June 20 2015 10:00AM
The hockey season may be over and done with, but the wound that is this last season as a Vancouver Canucks fan is still relatively fresh. There's plenty of meat left on these bones and with just less than a month before reinforcements are brought in via the draft and free agency, it's time we got cookin'.
The process starts with a series of player-by-player reviews for the season that was. Today's will be centered on the Canucks best free agent from just one off-season ago, Radim Vrbata.
Let's break it all down on the other side of the jump.
June 19 2015 05:30PM
Though it may have gone through a fallow period for past little while, Czech hockey appears to have made a serious resurgence of late, producing a number of top-end prospects. We've already profiled three in this series in Jakub Zboril, Pavel Zacha, and Filip Chlapik, and today we'll highlight our highest-rated Czech player in Michael Spacek.
Join us on the other side of the jump as we look at a very good and under-the-radar prospect for this upcoming draft.
June 19 2015 03:32PM
Photo Courtesy: @Sarah_Hobday
Back again on the other side of Atlantic, we are taking a look at the young centre Joel Eriksson Ek who has played a large amount of times in leagues senior to his age and has succeeded. He appears he will likely be selected in the late first round, with potential to slip into the second but his talent level appears to suggest a top-6 centre. For a later pick, Eriksson Ek is someone you should not pass on.
Continue past the jump for our qualitative and quantitative analysis.
June 19 2015 01:00PM
Photo Credit: Bruce Fedyck / USA TODAY Sports
33-year-old Vancouver Canucks defender Kevin Bieksa is entering the final year of the front loaded, five-year contract that he signed following the club's run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2011. The lifetime Canuck has full no-trade protection written into his deal which is inconvenient for the Canucks at the moment, but over the life of his contract (to this point at least) the hard-nosed veteran defender has provided the club with significant value above and beyond his $4.6 million cap hit.
Though Bieksa's overall effectiveness, and his defensive game in particular, has declined somewhat, that's the price of doing business when you're locking up unrestricted players to deals you can life with.
With the Canucks pressed up against the projected upper limit of the NHL salary cap, there's been some clamouring in the Vancouver market for the club to sell on Bieksa this summer. At the moment though, the team has yet to approach him about consenting to a potential deal, according to TSN's Darren Dreger.
June 19 2015 01:00PM
The last few drafts have not been very deep for the QMJHL, but the 2015 draft crop looks to make up for this. The Q is boasting a little bit of everything this year, from high-end scorers to two-way D, and everything in between.
Charlottetown Islander Filip Chlapik may not have been on as many draft radars as his teammate Daniel Sprong going in to this season, but with a strong debut on North American ice, he made a name for himself and garnered first-round consideration.