August 22 2014 11:21AM
In his first year of eligibility for our cherished annual prospects list, Erie Otters forward Dane Fox makes his debut at number 12. An undrafted free agent, the 20-year-old Fox cashed in a whopping 64 goals while playing triggerman for Connor McDavid and Connor Brown with Erie in 2013-14. Sought after by a number of teams this winter, Fox signed a three-year entry-level contract - a deal that included the maximum signing bonus - with the Canucks in December.
Fox is the very last of a diverse and relatively successful class of undrafted free agents that were signed by the Canucks during the Mike Gillis era. It's a class that can claim a couple of star graduates, including Eddie Lack and Chris Tanev, and some big misses in Sebastian Erixon and Evan Oberg. No matter, the thing about an undrafted free agent is that they're found money, basically no-risk propositions.
In Fox's case, it's easy to get carried away looking at his massive OHL goal totals and forget that he managed his feat, and it's still impressive, while playing as an overager with a generational talent on a stacked team. That's critical context, and it's pretty unlikely that Fox will be a top-line scorer at the NHL level. Fox is still an intriguing depth prospect though, and his relatively high debut ranking slot speaks to that.
August 18 2014 11:05AM
18-year-old Swedish defenseman Gustav Forsling was drafted in the fifth-round by the Vancouver Canucks at the dawn of the Jim Benning era this past June. An undersized, well-rounded defenseman out of the Linkoping system, Forsling has yet to debut at the senior level over in Sweden though he's been on the Tre Kronor's radar for years, and has competed internationally at the U16, U17, and U18 level.
Read on past the jump.
July 28 2014 12:40PM
The Vancouver Canucks' new management team seems content with what they've accomplished so far this offseason, based on how they've operated over the past three weeks. Since locking up arbitration eligible defenseman Chris Tanev in early July, the club has been content to lock up 2014 first-round draft selections Jake Virtanen and Jared McCann to entry-level contracts and take care of the housekeeping in Utica (with deals for guys like Brandon DeFazio). The Canucks roster as it stands, is the one we'll see on the ice to start next season.
On the surface its been an offseason of upheaval, punctuated by a new president, a new general manager, a new coach, a new friendly but decisive style of operating, a new franchise villain, a new oft-criticized star goaltender, and a handful of new players - none of them, really, top-of-the-lineup pieces (Radim Vrbata, aside). Looking a bit deeper though, at least in terms of the organization's posture heading into next season and the into future, the changes seem cosmetic.
In the big picture, what's the difference between the 'reset' of the summer of 2013 and the 'retool and reenergize' of the past six weeks? Cap space and decisive action. Aside from that, the goals of the franchise and the identity of the core is unchanged.
Let's unpack this a bit further after the jump.
June 24 2014 01:01PM
What follows is a guest post written by @bryan_nikkel and @moneypuck_ on the subject of how playing for an excellent team in the CHL impacts player production, which in turn impacts how teams and scouts value draft eligible players. Are there any hidden gems leading the attack with little help for overmatched CHL teams whom the Canucks might target with the second round pick?
Linden's Web: the Canucks might not be a cap team, and other nuggets from Linden's 1040 appearance Friday
June 20 2014 11:40AM
Canucks president Trevor Linden was interviewed at length on the Team 1040 on Friday morning. As you might expect, we have a bunch of scattered thoughts about some of the topics discussed, so read past the jump for that.