Canucks Player Power Rankings – November 28th, 2016


Another week of this long season is over and the Canucks are still not looking like a playoff team. It’s not all bad though! Luca Sbisa is showing off his strength, Jake Virtanen is looking and behaving more and more like a character from a teen drama on the CW network, and Bo Horvat is pretty good at the whole hockey playing thing. 

1. Bo Horvat:

The last time someone not named Sedin led the Canucks in points at season’s end was 2006. That’s the year Akon’s “Smack That” was topping the charts and Borat was released. Bo Horvat turned 11. Bo currently has more points than both Sedins. Even if he doesn’t hang onto the lead through April, Bo is making things interesting and it is very fun to watch. 

2. Alex Burrows:

Coming in at #2 is Alex Burrows, who appears to be in the midst of a renaissance season (with a little bit of help from Mike Smith and a lot of help from Bo Horvat). 

3. Ben Hutton: 

Ben Hutton signed a brand new contract this week and is having a great time, as usual. He has likely been upgraded to #1 defenseman in the absence of both Chris Tanev and Alex Edler, which is both fun and a little stressful. Here’s hoping Ben is still dancing next week.

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4. Loui Eriksson:

Loui Eriksson is scoring now! And they have been (mostly) Loui Eriksson goals. The king of garbage!

5. Ryan Miller and Jacob Markstrom:

Both of these guys got a win this week. Jacob Markstrom made the best save, so he gets the gif, but they both had a nice week. Good job, goalies!

6. Troy Stecher:

Troy Stecher continued to impress everyone this week, even his teammates. Here he is getting tired of Matt Duchene’s fanciness. 

7. Markus Granlund:

Markus Granlund scored the shootout winner in Denver this week. He’s also giving Chris Tanev a run for his money in the “What exactly is happening, hair-wise?” department.  



8. Nikita Tryamkin:

Everything Nikita Tryamkin does is entertaining. So far, almost all of this has been good. Even his less flattering moments are amazing, though. 

9. Henrik and Daniel Sedin:

These two let Bo Horvat run the goalscoring department this week so that they could focus on being embarrassing dads. 

10. Jayson Megna:

Jayson Megna could be one of those guys that scores one goal as a Canuck and then disappears forever. But what a goal it would be. 

11. Brandon Sutter:

Last season, Brandon Sutter blocked a shot in Denver and missed the rest of the season. Last Saturday, Brandon Sutter tried to block a shot in Denver and ended up scoring on his own net. It could be worse. 

12. Luca Sbisa:

Luca Sbisa has been fine this week, which is great to see. He might not be ready to carry the team, but he was definitely ready to carry Erik Gudbranson, which is a start. 

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13. Michael Chaput:

I have nothing negative to say about Michael Chaput. He’s been everything you would want him to be. 

14. Erik Gudbranson:

The Hutty/Guddy duo continues to be a concern on the ice. Off the ice, though, things seem to be going far smoother. 

15. Jack Skille:

Usually I find that I don’t have much to say about Jack Skille, but this week he received support from many friends. What a nice thing for Jack!

16. Brendan Gaunce:

Brendan Gaunce is doing his thing without much pizzazz, which is fine. He’s also keeping the Twitter haters in check by passive-aggressively liking their tweets. 

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17. Joe LaBate:

Joe LaBate played his first NHL game this week and participated in his first NHL fight. He got roasted by his teammates for the photo that the Canucks used to announce his call-up. Overall a so-so week for Joe.

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18. Sven Baertschi: 

Playing for his former roommate and current Tucson Roadrunners captain Craig Cunningham, who is still in critical condition after collapsing before a game last week, Sven Baertschi came out flying and put up the first 3-point night of his career. Unfortunately for Sven, he also took a puck to the skate, sidelining him for now.

19. Alex Edler:

Last season, Alex Edler blocked a shot in Colorado and missed the remainder of the season. Last Saturday, Alex Edler blocked a shot in Colorado and might have broken his hand. This too bad for his teammates, who will miss his 25 minutes of ice time and his general steadiness. This is great for the Canucks fans who think he is bad at hockey and should be benched. Maybe they will learn from this. 

20. Chris Tanev and Jannik Hansen:

These two are making room for Baertschi and Edler on the IR. They are very much missed. 

21. Derek Dorsett:

Derek Dorsett is also on the IR and is slightly less missed. 

22. Jake Virtanen and the Canucks organization, as a duo: 

The Jake Virtanen saga has been genuinely hilarious so far this season and it’s only November. Remember last week when he got sent to Utica and was shortly called back up because he didn’t have his “stuff”? Jake has honestly no idea what that was about, honestly.

Apparently there are malls in Utica that Jake has access to. 

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That’s the face of a kid who lives for the drama. Virtanen openly mentioned the lack of communication. There is no plan, as far as he’s aware. 

Like most trainwrecks, you just can’t look away because you have no idea what’s going to happen next. Also like most trainwrecks, this could have been avoided

  • crofton

    Chaput is 55.9% on face offs. LaBate proves again he can play as well as throw down. Megna didn’t start playing hockey until he was 19(according to J&J). The future is getting brighter.

  • Jabs

    I like Gaunce and I like your take on him in that he is doing his thing.

    I’m concerned that Willie has only allowed him to average 5 minutes in the last two games. I thought this team was going to be rolling with four lines.

    • apr

      I think WD is finally adapting to the situation and trying to shorten the bench somewhat to eke out some goals, as outside a couple of games – the games have been very tight. If given some time and patience, I see Gaunce developing into a Gaustaud-type player, the type of player you need to compete with in the playoffs, which we sorely lacked when we were perennial President cup winners.

  • Dirty30

    Stecher making Duchene look like Mason Raymond — “Fancy moves? Here, let me help you fall down!”

    As far as entertainment value goes, watching Stecher knock a player down or simply skate over and take the puck or battle in the corners and come out with the puck is simply freaking awesome.

    As for Bo’s pass to Burrows? Unbelievable. How do you skate toward the net at full speed and make a back pass to a guy coming full speed into the play and make it tape to tape and he scores? I’ve watched that piece over and over and still can’t figure it out.

    And Hank … 7.5 seconds? More than one goal has been scored off face-offs in that timeframe … what were you thinking?

  • Burnabybob

    The young Canucks look promising. Lots of potential there.

    They have plenty to learn, though, and still aren’t ready for the playoffs. The main objectives this season are 1) Develop the young players and 2) Get another high draft pick, hopefully to add some offensive talent.

    Oh, and they should also make some trades at the deadline for picks and/or prospects. They can’t afford to come up empty like they did last year. Hopefully they can get at least a second round pick for Burrows, and maybe something for Miller as well.

  • JuiceBox

    I don’t like Virtanen’s comment about “not knowing the plan.” The plan should be painfully obvious to you. Go to Utica, work your arse off and earn your place back in the Canucks line-up. If his path forward is not clear to him at this point and he needs his hand held every step of the way, then he is in serious trouble as a professional athlete. He needs to grow up.

    • SJ

      Yeah, I’m with you on this one. It’s not surprising to me that WD or JB wouldn’t have told him much, their communication skills seem lacking. It should be quite obvious, though, and I can’t believe for a second that he’s not getting some grade A advice from Travis Green.

  • UKCanuck

    Time for Virtanen to shut up, put his head down and play hockey. The club shouldn’t have to communicate that the plan is for him to go down bang in 15-20 goals and then await a recall.

  • Fred-65

    Strangely enough Linden sated that the coaches have talked to Vrtanen as well as JB and Linden himself together with other players. Here’s a hint Jake take off your ear phones and LISTEN

  • Wiseguy

    I am so happy to finally see people comment on Virts and his inability to take any responsibility for his play! Its been a friggan BROMANCE for this kid for months…

    All the team/fans want is to see him break a sweat, work his ass off, stay out of the social scene, shut the hell up and attempt to play some hockey again.

    We have seen and heard this kind of talk from other players in the past and its 50/50 if he will end up on the team again longterm.

    So far I am unimpressed with his stint in Utica, its not even moderately good enough for a player of his supposed talents.

  • defenceman factory

    There is nothing hilarious about the Virtanen situation. He has size, skill and speed but not a clue about how to become a professional.

    Don’t trade him. Keep him in Utica till he figures it out and away from Willie. He, apparently, has no clue to give.

    It is incomprehensible how you leave a top prospect 20 year old kid with poor self discipline to his own devices and then act surprised he isn’t nhl ready to go.

    • Andy

      Here comes the interesting question – if Brock Boeser makes it next year and is also confused about his deployment, does Canucks nation call him an immature player, or can we finally admit that maybe this management group doesn’t know how to communicate to players OR fans?

      • Wiseguy

        Wow just wow, like I said above no one to blame but himself, STOP MAKING EXCUSES FOR HIM AND BLAMING MANAGEMENT!!!

        How about these guys, they seem to have figured out what management is saying;

        Tryamkin – worked his ass off in gym while benched, didnt seem to have trouble with limited English in figuring out what willy was saying!

        Stetcher – understood from the get go, WORK MY ASS OFF AND SWEAT!

        Horvat – Again work my ass off every shift

        Hutton – Again work my ass off every shift

        Biega – OMG I am in the NHL – because I worked my ass off when called up

        The list goes on, Guance, Menga, Shille, Chaput and Labate.

        How about this one;

        Kassian – I cant understand what willy wants??? Guess we know now he was partying to much and needed a couple other teams to tell him as well.

        Really guys stop with the excuses, Virts only has himself to blame.