Canucks Army Monday Mailbag: February 13th


I went for a brief trip through the Expansion Draft tool on and found that in most cases contending teams could afford to protect Jannik Hansen with relative ease. In some cases, of course, that wasn’t true. I don’t think the Minnesota Wild, for one example, could protect Hansen.

Whether a contending team can or cannot protect Hansen won’t generally matter, though. Think about most deadline acquisitions. Nine times out of ten we’re talking about a player with a much larger salary moving in the final three months of their deal, and it’s just that.

Contending teams aren’t generally building for next year at the deadline. They’re usually fine with that, too. At the very least, I don’t think that will deter a team from adding a player of Hansen’s calibre.

I think I’m ready to stop putting ceilings on Bo Horvat. He’s broken through each one, and he’s only 21-years-old. I legitimately saw a player with a third line ceiling when the Canucks selected him ninth overall in the 2013 NHL Draft.

Horvat’s amassed 38 points in 56 games, which puts him on pace for about 56 points over an 82 game season. That’s first line production, and we haven’t even accounted for usage. Horvat is, ostensibly, the Canucks’ third line centre. Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins plays him defensively first and foremost. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest at this point that Horvat can produce closer to 60-plus points.

Knowing what we do about ageing curves at the NHL level, we can reasonably expect Horvat to reach his peak (or close to) at about 24-years-old. At that point, or whenever it is he does reach his peak, I don’t think expecting a point per game player is unreasonable.

I’m not so sure about a takeover. Whatever the case, Jeremy Davis did a great job on the midday show yesterday, explaining what went into his article on Ryan Miller and how he performs relative to his workload. Give it a listen!

I can’t imagine why not. Michael McCarron is 21-years-old, and the best he’s done to date is five points in eighteen games this season. Based on that sample and how he’s produced at lower levels of competition, I’m not sold on McCarron as much more than a third line player.

There’s value in having those – especially when they’re cost controlled and relatively young. I’d much rather the Canucks take the draft pick and go from there, though. There’s always a chance, however small, that you can find a star player in the draft and the Canucks need those. Oh, how they need a few of those.

The window for that as even an inkling of a possibility with McCarron is shrinking to the point where it’s not impossible but pretty damn close. Let’s see what the master scout Jim Benning can do with a bevvy of picks for a change. 

Based on what I’ve been told by people in the know, it’s likely that the Calgary Hitmen were feasting on PDO in Jake Virtanen’s draft year. As a key cog in their offence, it’s then reasonable to wonder if he was one of the chief beneficiaries. I can’t say for certain whether that was the case, though. That’s the best opinion, such as it is, that I can offer pertaining to Virtanen’s puck-luck or lack thereof.

First unit power play: Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Sven Baertschi, Loui Eriksson and Ben Hutton.

Second unit power play: Markus Granlund, Bo Horvat, Jannik Hansen, Philip Larsen and Alexander Edler

That’s really hard to say. Honestly, I think it might be in Brock Boeser’s best interest to, at least, start the year in the AHL with the Utica Comets. Let him adapt to the professional level at a fair speed. Don’t ask too much of him early. Just put his long-term development before any short-term gains, and everyone will be better for it.

By that same token, I tend to think Boeser could make the Canucks out of training camp and play in their middle six. I just have questions about what shape his wrist will be in. That’s bugged him all season and hampered his ability to continue his skyward trajectory.

I mean, sure, why not?

That’s hard to say this far removed from the trade deadline. Ideally, I’d have a couple more deals to glean for a lay of the land. Side note, Ryan Biech did an article on why the Canucks should trade Jannik Hansen, and therein he outlines what a reasonable return is. I’ll do my best here anyways.

Jannik Hansen: two second round draft picks

Ryan Miller: a fourth round draft pick

Alexandre Burrows: a third round draft pick

To be honest, I don’t feel all that comfortable answering this question. I don’t think it fair or kind to call for someone’s job publically. Especially considering the Canucks scouting department appears to be, for the most part, doing a relatively good job, whether I agree or disagree with most of their picks or not.

I also don’t think I can reasonably judge each scout’s contributions to the good or bad from my position. I just don’t know their roles and responsibilities. Whether I wanted to answer this question or not, I don’t think I adequately could.

Troy Stecher’s played on the Canucks first pair from the second he rejoined the club mid-season. He’s been a positive possession player for the most part, and his production has been solid, if unspectacular, under some fairly trying circumstances, most of which can be accounted for with bad luck.

Can’t speak to the University of North Dakota’s playoff chances. That’s a Biech question. I don’t think Boeser will play for the Canucks this season regardless. Unless, that is, they dangle a couple NHL games and pay to get him signed to a professional contract sooner than later.