October 20 2016 11:00AM
Canucks prospect Brett McKenzie is off to a flaming hot start in the OHL. The 194th overall pick in the 2016 draft has scored seven goals in his first eight games. With five assists to go with them, he is producing at a clip of a point and a half per game.
While those numbers are quite impressive, they come with a caveat - no, not sample size, though of course that’s a relevant point. Instead, I’m referring to his age. Though the Canucks picked up McKenzie’s rights just a few months ago, he’s already playing in his draft-plus-two season, as he was taken in his second year of draft eligibility.
And so we have to ask the question: how good is good in a draft-plus-two season?
Warning! This article contains math! But also highlights.
October 20 2016 09:00AM
Did anyone really think we would be here, discussing the Canucks' hot start to the season? It is still early, but it's hard not be encouraged by the Canucks play to date. The team looks more structured defensively, stronger from a possession standpoint, and has been full value for its three wins. Pretty much no one in the hockey world - myself included - thought Vancouver would start the season a perfect 3-0-0, especially without ever once holding a lead. But here we are.
We should pause for a moment and fully appreciate the rarity of this accomplishment. This season is only the fifth time in franchise history that the Canucks have earned the maximum six points in its first three games. Read that again: that's the fifth time in 46 seasons that the Canucks have achieved that feat. Not even the hallowed teams of 2009-2012 managed to go perfect through their first three games. What were the teams that did? Read further to find out.
October 19 2016 06:21PM
It's clear that the Canucks are intent on competing for the playoffs while also acquiring and developing young talent for the future. What's less clear, at times, is which of the two takes priority over the other. Since even the most optimistic of prognosticators wouldn't describe the Canucks as a "win-now" team, I'd imagine it would have to be the latter.
Nation World HQ
October 19 2016 01:08PM
On Monday night the Nation Network learned, along with the rest of the hockey world, that NHL salary resource GeneralFanager.com was off-line for good.
October 19 2016 09:32AM
Things are going relatively well in Vancouver. The club is 3-0-0 and well on their way to shattering the paltry expectations they suffered in advance of this season. Of course, it's early, and we should temper our optimism accordingly. You're still well within your right to enjoy the run, though.
Usually, teams are reticent to mess with a working lineup, but that's precisely what they'll have to do sooner than later. Eventually Anton Rodin is going to return to a clean bill of health. Based on his pre-season, I'd expect the Canucks are all too eager to give Rodin a shot to provide offence from their middle-six, too.
So looking at the Canucks' roster as of today, what adjustment(s) should they make when Rodin is available and ready to contribute?