Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
September 03 2015 10:00AM
When Jim Benning walked up to the podium and selected Jake Virtanen as his first ever drafted prospect as GM of the Vancouver Canucks in 2014, many members of the fanbase were concerned, and understandably so. After all, Virtanen was ranked by many in the 8-10 range heading in, and a big part of him being ranked even that high was being "physically ready" for the NHL. Yet, here they were taking him with the sixth pick.
Fast forward a year and change. Thanks to the faster growth of other prospects, even those taken after him, confidence in him is at an all-time low. But, that doesn't mean that Virtanen is a lost cause. Far from it, actually; he's still a very, very good prospect and amongst the best in Vancouver's system.
Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
September 02 2015 05:00PM
The wonderful Cam Davie returns with another guest post today!
September 02 2015 02:00PM
Forever associated with the Ryan Kesler trade, and likely the best remaining asset from the deal is our 3rd best prospect in the pool, Jared McCann. The Canucks received Anaheim’s 1st round pick in the trade, which Jim Benning then used on McCann. While there were some questions on this pick at the time, McCann delighted fans with his performance last year. Let’s dig in!
September 02 2015 11:00AM
In contrast to his impassive demeanor, Alex Edler has been one of the most polarizing figures for Canucks fans in recent years. Drafted 91st overall in the 2004 entry draft, Edler made his first appearance in a Canucks' uniform in 2006 after an ongoing slew of injuries to the team's blueline. His former teammate Trevor Linden was one of many who immediately saw potential in Edler, coming up with the nickname "Eaglet" due to the young defenseman's ability to eat and sleep like a baby eagle and with the hope that Edler would grow into a "big, majestic bird".
Though he once sported a league worst minus-39 on a season and has undergone surgery for a recurring disc issue in his back, Edler has developed in the #1 defenseman that Linden and so many others hoped he would.
September 01 2015 02:48PM
The following is a guest post by the always fantastic Cam Davie. Enjoy!
He was, in some ways, the first true Canuck.
Before he joined, there were the likes of Kurtenbach and Boudrias and Ververgaert, all of whom fared very well and were liked in Vancouver. But they were acquisitions, and all had short lifespans with the Canucks, still a growing franchise in the league. Then in 1978, the Canucks drafted Stan Smyl 40th overall from famous (nay, infamous) Memorial Cup champion New Westminster Bruins. He was destined for Canucks lore.
Smyl was a small player, but played with tenacity and a chip on his shoulder, never one to back down from any confrontation. His playing style was the same from his time in junior all the way to his final year in the NHL. He earned the nickname "Steamer" back in his junior days, as he worked as tirelessly and as brutishly as a steam locomotive. His relentless play, and decent skill set, made him a fan favourite from the moment he joined the Canucks right out of his draft year.
For the better part of the next decade, Stan Smyl WAS the Vancouver Canucks.