Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
7 biggest one-hit wonders in Canucks franchise history
By Noah Strang6 months ago
Everyone loves a great one-hit wonder. From Rick Astley to Paul Henderson, there’s something captivating about the person who managed to put it all together for that one moment and make the most of their chance. Even if their careers never lived up to that moment, they’ll always have that memory.
This article idea has been going around the hockey news space with similar ones appearing on Daily Hive and in The Hockey News. To keep things different, this list goes beyond just individual player seasons, highlighting flash-in-the-pan games and stretches as well.
Here are seven of the biggest one-hit-wonders in Canucks franchise history.
7. Adrian Aucoin – 1998-99
82 GP, 23 G, 11 A, 34 PTS
After being selected in the fifth round of the 1992 NHL Entry Draft, Aucoin would take a few years to get to the NHL. He made his debut in 1994-95, scoring a goal in his lone appearance. However, that first game was slightly misleading as Aucoin would score just 12 goals over the next three seasons combined despite playing in 154 games.
Heading into the 1998-99 season, Aucoin was known more for his defensive acumen than his offensive production. However, he would then go on to score 23 goals across 82 games, including 18 power play goals. Aucoin’s 18 power play goals remain tied for the second most all-time in NHL history.
Aucoin finished his long NHL career with 121 goals in 1108 NHL games, a number that’s good for 0.109 goals-per-game. During the 1998-99 NHL season, Aucoin scored 0.28 goals-per-game, or almost 3x as many. That season will never be forgotten by Canucks fans who witnessed Aucoin’s devastating power play prowess.
6. Derek Dorsett – 2017-18
20 GP, 7 G, 2 A, 9 PTS
Derek Dorsett joined the Vancouver Canucks for the 2014-15 NHL season. The bottom-six forward was acquired to bring some grit and toughness. He quickly became popular with a large part of the fanbase due to his devastating hits and willingess to put his body on the line.
However, during the start of the 2017-18 NHL season, something special happened with Dorsett. The forward, who up to that point had 44 goals in 495 NHL games, couldn’t stop putting the puck in the back of the net. He scored seven goals in the first 20 games of the season, including a stretch of five goals in six games, and was one of the team’s leading scorers over the first portion of the season.
Unfortunately, Dorsett was forced to retire due to health issues that cut his season short. Still, he will always have those first 20 games where he caught fire in a way he had never before. He scored ~10% of his career goals across a 500+ NHL game career in a six game stretch at the start of the 2017-18 season.
5. Darcy Rota – 1982-93
73 GP, 42 G, 39 A, 81 PTS
Darcy Rota is one of the too often forgotten Canucks greats from the early years of the franchise. Rota played minor hockey in British Columbia before starting his NHL career which eventually brought him back to the province. His breakout moment came when he scored in Game 5 of the 1982 NHL Playoffs against his former team the Chicago Blackhawks to help propel the Canucks to the Stanley Cup Finals.
However while Rota had plenty of big moments on the Canucks, nothing stacks up statistically to his 1982-83 season. This was the year that Rota would embrace a large role with the team, often skating beside legends Thomas Gradin and Stan Smyl. He scored 42 goals and had 73 points in the first 59 games of the season.
Unfortunately, in the midst of that impressive season, Rota would be on the receiving end of a big hit that caused a neck injury. That neck injury would eventually end his career during the next season. While it’s a bit unfair to have Rota on this list due to those injury issues, his 1982-83 season was not only the only time he broke the 40 goal mark, but also the 30 goal mark as his second best season saw him score just 28, albeit in 59 games.
4. Rick Blight vs Pittsburgh Penguins – October 6th, 1976
4 G, 0 A, 4 PTS, 5S
Rick Blight was drafted in the first round of the 1975 NHL Amateur Draft by the Vancouver Canucks. While he was a very solid scorer for the Canucks over his first few years in the league, it was on October 6th, 1976 that Blight took his game to another level. It was the first game of the season for the Canucks and they were visiting the Penguins in Pittsburgh.
Blight managed to lead the Canucks to a 9-5 victory by scoring four goals. He scored three in the second period and added one in the third for good measure. Out of his four goals on the night, three of them came on the power play. His four goal performance against the Penguins is still tied for the franchise record for goals in a game.
As mentioned above, Blight was a top scorer for the Canucks so this offensive outburst wasn’t completly out of the blue. However, he never topped 28 goals in an NHL season and this four-goal performance helped him reach that number.
3. Ken Ellacott vs Hartford Whalers – January 6th, 1983
45 Saves, 1 Win, 4 GA
You will be forgiven if you do not remember Ken Ellacot. The goalie only appeared in 12 NHL games total, all for the Canucks during the 1982-83 NHL season. He played most of his professional hockey career in the Central Professional Hockey League. However, for one night in January 1983, Ellacot put together a great performance that deserves to be remembered.
The Canucks were playing against the Hartford Whalers and Vancouver took a 4-1 lead early in the second period. However, the Whalers were not going to go down quietly, and started to throw pucks at the unproven Ellacot over and over. The goalie managed to turn enough of them away to pull out a 6-4 victory.
When all was said and done, Ellacot finished the game with 45 saves. That’s 33rd all-time for any Canucks’ goalie in a regular season game and in the top 15 in franchise history for saves in a victory.
2. Ron Sedlbauer – 1978-79
79 G, 40 G, 16 A, 56 PTS
Ron Sedlbauer played 430 NHL games for the Vancouver Canucks, Chicago Blackhawks, and Toronto Maple Leafs. Over those 430 NHL games, he managed to score 143 goals. However, a huge chunk of those goals came in one NHL season. In 1978-79, Sedlbauer scored 40 goals in 79 games, more than double he scored in any other NHL season.
1. Anson Carter – 2005-06
81 GP, 33 G, 22 A, 55 PTS
Anson Carter is the number one answer that most Canucks fans will give when asked about a one-hit-wonder. He was given the golden opportunity to play alongside the Sedin twins and took advantage of it, scoring 33 goals in the 2005-06 NHL season. Carter was 31-years-old at the time and had never scored more than 30 goals in a season before.
In the following seasons, Carter would discover that scoring at the NHL level is much more difficult when not playing alongside two of the most gifted playmakers in league history. He scored 11 goals in the next season in 64 games before retiring from the NHL.
Recent articles from Noah Strang