In the wake of the Derek Roy Acquisition Jordan Schroeder is Sent Down to Chicago

With Mike Gillis and the Canucks making a splash ahead of tomorrow’s trade deadline and acquiring Derek Roy from Dallas, it appears that rookie centreman Jordan Schroeder is lost in the shuffle and will be reassigned to the Chicago Wolves.

Per the Canucks themselves:

Read on past the jump.

The last time Jordan Schroeder was sent down we were confused, partly because his deployment patterns had been so weird in advance of that decision. In fairness, Schroeder responded well to the swift kick in the butt and played pretty well upon his return to the Canucks lineup a week later.

Generally speaking, I think, Jordan Schroeder has proven himself to be a capable NHL player albeit in sheltered minutes. He’s done well to win battles down low against larger players since returning from Chicago, and he’s still in the black by the possession data. But he hasn’t been productive enough offensively and his role with the club (2nd line centre with an offensive oriented deployment) was just usurped by Derek Roy.

That’s really what this decision comes down to, I’d wager. Some people make the mistake of thinking the Canucks are picking Andrew Ebbett over Jordan Schroeder, but that’s a gross oversimplification. The Canucks are picking Derek Roy over Jordan Schroeder, and Andrew Ebbett will continue to handle a more defensively oriented third-line role.

Consider that Andrew Ebbett is currently playing short-handed minutes for the Canucks (that should change, however, with Derek Roy on the roster) and has an offensive zone start rate under 40%. Jordan Schroeder isn’t killing penalties and is starting nearly 60% of his shifts in the offensive zone against third and fourth line competition. So one player has a more defense oriented third-line role, which mirrors Alain Vigneault’s usual deployment preferences, and the other is playing in a prescribed "Cody Hodgson-lite" top-six role that has been deplaced by the acquisition of a former 70 point second line centreman. I think all of that makes perfect sense.

It also gives us a hint as to how the Canucks coaching staff intends on utilizing Derek Roy going forward. If he’s replacing Jordan Schroeder in the Canucks lineup, then we can pretty safely assume that he’ll be playing a more traditional second line role in the short-term, rather than soaking up defensive zone starts like we’d expect an Alain Vigneault third-liner to do. Which makes sense given Roy’s playmaking ability and skill with the puck.