Wait, CanucksArmy is still doing playoff reviews?
You bet we are. There are a few more coming out and I’m making my playoff review debut with defenceman Oscar Fantenberg.
The Canucks signed Fantenberg with the idea that he would compete to be on the bottom pairing and would potentially bring some offence to a defence group that has seriously lacked it in the past few years.
Fantenberg was nothing special in the Canucks’ playoff run. He had horrible underlying numbers in the playoffs but didn’t get absolutely caved in like some of the analytics claimed he should.
He had the worst Corsi for percentage on the team with a CF% of 34.04 through 16 games. While he was on the ice at 5-on-5, the Canucks had 66 shots on net while allowing 124. The on-ice shooting percentage for Fantenberg was below two percent, so it’s not like he had luck on his side either.
There were times where he looked effective in these playoffs.
I can recall a few shifts where he was able to block some shots and be physical on the boards. All in all, he looked like a 6/7 defenceman. He wasn’t able to drive play at any capacity but he didn’t really hurt the team. He was on the ice for 115 scoring chances against while only giving up four goals at 5-on-5.
With the current defence situation, it looks like Fantenberg will not be back in the fold for the Canucks during the 2020-21 season. There are too many factors in play and the team needs to cut money wherever they can.
The two prospects that will be looking to fill his role are Jack Rathbone and Olli Juolevi. Both prospects have a lot of upside and we will see which one can win a spot at training camp.
Fantenberg will probably find a contract with another NHL team. He is a fine seventh defenceman and showed that he can contribute at times while also not being consistent enough to earn a full time spot on a roster.
It was a fun ride and Fanta is still one of the more enjoyable nicknames from the Canucks’ 2019-20 season. It was a fine ride with Fantenberg but he will almost certainly be in a different jersey next season. I wish him all the best, he was a guy who brought effort and at times didn’t make me want to pull the hair out of my head.