May 22 2016 12:00PM
Jared McCann wasn't expected to make the Vancouver Canucks opening night roster but defied the odds and conventional wisdom to carve out a prescribed role in the bottom-six, playing sheltered minutes by and large.
Though it mightn't have been in McCann's best interests -- physically undeveloped as he was and may still be -- it served the Canucks short-term goals, as their depleted centre depth called for help in whatever form they could find it. The need for McCann evolved from that of the fourth-line anchor to first-line fill-in by December, with the 19-year-old rookie pivot taking his turn in the injured Henrik Sedin's spot between Daniel Sedin and Jannik Hansen. Then back again to the fourth and occasionally the press box.
It was a season of ups and downs, but on the whole highly productive given the circumstances. There were moments where McCann flashed an offensive knack, particularly with his hard wrist shot that caught NHL goaltenders off guard on more than one occasion. Let's see the body of work as a whole, though, on the other side of the jump.
May 22 2016 07:00AM
With a 6'5 frame and a decent skater, one can see why many scouts salivate at the idea of moulding Riley Tufte into a force in the NHL. However, there are some signs, like struggles in the USHL, that suggest despite a NHL frame Tufte may still be quite a ways away from being a sure thing.
May 21 2016 05:20PM
The Vancouver Canucks enter free agency with no shortage of cap space and holes to fill on their roster, so it's no surprise that they're expected to be one of the more active teams therein. Before they can steal other teams top talents, they'll have to decide what to do with their own. Namely, Dan Hamhuis.
After that is when things get interesting. Radim Vrbata is all but a certainty to leave for greener pastures. That leaves an opening on the wing and no shortage of options on the free market to plug it with. Milan Lucic, local hero and bully of a left winger if there ever was one, is the most mentioned of the lot. Loui Eriksson and Kyle Okposo aren't far behind in terms of interest.
All these options are just way too obvious, though. So, I figured I would trouble the Canucks Army staff for which under the radar free agents they would like to see the Canucks pursue in free agency on July 1st.
May 21 2016 08:00AM
We're nearing the end of our projections for the draft's second round, and today we have an intriguing prospect in Dillon Dubé. Dubé is a gritty, albeit undersized player that can play all three forward positions. He has flashes of skill but is likely to make himself known through his tenacity and work ethic.
Dubé emerged as one of the Kelowna Rockets' strongest players this year while they dealt with various injuries. He was a point per game player while being on the younger end of 2016 draft elgibles - projection models with smile upon him.
May 20 2016 01:00PM
You know the off-season is in full swing because Bo Horvat's frustration at the idea that a hot dog could be called a sandwich is one of the most thrilling things that happened this week. Read past the jump to catch up with Bo and some of his teammates who are playing in (and/or watching) the World Championships.