August 17 2012 09:27AM
To say that Canucks prospect Alex Friesen plays bigger than his size would be an understatement. The generously listed 5-10, 185 pound centre was one of the most physically intimidating forwards in the OHL over his five year career with the Niagara Ice Dogs.
August 16 2012 08:44AM
To say that Ryan Kesler has tunnel vision at times would be accurate. The gifted two-way pivot was criticized at times last season for failing to properly use his linemates (Kesler isn’t totally blameless, but he did see a revolving door of wingers and seemed out of sorts for much of 2011-12 after rushing back from offseason hip surgery).
There is a reason why Kesler looks to shoot – he has a great shot. In 2010-11, he used a newly-developed wrist shot to score a sizable chunk of his 41 goals. Teams seemed to key on his go-to move last season, which was a major reason (along with fewer power-play opportunities and shooting percentage regression) for the decline in goals (only 22). He loves rushing the puck up the ice on his off wing or up the middle, cutting in, and firing a wrist shot across his body to the blocker side of the opposing goaltender (or the glove hand side for the righty catchers).
On January 21st, 2012, Kesler scored a beautiful goal by doing exactly what got him 41 goals one season previous – rushing the puck up the ice, taking it to the middle of the ice, and scoring on a wrist shot. The difference with this goal is that he was a bit tighter in to the goalie, and he added a deke before shooting the puck.
August 14 2012 07:42AM
The Canucks used their first pick in the 2010 NHL Draft (115th overall) on American defenseman Patrick McNally. The selection was a bit of a curious one, as McNally still had a year of prep school to play before even joining the college ranks (he had committed to the Harvard Crimson for the fall of 2011). It's accurate to say that McNally was selected as a longer term "project."
McNally’s freshman season for Harvard was a rousing success. He established himself as one of the best offensive defensemen in the country, and was a big part of a dominant Crimson power play. McNally’s defensive game is still a work-in-progress, but he is learning to make better decisions with and without the puck.
August 09 2012 10:44AM
On the whole, 2011-12 wasn't a memorable season for Canucks fans - especially after the club's dominant 2010-11 campaign. But beneath the surface there were many fun moments if you stopped to smell the roses.
Over the next few weeks, I'll be looking at ten of them, and counting them down (in order).
For the first installment, I am going to take a look at a goal that personifies many things about this Canucks team. Read on to find out more about Lapierre's evening as a Coyote Hunter.
August 08 2012 11:07AM
Colgate Raiders defenseman Jeremy Price has managed to fly under the radar in Vancouver, which is pretty impressive considering how much media attention anything or anyone related to the Canucks typically generates.
The 21-year-old defenseman (and 2009 4th round selection of the Canucks) has spent the last three seasons at Colgate University, and is returning this fall for his senior season. During his time with the Raiders, Price has recorded 56 points in 113 games.
He was profiled on Canucks Army back in January of this year. Price is far from a goal scorer, but he skates well and moves the puck effectively, something reflected in his assist totals (especially over the past two seasons).
Price has established himself as a prospect with NHL upside. Will he continue to blossom into a solid two-way defenseman in his final year of college hockey? How far away is he from seeing NHL action? Read past the jump to find out.