected late-bloomer. The 25 year-old net-minder posted 24 wins, 5 shutouts, a .927 SV% and a 1.89 GAA in 32 games this season. Binnington’s great performance is widely acknowledged to have saved to Blues season.

Although Binnington is quite good, I wouldn’t necessarily hand him the Calder, mainly due to his importance to the Blues, which means a Hart trophy may be more appropriate.

Carter Hart-G Philadelphia Flyers

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Hart entered the season as one of the best prospects in hockey, and finished as an established NHL goaltender. After struggling in the AHL to start the year, a desperate call up turned Hart into the Flyers best goalie. In 31 games with the Flyers, the 20 year-old posted 16 wins, a .917 SV% and a 2.83 GAA. Although these totals are far less impressive than Binnington’s, Hart is 5 years younger, and was playing his first season of professional hockey.

Personally, I wouldn’t give Hart the Calder either, but he deserves massive credit for his performance this season.

MacKenzie Blackwood-G New Jersey Devils

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In a season of few upsides for the New Jersey Devils, fans can take solace in Mackenzie Blackwood’s performance. Far-and-away the best statistical net-minder to suit up for the Devils this season, Blackwood posted a .918 SV% and a 2.61 GAA in 23 games played, 10 of which were wins.

Although Blackwood impressed, and should get Devils fans excited for the near-future in goal, he couldn’t stop the bleeding in New Jersey that Hart and Binnington could in Philadelphia and St. Louis respectively. Thus, Blackwood isn’t exactly a contender for the Calder.

Defenders

Rasmus Dahlin-D Buffalo Sabres

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2018’s 1st overall pick did not disappoint in his debut season. Totaling 44 points in 82 games, Dahlin filled a big hole on Buffalo’s back-end and played an unexpectedly large role on an up-and-coming Sabres squad.

In those 82 games, Dahlin registered a 52.7 CF%, a 98.5 PDO rating and 14 GC (goals created), all while starting 58.9% of his shifts in the offensive zone.

Dahlin certainly has a chance to win the Calder, as he is easily the best rookie defender in the league, but other candidates make a better impression.

Miro Heiskanen-D Dallas Stars

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Heiskanen, drafted 3rd overall in 2017, dazzled fans with his silky smooth skating and offensive prowess. The Finnish defender scored 12 goals and 33 points in 82 games with the stars this season. Heiskanen averaged a 50.9 CF %, a 97.8 PDO rating and recorded 12 GC, all while playing 23:07 ATOI.

These stats are very impressive for Heiskanen, and earned him an all-star appearance. Despite this, I wouldn’t necessarily give him the Calder either, as he was outperformed by other candidates.

Forwards

Elias Pettersson-F Vancouver Canucks

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Easily the most the most talked about rookie this season, Pettersson dominated in almost every game he played. The Swedish sensation potted 28 goals and 66 points, 44 of which were 5v5, in 71 games for the Canucks this season, but his impact goes far deeper than production. Registering a 51.4 CF%, a 100.0 PDO rating while starting an astonishing 70.5% of his shifts in the offensive zone. also, not to be forgotten, Pettersson was responsible for the creation of 26 goals (GC) while averaging 18:14 ATOI.

It is very hard to argue against Pettersson for the Calder, although there are other worthy candidates.

Andreas Johnsson-F Toronto Maple Leafs

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Johnsson, a 24 year-old Swede, was selected in the 7th round by the Leafs in 2013. A star in the SHL, Johnsson had to work through lots of adversity to reach the NHL level, battling through asthma just to make the Marlies.

This season, he scored 20 goals and 43 points in 73 games with the Leafs this season. Johnsson recorded a 54.1 CF% and a 102.8 PDO rating. It’s safe to say that Johnsson over-performed a bit, but that doesn’t make his rookie season any less special. Johnsson has incredible worth to the Leafs, as he really clicked every where he played, especially with number one centre Auston Matthews.

Although Johnsson was really good for the Leafs, he isn’t exactly on the level of Pettersson, or Dahlin as a matter of fact.

My Pick For The Calder

It seems like a no-brainer at this point, but Elias Pettersson is my pick for the 2019 Calder trophy. His electrifying play and influence really stood out among rookies this season, and thus he is deserving of the Calder.

Statistics retrieved from hockey-reference.com, nhl.com, and quanthocky.com

 

 

 

 

Puck77

NHL Mock Draft Part Two: Selections 6-10

Part one is done, which looked at my prediction of the top-five National Hockey League entry draft selections, which means we are going through picks 6-10 for part two!

 

In this part I predict a trade, but other than that it is a straightforward prediction. For a quick refresher, Kappo Kakko went first, Jack Hughes went second, Cole Caufield at third, Alex Turcotte went fourth and Bowen Byram went fifth. 

 

Sixth Overall Pick: Detroit Red Wings trade back!

A trade kicks off part two, and it is a small one, but with a big impact. The Red Wings, I believe, are eyeing a prospect that should be available at 10th overall, owned by the Vancouver Canucks, and so they swap places, with Vancouver also eating Danny DeKeyser’s contract. Canucks fans have always complained about getting screwed over by the draft lottery, and so the team decides it’s time to move up, at the cost of DeKeyser’s hefty contract. Trade is Detroit’s 2019 sixth overall pick to Vancouver in exchange for the 10th overall pick, and Danny DeKeyser. So, here’s the pick:

 

Sixth Overall Pick: Vancouver Canucks select Trevor Zegras, Center/Both Wings, USNTDP

Zegras is like Alex Turcotte and Bowen Byram (who were selected in part one) in which he could arguably be the third overall pick. But with the Caufield selection at three, and Turcotte and Byram ultimately falling, Zegras is left available for the taking. (Why Detroit wouldn’t take him here will be explained when pick 10 rolls around).

For Vancouver, they have been dying to select a versatile, sure-fire future elite forward on draft day for a while. I know what you’re thinking, what about Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat? Pettersson was selected back in 2016, and needed a season before making the jump and, ultimately, becoming their best player. Boeser was everything but a sure-fire deal, being taken at 23rd overall in 2015. Horvat was drafted in 2013, at the tail end of the top 10 (ninth overall) and also wasn’t exactly a sure thing.

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So, it’s been a few years and the Canucks want more, and Zegras is probably the best forward (aside from Pettersson) that they have selected in the draft, and whether he ends up more vital to the team than Horvat and Boeser will be found out within a few years.

Zegras piled up 14 goals and 26 assists (40 points) in 27 games with the USNTDP juniors. The fact that he didn’t play up with Turcotte and Jack Hughes tells me he has about 1-2 years before making the jump to the NHL, but his playmaking ability is outstanding. He proved that when he played for the US National U-18 team for 60 games, where he put up 26 goals and 61 assists (87 points).

Next season, like with Caufield and Turcotte, he is committed to joining an NCAA club, and for him it’s Boston University. BU is well known in the hockey community thanks to Jack Eichel, Charlie McAvoy and Charlie Coyle, just to name a few, so I feel that this is a big step in the right direction for Zegras.

Next Year’s Role: NCAA minutes, likely won’t join the NHL club at any point next season, unless he dominates with BU.

 

Seventh Overall Pick: Buffalo Sabres select Dylan Cozens, Center/Right Wing, Lethbridge Hurricanes, WHL

This is an excellent selection for the Sabres. But then again, if any of the aforementioned players were available here, and the Sabres picked them, it would be excellent. That’s just how strong the top-10 prospects are in this class.

Playing in the WHL last season with Lethbridge, Cozens put up 34 goals and 50 assists (84 points) in 68 games, along with four goals and four assists (eight points) in seven playoff games. Cozens is leading the next wave of power forwards, that is currently led by Mark Stone of the Vegas Golden Knights.

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Cozens is well balanced, with a good shot and good vision. But his defensive abilities, paired with his well-balanced scoring touch, prompted LastWordOnHockey’s Ben Kerr to believe he could be a first line center with a chance at winning the Selke Trophy. That’s big praise from a guy who does several scouting reports on all different players every year. Cozens could make the jump to the NHL off of a strong camp, but the chances are he needs another year or so to advance to the next level. 

Next Year’s Role: WHL time with Lethbridge, likely won’t join the club late in the season, but it is possible.

 

Eighth Overall Pick: Edmonton Oilers select Matthew Boldy, Left Wing, USNTDP


Why Matthew Boldy here? I know it’s a little off the board, and he is not the best player available. But that by no means says that he is not a good player. Boldy has good size (6’2”, 192 pounds), and he had a very good season with the USNTDP Juniors club. He racked up 17 goals and 26 assists (43 points) in 28 games, adding another 33 goals and 48 assists (81 points) in 64 games with the US National U-18 team. He might not be the best skater in the draft by any means, but as fellow Puck77 contributor Tony Ferrari points out, with some adjustment in his stride as well as a better first step and in general acceleration, he could wind up being one of the best players in the draft.

Now, when we head on over to Edmonton’s roster, we see they have a strong center core, both young and experienced (Connor McDavid, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jujhar Khaira in the NHL, Ryan McLeod, Cooper Marody in their pool) as well as a solid bunch of right wingers with promise (Leon Draisaitl, Jesse Puljujarvi in NHL, Kailer Yamamoto, Kirill Maksimov, Ostap Mafin in pool), as well as defenseman (Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse in NHL, Evan Bouchard, Dmitri Samorukov, Ethan Bear in pool).

As for left wings, they have Milan Lucic and Tobias Rieder on the NHL club, and Tyler Benson in their pool. That is a very weak core, relative to their other positions (outside of goaltending), and while some players may go and new players will come in within the time that Boldy will be in the juniors/minors developing, they should still get a headstart in building up that very weak left wing.

Boldy is a safer pick than some guys who may have higher upside, but regardless, he fills a pretty large need the Oilers have. This is not that much of a reach either, it’s just that he was in the shadows of the earlier USNTDP picks and is, in my opinion, overlooked by the general fan. I believe this would be a great selection for Edmonton. He has committed to Boston College (NCAA) next season, where he will not be in anyone’s shadow.

Next Year’s Role: NCAA minutes, no chance he joins the Oilers late in season barring major injuries and/or he dominates in Boston College.

 

9th Overall Pick: Anaheim selects Kirby Dach, Center, Saskatoon Blades, WHL

Dach going to the Ducks is a match made in heaven. We all know the frustrating in-your-face, kind of dirty style of play that the Ducks utilize. While Dach isn’t necessarily dirty, he is a big guy, standing at 6’4, 198 pounds, and can very easily use that frame to fit the bill of a Duck.

The Ducks core is aging, and their prospect pool is very weak. They go best player available at this selection, and it really couldn’t be better for Anaheim. His size isn’t the only thing that is enticing.

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Dach had 25 goals and 48 assists (73 points) in 62 games played with Saskatoon, as well as five goals and three assists (eight points) in 10 postseason games played. He did not play any international games this past season with Canada, which is why he “dropped” to ninth (he ranges anywhere from third to 13th in this class) but he is still an intriguing prospect.

The knock on Dach is three things: 1) His acceleration is not good enough to translate to the NHL at this moment and he needs to really improve in that area to be a successful player at the next level. 2) He tends to keep his head down when skating with the puck, and despite his size, has gotten destroyed by hits on several occasions. 3) Finally, a lot of experts and fellow contributors on the site say that he does not have a very high ceiling (potential), but does have a very good skill set, or in other words, a high floor.

Next Year’s Role: Sticks with Saskatoon in the WHL all season, does not join NHL club at the end of Juniors.

 

10th Overall Pick: Detroit Red Wings (via Vancouver) selects Victor Soderstrom, Right-Handed Defenseman, Brynas IF, SHL

First off, right handed defenseman are a rare breed, and whenever you have a chance to grab one through the draft in the first round (especially at tenth overall), you take that guy.

In Detroit’s case, they had the sixth overall pick, but I would consider it a reach if they took Soderstrom there, because of all the talented forwards. You’re probably thinking, why would Detroit, a rebuilding team, trade back when they had talented forwards to choose from? Because they have young NHL centers in Dylan Larkin and Michael Rasmussen, as well as young NHL wingers in Anthony Mantha, Andreas Athanasiou, and Tyler Bertuzzi. Not to mention, forward prospects in Taro Hirose, Filip Zadina, and Joseph Veleno.

How about young NHL defenseman, that are right handed? Madison Bowey in the NHL, and Filip Hronek as a prospect. Most of their defensive prospects are left handed, including their top D prospects in Jared McIsaac and Dennis Cholowski. So Detroit does not necessarily need forwards, and they do need a right handed defenseman, who happens to be (arguably) the second best D-man in the draft class, while also off-loading a bad contract.

Soderstrom started the season with Brynas IF’s junior team in the U-20 division, where he played 14 games, with one goal and seven assists (eight points). When he made the jump to the SHL, which is Sweden’s version of the NHL, he produced just four goals and three assists (seven points) in 44 games, with a not-so-good -11 +/-. But, the fact that he was constantly relied on and kept at the highest level as an 18-year-old against men says something.

Playing for Sweden at the World Junior Championships, he recorded one assist in four games, which was also underwhelming production. But what makes him arguably the best defenseman available after Byram is taken, is his well-rounded skill set. He is a very good skater, and has an ability to get shots on net through traffic consistently. He is good transitionally, with the IQ to know when to join the rush and attack, and when to stick back.

Despite being 5’11, 182 pounds, he does a good job using his body to win battles in front of the net or in the corners. His floor, offensively, is really low at the moment, but he is playing against men and not kids in his age group, so that sets him back a step. But he has the skating and shooting ability to give him a base in which NHL coaches can build upon once he makes the jump.

As he bulks up, and gets stronger, the more battles he will win along the boards and in front of the net defensively, and playing against men actually boosts his ceiling for his defensive game. If he’s finding success this early with his size in the SHL (and he bulks up), he could be a very reliable defenseman in his own end.

Next Year’s Role: Likely stays in Sweden. I don’t see him coming to North America to play AHL hockey, or CHL hockey. It’s best he stays in Europe one more year against tough competition to build up on his defensive game.

 

All stats via Elite Prospects

Rankings inspired by other contributors on Puck77

Featured Image Photo Credit: Nikos Michals

Vancouver Canucks

Vancouver Canucks: The Case For A Jason Zucker Trade

Should the Vancouver Canucks pursue a trade for Minnesota Wild forward Jason Zucker?

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A few days ago, our very own Spencer Teixeira wrote a post on where might Jason Zucker be dealt. Teixeira suggested that the Colorado Avalanche, the Carolina Hurricanes and the New Jersey Devils would be great fits. But, the Canucks might be a good fit as well.

The Canucks desperately need depth on the wings. Their current wingers aren’t a great and are on the weaker end of the spectrum. The Canucks best winger is Brock Boeser, who spent the majority of his time last season with Elias Pettersson. Aside from Boeser, the Canucks have many top 9 wingers including Tanner Pearson, Loui Eriksson, Jake Virtanen and Josh Leivo. While Pearson, Eriksson, Virtanen and Leivo have value to the Canucks organization, most of them are playing in roles that aren’t the greatest fit. So, it’s time for Canucks general manager to arm his team with additional help on the wing.

Zucker would fit in quite well in Vancouver. While fans saw a decline in Zucker’s offensive productivity last season (21 goals and 21 assists in 81 games), he could still have a bounce back season and be a valuable asset for the Canucks franchise.

Let’s Look At The Charts

Plus, if you look at Jason Zucker’s wins above replacement (WAR) per minute in the chart below (created by Sean Tierney, data from EvolvingWild), you’ll see that had Zucker been on the Canucks last season, he would have had the third higher WAR per minute. Jacob Markstrom and Pettersson had slightly better WAR per minute rate than Zucker.

Primary Shot Contributions

In addition, the chart (created by Sean Tierney, data from EvolvingWild and Corey Sznajder) below shows primary shot contributions for the Minnesota Wild last season. By looking at this chart, you’ll see that Zucker not only had the most shots per 60 of the Wild team, but he also had a lot of primary assists per 60 (A1/60) as well. Aside from Eric Fehr and Mikael Granlund, Zucker had the third highest A1/60 for a winger in Minnesota. 

Primary Shot Contributions vs GAR

Last but not least, Zucker was one of the most effective Wild forwards in primary shot contributions versus goals above replacement (GAR). In the chart below (created by Sean Tierney, data from Evolving Wild and Corey Sznajder), you’ll see that Zucker had the best primary shot contribution numbers on the Wild and had a relative high GAR. 

Zucker Will Be Costly, But Rewarding

While it’s clear that Zucker would be a great fit for the Canucks, he’s not going to be cheap.

The Minnesota Wild aren’t going to let themselves get ripped off. They have the same data that I’m showing you. So, why would they let Benning and the Canucks front office take advantage of them?

Instead, Benning would have to most likely part ways with a high draft pick, a AHL prospect and a NHL ready asset. While you might consider that to be a decent amount to trade for Zucker, I wouldn’t. If you want offensive production, you have to pay for offensive production. Plus, just imagine Zucker playing alongside Pettersson and Boeser. That line could be lethal and would create one of the most dangerous offensive lines in the Western Conference.

stats from NHL.com, hockey-reference.com, EvolvingWild, Corey Sznajder

visuals from Sean Tierney

featured image photo credit – Nikos Michals

Vancouver Canucks

Bright Future for Vancouver Canucks’ Fans

The Vancouver Canucks have an outstanding group of talented youth and their future is bright.

When “he” burst onto the scene, fans in Vancouver had little faith in the drafting and talent acquisition of Jim Benning, Trevor Linden and the rest of the Management’s ability to create a winning team. After all they had seen the very best era of Canucks hockey, only to see the very same team disintegrate before their very eyes. And Canucks fans aren’t stupid. Sure they can be a little childish and entitled (this is the Left, sorry West Coast after all) but they do know hockey. Don’t fool yourself and think otherwise.

The Brock Star (Sorry Boston Red Sox Fans)

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Then “he” came along. Don’t get me wrong, Elias Pettersson is a generational talent, but it all started with Brock Boeser. Drafted at 23rd overall in 2015, during his NCAA career, he could score. It translated to the NHL in 2017-18. Most know the stories of his character, how upstanding he is, and if you haven’t look at who he went to prom after she asked. This is as solid a person you will ever meet.

Brock Boeser represented the beginning of the new era in Vancouver. His performance at the all-star game last season was legendary and it is unfortunate his freak injury prevented him from finishing the season. While the Calder was Mathew Barzal’s to lose, it would’ve been interesting race had Boeser hit his projected 42 goals.

Benning Working The Phones

But, Benning and team made a trade at the 2017 deadline, that transformed the belief and expectation from the fans in the team. Boeser was in the system, and the fans eagerly awaited his arrival. Olli Juolevi, while criticized greatly by some, could still be a genuine NHL defenseman.

But that all changed when they acquired Jonathan Dahlen and a pick from Ottawa for Alexandre Burrows. Vancouver’s farm system has something cooking. Legit NHL prospect talent. Potential scoring that you need. A promising core to build around.

Here Comes Gretzky 2.0?

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Then they drafted Pettersson, who admittedly, I was not mad at the pick, I just knew more about Cody Glass. Every fan in Vancouver is glad they were wrong, as it seemed like most Canucks fans wanted the team to select Glass.

I watched Pettersson in person at the prospects summer game in 2017. I was convinced at that game, right there and then, he was generational. (I have the documentation to prove it, workmates holding me accountable to my words). His performance in the Swedish Elite League made us all salivate. Juolevi was improving, Lind was drafted, etc…

Canucks Fans

The rest is, as we say, history. But it is worth going over again, because the Canucks system, while littered with potential, still needs something the fans know. They saw this in 1999 with the drafting of the Sedins (Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin) and the maturity of the West Coast Express. The fans know the Canucks have to have these prospects and talent pay out. The fans know this. Canucks fans cab now watch with bated breath.

And this article is more about the fans who watch this team. Other teams fans like to think the Canucks fans know nothing about hockey. The apathy is there because the fans aren’t dumb. This is why this article is so appropriate.

Canucks fans have a lot to look forward to. Their front office has done an impeccable job in landing top talent including Boeser, Pettersson, Bo Horvat, Quinn Hughes, Thatcher Demko and the list goes on and on.

Vancouver fans are being repaid for their loyalty. They’re being repaid for their faith in players. And when Trevor Linden wanted to take the old school, play Pettersson in the minors for 2 years approach, the NHL had changed. The fans knew this. Kids from the age of 18 to 22 were having significant impacts on their teams. They were taking mediocre teams and making them contenders. Now, the fans in Vancouver can see this happening on the west coast.

The fans aren’t dumb.

stats from Hockey-Reference

Featured Image Photo Credit – Nikos Michals