August 12 2015 02:02PM
With their fourth-round selection at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft the Vancouver Canucks went a little bit off the board and selected Dmitri Zhukenov, an MHL centremen playing for Avangard Omsk's junior club. Zhukenov was the 61st ranked European Skater according to Central Scouting and was the 114th ranked skater by ISS. Many of us - even those of us who follow hockey prospects intensely - hadn't even heard of him prior to the Canucks calling his name into the microphone on the draft floor.
The previously unknown Russian-born centre checks in at #18 on our prospect profile list.
August 11 2015 05:19PM
Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg defenseman Nikita Tryamkin, a third-round pick of the Vancouver Canucks at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, is a giant of a man (he stands 6-foot-7) with tools to burn and a lot of learning to do.
The Russian-born defender was drafted in his second draft eligible season and as a non-scoring defender, carries significant risk in his projection. He also appears to be a long, long way away from committing to leaving Russia and coming overseas to pursue his professional hockey career in North America.
The ultimate wild card in our prospect profile series, Tryamkin checks in at #19 on our list.
August 11 2015 09:35AM
Photo Credit: Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports
The risk of pursuing a parallel rebuild, of the sort that the Vancouver Canucks' new management team has explicitly embarked on, is that in attempting to have it both ways - competing for a playoff spot annually, while also stockpiling future assets - you can end up stuck in mediocrity. That's the sad reality of a league with a salary cap and a draft lottery system.
When it comes to being mediocre though, the Vancouver Canucks excel. So it's oddly appropriate that in ESPN prospect guru Corey Pronman's latest organizational rankings ($$) the Canucks check in at 15th overall among the NHL's 30 clubs. Essentially Vancouver's system is precisely average.
August 10 2015 03:05PM
It was the best and most entertaining and most memorable hockey season in the history of the Vancouver Canucks franchise, even if it ended in pain, as all Canucks seasons inevitably seasons do.
The Canucks were the NHL's best team during the 2010-11 season, winning the Presidents' Trophy, leading the league in goal differential by more than 20, and dominating all season long. Vancouver boasted the league's best offense, the league's best defense, the league's best power play, and were an elite penalty killing outfit. They had no flaws.
Ultimately the dominant 2010-11 iteration of the club couldn't bring home the first Stanley Cup in franchise history, and sadly the sight of Boston Bruins defender Zdeno Chara lifting the cup on Vancouver ice and the embarrassing riots that engulfed downtown Vancouver thereafter will be the enduring images of this season. It's too bad because, as it was going on, it was great hockey and an exceptionally fun team to follow.
August 10 2015 09:23AM
Banner art by Matthew Henderson
Back during the 2010-11 season Kingston Frontenacs defenseman Evan McEneny lost his draft eligible season to injury, and so he appeared to be an intriguing gamble when a previous Vancouver Canucks regime signed him to an entry-level contract.
In the years since, McEneny's on-ice performance has mostly improved, and he's been leaned on heavily by his coaches at the OHL level. This past season for example, McEneny continued to post auspicious offensive totals and led all OHL defenseman in estimated time-on-ice per game, according to CHLstats.com.
On the other hand it's almost never a good sign when an NHL caliber prospect returns to major junior for their overage season, and it would seem that McEneny could be in tough to earn playing time with the Utica Comets this upcoming season. He kicks off our summer prospect profile series, checking in at #20.