August 17 2016 01:00PM
The Canucks don't have any even resembling a chance of landing coveted NCAA free agent Jimmy Vesey. Let's just get that out of the way. It's not going to happen. I am sorry.
He's the talk of the town right now in every hockey town though because he's expected to make a decision on where he'll sign by the end of the week. I've heard any combination of the New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks, New Jersey Devils, Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs are at the head of the pack. You can assume anyone in that Northeastern locale is in the mix to some extent, though.
So, it's not overly Canucks relevant, I know, but here we are in the middle of August, with almost nothing new in Vancouver that's hockey related, and I'm wondering where you would go were you in Vesey's shoes. And I want to know why you would go there, too.
August 17 2016 11:00AM
Let's be completely honest, Canucks fans of a certain vintage have had it pretty good. There are some, born in the mid-1990s, who have no memory of sustained failure. In fact, this most recent stretch -- which, neatly, coincides precisely with the arrival of the Sedin twins in 2000 -- has been the longest period of excellence in franchise history (ending only recently, that is). The first 30 NHL Canuck seasons saw exactly one season of greater than 100 points and another 23 seasons with a losing record, and only three division championships. Being a Canuck fan was a matter of personal dedication.
August 17 2016 09:00AM
The Vancouver Canucks seem to have an affinity for drafting defencemen in the fifth round, and for a franchise known for selecting their fair share of duds at the draft table, they've had more luck than you'd think. Kevin Bieksa, Ben Hutton, and Frank Corrado are all former fifth-round selections made by the Canucks that have played in the NHL, and Carl Neill, another fifth-round selection, was our 16th prospect in this year's consensus ranking.
The selection of Cole Candella at 140th overall continues that trend, and there's reason to believe he could be another member of what's become a long line of respectable d-men drafted in the fifth round by the Canucks. In what was otherwise a pretty forgettable 2016 draft, (Olli Juolevi notwithstanding,) he was easily the Canucks' best value pick of the draft, helping him land in the #12 spot in this year's consensus ranking.
August 16 2016 09:00AM
Adam Gaudette checks in as the 13th ranked prospect in our consensus rankings.
When one considers the tepid fanfare Adam Gaudette's draft selection engendered and the meteoric rise that's followed, it's fair to wonder how many prospects in the Canucks' system have enjoyed a more successful calendar year. The list has to be a short one.
Playing largely in a middle six role with Northeastern of the NCAA, Gaudette potted 30 points in 41 games as a freshman. That near point per game pace was enough to buttress Gaudette's statistical and stature based comparable success projection rate of %1.6 of similar players making the NHL (when viewed through the lens of the Prospect Cohort Success system) to near 20% this season (using the since developed Prospect Graduation Probabilities System).
Finding that success didn't come easy, though. For Gaudette, who's modest junior boxcars followed him to his first forays into NCAA hockey, this season wasn't without its fair share of adversity. Northeastern lost 13 of their first 15 games and Gaudette had just five points to show for playing in them.
August 15 2016 11:00AM
Well, the Canucks might not have anything big on the horizon, but there's plenty of hockey news on the way. Radim Vrbata is reportedly working on a one-year deal with the Arizona Coyotes, and Jimmy Vesey is set to hit unrestricted free agency on Tuesday. There will be news, my friends. Some of it hockey related.
Now, if you're following me on Twitter, you might've noticed that I didn't ask for any Monday Mailbag questions this Sunday. I was a guest on Ryan Biech's podcast, Game Time Decision (an episode which will go live) and there were several questions for me from listeners that we just didn't get to answering. So, I've repurposed some of those for this article and thrown in other ones that came in throughout the week. Enjoy.