Regular season and playoff letter grades for the 2023-24 Vancouver Canucks: Canucks Conversation

Photo credit:Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports
Clarke Corsan
29 days ago
On yesterday’s episode of Canucks Conversation, David Quadrelli and Harman Dayal assessed each Vancouver Canucks player’s regular season and postseason performances with letter grades.
J.T. Miller: Regular season: A+ | Postseason: A
“He tied Boeser for the club’s scoring lead (in the playoffs), won almost 60% of his faceoffs, played heavy physically, and excelled defensively. Ultimately, in that Edmonton series, even though he struggled in a couple of games and was pointless in the last two, the Canucks held McDavid to a 2-2 draw during the 58 minutes that Miller played head-to-head against him.”
Brock Boeser: Regular season: A | Postseason: A+
“He scored 40 goals, which is awesome, but there were some stretches where he was less effective than you would’ve liked, which is the only reason he wasn’t an A+ in the regular season for me,” said Quads.
Elias Pettersson: Regular season: B | Postseason: C
“Pettersson’s season was a tale of two halves,” said Quads. “After the All-Star break, he was much less effective in all areas of the ice, and that carried into the playoffs as well.”
“Even in a season where he struggled down the stretch, we forget how dominant he was in the first half of the season,” Harm added. “He entered the All-Star break on pace for 47 goals and 107 points. He brought the goods overall in the regular season.”
Ilya Mikheyev: Regular season: C | Postseason: F
“The only F a player has in these letter grades,” Harm stated. “It’s remarkable looking at the first two months and what the numbers looked like. Right before the calendar flipped to 2024, Mikheyev ranked top 25 among all NHL forwards with 10 5-on-5 goals in 32 games. His 19 5-on-5 points in that stretch were one behind Pettersson and Miller for the lead among Canucks forwards.”
Pius Suter: Regular season: A- | Postseason: B+
“He was very versatile,” said Quads. “He made that Miller line better. If there’s no Pius Suter playing the way he played, the Canucks have a lot more problems. The magic died a bit in the playoffs.”
Dakota Joshua: Regular season: A | Postseason: B
“He had four goals but only nine shots in the entire playoffs. One thing to keep in mind is he was adjusting to more difficult matchups,” Harm noted. “During the regular season, that line with Garland was consistently going up against the opposition’s third line. With Lindholm, that line was seeing a lot of Ryan O’Reilly in round one and Draisaitl in round two.”
Conor Garland: Regular season: A | Postseason: A
“One of the only players to actually show up with some jump and urgency in Game 7,” said Harm. “To have that type of performance, to me, cements him as a core player. He’s not expendable anymore. He’s a guy that I need as a driver in my middle six, especially because we don’t know what’s happening with Joshua. This was the year he went from potential misfit to one of the most important play-drivers in this lineup.”
Teddy Blueger: Regular season: B+ | Postseason: B-
“Blueger exceeded expectations to start the season, but by the end, the magic seemed to be gone, and he was playing like a fourth-line center—which is fine, that’s why they got him,” said Quads.
“He chipped in with 28 points in the regular season,” Harm added. “He was clearly the third wheel on that line with Garland and Joshua, but if you can step into a role as a 3C when you’re not one and that line becomes one of the best third lines in the NHL, that’s a massive credit.”
Sam Lafferty: Regular season: B- | Postseason: C
“I hated Lafferty’s playoffs,” Harm admitted. “Where was the speed, size, and physicality we saw from him in the regular season? He chipped in with 13 goals, and during the first half of the season, with Blueger out of the lineup, he was centring the fourth line and legitimately driving play and scoring goals. He was so noticeable and impactful on a night-in, night-out basis.”
Nils Höglander: Regular season: A | Postseason: C-
“As the season progressed, he earned Tocchet’s trust and took on a top-six role. From the All-Star break until the end of the campaign, he was able to stick as Pettersson’s running mate. Playoffs were disappointing; hopefully, it’s a learning experience.”
Vasily Podkolzin: Regular season: C | Postseason: C
“It’s becoming increasingly clear that he’s going to be a grinding winger, if anything,” Quads noted. “If he’s ever going to stick at the NHL level, it feels like that’s what he’s going to have to do. He’s not driving play, he’s not the best finisher; I don’t know what to think of Podkolzin.”
“He had spurts where he was bringing energy and physicality, but ultimately this is a player who had 0 goals and 2 assists in 18 games. Maybe he can carve out a role as an energy-bringing type of guy, but he still hasn’t earned his coach’s trust defensively.”
Nils Aman: Regular season: B | Postseason: C+
“He was fine’ is probably the best way to sum up Aman,” said Harm. “I didn’t see a significant year-over-year improvement. He’s reliable enough defensively where he’s not going to hurt you, but he needs to become an elite face-off man. If you want to stick as an everyday fourth-line center, you need to find that niche, and right now he’s awful at draws.”
Phil Di Giuseppe: Regular season: Quads: A- | Harm: C+ | Postseason: C+
Elias Lindholm: Regular season: C+ | Postseason: A
“He was the third-best forward after Boeser and Miller in the postseason,” said Harm.
The guys then got to the defensemen.
Quinn Hughes: Regular season: A+ | Postseason: B+
“Even though he wasn’t taking games over (in the postseason) offensively the way we expected and the regular season didn’t translate into the playoffs, it was still a night and day difference in terms of how well the Canucks drove play with Hughes on the ice compared to any other defensive pairing,” noted Harm.
Filip Hronek: Regular season: B+ | Postseason: C
“He was terrific through the first 50 games and then fell off and looked like a passenger down the stretch,” said Harm.
Tyler Myers: Regular season: B+ | Postseason: B+
Harm stated: “Myers did his job perfectly fine in the playoffs, but I don’t think we can overlook how anemic the Canucks were offensively with Myers on the ice.”
Carson Soucy: Regular season: B+ | Postseason: B
“The Canucks were outshot 88-32 with Soucy on the ice at 5-on-5. They did defend well and limited the actual damage on the scoreboard,” Harm added.
Nikita Zadorov: Regular season: B | Postseason: A
“In the regular season, he was decent; he filled the gaps where necessary and was a stabilizing presence, but he wasn’t blowing anyone away,” said Harm. “But in the playoffs, he was such a monster, throwing the bone-crushing hits, chipping in with offence, and had enough speed and skill where he wasn’t a liability moving the puck. Terrific playoffs for him.”
Ian Cole: Regular season: B+ | Postseason: C
“He was playing hurt, which is important context, but that Oilers series was so tough. There was a pretty big gap between how well Soucy and Myers played versus how Cole performed in that Oilers series.”
Noah Juulsen: Regular season: B- | Postseason: C
“He was in the AHL last year and then became a serviceable 6th/7th defenseman. For the first six weeks, he was awful, but from that point onward, he was very steady. You didn’t worry about having him in the lineup. Plus, he was excellent on the PK in my opinion.”
Thatcher Demko: Regular season: A+ | Postseason: A+
Arturs Silovs: Regular season: B | Postseason: A+
Casey DeSmith: Regular season: B+ | Postseason: B+
You can watch the full segment below:

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