August 17 2016 09:00AM
The Vancouver Canucks seem to have an affinity for drafting defencemen in the fifth round, and for a franchise known for selecting their fair share of duds at the draft table, they've had more luck than you'd think. Kevin Bieksa, Ben Hutton, and Frank Corrado are all former fifth-round selections made by the Canucks that have played in the NHL, and Carl Neill, another fifth-round selection, was our 16th prospect in this year's consensus ranking.
The selection of Cole Candella at 140th overall continues that trend, and there's reason to believe he could be another member of what's become a long line of respectable d-men drafted in the fifth round by the Canucks. In what was otherwise a pretty forgettable 2016 draft, (Olli Juolevi notwithstanding,) he was easily the Canucks' best value pick of the draft, helping him land in the #12 spot in this year's consensus ranking.
August 11 2016 09:00AM
When it comes to junior hockey, I don't believe in late bloomers. By and large, players are either good or bad, and it's the circumstances around them that change. For Carl Neill, unpacking the nature of those circumstances will say a lot about who he is as a player.
Since his breakout season in 2014-15, Neill has scored at a pace of 0.7 points per game -- no small feat for a defender. The caveat is that he's done so at an advanced age relative to his peers, while playing alongside Jeremy Roy, one of the Q's best defencemen. There are a number of reasons for optimism, however, which is why Neill's ranked 16 on our consensus ranking.
July 13 2016 11:00AM
The Canucks' lack of secondary offence was a hot topic last season, and with good reason. In spite of a vintage offensive performance from Daniel Sedin and Jannik Hansen's emergence as a 20-goal scorer, the club finished with the league's second-worst offence in 2015-16.
Secondary scoring's been elusive for a few seasons now, though. Fans are at a point where they have a difficult time remembering the club's last authentic second line. A reality they confront more often than not with the tongue in cheek description of the Canucks, as a team with "three third lines".
Acquiring Loui Eriksson is bound to alleviate concerns about goal-scoring, but he's also likely to play alongside Daniel and Henrik Sedin. Such a development leaves the future of the Canucks middle-six shrouded in mystery. Satiar Shah explored the possibility of moving Eriksson down the lineup in favour of Jannik Hansen, but that addresses just one of the many questions facing that section of the lineup.
A trade or signing may still be to come, but as of right now the question remains: can the Canucks expect to have a true second line next season?
July 11 2016 07:44PM
The Canucks have re-signed AHL forward Mike Zalewski to a one-year, two-way contract worth $632,500.
#Canucks have re-signed Mike Zalewski to a 1-year, two-way contract at $632,500. He had 33 points in 58 AHL games, & 1A in 3 games with VAN.— Canucks Now (@CanucksNow) July 12, 2016
June 30 2016 01:00PM
Free agency is nearly upon us, and the Vancouver Canucks are expected to be big players, especially when it comes to the household names.
The fact that this front office currently find themselves in the precarious position of attempting to both compete for the playoffs this season, and build a foundation for the future adds an interesting element to their plans for free agency this July 1st. While a Lucic or an Eriksson or an Okposo will certainly go a long way towards helping them achieve the former, one of those players is a lot less likely to stick around long enough to contribute significantly to the latter.