Monday Mailbag: Quinn Hughes’ Hart campaign, Canucks offseason roster decisions, and more

Photo credit:Matthew Henderson
Cody Severtson
1 month ago
All apologies to Defenceman Factory for missing this question several weeks in a row—these three very interesting questions sent me down a rabbit hole and further cemented my belief that Quinn Hughes deserves Norris and Hart Trophy considerations.
The delay in answering this was because it took a lot of time on NatStat and hockey-reference to provide the best answer possible. So let’s get started!
This is all based on data as of Friday, April 12th. It won’t include any league data from Friday evening, Saturday, or Sunday’s games.
Why? Because some of us have busy schedules, and updating data is time-consuming!
Let’s get into this week’s Mailbag, beginning with Defenceman Factory’s string of questions that you can use for every internet argument as to why Hughes deserves to be on the Hart ballot.
What percentage of goals this season have been scored with Hughes on the ice? How does this percentage compare to that of other top Dmen for their teams?
NHL points and scoring share % as of Friday, April 12th, 2024, 2:00 PM PST
Across all situations (PK, power play, even strength), 27 defencemen have been on the ice for more than 100 goals. Quinn Hughes has been on ice for 160, second only to Evan Bouchard, who has been on ice for 164 goals this season. Including forwards, Bouchard has been on the ice for the fourth-most goals of anyone in the NHL, behind Nathan MacKinnon, Nikita Kucherov, and Mikko Rantanen. That’s it. As of Friday, he had been on ice for one more goal than Connor McDavid!
As a percentage of the team’s total goals, Hughes led all defencemen, having been on the ice for 59.26% of all of Vancouver’s goals scored in 2023-24 (160 of 270). Bouchard narrowly trailed Hughes, having been on the ice for 59.21% of all of Edmonton’s goals scored in 2023-24 (164 of 277).
Third place was Roman Josi, who had been on the ice for 140 of Nashville’s 253 goals scored (55.34%).
Including forwards, Hughes’ on-ice percentage was second only to Nathan MacKinnon (62.59%) and Nikita Kucherov (61.15%)—the two guys putting in 150-point campaigns for their teams.
No big deal!
Further to this data, of the defencemen who’ve played more than half the season, Hughes ranks ninth by the percentage of points acquired on the goals scored with him on the ice (91 points on 160 goals). Bouchard’s 79 points on the 164 goals scored with him on the ice ranks 24th. For the percentage of points acquired on goals scored while on-ice, we added the games played criteria (41 GP) as there are defencemen/skaters who’ve played less than 10 games, who have points on all goals scored with them on the ice, which skews the data. Adding a ‘games played qualifier’ helps to refine the data and reward the skaters who’ve accomplished their feats across an entire season.
By percentage of the team’s total goals, Hughes’ is in a class of his own among NHL defensemen. Hughes’ 91 points on the Canucks’ 270 total goals scored ranks first among defencemen and 18th among all NHL skaters.
J.T. Miller’s 101 points on the club’s 270 goals ranks as the eighth-best ratio among all NHL skaters.
Which Canuck forward’s goal/point production has benefitted the most from Hughes?
Canucks points and scoring share % as of Friday, April 12th, 2024, 2:00 PM PST
This one was a fun one to figure out!
No player has benefitted more from the Quinn Hughes blowup than Brock Boeser. Of Boeser’s 73 points, 33 were acquired by either assisting on Hughes’ goals or having Hughes assist on goals. 45.21% of Boeser’s points have Hughes’ fingerprints on them.
To a lesser degree, since he’s barely scored, 50% of Podkolzin’s points have come thanks to Hughes (one of two).
Of Boeser’s 40 goals, Hughes has assisted on 15 of them (37.5%). Boeser’s goalscoring share is second only to Elias Pettersson, who has had Hughes assist on 16 of his 34 goals (47.06%). Miller is a close third, with Hughes assisting on 15 of Miller’s 36 goals.
It’s a credit to Dakota Joshua that Hughes has assisted on just one of his 16 goals. Of the nine skaters with double-digit goal totals, Joshua and Ilya Mikheyev have the fewest goals attributed to a Hughes assist. All 11 of Mikheyev’s goals have gone unassisted by Hughes, which may be the most impressive stat of all.
Of the 21 skaters still on the active roster, only seven can say that all of their points came without Hughes’ name on the scoring log.
Again, I can’t stress this enough: YOU’VE GOT. TO. APPRECIATE. QUINN HUGHES. WHILE YOU CAN!
Starting lineup of your favourite hockey names ever, true to position
Left wing: Paul Kariya
Centre: Saku Koivu
Right wing: Teemu Selänne
Left defence: Bret Hedican
Right defence: Damon Severson
Goalie: Nikolai Khabibulin
Position-specific names were harder than I thought, so I went with all the guys who I pretended to be during road hockey as a kid and Damon Severson, who just has a really cool last name.
You can only pick one: Dakota Joshua 5 years @ $4m or Filip Hronek 8 years @ $8m
I suppose if the game is “I have to pick one,” then I’m picking Dakota Joshua for five years at $4-million. However, if given the option, I’d walk away from both of those deals.
First things first: you can’t pay your number two more than your number one so that Hronek deal is off the table immediately.
Secondly, on Joshua, I have reservations about signing another winger to a $4-million-dollar contract, especially when it’s to another guy coming off a big contract year glow-up. One where:
1. The player didn’t even crack 20 goals
2. The player didn’t crack an above a half-a-point per game scoring pace
Don’t get me wrong, Joshua’s glow-up has been a major contributor to why the Canucks have found success this season. However, because most of Joshua’s success has come while playing beside Conor Garland, I wonder if the team would be better served signing Joshua to a short, two-year term deal that runs alongside Garland’s. Five years for a guy who hasn’t played a full 82, hits an absurd amount, and fights feels a little risky.
With Garland and Joshua together at 5-on-5, the Canucks have outscored their opposition by a two-to-one margin (29 to 13) while out-chancing opponents 283 to 205. Without Garland, the Canucks have been outscored 6 to 4 at 5-on-5 while out-chanced by their opposition 87 to 55. Over the 18 games that Joshua missed with a hand injury, Garland produced 4 goals and 5 assists. In the eight games since Joshua’s return, Garland has 4 goals and 4 assists, while Joshua has 4 goals and an assist.
If they do push for a five-year extension, I hope it’s because Allvin and Rutherford convinced Joshua to sign a contract similar to the one they signed Brandon Tanev to in Pittsburgh (6 years x $3.5-million per).
How many trades will there be of Canucks roster players this summer?
Probably not many?
The Canucks have so many UFAs on their roster that the lineup will mostly be dictated in free agency or in contract extensions that they decide. The last few seasons saw a flurry of trade activity as the Allvin regime made drastic changes to their lineup, fundamentally shifting the club’s cap outlook while exchanging futures and aged-out prospects, mostly for inexpensive depth improvements to help them win now.
Now that they are winning, with the roster comprised mostly of players this regime targeted in free agency and trades, it would make sense that the sweeping changes to the club’s cap outlook would lead to them improving the club via free agency rather than the trade market.
Maybe Tucker Poolman’s contract is traded to Vegas to help them fit under the cap? Maybe another Sam Lafferty-type deal presents itself at the onset of the season?
Otherwise, I’d mash the under on “1.5 contracted roster players traded by the Canucks this summer.”
Watch…I probably just jinxed it, and the club is going to go buck wild over the summer, making changes via trades.
Should the Canucks re-sign Tyler Myers?
On a league minimum deal? Sure, I guess.
But wouldn’t it be cool to see the club raise the team’s floor and use Myers’ $6-million in cap space as effectively as last year when the club signed Teddy Blueger, Pius Suter, Ian Cole, and Carson Soucy to a cap hit totalling $9.25-million combined?
Myers is a fine defenseman. It’s great that the organization finally found a way to deploy him without exposing his flaws on a minute-to-minute basis.
Maybe Myers would do well on a smaller one-year contract extension. We don’t know.
Frankly, we don’t want to know. It’s an extension the club can do without.
After five years, maybe it’s time for “So long, good luck.”
How do you like our Calder Cup odds?
If they secure home ice here over their final two remaining games, I like their odds of winning at least their opening-round series.
If Playoffs were to start today, the Canucks would face off against the Colorado Eagles, a team they won more than they lost against over their eight-game season series.
Against the Eagles, their power play sucked, but their penalty kill was elite, killing 26 of 27 penalties (96.3%). They traded even in even-strength goalscoring, 14 to 14, while winning four games in regulation while dropping three in regulation and one in overtime.
2024 was bordering on disastrous for the farm team—just six wins through the first 17 games of the New Year. They’ve rebounded down the stretch, ending a dismal habit of ‘losing the first game of every back-to-back’ and winning eight of their last 11 games, five of which came on the road.
The Coachella Valley Firebirds seem destined to repeat as Calder Cup finalists and potentially win. They destroyed Abbotsford during the regular season, winning seven of eight games while outscoring the Farm by a whopping 27 to 13.
So, yeah. Maybe they win a round, but this definitely feels like an “anything other than a first-round sweep will be a feelgood result, given the season Abbotsford has had.”
One strength and one weakness from Sawyer Mynio, Jonathan Lekkerimäki, and DElias Pettersson following their AHL debuts
Jonathan Lekkerimäki
Not too many weaknesses in Lekkerimäki’s game. Considering his size, seeing him embrace the physicality of the AHL and roll with the punches from the get-go was thoroughly encouraging. Across his brief six-game stint, Lekkerimäki was constantly engaged—his feet were moving in all three zones, whether it was playing a tight gap in the d-zone, creating separation through the neutral zone, or finding openings for one-timers in the offensive zone. The kid moves! The only weaknesses to his game are generic “young, undersized prospect” things: size and lower body strength.
Sawyer Mynio
See above. A big strength of Mynio’s game is his skating, I was thoroughly impressed by his defence on the retreat. Despite getting hard-matched against the behemoth Adam Klapka, Mynio settled into his AHL debut and played a safe, supportive role for his d-partner Guillaume Brisebois—nothing flashy, just simple outlet passes, controlled exits, and smart passes in the offensive zone that helped maintain cycles.
The biggest weakness in Mynio’s game is the typical bad habits formed in Junior: coasting on their edges in the d-zone and soft on board battles. Twice, Mynio was caught with his arm draped around players who got a step on him while crashing the net. The debut shift against Klapka will hopefully serve as a quick lesson on the benefits of constantly moving one’s feet. Mynio adapted well to the Calgary Wranglers’ physicality in his debut, but there were times when he was just a little too soft chasing down 50/50 puck battles.
Elias Pettersson
Strengths: physicality! It’s been great seeing Elias Pettersson play like a seasoned veteran out there, throwing hits, engaging in scrums, and generally being a pain in the ass to opposing players.
Weaknesses: physicality! While it’s great seeing a young prospect have a player identity so clearly figured out at this stage of their career, he does have a Tyler Myers-like habit of taking minor penalties at inconvenient times. Perhaps the penalty-taking will subside as he figures out the speed of the AHL game. Until then, I’ve really liked DElias’ debut—always nice to have a big, physical defenceman who isn’t afraid to throw the body. Beyond Jett Woo, the club just hasn’t had too many of those types in their system.

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