Prospect Profile: #14 Darren Archibald

Patrick Johnston
August 13 2013 10:00AM

Image via Matthew Henderson

A year ago, we ranked Darren Archibald number 19 on this list. This year, he's number 14. 

That's a sign of improvement, right? I'd say so. And I should know, considering I was tasked with writing up Archibald's profile last year, as well. When I got into this industry I'm not sure I was prepared for becoming the authority on all things Archibald, but I guess you never really know where life will take you.

The undrafted winger remains something of a project, but he's one that's made clear progress. He's moved himself from 'might play in the NHL status' to 'probably will play in the NHL status.' Which has proved to be enough to bump up this list.

For bits on his trajectory over the past two seasons and what might happen this year, click past the jump.

Read Article | 4 Comments

Chris Tanev to KHL? Swiss League? Narnia?

Patrick Johnston
August 12 2013 03:56PM

Chris Tanev

It could happen.

Both The Province's Jim Jamieson and the Vancouver Sun's Brad Ziemer tweeted around lunch time that Tanev's agent got out his pots and pans by suggesting that his client doesn't want to go to Russia, but that he'll go there if he doesn't get a fair deal from the Canucks.

A mea culpa and a few other details after the jump.

Read Article | 15 Comments

How Deep Down the Depth Chart does John Tortorella Go?

Blake Murphy
August 12 2013 11:03AM

Image via Sporting News

New Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella has a reputation for coaching a physical style, specifically one that involves a lot of shot blocking. During the team's summer summit a few weeks ago, he let his thoughts on the matter be known: 

"We talk about shot blocking a lot. I think it's part of good defense, and trying to get the puck back. We saw it happen in New York - I think the whole team takes on the mindset of trying to be a harder team to play against. That's the proper way to play."

One would think if that were the case, Tortorella’s teams would often go deeper on the depth chart than an average team. After all, shot blocking can take a physical toll, as can playing a more physical brand of hockey. A large number of players used could also indicate a coach with a short leash and little patience for mistakes.

Read on for more about Tortorella's usage of depth players.

Read Article | 9 Comments

Prospect Profile: #15 Patrick McNally

Dimitri Filipovic
August 12 2013 09:44AM

Image via Matthew Henderson

Before you can even start jotting names down when putting together your rankings for a project like this, you have to ask yourself what you personally value the most in a prospect. There's a big 'safety/reliability vs. potential/upside' internal debate that needs to be had.

I tend to look for physical tools and a ceiling that is perceived to be high more than anything else. Especially this deep down the depth chart. You'll always be able to get your hands on "just another guy", but even the slight chance of hitting a home run with someone that turns out to be a star is something worth rolling the dice on. Obviously, at some point, a guy projects so safely as a useful role player that you can overlook the potential lack of upside he may have. And vice versa.

With that being said, it's at this point in our Top 20 that we've finally reached a turning point of sorts; we'll now finally begin to discuss prospects who may actually have a legitimate shot of helping out at the NHL level (to varying degress, of course). While most of the upcoming handful of guys aren't world-beaters by any means, I think we're seeing a noticeable spike in talent as we jump from No's 20-16 to our 15th ranked prospect, Patrick McNally. Yet still, a guy like McNally certainly isn't presented to you without his fair share of warts.

Read on for more about the interesting dilemma McNally presents as a prospect.

Read Article | 2 Comments

Story Time

Jason Strudwick
August 11 2013 12:51PM

All this Gretzky trade talk the last week stirred up the old story machine in my head. Looking at some of the other players involved in the trade I ran across Marty McSorley's name.

Read Article | 46 Comments