May 19 2016 01:00PM
For a player who was passed over in two consecutive drafts, Nikita Tryamkin brought with him an inordinate amount of hype. After the Canucks inked him to a two-year entry-level contract (with some trouble), we were told he was a "freak", he had top-four potential, and compared favourably to Zdeno Chara, all before he played his first NHL game.
May 19 2016 11:00AM
The Vancouver Canucks appeared ready to take the best defenceman available in the draft if they finished any lower than third overall in the draft lottery. That is, of course, until the draft lottery came to a close with Vancouver selecting fifth. At that point, the discussion shifted almost immediately to Matthew Tkachuk and Pierre-Luc Dubois.
It's often said, though, that the Canucks glaring area of weakness within their prospect pool is on the blue line. We know at this stage that the best route to acquire these players is through the draft. And with a master scout in tow as General Manager for the Canucks, there is every reason to believe they can find that player outside the first round, too.
I haven't a crystal ball, nor do I have access to the Canucks draft board. I can't say with any level of certainty which players they have in mind to develop their prospect pool on the blue line with, but I've a few players in mind that might be worth the distinction.
May 19 2016 08:00AM
Were Adam Mascherin two inches taller, it's entirely possible we're introducing him as the 24th overall prospect in our profile series. Height genuinely does matter though so he's not. Mascherin enters the conversation as the 34th ranked prospect in our countdown.
Mascherin, a versatile forward for the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL, can play both forward and wing -- though he was used primarily as a winger, alongside premier centre and former second-round draft pick, Jeremy Bracco. That top line was dominant for the Rangers in the regular season and found a second gear in the first round of the OHL playoffs against the Windsor Spitfires.
The Rangers enjoyed a breakout offensive performance from Mascherin as the second-year junior posted north of a point-per-game performance, notching 81 points in 65 games -- 12 points in 9 playoff games, too. Most impressive is that Mascherin built these totals with a heavy percentage of primary points; Mascherin's 64 primary points are third in the OHL among draft eligible players and account for 79% of his total production.
1-on-1 with Jannik Hansen: on Nicklas Jensen's growth, the Worlds and the 'sacrifice' of developing players at the NHL level
May 19 2016 06:53AM
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – For Denmark’s Jannik Hansen, the 2015-16 hockey season has been one of his best to date.
Though his Vancouver Canucks struggled, the 29-year-old hit a career high with 22 goals, and his 38 points were one shy of his best-ever total.
After the NHL season wrapped up, Hansen headed to Russian to join up with Team Denmark for his sixth World Championship appearance. In seven preliminary-round games, Hansen tallied two goals and two assists as the Danes amassed a record of 2-2-1-2, good for 11 points. For just the second time in modern World Championship history, the Danes have advanced to the quarterfinal, finishing fourth in Group A, ahead of Switzerland and Latvia.
One day before facing Finland in Denmark’s quarterfinal game, Hansen walked me through Denmark’s impressive run, then talked about his season with the Canucks and what lies ahead in Vancouver.
May 18 2016 03:00PM
The NHL draft is a mere 37 days away. Teams will take to the floor of the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York and try to select players whom they hope will solidify the futures of their franchises. Fans, meanwhile, will scream at their respective television sets and bemoan the lack of managerial expertise exhibited by their favourite club. (Actually, that may just be a Canuck thing. I’ve gotten in so deep I can no longer tell the difference). Either way, the draft is one of the most important dates on the NHL calendar and it’s a lot of fun for fans – even if your club happens to be historically bad at it.
It’s a common idiom that even a broken clock is correct at least twice a day – or that even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in awhile – so even the rather inept Canucks have managed their share of admirable picks. Not their fair share, mind you. The Canucks can point to far fewer successes than most teams over the course of their nearly five decades of existence, given their number of draft picks over that span. But the organization can still point to some successes, all the same. Of course, this being the Canucks, sometimes those players found success with other teams. Where the Canucks and drafting are concerned, credit must be taken wherever it presents itself.