Canucks Army Midterm Prospect Rankings: #3 Hunter Shinkaruk

shinkaruk

Courtesy: The Province

Here at Canucks Army, we love three things more than anything in the
world: prospects, prospect rankings, and whining about prospect
rankings.  Every summer we vote on and rank the top-20 Canucks prospects to
take stock of what’s in the system, and every summer we hear vocal
complaints from our readers they disagree with our rankings.

So this year, in our mid-term ranking, we gave you the chance to vote on prospects and
have a say on these players.  Since our summer rankings, we’ve
simplified the definition of “prospect” to any player in the Vancouver
Canucks’ system that is eligible for the Calder Trophy if they were to
play in the NHL this year.  This means that players like Linden Vey and
Joacim Eriksson who were not rated over the summer will be covered in
this series.

Without further ado, here is the 3rd rated Canucks Prospect

#3 Hunter Shinkaruk

2014 Summer Ranking: 2nd

Hunter Shinkaruk dropped one position so far this year likely due to his less than impressive box scores down in the AHL.

From a quick view, we can see that Shinkaruk has scored a mere 15 points (6 goals and 9 assists) in 46 games which translates to a 0.32 points/game rate, which isn’t exactly inspiring.  He is currently 4th among all Canucks prospects on the Comets in scoring, behind Brendan Gaunce, Alex Grenier, and Nicklas Jensen.  These are not very impressive statistics when looking at it from a shallow perspective.  But when we dig deeper, we can see more positives.

We know that Hunter Shinkaruk is likely mainly receiving bottom-6 minutes for the Utica Comets, and currently has 94 shots in those games, translating to a rate over 2.0 shots/game.  Given his low ice time, this tells us that his per-minute shot rate is probably very strong by Comets standards.  Shinkaruk’s personal shooting percentage is also 6.4% – a number that is likely unsustainably low for one of his talent, given that higher end scorers such as Brandon DeFazio, Alex Grenier, and Nicklas Jensen are all scoring on over 10% of their shots.  

Combine the above with the fact that Shinkaruk is among the youngest of all players in the AHL and he is coming off a serious hip injury that required surgery and caused him to miss nearly all of last season, and we can see how Shinkaruk’s production could be viewed as “disappointing.”  However, this also indicates that there is good reason to believe that Shinkaruk’s boxcars should pick up going forward as he earns more ice time, continues to improve, and grows towards his prime.  After all, most of his peers aren’t eligible to play in the AHL yet, nor did they spend a good chunk of their past year rehabbing rather than getting better.

It’s far too early for us to be overly concerned about Shinkaruk’s production in the AHL.  This is still a player that compared favourably to guys like Corey Perry, Nazem Kadri, Tyler Toffoli, Sean Monahan, Dustin Brown, Shane Doan, Radim Vrbata, and Tyler Ennis as a 17-year old junior, and possesses top-end offensive tools.  His development has unfortunately been stalled and that is showing this season, however he should be capable of getting back on track.

Shinkaruk likely needs to be given another year or two of AHL development before he’s ready to jump to the NHL.  With Jake Virtanen nearly guaranteed to be given every chance at earning a position on the Canucks roster next season, Shinkaruk would have to really impress Jim Benning and Willie Desjardins out of training camp to get himself a spot.  It is a tall order for Shinkaruk, but not impossible.  After all, he realistically still has the highest ceiling of any Canucks prospect.

Stay tuned for part seven of this series, which will run on Tuesday and cover the 2nd best prospect in Vancouver’s system!

  • Ruprecht

    So basically the Canucks couldn’t even pair their #3 prospect with a 1st round pick to acquire a couple of BC boys like Santorelli & Franson.

    Welcome to the axis of mediocrity…

      • Ruprecht

        Nowhere in my comment am I suggesting the Canucks give up assets for rental players.

        They are not good enough and the farm system is not deep enough to be doing such things.

        The point is that Nashville drafted and developed a 3rd rounder good enough to be used as a key piece in this trade.

        The Canucks couldn`t make this trade without giving up one of their high drafted 1st rounders…

        • Ruprecht

          Sure, but we did get a guy like Clendening for a 5th rounder. So it’s not like we have absolutely no value developing in the system.

          Nashville is making a run. Good on them, but they overpaid IMHO.

          Nice deal for Toronto, they shed some salary with Jokinen. Get a 1st rounder and a prospect. For two guys they couldn’t afford next year.

          • Larionov18

            Poor NMOO he just upset because his Oilers are bereft of hope and prospects. Oilers are ranked middle of the pack after picking first in each round….for a decade…lol…ha ha ha ha

        • Larionov18

          Brendan Leipsic is 5’9. Basically a Curtis Valk. Canucks got him for free. Both guys are not likely to play in the NHL. Believe me nobody figures this guy was the linchpin to to this trade. A throw in to help the Marlies and payment for eating Olli’s salary.

      • Ruprecht

        Nowhere in my comment am I suggesting the Canucks give up assets for rental players.

        They are not good enough and the farm system is not deep enough to be doing such things.

        The point is that Nashville drafted and developed a 3rd rounder good enough to be used as a key piece in this trade.

        The Canucks couldn`t make this trade without giving up one of their high drafted 1st rounders… That is if I automatically assume the Canucks want to trade at all.

        All I’m trying to say is were a middle of the pack team and always will be, Except when we were back to back presidents trophy winners and division champions several years in a row… Wait do I even know what I’m talking about?

        • Larionov18

          Hey MoMo, Canucks prospects are wanted… Clandening was traded for a 5th round pick that was acquired under Benning. Clendening is undersized, but has a lot of talent and has made Stanton a descent NHL player for a few games. Just because the top guys haven’t been traded, doesn’t mean they aren’t worthy. It means Benning knows how to build a team, through the draft!

          Is this team middle of the pack right now.., sure, but so are LA Kings, an Jose Sharks and Blackhawks! Gues in MoMo land only 4 teams should make the playoffs and the rest should tank. Have Nashville play Annahiem to go to the Cup and I don’t know Pens and Ilanders battle it out.

          No way a team could possibly get hot and make a run and a team like the Canucks that has had 4 first round picks in the last two years has no farm system.

          What color is the sky in your world? Grey or Black

        • Ruprecht

          I’d argue the 1st round pick is the key piece in the trade. The 3rd round prospect is a throw in for the Marlies, for when they call up guys for NHL duties/assessment. There’s bound to be a lot of player movement between the farm and big club during the fire sale in Toronto, so they need bodies for the minors, simple.

          I don’t think we’ll always be a middling team, yes we had our time in the sun and are on the decline. But it’s the nature of the league, and any middling team is just a piping hot goaltending run away from greatness. Not saying we have it, but it’s nice to still be playing meaningful hockey at this time of year.

          Anything can happen, has, and will in the future. You’re drawing on assumptions when you suggest the Canucks will always be middling. In that sense, no you haven’t a clue what you’re talking about. It’s blind speculation.

        • Ruprecht

          Sure, but how about I still get to choose for myself what I reply to and what I ignore. I enjoy that freedom to decide and form my own opinions…especially when it comes to how I view others, and my interactions with them.

    • Thefreshpots

      Why oh earth would you trade a young prospect and a first rnd pick to acquire a 3rd line center and an overrated Dman.

      Didn’t Gilli’s acquisitions from terrible Fla. teams remind fans that players on terrible teams usually cause that team to be terrible?!

      Shinkaruk will be fine, as we all know he missed an entire year and jumped up in competition level! He no longer is playing against boys he is playing against Men that are earning a living. That is a big deal. You see guys in their late 20’s early 30’s who are fighting for another year in the AHL. Different level of compete and preparation. Anyone that thought Hunter would step in and demolish the AHL is delusional.

      He needs to move up the roster by playing a complete game. Defense/special teams… Last thing the Canucks need is another smaller player that only scores. If he is like Schroeder then the team is set back.

      He will be fine.

      • Larionov18

        F8ckFace00 is a steaming pile of shat, if you want to be accurate. His stupidity gains new heights on a daily basis.

        Benning is sticking to his game plan about avoiding rentals and not dealing the future away. He realizes the team needs to rebuild but has probably been told they also need to compete right now. I’m hoping they lose for the rest of the month so we can be actual sellers at the deadline. Enough of the re-tooling.

  • Larionov18

    Hunter Shinkaruk is going to be a terrific sniper for the Canucks in years to come. Fans need to be patient with young players. The kids should earn their way to the NHL, not handed to them. Travis Green is doing a great job with the kids on the farm! The last thing you want to do is rush them into the big league.

    • Larionov18

      Delays their development for sure. If Shinkaurk went back to Junior, I’m sure he would put up crazy numbers, but he had to regain his form in the AHL.

      Playing 17-19 year old boys is fine, but playing against men that make the AHL a career is completely different. AHL players have families that depend on them having a contract next year. Whole different mind set.

      My thought is Hunter has been playing lower pairing minutes in purpose to force him to play a complete game. You see what offense only development did for Hodgeson. Benning had a track record of drafting and development with the Bs, so I trust him.

      Dude works a lot harder than Gillis…. When the team is out East, Benning is at Junior rinks scouting. That’s why I’m not worried about the future.

  • Ruprecht

    decent article about shink, however you omitted one crucial aspect to his game and what he has done for the comets success: he has more game winning goals than any of the teams prospects(4), one behind bobby sanguinetti(5)….next is Jensen at 3

    • Larionov18

      I just enjoy engaging the trolls. Should show some class though. I do not troll oilersnation. Its a place for Oilers fans…where you should be posting. Go Troll sportsnet. TSN sucks for trollling as they do not post most comments.

  • Ruprecht

    I hate to say this, but I wish Calgary took Shinkaruk and we took Emile Poirier as an off-the-board pick instead.

    I know…it’s no use to look at what could have been or should have been…but it feels like being punched with brass nuckles.

    Although I lampooned Calgary at the time, Poirier is younger than Shinkaruk and has 30 points in 40 games, and is plus 11. Shinkaruk has half the points in 47 games and is -5. It’s like getting kicked in the nucks.

    Poirier could be our #2 prospect if we took him instead. Oh well, nucking risked is nothing gained.

    Hopefully he develops past his injuries to become a great player. He was drafted as a known star player, not like Poirier, who was dredged from the nucks and crannies.

    I don’t want this pick to result in yuks against the nucks.

    Nuck said.

    • Larionov18

      I still remember a lot of mock boards had the Canucks predicting Canucks would take Poirier. I was wanting another strong guy but Shink is supposed to have that sniper’s touch. I guess only time will tell who made the better pick!

    • Thefreshpots

      He obviously hasn’t checked the highlight clips that are readily available on Youtube. Shinkaruk has skill, now he’s learning to make the transition from run-and-gun junior to the professional leagues.

  • Larionov18

    In his last dozen games Horvat has found his offensive groove. Hopefully Shinkaruk will one day wake up, get a hat trick, and suddenly bounce ahead of the AHL regulars who currently top the Comets scoring.

  • Ruprecht

    Here’s what we know. Hunter Shinkaruk is not a generational talent. At this point, that’s all we know.

    Given how young he is and how little hockey he has played in the last 18 months, any other judgements are a bit silly. Yes, it would be nice to see him meeting with greater initial success in the AHL, but let’s remember that Tomas Tatar, for instance, played three seasons in the AHL before becoming a full-time NHLer.
    Gustav Nyquist spend parts of FOUR seasons in the AHL before becoming a full-time AHLer.

    Canucks fans have a serious case of attention deficit disorder when it comes to our prospects. Good organizations make players work their asses off for every inch they gain and only a miniscule percentage of players are NHL ready in their teens and even then only in highly sheltered situations – unless they are a generational talent.

    • Ruprecht

      “Canucks fans have a serious case of attention deficit disorder when it comes to our prospects. Good organizations make players work their asses off for every inch they gain and only a miniscule percentage of players are NHL ready in their teens and even then only in highly sheltered situations – unless they are a generational talent.”

      Or maybe it’s just that teams like Detroit, Chicago, LA, SJ and pretty much every other team in the NHL has done a better job in the last few years of integrating non-generational talents onto their NHL rosters…