October 08 2015 12:22PM
Jacob Markstrom is hoping that this is the season his immense success in professional leagues abroad will finally translate to the NHL level.
It doesn't seem long ago that Markstrom was considered the NHL's best goaltending prospect, but to this point he's struggled to build on that foundation to develop into a bona fide NHL goaltender. The Canucks are hoping that by adding more detailed technical elements to Markstrom's game, they can help to ease the transition for their not-quite-that-young netminder in the 2015 season and beyond.
This isn't an alley-oop by any means, but there are reasons aplenty for optimism that stretch well beyond this organization's success with Swedes. Well, once he returns from injury, of course.
October 07 2015 12:00PM
Photo Credit: Bob Frid/USA TODAY Sports
The Canucks are going all-in on youth this season, so for the time being anyways, Jared McCann, Jake Virtanen and Ben Hutton are all active members of the 23-man roster.
For the select few who followed Hutton's collegiate career, this isn't an overly surprising development where he's concerned. Frankly, Virtanen's sticking wasn't overly shocking either - management admitted pencilling him in earlier this summer. The McCann development certainly surprised though, despite there being a strong argument that he's considerably further along in his development than Virtanen.
Given that Hutton is 22-years old, it's not extraordinary by any means that he's starting his season in the NHL. With two young 19-year olds with a low-end first round pedigree, there's considerably more intrigue.
Let's see what history tells us about their chances to be successful, on the other side of the jump.
October 03 2015 03:00PM
All was quiet on the Western front for the Vancouver Canucks as the 2015 NHL trade deadline neared a close. Not long after the noon deadline, though, it was revealed that the Canucks acquired Sven Baertschi from the Calgary Flames in exchange for a second round pick.
I had my reservations about the acquisition at first, if for no other reason than the Canucks had to surrender a mid-round pick in an obscenely deep draft. Musing on sober second thoughts though, it became increasingly clear that this move was an outright victory for the Canucks and Jim Benning.
At 22 years old, the development process has all but been skipped and the Canucks can still cash in on his peak years - and then some. Players that produce at a similar rate to Baertschi also have a higher rate of success than your average second rounder, meaning the Canucks also tipped the scales in their favour.
Let's check out what Canucks Army's number one ranked prospect has to offer, on the other side of the jump.
October 02 2015 06:08PM
Somewhat unexpectedly, the Vancouver Canucks dropped a bombshell this afternoon, assigning both Brendan Gaunce and Ronalds Kenins to the Utica Comets. The move trims Vancouver's roster to 26 players, meaning they're three cuts away from the magic 23 player roster.
The timing of the move is somewhat peculiar, especially given the Canucks final pre-season game is this Saturday against the Edmonton Oilers. Both of these players were rumoured to be in the thick of a chase for roster spots and their play of late seemed strong enough to garner them further consideration.
By that same token, the logistics of this move are considerably easier than some of the alternatives, so maybe there is more than meets the eye.
September 30 2015 12:00PM
Photo Credit: Bob Frid/USA TODAY Sports
The Canucks are hoping that for a second straight season, they've found a pivot that can defy the underlying metrics to become a building block for the franchise going forward. In trading Nick Bonino for Brandon Sutter, they think they've trumped the house for a second straight season.
What separates Sutter from his predecessor are a series of physical attributes that Canucks management felt were lacking from the Canucks lineup against bigger, faster teams last season. Standing at 6'3, Sutter provides the size they so desperately wanted - his longer stride will go a long way in addressing the issue of team speed, as well. Sutter is also a right-hand shot, an asset otherwise absent from their lineup.
The Canucks are hoping that a new role will bring out the best in Sutter. I think they're in tough and you'll get a good hint as to why, when we break him down on the other side of the jump.