May 01 2016 05:00PM
Daniel Sedin had something of a renaissance year in 2015-16, which is odd because he also had something of a renaissance year in the previous season. After the disaster that was 2013-14, Daniel and his brother proved that they were still first line players in 2014-15 by putting up 70+ points in the regular season.
The knock on him was the he appeared to be becoming a second version of Henrik - not only did they look exactly alike, but their play was overlapping more than ever. Long the shooter of the pair, Daniel put up the highest assist:goal ratio in his career in 2014-15, prompting many to assume that his goal scoring days were over. However, goals in four straight games to end the season hinted that that might not be the case.
This season, Daniel showed that he could still fill the back of the net, potting 28 goals in 82 games - his highest total since 2011-12. He spent much of the season on pace for many more, and a return to 30 goals seemed like a lock. However, underlying injuries and a team collapse took the wind out of those sails.
May 01 2016 02:21PM
Acquired in an off-season trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Brandon Sutter's first season with the Vancouver Canucks was interrupted, then finished entirely by injuries. First by sports hernia surgery, which required surgery and kept him out of the lineup for close to two full months; then by a broken jaw, suffered in a February 9th contest against the Colorado Avalanche. In total Sutter played just 20 games this season.
Though Canucks general manager Jim Benning went on record lauding his newest acquisition for his two-way acumen and ability to add size and speed down the middle of their lineup, there wasn't necessarily room for Sutter to play there. Instead, the Canucks played Sutter alongside the Sedin twins, occupying the right wing spot that Jannik Hansen later resided.
April 30 2016 08:03PM
The NHL's Draft Lottery has come and gone and the Vancouver Canucks landed exactly where they were most likely to, at fifth overall. Put in those terms, it's nowhere near as devastating as many Canucks fans, myself included, are taking the news of today's events.
Besides, it's not like there won't be many great players available at fifth overall. Best of all is that there's a tonne of discretion involved once you get into that range. Ask any two scouts to fill out the fourth to tenth overall picks and you're likely to get two very different answers.
I'm no scout, but I've followed many of the highly sought after prospects in this year's draft and have a list of my own in the works. Nowhere near ready to publish it in full, but I can provide hair insight into what I'm working with by detailing three such prospects that the Canucks are likely to take in their newly resided fifth overall spot in the upcoming draft.
April 30 2016 06:28PM
The news we've all been waiting for, and in many cases endured a gruelling hour of all-filler television for, has come and gone, and wouldn't you know it, the Vancouver Canucks took a significant hit with their draft stock at the NHL Entry Draft. Though the Canucks finished third-last in the league this season, the lottery draw was not in their favour, as the Columbus Blue Jackets and Winnipeg Jets leapfrogged their way into the top-three of the draft - at the expense of Vancouver and the Calgary Flames.
Looked at in a vacuum, today's events are nothing short of a kick to the collective gut of the Canucks and their fans. Canucks general manager Jim Benning has gone on record saying that a franchise player can be secured in the top three of this draft - which, in and of itself, implies a drop-off at the fourth overall selection.
April 30 2016 12:10PM
(Image Courtesy of www.CBC.ca)
The time is nigh upon us, to decide which among the league's worst will pick first, second or third overall. You've played the Draft Lottery Simulator. Hell, even the Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning has played the Draft Lottery Simulator.
Whether the Canucks secure the first overall pick, or wind up picking second or third overall, there is a franchise player on the horizon. Can't remember the last time a draft lottery was this hyped, but I guess the stakes are all the higher with three dice roles to jockey position.
TV: CBC (HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA)
RADIO: TSN 1040 AM (I'D ASSUME)
ANNOUNCEMENT: 4:00 PM