Nicklas Jensen continues to turn season around with natural hat-trick

Thomas Drance
February 10 2014 11:27AM

After a cataclysmic start to the 2013-14 American Hockey League season with the expansion Utica Comets, Vancouver Canucks prospect Nicklas Jensen has managed to fil the net constantly over the past several weeks. On Sunday night Jensen capped off his recent hot streak, which has seen the Danish international player score 10 times in his past 15 games, with an impressive natural hat-trick on against the loaded Rockford IceHogs (the AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks).

That a struggling but highly touted 20 year-old forward has simplified his game, upped his shot rate, and has found an enormous level of success lately is good news for the Canucks. It's also worth breaking down a bit further and we'll do so on the other side of the jump.

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Top Prospect Stock Watch

Thomas Drance
January 15 2014 10:34AM


Photo via PHT

On Monday our pal Corey Pronman published his "midseason top-50 NHL prospects" list (Insider only) over at ESPN, and three Canucks prospects made the list (or two did, and a third player was an honourable mention). While CanucksArmy favorites Ludwig Blomstrang and Brendan Gaunce were inexcusably snubbed (and now Pronman has to fight Tom Sestito, which sucks for him); Frank Corrado, Bo Horvat and Hunter Shinkaruk all made cameo appearances in the top-50.

Let's discuss the respective seasons those three prospects are having, and breakdown Pronman's comments after the jump.

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Heat Maps: On Shot Location and the Canucks' Sputtering Power-Play

Thomas Drance
January 14 2014 11:57AM

 
Henrik Sedin in his office on the right side half wall.
Image via wikimedia commons

For fans of the team, Vancouver's power-play has been extraordinarily frustrating to watch this season (and for a couple years now, truth be told). While the Canucks are generating shots-a-plenty with the man-advantage - in fact they're generating 5-on-4 shots at an elite rate this season - the finish just hasn't been there. The club ranks in the bottom-10 in the league in percentage of converted power-play opportunities after 46 games, a ghastly number that makes zero sense when you consider the skill possessed by the club's top-end personnel.

Some of the club's lack of power-play success is a result of pure, unadulterated bad luck; and indeed Vancouver's 5-on-4 team shooting percentage is second worst in the league. While the puck has begun to bounce in Vancouver's favour somewhat more often over the past month, and will probably continue to do so, I tend to think there's more going on here than just "bad bounces".

Read past the jump.

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Catching Up With Old Friends: Former Canucks Defensemen

Thomas Drance
January 03 2014 12:02PM


Video courtesy CanucksTV

Yesterday we took a glance around the league and looked at how 15 former Canucks forwards were performing. Though there were a few useful pieces scattered between St. Louis and Long Island, and a couple of other quality depth players in Toronto, San Jose and Dallas, overall the team hasn't lost too much of value upfront over the past few years.

It's a different story along the blue-line, where the Canucks have seen a steady outflow of talent over the years. We'll catch up with some former Canucks defenseman after the jump.

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Catching Up With Old Friends: Former Canucks Forwards

Thomas Drance
January 02 2014 12:46PM


The one that got away!
Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

At the very outset of every calender year the ubiquitous New Years anthem "Auld Lang Syne" beckons us, rhetorically, to remember old friendships: "May old acquaintance be forgot and never come to mind?"  

With the New Year now upon us and with Sami Salo having been fondly welcomed back to Rogers Arena on Wednesday night, we figured we'd heed that age old call from Robbie Burns and take a brief look at how ex-Canucks skaters are performing around the league this season.

We'll do it as a series, actually, with a post today on ex-Canucks forward and then another post on ex-Canucks defensemen and goaltenders tomorrow. Read on past the jump.

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