Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

CanucksArmy Monday Mailbag: Noah Dobson, Goaltending and an Old Friend

I’ve nothing but good things to say about Noah Dobson’s game. He’s a big, offensively inclined, minute-munching defenceman who can skate well (not well for his size, just well period) and take away space from the opposition with relative ease. Dobson has all the makings of a top-four defenceman in the NHL, and I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that he could play in a top pair role either.

I’m sure the Canucks woeful penalty kill has something to do with their goaltenders save percentage suffering at 5-on-4 play, but I just don’t know how much of that I’m willing to attribute to the players, system or even goaltending. It’s a chicken versus the egg type of thing. Does the Canucks penalty kill suck because of bad goaltending or does the Canucks goaltending suffer because of a bad penalty kill?

The thing is, the Canucks goaltenders weren’t exactly great at 5-on-5. Jacob Markstrom, for example, had a negative 5-on-5 delta save percentage, which suggests he stopped a lower percentage of the shots he faced than an average goaltender would based on the volume and quality of shots faced. Markstrom and Anders Nilsson haven’t done anything to earn the benefit of the doubt.

As for Thatcher Demko, I’d just trade him to be safe. Can’t have a goaltender who shrinks on the penalty kill.

I have time for that argument. It probably wouldn’t hurt Elias Pettersson to spend a year on the smaller ice, learning the ins and outs of playing centre.

Perhaps the Canucks could convince the Dallas Stars to give up on the Martin Hanzal experiment after a disastrous, injury-riddled first season. Hanzal has two years left on his deal at $4.75-million apiece, and when he’s at the top of his game, he’s the type of shutdown, matchup centre that Canucks head coach Travis Green thinks Brandon Sutter is. He’d be a perfect second line centre behind Bo Horvat. The cost would be low, too, one has to think.

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Probably not, no.

I’ve heard that the Canucks have serious interest in Boston University forward Brady Tkachuk, which could be troubling, depending on where they pick. I’m getting conflicting reports on Vancouver’s interest in University of Michigan defenceman Quinn Hughes. They really like Acadie-Bathurst Titan defenceman Noah Dobson, though, to their credit.

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That seems possible at this stage, especially without Nazem Kadri in the lineup for another two games.

The Canucks should trade a seventh-round pick to the Dallas Stars to take on Jason Spezza’s contract and their first-round pick.

I already answered the first part of this question in this mailbag, so I’ll skip right to the bit about whether he’d be a good pick in the six-to-nine range. I tend to think that Dobson is better suited to ninth overall than sixth, frankly, but I don’t think six would be wholly indefensible.

I feel like Sven Baertshci’s value has only gone upward since the Canucks acquired him. I feel like they should be able to land a late first-round pick for him.

When it comes to the NHL Draft, I usually hold to the truism that fans shouldn’t complain so long as their team is making reasonable picks. There’s so much luck involved with drafting, much of it bad, so as long as the team is making high percentage plays, there’s nothing to complain about.

In this case, I had Kole Lind ahead of Nic Hague, only slightly, so I’m not going to make any post-hoc critiques of that pick at this stage. It was reasonable. And I still think the Canucks might come out ahead.

I think the world of Alain Vigneault but I can’t justify giving up on Canucks head coach Travis Green just yet. He’s done an alright job thus far in an extremely difficult situation. I want to see what Green can do with this team when he has some actual talent with which to work.

Elias Pettersson.


Tkachuk would be a good pick because he plays the prototypical power forward’s game that’s been absent from their lineup since Todd Bertuzzi’s hay days. They don’t have anyone with his combination of sheer power and meanness currently in their lineup. You’d rather have a bully like Tkachuk in your lineup than have to face him on even a semi-regular basis.

On the other hand, his statistical profile is such that he seems an unnecessary risk for the Canucks in the top ten, given all the players that are either equal or better than him and play primary positions.

Lukas Jasek has one more year on his contract with Liberec in the Czech Extraliiga, and I suspect that’s where he’ll end up to start next season.


If Canucks general manager Jim Benning wants Timothy Liljegren, hell, that’s awesome. I had him as the best defenceman in last year’s class. That’d be a great addition. I don’t know if I’d give him up for Chris Tanev, were I in the Leafs shoes, so that makes sense from their perspective, too.

Barring a turnaround in the Leafs-Bruins series, there could be a shakeup to the Leafs defence corps. That team could desperately use a Tanev-type player. They might not give up Liljegren, but I could see them moving Kasperi Kapanen to make it happen. Basically, the Canucks would need to lower their asking price if it is indeed Liljegren that they want.

I could see an internally capped team having interest in Loui Eriksson. That contract is heavily front-loaded, which means that the actual salary is significantly lower than the cap hit. For a team like the Coyotes, for example, those contracts are somewhat attractive.

Best player available.

I think this lineup needs a shakeup period. Almost every move they’ve made has been sold as one to bring in “veteran leadership” and it somehow looks like they still need more. Maybe what they need are better players instead? Just a hunch.

I don’t think money is the issue. That, and this isn’t a question.

Ben Hutton.

He’s invested in the job.


  • Holmes

    Would like to know – real deal – why Liljegren dropped to #17 overall. Does not line up that he was the best d man available in the draft, which I recall reading from a number of reports, and his final draft position. As for Tanev, think this year really deflated his value. If you are a rival GM, what do you pay for a player who you can only count on to play 60% of the games? Liljegren straight up for Tanev…sweet for the Canucks, tough sell for the Leafs

    • Killer Marmot

      Liljegren had mononucleosis in the season preceding his draft, causing him to fall dramatically in the prospect rankings. The Leafs were both lucky and smart to draft him where they did.

    • LorneM

      Liljegren was sick for a lot of his draft season so he ended up dropping (undeservedly so for the most part). Scouting reports before the season indicated that he was easily in the top tier of d men for the draft and the Leafs were definitely lucky he dropped as far as he did.

      And yeah I agree, it would be a tough sell to try and land him for Tanev considering how injured Tanev gets (even tho he is elite when healthy).

    • truthseeker

      Which is why the canucks should just keep Tanev. He’ll still be a great D man for at least another 4 to 5 years. If they don’t think he’s worth a D prospect with no NHL experience then that’s the Leaf’s loss. They can try another year of failure in the playoffs because they do nothing about their D.

      And JD’s idea that we should let him go straight up for a prospect winger who hasn’t been able to crack their roster? Ridiculous. Talk about not understanding the value of D in the NHL.

      I don’t get the argument to give away a guy who’s still one of the top defensive D men in the league simply because he had a few injuries. Not to mention giving up on Hutton after a bad year. Talk about the “Buy high sell low” strategy of investment. I’d hate to see these people’s stock portfolios. Yes, sometimes you’ve got to give up on a player…I get that. But neither of these two (especially Tanev, it’s almost insane he would think that’s all Tanev is worth) qualify.

  • North Van Halen

    So you would trade Tanev (despite his injuries a top pairing shutdown d, which is extremely hard to acquire despite the injuries) for another winger?!?! Essentially Brandon Leipsic who we acquired for Philip Holm?!
    God you have no idea how happy I am you’re not the GM.

    • Freud

      ? The writer wrote that he could see Toronto trying to move Kapanen for Tanev rather than Liljegren. No where did he say he would make the trade.

      Somehow you morph that into the writer would make that trade.

      These petty, whiny, self-serving posts are sad.

      • North Van Halen

        and your inference of moral and intellectual superiority is cute. Kinda like the little guy with big man syndrome (actually exactly like).
        And upvoting yourself so they all aren’t down votes is really sad.
        It’s funny, I did assume part of his response and I’m man enuff to admit it, too bad you can’t discuss like anything but, well yourself.

    • Beer Can Boyd

      JD will never be in charge of anything that requires a rational mind. He’s perfect though, in his role as a self professed hockey expert. He’d take Kapanen for Tanev, and while he’s at it, sign Valtteri Fillipula. It would be a genius move, JD, because he did have 33 points in 81 games this year, exactly the same as the guy we have under contract named Sam Gagner.

      • Holly Wood

        It seems like each Monday a question is directed towards JD Burke asking if he was in charge , what would he do. I will ask the question again, what hockey experience does he have? Has he played at the junior, college or pro level? Has he coached at one of those levels? Managed? Scouted? Why would anyone believe he has any idea of how to make these decisions and yet someone seems to ask each week. This is a fandriven site in a hockey crazed market but our editor is not the saviour anymore than you or me. I hope that was not too harsh for some of you sweethearts

        • truthseeker

          Well…to be fair to him, if those are the questions he’s getting then what are you going to do right? I have no problem with him offering his opinions and him not having real hockey experience shouldn’t really matter about matters that are subjective.

          What I would like to see is a well thought out argument for why those opinions are held. In my opinion sometimes they are well thought out and sometimes they aren’t.

          Maybe it should be up to the people sending him questions to come up with something more interesting?

          • truthseeker

            Yeah I get that. Which means there are only two possible conclusions right? Either he’s cherry picking questions to ignore ones that might be challenging or against his views that he can’t respond to, or that’s simply the quality of the questions he gets.

            I automatically defaulted to the second position because I think it’s the one with the greater probability of truth.

            Are you saying it’s the first?

          • crofton

            Yes. I think he’s cherry picking to avoid challenging(to him) questions, or counter to his views. Of those two, I’d say it’s 50/50. But the quality of the questions issue? We may never know how many better questions there have been directed at him, simply because of his cherry picking

          • truthseeker

            OK…fair enough. I suppose he could be doing that.

            Why don’t you try submitting a question on an issue you think he avoids? Do a little experiment to see what happens.

            I suppose I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, but I would be interested to know what kinds of things people think he doesn’t talk about or respond to.

        • Dirty30

          Lots of people have played the game (even won multiple SC’s), have coached and managed teams and remain idiots — Mike Milbury, Don Cherry, Ron Maclean, Kevin Lowe, Garth Snow etc. Best player in the history of the game was one of the worst coaches ever. There’s so many dimensions to being knowledgeable and successful in this game that previous success and even knowledge are not necessarily predictors of success either — witness the crash and burn of the number-crunchers in Florida.

          A fair criticism of JD is that he is not a Canucks fan, doesn’t seem to take this job seriously and doesn’t seem to realize that any prospective employer would read what goes on here and wonder about it. He doesn’t respect the fans and seems to purposefully incite and facilitate trolls for click bait and his own amusement.

          And while Botchford May get away with being an idiot, how many more idiots does any sports market really require?

          Commentators here are great, bloggers, meh. Almost summer!

  • Killer Marmot

    It’s good to see the penalty kill discussed. It should be given the same amount of attention as the power play, but seldom is. A goal prevented is a goal scored.

    The Canucks PK was mediocre but not horrible — 21st in the league, with 78% of power plays successfully defended against. I’m not too worried by this poor performance. Most of the Canucks penalty killers — Sutter, Eriksson, Granlund, Dorsett, Gaunce, Tanev — had substantial injury time this year.

    The Vanek-Jokinen-Motte trade was widely dissed by the hockey cognoscenti, but Motte looks like one hell of a penalty killer, allowing one goal in 25 minutes of ice time. Granted that’s not much of a sample size, but Green is likely happy with Motte even if the experts aren’t.

    • liqueur des fenetres

      Agreed that it’s an interesting subject, but I’m not sure it should be talked about in isolation. As you point out, the team’s weakness is not their pk in general, but more so the amount of penalties they take vs the powerplay time they accumulate. With the Sedins as leaders they haven’t been a dirty team, and really haven’t had a facepuncher on staff, but all that could change (for the worst) next season depending on who is brought in and the identity the team carves out. A young fast team should be accumulating pp time more quickly than pk duty, so they need to ensure that the pp maintains its performance, even with new personnel.

  • speering major

    If someone is giving up a late first rounder for Baertschi, take it in a heartbeat. The Canucks have a handful of prospects on the wing to replace him.

    Also, If Dallas would through in their first rounder to take on the Spezza contract, do it. I love the idea of the Caucks taking 2 D in the first round. I would even try to trade up if the acquired the Dallas pick. Spezza could also be moved at the deadline for a decent pick if he’s healthy and playing decent.

    I haven’t seen Tkachuk play but everyone says he’s a better version of his brother. That seems like a great addition. I’ m not saying he should go second overall or anything but his brother is 19 and an impact player in a physically demanding way. I would imagine he’s only going to be more effective in the next couple years as he physically matures. If Brady is an upgrade to that, I can’t see a reason to complain

    • Killer Marmot

      The Canucks have to take a defenseman, or if they pick 2nd or 3rd, take a forward and trade him for a defenseman. Edler and Tanev are not getting any younger, and none of the younger players are standouts. The Canucks have one exceptional D in their prospect pool, but that’s not near enough.

      • TD

        I read the Province’s prospect article yesterday, sounds like Juolevi was the best player on his team in the playoffs, was about .75 ppl and was playing around 25 minutes. Joulevi commented that it was a big adjustment playing against men, but his development took several step forward.

      • Burnabybob

        Trades are far easier said than done. The Canucks prospect pool is deeper at the forward positions, but they aren’t totally stacked there, either. Zadina would be an awfully nice addition to their first or second line, and would give the Canucks a potentially fearsome offense. Or if they picked Svechnikov, hopefully he could play on Pettersson’s right side. Either way, it would be very hard to pass on a player who could step into the lineup immediately in the fall. And the Canucks will still have 5 picks in the 2018 draft to address their defense, not to mention next year’s draft and free agency.

        • TD

          I agree Zadina would be nice, but the prospect pool has a real void on D. They have enough forwards in the NHL and the prospect pool that they MAY be able to put 3 good scoring lines together. They do not have that as even a possibility on D. They really need some high end D prospects.

      • LAKID

        Marmot, my god even Linden and Benning are not that stupid. You are going to trade possibly Svechnikov,Zadina or Tkachuk? You Sir are a Nuklehead through and through. I thought Linden and Benning were bad …Oops they are probably thinking the same Doh!

      • speering major

        We will have to see how the lottery turns out but this is why I like taking Spezza for a 1st, trading Tanev for one, and Baertschi. Even if the Canucks pick 2nd or 3rd they can still take a quality D prospect (or two) with additional picks.

        I really think that if the value for Tanev is a 1st + prospect, Sven can get a pick in the 25-35 range, and Dallas will give their 12th overall to someone that wants the Spezza contract, This is the time for the Canucks to load up. This is a D heavy draft, the Canucks are extremely thin there, D take longer to develop, and the fans expectations are already low. Ownership is selling the future. You don’t need to keep guys like Tanev or sign guys like Eriksson to sell tickets anymore. Bo, Brock, and Petterson will sell tickets. Even Demko got an ovation for taking a sip of water

        Adding Spezza + Petterson + any FA ( + possibly Juolevi) and losing Tanev + Baertschi while acquiring first rounders seems like a no-brainer.

        • LAKID

          And I thought Marmot was the smartest you our beside yourself, of course Linden and Benning are further out. Keep your picks, the Nuks will not make the playoffs for years anyway. The best way to improve is through the draft right now e.g. Juolevi lol. Trades get you Errickson lol.

          • truthseeker

            I don’t agree, but if I give you that point and you’re correct then I’d say keeping him is far more valuable than doing anything else. If you’re correct, no forward they could ever get for him (or D man for that matter) would ever be as valuable as what he already provides on the ice.

          • TD

            Good point truthseeker, I’ve heard the plan was to have Tanev play with and mentor Juolevi. If Benning can’t get a huge value for Tanev, then that sounds like a great plan and would give Juolevi the best chance at succeeding.

          • truthseeker

            To me Tanev is a known and reliable commodity that when on the ice is basically never an issue. That kind of stability is huge. And while the injuries are a concern, a lot of his injuries aren’t any kind of chronic issues. Simply bad luck type things. When he’s healthy he seems to be healthy if you know what I mean. He’s got a lot of good years left in the tank. Perfect for sheltering younger guys.

          • Mellowyellow

            I would hardly say his durability is in question. Some of them are just random incidents… Puck to the mouth? Mono, broken thumb (probably got wacked by stick)… cost of playing the game.. hardly due to his body breaking down..

    • Should have moved Baertschi at this summer’s draft, I was guessing we would have got a 1st round pick in a “weak draft”, just like how Burke traded up in the 1999 draft. I think the window for getting a 1st round pick has passed unless Benning throws in something extra. Good metrics but he’s not even a 0.5 PPG player, he doesn’t have the strength to win board battles, and he’s always injured.

      • speering major

        I want him moved but he is in fact a 0.5 PPG player and he’s done that with out the benefit of padded PP production, soft matchups, or a winning team

        • Oh I agree on trading Baertschi. But to play devil’s advocate, I have a hard time seeing anyone giving up a 1st round pick in a decent-to-strong draft for a player who is at best a good middle-6 scoring winger (not 1st line for the reasons above).

    • Rodeobill

      about the Tkachuck pick, Maybe benning is trying to use fake news to throw other teams off his preference? Probably not. I know this sounds weird to say just after the Sedins retire, but there always seems to be the good brother and the not as good as the good brother (Sedins aside) and that’s irrational to consider in itself, but I can’t help thinking it when considering Brady. I would feel ok with it if he fell to us and picked him at 7-9, but not before. Also, the projected top of the second and bottom of the first have lots of good looking picks on D too, lets get more there if we can!

  • Burnabybob

    I like Noah Dobson, too. It seems like it will be kind of a crap shoot in the 6-9 range, where the Canucks will likely pick. I would be pretty happy with them taking any one of Dobson, Bouchard, or Wahlstrom, especially if Wahlstrom can play center, which would allow Pettersson to remain on the wing.

    • argoleas

      Seems the issue with Wahlstrom is the same as with Pettersson: Both used to play Center but have focused more on RW recently. I know the BPA argument, and it worked out very well for Nashville, but if there’s one spot where Canucks are overabundant on is RW (especially if that’s where Pettersson ends up).

          • TD

            I’ll bite because I like Bouchard. JD seems to not like Bouchard, but he is not falling. Bouchard had some range in the major ratings. He was as high as 5 and as low as 15, but most had him 7 or 8.

            The scouting reports I have read have him as a good 4 directional skater with well developed offensive skills. JD had him 3-4 years from the NHL, while some sites say he could play as early as next year. Long and short of it is JD doesn’t seem to like him so he doesn’t get much play here.

            Bouchard 87 points in 67 games in the OHL.
            Dobson 69 points in 67 games in the QMJHL.

            After the trade deadline, Bouchard had little help and the top point person on the team after Bouchard had 57 points. Dobson had a good season and was second on his team in scoring. Several other players were close to him in points as well. This site constantly quotes how the QMJHL is an inferior league and good stats in that league mean less, but somehow Bouchard gets no love here but Dobson does.

            Bouchard apparently was the top point getter in all of the CHL for draft eligible players. Svechnikov had a better ppg with 72 points in 42 games for 1.71 as did Zadina with 82 points in 57 games for 1.44 ppg as compared to Bouchard’s 1.3 ppg. But he is a defenceman so that’s pretty damn impressive. The fact he did it with lesser linemates only increases how impressive his season has been. Personally, I think some of the other D (Hughes, Boqvist and Dobson) are more dynamic rushing the puck and that may be the reason for the favouritism, but that’s just my theory. Personally, I don’t need a d man to be a one man rushing show and Bouchard seems to have all the tools.

            I have asked several time for the site to post the SEAL ratings for all the top D in this years draft. That model is quite intriguing and the numbers should be quite telling. Last year, Pettersson had the best SEAL rating of all the top players in the draft.

  • Killer Marmot

    Do you at Canucks Army belong to the ‘Take the best player available camp’ or ‘organizational need camp’? (I would take best player available)

    That is a false dichotomy. It’s seldom an either-or thing. Perhaps in the first five picks a manager is faced with this dilemma, but after that, it’s not usually an issue.

    In the vast majority of picks, there is no clear “best player available”. Without a time machine, it’s an absurd notion. Rather there are overlapping confidence intervals, which means that there will be perhaps half a dozen players who are essentially equivalent in expected outcome.

    A reasonable strategy is thus to identify the top remaining prospects, and pick the player who best fills the team’s needs.

    • Sharpshooter

      I agree. The term “Best player available” is the cause of the issue, when it should really be “Player highest on said team’s draft board”, as each team uses such differing measures of player analysis.

  • wojohowitz

    I agree with JD`s lukewarm evaluation of Travis Green`s season (an alright job). Maybe I expected more from someone who played 14 years in the NHL and coached 10 years in the AHL and WHL but it seems like it took him half a season to learn all the players names.

    • Dirty30

      We all coach better from the sidelines.

      TG did a good job with what he had. Past playing experience is good but doesn’t make for a good coach (see Gretzky, W.) and coaching at lower levels is good but doesn’t make a good coach either (see D., Willie Real Good.).

      I don’t agree with everything TG did nor do I disagree … he did well, the team showed some good progress and he held players accountable (to a point). Telling Nilsson to stop the F-ing puck was priceless but there were other players *cough* Eriksson *cough* who could have used some tough love more often.

      I love how he handles the media … that alone is a ‘win’!

    • Even with a bad roster, there were games where TG and the team played some really entertaining hockey. Way better than the snoozefest that WD brought to the table. With more speed and talent (i.e. Pettersson, Gaudette, Dahlen, Lind), I’m sure that the games will be more consistently entertaining (and we might even win a few more games too).

      • Fred-65

        At the beginning of the season TG O/A default position was fore check hard, WD was fall back to a defensive spot. But frankly as the season moved on the two seemed coincidental, both systems melding into one. I like the early season philosophy but wasn’t as impressed when the fore check fizzled

        • WD implemented a hard forecheck when he first started but the problem was that there was no puck support or offensive strategy once they got the puck. The power play only magnified that deficiency because you could see WD had no idea how to take advantage of the man advantage. Green has guys attacking the net and moving to positions to receive passes. Letting defencemen roam may lead to lots of turnovers but it sure is fun to watch Biega or Del Zotto attack the net and see what happens.

      • crofton

        I fall back on my “jigsaw puzzle” indicator. Under WD, there were LOTS of games that were unwatchable, and my wife and I went to the dining room table to work on a jigsaw puzzle, and listened to the game. We probably did an average of 15 puzzles each year. I didn’t like the TG hiring, but using my indicator, there were only 2 jigsaw puzzles that got done this year.

  • CGriz

    Suggesting a 1st for taking the Spezza contract is laughable. With the cap going up, Dallas clearing approximately $15M in space & no players due big raises there is no need to dump Spezza unless they feel they’re in on Tavares or maybe Carlson. A far more realistic deal would be Spezza & a pick in the 50-90 range for Nilsson.

    • I think the argument is that the Canucks have deeper pockets than the Stars and can more easily afford a $7.5 million dead weight contract (and retaining salary on that contract in a deadline move).

      I don’t think taking one year of a bad contract from another team that isn’t up against the cap is worth a first round pick, though.

    • argoleas

      I don’t know about the 2018 1st, especially that it is a lottery pick (maybe the 2019 1st round pick instead?), but I would rather guess it would be the 2018 2nd rounder and a prospect. May be part of a bigger trade if Stars want to trade Honka. But it’s all speculation.

      What you say about the increasing cap room and the only reason for trading Spezza is to make room for a Tavares and Carlson may be precisely why they deal him. I do not see Dallas having plans to extend Spezza, so why not free oneself from this contract now, when their window is hypothetically open. Tavares and Seguin? Oh my. Drop in a Carlson with Heiskanen as your 2nd pair? Oh my. Get a decent backup goalie? All of this will not be possible with that sore thumb of a contract.

    • truthseeker

      None of that matters anyway. Spezza would never agree to come to the Canucks. I get the “example” of that type of contract as a way to get assets, but the writer should have at least taken a quick look on capfriendly to see it’s pretty much never going to happen and then chosen a more realistic example.

  • Kootenaydude

    Tkachuk plays centre and we don’t have a second line centre. We’re also a soft team. So it wouldn’t hurt to have something this team lacks. An in your face, dirty gritty player. Centre and Tough seems okay to me. There are no high end centres at the draft. Seems like a no brainer.
    As for Spezza. This is an imaginary scenario and I don’t think it should be taken too seriously. I don’t recall Dallas ever suggesting giving up a first for the Spezza contract.
    On another note. I don’t always agree with JDs comments, but his analytics and hockey talk were why I started looking at this website. Making personal attacks on the guy is uncalled for. After all we are just talking about Canucks hockey.

    • truthseeker

      Tkachuk’s numbers in the NCAA are quite frankly awful for a guy who’s supposed to be a top five pick. The guy was 29 points behind Guadette and played two more games. Seems like all the hype about him is because of the junior tournament. A small handful of games. I get that a tournament shouldn’t be ignored as it’s the “big stage”. But that seems to be over compensating. If he can’t get his “day job” done. What good is he?

      I’d say pass on him. Rather have Bouchard who just dominated junior from the back end.

      • TD

        I agree with you. Hughes had a higher ppg as a D than Tkachuk as a forward. Our need for D and these questions re Tkachuk hopefully makes it easy to pass on him.

        • Kneedroptalbot

          Let everyone think we would like Tkatchuk, but pass on him. Good hype.
          Benning did a good job last year hyping Cody Glass when he really wanted Petterson.

      • I am Ted

        The Canucks will probably pick lower than top 5 so that might keep Tkachuk away from them. Although I do like what he brings, I think the biggest need is D.

        Also, Tkachuk seems to be more of a wing than centre and we have lots of wingers in the system.

        • truthseeker

          If you guys are suggesting that Tkachuk could be that number one center, I’m not sure what evidence there is of that. Again, his NCAA season was average at best and bad in my opinion for a guy who is supposed to be top five.

          Horvat had 74 points in 54 games in his draft year. Far better numbers than Tkachuk, and in an arguably harder league. Not sure how it could be argued that Tkachuk looks like a better option for a number one center when he doesn’t even look like a great option as winger.

          • Holly Wood

            I’m certainly not suggesting Tkachuk is a #1, in fact I am sure I brought it up in the past some scouting reports listed him as a winger. My point was that Bo is not a #1. With the ice time, including first unit pp and for the most part the best line mates in the lineup I am not seeing anything to suggest he is currently a 1. The team did collapse when he was injured but that is not enough to convince me. I would go as far to say we won’t be entering the top third of the league until we get a centre or Bo breaks out offensively with a 75-80 point season.

          • truthseeker


            I’m “wait and see” with him. I won’t put limits on Bo because he keeps smashing through them. Him becoming an 80 point C would not surprise me in the least.

            Another top quality C would be a great thing but I don’t necessarily it means you have to find somebody “better” than Bo. While that would be great, another 50 or 60 point center would be fine too. A lot of good to great depth is what I always say around here. I would rather have 3 centers that produce 50 + points a year than one 100 point guy and two guys who can’t get 50.

            A well balanced team can easily be the best in the league. Look at the preds. Johansen was the only C on the team to crack 50 points.

            It’s not necessary for Bo to be an 80 point player for the canucks to have success.

  • truthseeker

    Dobson seems intriguing, but Bouchard seems like the better pick. And I recall skating being the big criticism of Horvat. Skating can be taught. Easily. Offense like Bouchard did…not so much.

    With some of the things you’ve posted, (like implying the value for Tanev is a prospect winger who can’t crack the Leaf’s lineup…wow…that’s about as out of touch as anything I’ve ever seen here) I think it’s a bit of a gamble to try sarcasm with the Demko thing…lol.

    I have time for the Pettersson argument too, but only if he doesn’t show he can handle the NHL. If he’s even remotely up near the top performers in camp he has to say and be given his shot. Canucks need to stop babying prospects so much.

    Interesting suggestion. Maybe they could try to trade Sutter for him? Package?

    To me Tkachuk would be a problem at any position in the top 15. A kid who can only score at barely half Adam Guadette’s rate is top 5? No thanks. I don’t care how well he did at the world juniors. That’s pretty pathetic NCAA production.

    Is there a way the Leafs and Bruins could both lose at the same time?

    Spezza has an NTC. He’d never come to van, so the point is moot. I get the idea, but a more realistic example would be better.

    A late first rounder for Sven? I have a hard time believing any team would go that high. He’s in a weird middle ground of value right now. By his performance he’s probably worth what you’re saying, but he’s still just another winger. I’d like to see one more year to get a better read on what he might be. The contract situation makes that interesting. Maybe a short bridge deal?

    I’m no on AV as well. Been there done that. Leave it in the past.

    Why can’t Bouchard make the NHL next year? He’s got the size and skill. I’ve heard you mention the skating thing but all the other reports I see don’t seem to think it’s as big an issue as you’ve implied.

    Best player availible only when the gap is “Dahlen to everyone else”. If the rest are all close then you take position because position has value. You can (at this point in the NHL) never trade the same talent level winger for a D man. The D man will always cost more. You have to factor that into drafting. Positions have inherent value. Until that changes BPA argument doesn’t make sense when there isn’t a consensus gap in ability.

    I’ll be disappointed if Benning trades Hutton (unless the return is some crazy win). Seems like a “Buy high sell low” strategy. Hutton needs more patience. At the very least they should try a “pump and dump” with him rather than selling him at a low point.

    • Seth

      Only thing was that I’ll comment is about Tkachuk.
      Comparing to Gaudette’s point total (as a junior) vs Tkachuk’s (as a freshman) isn’t exactly apples to apples. Coincidentally enough, Gaudette’s draft year, he scored 30 points in the NCAA.

      Statistically, there has been few players who played in the NCAA in their draft year from the first round. I’ve dug up the forwards drafted between 2008 and 2016 with about 30 points.

      Colin Wilson, 2008, 7th overall, 35pts
      Tage Thompson: 2016, picked 26th, 32 pts
      Luke Kumin: 2016, picked 15th, 32 pts

      Not exactly very promising company – only Colin Wilson (who can be argued was picked too high in the first place) seem to be the best case scenario.

      Just as a reference, Phil Kessel (51 pts) and Jack Eichel (71 points).

      That said, I am also wary of him being our selection, at least so high up. Unless we hope to swing for the fences and turns out to be like 2006’s 3rd overall who had 39 points in their freshman (draft) year – Jonathan Toews.

      • truthseeker

        That’s a fair point but in response I would say that Guadette was a 5th round pick 149th overall. I don’t think the comparison is as far off as you’re implying. Even as a freshman, shouldn’t someone who’s a supposed to be a top 5 pick in any draft, really be pretty much dominating in whatever league he’s in? Especially him with the “size” and “grit” stuff people are always yapping about. You’ve got to figure any of the decent world junior teams are going to be at a caliber above NCAA competition. He showed he could play well there so what’s the excuse for not bringing it in the NCAA? As you said it could be the age thing but maybe it’s a sign of entitlement or laziness? Who knows. Lot of uncertainty there.

        I think basically we agree on this but maybe not on the finer points.

        If you’re making that argument, it seems to me that would justify putting him down somewhere in the lower rounds as your gambling on the potential of his improvement.

        Interesting information on the comparable players. Such a small sample size though. I don’t think at this point the canucks should be “swinging for the fences” with high picks. I think they should be making the safe plays. Taking guys that have the tool kits to be solid to great players.

        And I’ll probably get totally thumbed down for this but personally I’ve always though twinkle toews is a totally over rated player. A great player, but not a superstar. He’s like a slightly more consistent and slightly better Kesler. I think he benefited from some amazingly deep Hawks teams that he “lead” but that he’s not a game changer in the way that Crosby is. And now that the Hawks have lost all that depth we see that Toews just looks like another “good/great” player that a lot of teams have.

        Curious…who would your pick be?

      • TD

        I looked back at Tkachuk, Gaudette and Boeser in their freshman years to compare.

        Tkachuk had 31 points in 40 games.
        Gaudette had 30 points in 41 games.
        Boeser had 60 points in 42 games.

        Here is the difference when I looked at their ages. Boeser and Gaudette were both 2015 draft picks taken out of the USHL, but Boeser has a Feb 1997 bday while Gaudette has an October 1996 bday. Gaudette played an extra year of junior out of high school before going to school. So he was 4 months older than Boeser for his freshman year. Tkachuk on the other hand has played his freshman year before he was draft eligible. Both he and Gaudette have October bdays, so Tkachuk was a year younger then Gaudette for their freshman years. Boeser was 8 months older than Tkachuk for their freshman years.

        I was not a fan of picking Tkachuk, but his late bday does make a difference. He still put up a lower ppg than Hughes who was also born in October and finished his freshman season before being draft eligible.

        Watching the playoffs, the Canucks could use some size and grit because the game is way different than the regular season. But I still have some concerns about Tkachuk’s productivity despite being a young freshman, especially with an high draft pick.

        • truthseeker

          It’s your last sentence that sums up the whole thing for me. Too much gambling on “potential” in a case like that. For me “toughness and grit” aren’t important enough that high in the draft without some decent point totals to justify it. Hell…even Jake was more than a point per game player in his draft year. Again..in a tougher league than the NCAA.

  • Sandpaper

    Not sure why people get upset or bothered about JD’s remarks. He has an opinion and expresses it.
    Sure, sometimes the snark is tiresome as is the bashing, but, it is entertaining.
    Also, why do people complain about his questions that he answers, I have posted questions a few times in the comments section and he has responded to them.

    • Locust

      “entertaining”…??? Hardly.
      With the exception of Vanessa and Cory, the comments are always better and more “entertaining” than the articles.
      Ya, everyone has an opinion but in this market and for our team we want a little more hockey experience, understanding, commitment and intelligence within those “opinions” that are offered.
      Do you want to hear my opinions on thermal dynamics as they relate to nuclear fusion? Didn’t think so…..

      • Silverback

        To me, Cory offers a more rational and intelligent perspective, whereas JD likes to be more the smartass with a more flippant and dismissive approach to topics. For some, JD’s approach might be entertaining, but for me, I prefer Cory’s respect for players and more thoughtful analysis.

    • I am Ted

      Entertaining? Do you also spend hours on end watching paint dry? Honestly, I really hope they switch management here. It seems some of the bloggers here are not very good or are looking for bigger and better and have one foot out the door already – some are both. The result: the CA site suffers which is too bad. They used to do a nice job collecting material and making this the place to go to for Canuck news. Ah well.

      • Silverback

        Honestly, I read the articles so I have context for some of the excellent comments that follow, except for LAKid, who is like petbugs with a slightly more developed vocabulary.

  • I am Ted

    Ok so, I have another question. What happened to the prospect list? Has it been abandoned? Also, is it just me or is this site getting light on content? They used to fire out lots of articles but now not so much. Most of the bloggers provided some decent info. Comets Cory is doing a great job these days and it seems the Comets material is starting to lead the charge here.

    Interesting times here….

      • Defenceman Factory

        Four articles today on FlamesNation, 5 on OilersNation. I like most of the content we get here but it sure has gotten scarce in comparison. Can’t blame bloggers for finding better paying gigs but if the nation network wants to maintain a meaningful presence on the Canucks beat there should be some changes made. Allowing the trolling of readership for page hits can only take you so far.

  • Steamer

    Really, really disgusting to see CA hosting Alberta ads for Kinder Morgan – you guys need to get your head out of your rear-end & realize that oil is killing us! Perhaps acquaint yourselves with recent climate-change science would be a positive step, but seeing you blindly support – by advertising on your site – a Texas corporation that is violating our rights is sickening.

      • truthseeker

        nonsense. hypocrisy is not a black and white issue. There are degrees. Nobody is ever perfect on an issue like this so saying if you don’t do blah blah blah you can’t have an opinion is complete f…king bullsh….

        People who try to do something to make things better are most certainly better than the people who do nothing at all.

        And it’s usually the people who do nothing at all who make arguments like yours.

    • The problem that I have with Kinder Morgan’s expansion is that Alberta makes all the money while we get stuck with the inevitable environmental fallout. Diluted bitumen (dilbit) can’t get cleaned up, there was already a major spill in 2010 in the Kalamazoo River in Michigan (nearly 3.2 million litres). Nobody knew how to clean it up because dilbit doesn’t float or sink, it just floats forever under the surface. If one of those tankers runs aground because they can only move through the river during a short high tide window, then the Fraser River (i.e. our major salmon spawning ground) is permanently dead. Bye bye salmon runs. That doesn’t include any spills that happen as the tankers move out to sea. Didn’t we learn from 2015 that the government has no idea how to deal with a regular oil spill, let alone a dilbit spill? Too bad Alberta, you should have diversified your economy while times were good (like the Middle East) rather than investing in crap oil. Notley shouldn’t have included tax revenues from the expansion in her budget projections, she painted herself into a corner all by herself.

      • LTFan

        You really have no idea of where the tankers load the cargo. They do not go up the Fraser River. They load at the Burrard Inlet terminal for the Trans Mountain Pipeline (Kinder Morgan). I do not know of any tanker related spill of crude oil since the terminal opened in the mid 1950’s.

    • Silverback

      Degrees of hypocrisy…ok , I’ll buy that for a nickle. A hypocrite is a hypocrite. Dead stop. You and others are worried about the environment? Shut down the BC coal industry. Our coal contributes more to greenhouse gas than the oilsands do. Rather than casting stones Alberta’s way, you might consider shouting from your soapbox on our own enviornmental hypocrisy.
      I believe in climate change, and do my part in reducing my energy consumption, however I am not so naive that I think we can simply turn off the taps. Frankly, I’d rather use Alberta’s oil , knowing that enviornmental standards are in place ,versus Venezuelan, Saudi, or Libyan oil. Furthermore, Alberta is a Canadian province, and a neighbour that deserves our support…certainly not the one fingered salute Horgan has offered.
      I believe in wind power, solar energy, hybrid and electric cars, but I also believe in a sustainable and responsible oil industry. We can over time reduce our dependence on oil, but will always need it. We might as well use our own oil, rather than seeing tanker traffic dropping off oil instead of picking it up.