December 22 2016 05:00PM
After a one week hiatus, we are back for another edition of Blackfish: Canucks Army Prospect Report.
It's always an exciting time of the year as the World Juniors kick off on Monday. The Canucks will have two representatives at this year's tournament, with two of their prospects being late cuts (one due to injury).
The NCAA sees a bit of a slowdown with the semester change, and the CHL has a bit of a Christmas break - but that doesn't mean there isn't plenty to digest.
So let's dive in!
December 22 2016 03:20PM
Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin - USA TODAY Sports
The Canucks didn't finish paying for Erik Gudbranson when they spent Jared McCann and a pair of picks to land the rugged blue liner from the Florida Panthers. Cap space is an asset, and the Canucks are a week away from the door opening to lay the ground work for how much they'll invest in their prized defenceman.
Gudbranson, playing on a one-year deal valued at $3.5-million, is a restricted free agent at season's end. The Canucks, though, can't begin contract negotiations until the turn of the calendar year.
If the Panthers failed attempts to lock up Gudbranson are any indication, he's not coming cheap either. Gudbranson reportedly turned down a four-year offer valued at $4-million per season before being dealt. Everything we've heard since indicates he's looking to secure something north of the $5-million mark annually on a long-term deal.
That's a tall ask for a player who's never crested 15 points. Then again, Gudbranson's game is predicated on strong play away from the puck. He's a defensive defenceman first and foremost, so we should view him primarily through that lens. With that, let's dive into Gudbranson's career, what we should expect and whether that's worth anywhere near what he's asking.
December 22 2016 01:00PM
The 2017 NHL Entry draft is still a little over six months away, but for some teams' fanbases (including that of the Vancouver Canucks), the draft can't come soon enough.
In the interest of being overprepared, I've put together a consolidated draft rankings, in the vein of what Tom Hunter and Jon Steitzer did for The Leafs Nation last year (and Tom is continuing to do this year at the Bloggers Tribune). Now we can get a nice early glimpse at who's projected to go at the top of the draft and throughout the first round, and by continuing to follow the ranks each month, we can get a good idea of whose stock is rising and falling.
December 22 2016 11:00AM
Let's play two!
The Canucks took game one convincingly on Tuesday by a score of 4-1. It started like normal; they scored first but then it was go time, and Jannik Hansen was all pro and the Sven Baertschi block that led to the breakaway goal was a thing of beauty. Jacob Markstrom was great, and it looked like people had fun at the game.
Tonight, the Jets are back to try and salvage the Vancouver trip, and it will take some effort because it looked like the Canucks were locked in at a certain point. It sure would be nice to see back to back wins in regulation.
December 22 2016 09:00AM
With Anton Rodin expected to make his NHL debut shortly after the Christmas break, there's hope the Canucks will reap rewards from a player that appeared to be out of the fold. Rodin struggled in North America during his first tour of action, but went to the SHL, tore it up and looks to be coming back with something to prove.
Another player that the Canucks drafted, who returned to the SHL, is defenceman Henrik Tommernes. His contract was terminated in early 2015 under mutual agreement. He returned to the SHL, and has done extremely well, to the point where Grant McCagg took notice: