September 09 2013 12:30PM
After a long and controversial campaign, the writers at Canucks Army ranked Brendan Gaunce No. 1 among prospects in the Vancouver system. Our lobbying efforts directed at ESPN's prospect guru Corey Pronman failed to land Gaunce onto Pronman's list of Top 100 NHL prospects, which went up earlier today [Insiders Only].
The highest ranked Canuck instead went to Hunter Shinkaruk, a player full of offensive potential but is still a ways away from producing in the NHL. Shinkaruk was rated at 22 overall, below Teuvo Teravainen of the Chicago Blackhawks and Darnell Nurse of the Edmonton Oilers.
September 09 2013 12:01PM
Nicklas Jensen has Canucks fans licking their lips with his play in Penticton.
Image via Larry Wong/Postmedia News.
So what happens when a writer for JetsNation watches a game between two teams he neither likes nor has full knowledge of? This was my question. You see, as a dyed-in-the-wool Jets and Flames fan, the Oilers and Canucks represent two of the most hideous, vile rivals I can name. As a fan, in a game like this, I'd typically hope for a litany of (non-serious and totally recoverable) injuries, thus increasing the chances of my teams' success down the line. But I wasn't in Penticton to break out the voodoo dolls.
I was there to work. So, JetsNation editor Kevin McCartney and I tackled the task of scouting a game featuring bitter rivals. To make things easier, he'd watch the Oilers, and I, the Canucks. What follows is my earnest attempt at relaying to you, dear deluded members of Canucks Army, what went down in Penticton.
September 09 2013 11:17AM
My general theory on assessing player performance is that if a player frequently produces below expectations, perhaps the problem isn't with the player. After multiple seasons of suggesting that "a player would score so much more if he only did X" perhaps it's worth considering that X doesn't lie within the player's talent threshold, and he ought to be judged for what he does on the ice as opposed to what he doesn't do.
Somehow that relates to Mason Raymond's time in Vancouver, that ended when Raymond accepted a try out offer with the Toronto Maple Leafs Sunday. Raymond may have been cursed by his one 25-goal season in 2010 as a second liner, a season that he probably never would have replicated. It takes a lot to score 25 goals in a single season, and only the very best players can consistently repeat those totals. Just 17 players have 25 or more goals in each of the previous four 82-game seasons, and only 14 more have three such seasons.
September 07 2013 10:51AM
The Nations Network sent some Jets Nation writers to the Young Stars Tournament in Penticton, BC. They're judging your team and bringing you the view from the Press Box. In case you missed the recap of Game 1, it's here.
Vancouver's second game of the Young Stars tournament was a frustrating 4-1 loss to the talk-of-the-tournament Flames. In spite of controlling the pace for most of the game and firing 40 shots on Joni Ortio, the Canucks just couldn't take control of the scoreboard. Below I'll cover some of the tactics that are easier to see from the press box than your computer monitor, and review each player's game.
September 06 2013 03:03PM
Image via Darren Kirby
The Nations Network sent some Jets Nation writers to the Young Stars Tournament in Penticton, BC. They're judging your team and bringing you the view from the Press Box.
After a mostly one-sided, choppy affair between Edmonton and Calgary, the first shift of the Vancouver game felt like watching a different league. The game was very near NHL pace and physicality from the puck drop, and the star power of the Canucks forwards was on display through all three periods. Below I'll go through my take on each player's game and some broader notes about the contest itself.