May 03 2016 11:00AM
Emerson Etem, former first round pick. Believe it. Acquired midway through the year in what was very much a "change-of-scenery" type trade for Nicklas Jensen and a sixth-round pick, Etem came in and made an immediate impact. Not a great one, not a terrible one, but uh, he played 39 games this year.
May 03 2016 08:00AM
Tomorrow we kick off our draft coverage with in depth profiles of the top 60 ranked players from the 2016 NHL draft class, but before we get that started, I figured it would be a worthwhile venture to look back at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft one year later.
The Hockey News did a similar thing last week, but it was still based on a subjective polling of scouts looking at the players. This is to say that there's likely a few players slotted way above their appropriate mark. We need a more objective measure to really drive the conversation, and I hope to provide just that with a series of stature and statistics based players with which to compare the next wave against.
May 02 2016 03:00PM
How does this season keep getting worse? It's been over for almost a month now and the hits keep on coming. The most recent, of course, being the Canucks double-loss out of the top three at the NHL Draft Lottery.
It's not like they can't find a franchise type player outside the top three. In fact, it's totally possible. Getting that player into the Canucks lineup as a bona fide NHL player, though, will take much longer. That's the part that really sucks, I guess. Oh, and the uncertainty bit. There's a lot more of that outside the top three.
Well, on the bright side there's way more discretion outside the top three. It makes the guessing part of the draft all the more relevant. You've all reflected as much in your questions for the Monday Mailbag and I'll do my best to answer them in kind on the other side of the jump.
May 02 2016 01:00PM
After clearing waivers last year and spending the majority of the 2014-15 season in Utica, Jacob Markstrom was signed to a two-year contract prior to the 2015-16 season with hopes that he would be finally able to translate his AHL success to the NHL. The Canucks were so confident in the young goaltender that they traded Eddie Lack to Carolina to open up the backup spot.
Due to an injury suffered in training camp, the Swedish netminder only made four appearances before December 1st and had a pedestrian .904 SV% in those games. But over the rest of the season, he slowly moved from the backup role to splitting the games 50/50 down the stretch. As we will see lower in the stats portion, Markstrom did suffer from inconsistency throughout the season. His numbers obviously suffered from the team's performance, and that is particularly apparent in March and April. It's hard to know exactly how much was Markstrom's own regression or the Canucks falling down the standings.
May 02 2016 11:46AM
Photo Credit: Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports
If nothing changes between now and June 24th, the Vancouver Canucks will use their fifth overall selection in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft to pick one of two forwards: Cape Breton’s Pierre Luc Dubois or Matthew Tkachuk of the London Knights. Canucks general manager Jim Benning all but confirmed that it’s a two horse race on a Monday morning appearance on TSN 1040.
Speaking directly to Canucks fans for the first time since Saturday’s draft lottery, Benning revealed his thoughts on the defensemen available at the top of this year’s class and didn’t sound like a general manager prepared to use the fifth pick on a blueliner.