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Canucks Player Power Rankings – 2016/17 Year End Edition

The 2016/17 Canucks season is mercifully over and it’s time to reflect upon one of the worst 82-game stretches I have ever seen. The final edition of the Player Power Rankings will be cumulative, taking into account everything that these guys did (or didn’t) do this season.

1. Ryan Miller:

Ultimately, it wasn’t enough to keep them from 29th overall, but Ryan Miller kept the Canucks in so many games this year that they had no business being in. He was steady, professional, and looked out for his teammates. He deserves a long offseason with no 40-shot nights to worry about.

2. Bo Horvat:

It was hard to not give Bo Horvat top spot, but his time will certainly come. With the Sedins looking less and less like themselves, watching Bo take the reigns was exciting – fans have waited a long time for someone to challenge the twins for first line minute. Horvat did just that (remember when he started the season on the fourth line?) and really does seem like a guy we’d all be happy to see wearing the “C” when Henrik retires. Plus, he won that kid a wiener dog.

3. Troy Stecher:

Local boy Troy Stecher had quite the eventful rookie year – he was jumped by Matt Martin, walked Jamie Benn, and received a black eye at the hands (well, stick) of Milan Lucic. He also played some really excellent hockey.

4. Sven Baertschi:

Despite playing under 70 games this season, Sven Baertschi had more points than anyone not named Horvat or Sedin. His injuries were unfortunate and concerning, but he sure is fun to watch when healthy.

5. Markus Granlund:

I don’t think even Markus Granlund expected Markus Granlund to have the year he had. His season ended early due to injury, but riding shotgun to the Sedins suited him well. Shades of a young Jannik Hansen.

6. Nikita Tryamkin:

Nikita Tryamkin started the year in the press box because he was out of shape and “not ready”. Now, he’s a legend. Everything he does is funny because he is so big. He’s still a little rough around the edges, but anyone who can play mildly entertaining hockey means a lot to Canucks fans.

7. Brock Boeser:

Brock Boeser has played nine games as a Canucks and already he is making fans feel better about the long road ahead. All four of his career goals have been pretty. He might not be Matthews or McDavid, but the Canucks have a young man who looks like he can score goals and that’s nice.

8. Alex Edler:

Alex Edler is old and tired and in recent days he has looked beyond done with this season, but he does deserve some credit for the heavy minutes he logged this season as the oldest member of the Canucks blueline. His young partner Troy Stecher was the only defenseman with more points than Edler and, to the surprise of many, the quietest man in the dressing room has done a nice job of trying to fill Hamhuis and Bieksa’s shoes as a mentor.

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9. Chris Tanev:

Chris Tanev played half of the season on one ankle, contracted the mumps, and got such bad food poisoning that he spent the night in the ER. He wasn’t always his best self when he played, but boy, was he missed when he didn’t. If only he would score more so we could hear more DMX.

10. Ben Hutton:

Ben Hutton did not have the best time this year, but I have to give him props for keeping everyone’s spirits up. As someone who tries to find fun Canucks-related things to write about every week, Ben Hutton is a godsend. Also, he’ll be just fine as a hockey player.

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11. Henrik Sedin:

Both Henrik and his brother had rough seasons, and yet Henrik sits just one point back of the team lead. The Sedins aren’t what they used to be, but only a handful of their teammates look significantly better than them. Though Henrik’s subpar season isn’t one he’s happy with, it did give us one of my favourite Canucks moments in recent history:

12. Daniel Sedin:

Daniel Sedin, like his older brother, has had far better years, but some things never change. Daniel Sedin scoring a beautiful goal while being targeted with a dirty (but not suspendable, apparently) headshot is a sad but honest encapsulation of his career.

 

13. Nikolay Goldobin:

Bidding farewell to Jannik Hansen sucked, because Jannik Hansen owns, but the Nikolay Goldobin that the Canucks got in return seems like a good time. He’s quotable, fast, skilled, obsessed with nice cars, and his relationship with Willie Desjardins brought some unnecessary but riveting drama to the season. What’s not to like?

14. Luca Sbisa:

Luca Sbisa is still Luca Sbisa, but his season seemed less chaotic than previous ones – perhaps Vegas will be interested in a nice guy who can maybe pass as a third-pairing defenseman?

15. Reid Boucher:

Reid Boucher was a mid-season waiver wire pick-up who apparently wasn’t in game shape when he was acquired. By the end of the season, Boucher looks like a very decent pick-up, perhaps even a rather promising one.

16. Brendan Gaunce:

Brendan Gaunce went the whole season without scoring a goal, but was overall a very nice fit as a fourth line centre on this team. I don’t think anyone dislikes Brendan Gaunce and we all hope he continues to do his thing with a little more puck-luck next year.

17. Michael Chaput:

Michael Chaput’s usage at the hands of Willie Desjardins was questionable but I feel like he was better than Megna. Maybe I’m wrong. But not as wrong as Willie was when he sent poor Michael out as the extra attacker all those times.

18. Richard Bachman:

Back-up back-up Richard Bachman performed very well in the few appearances he had as a Canuck this year, and we can all be happy for him. Most importantly, he lost the final game of the season, securing 29th overall for the Canucks. Thank you, Richard.

19. Brandon Sutter:

Brandon Sutter scored a handful of nice goals this season, which was great. Despite this, he did not convince many that he is worth the contract that Benning gave him. Plus, he’s calling his teammate’s masculinity into question, which is weird for a guy who some say is all leadership.

20. Jacob Markstrom:

When he played, Jacob Markstrom had some very nice stretches. His season ended in February after he got hurt during Superskills. What kind of Canucks luck? At least we had this: 

21. Erik Gudbranson:

Some thought he would bring toughness, others thought he would bring nothing. He sort of threatened Matt Martin’s life, sort of blamed his defensive struggles on Ben Hutton, and missed most of the season with a wrist injury. The promise of an extension makes me nervous. At least we have this headline: 

22. Jayson Megna:

Jayson Megna will go down in Canucks lore as Willie Desjardins’ weirdest favourite player. What a strange ride it’s been. And with that new contract, get set for more Megna next season, even if Willie is gone.

23. Philip Larsen:

Philip Larsen is not the answer to the Canucks power play (we still don’t know what is, but it’s not Philip) but he did his best and came back from a scary injury, which is always good. All the best to him.

24. Jack Skille:

PTO-contract guy Jack Skille battled injuries throughout the year and is probably best suited to the fourth line, but he did show some nice moments.

25. Drew Shore, Joe Cramarossa, and Griffen Molino:

I don’t feel like I have a lot to say about any of these guys, but maybe next year I will.

26. Alex Biega:

I don’t know, he was there.

27. Loui Eriksson:

Loui Eriksson scored the first goal of the Canucks season and it was almost like we should have known then that this season would not go well. Hopefully he will come back next year healthy and with a bit more luck.  

28. Derek Dorsett:

A healthy Derek Dorsett might not have added a lot of wins for the Canucks, but his neck injury looked brutal and that sucks for him.

29. Anton Rodin:

Remember pre-season Anton Rodin? The Anton Rodin whose knee looked healthy? The Anton Rodin who scored goals? Poor Anton Rodin.

30. Jake Virtanen:

To make it a nice round list of 30 players, I’ll finish off with Jake Virtanen. Hopefully, Virtanen had a good year for his confidence and development, but the fact remains that William Nylander is thriving in the NHL and Jim Benning probably made a huge mistake. The highlight of Jake Virtanen’s season was stuff-gate, which remains hilarious and symbolic of how disorganized this franchise is.

Thanks for reading the Power Rankings this season – I would like to thank the “Last 5 Games” feature on every NHL.com player profile that allowed me to confirm all of the times the large majority of this roster went pointless each week. I couldn’t have done this without it.

  • Killer Marmot

    You didn’t give Lucas Sbisa enough credit. He started the season as the butt of jokes. He ended the season looking like a bona fide NHLer, having gotten out of the pizza delivery business.

    • manthehen

      I think the Sedins weren’t given enough credit… I mean they had a bad year but Henrik nearly led the team in scoring, finished the season with 6 pts in 3 games and Tryamkin is ahead of him lol

  • Lou Armadillo

    I thought that Alex Beiga had quite a good season, especially considering he played a bunch at forward. He had some big hits, always seemed to have energy when nobody else did and even made some nice defensive plays. He was definitely better than Larsen, Skille, Cramarossa and Shore, I would put him ahead of Megna and Gudbranson as well.