WDYTT: Putting the ‘V’ in MVP, which Canuck returned the most bang-for-buck in 2023/24?

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Stephan Roget
26 days ago
Welcome back to WDYTT, the only hockey column on the internet that’s always on schedule.
Speaking of schedules, the portion of the 2023/24 schedule dubbed the “regular season” is almost at an end. By the time you’re reading these words, the Vancouver Canucks and other teams will be down to about two weeks, and about five or six games, left before the postseason.
For WDYTT, that puts us firmly in wrap-up mode. We’ll be asking you playoff-related questions soon enough, but we’ve only got a narrow window now with which to deliver those usual year-end conclusive queries, and we’re going to use it.
If you missed last week’s edition, we’ve decided to supplement the Canucks’ usual team awards – for MVP, top defender, unsung hero, and most exciting – with a few new awards of our own.
This time around, we’re getting financial in handing out a new kind of MVP, with the emphasis on the “valuable” part: it’s a “best bang-for-buck” award.
As much as some fans like to avoid the discussion, contracts and the salary cap are a fundamental and vital component of the modern game. As such, how players perform vis-à-vis their cap hits really does matter, and so perhaps there should be more recognition of those NHL players who deliver exceptional dollar-value.
Let’s start now!
This week, we’re asking you:

Which Canuck delivered the most “bang-for-buck” value, compared to their cap hit, for the 2023/24 season?

Let it be known in the comment section.
Last week, we asked:

Which Vancouver Canuck improved the most for/during the 2023/24 season?

You answered below!
Killer Marmot:
Böss Hög.
He went from playing in Abbotsford to playing alongside Pettersson.
defenceman factory:
Several good candidates for most improved player this season. I really like Joshua, Juulsen, or Höglander for this award.
Not sure it’s based on an improvement in skill level, but Boeser and Myers have certainly had a resurgence this season. They were good earlier in their careers, so not sure they meet the “most improved” descriptor. Bouncing back from being “most disappointing” candidates shouldn’t win you an award.
Narrowing this down to the player who unexpectedly demonstrated a level of skill, previously unseen, my vote goes to Joshua.
Most improved player I’d have to look at where they started and where they finished. IMO Höglander started at not being able to make the team and went through the year increasing his status continually, scoring 21 goals (so far) and elevating himself to the top(?) line. He has demonstrated consistent aggressive play all year in every game and has generally been getting less than average ice-time. He is one of the best on the boards and forecheck.
Joshua will get votes and all the hype, and should be number 2, but Hogs has done it all.
Have to go with Höglander, although Juulsen’s improvement can’t be ignored. Tyler Myers turned his career around and Podkolzin deserves recognition as well.
It’s gotta be Elias Pettersson.
His scoring may be down a bit, but that’s mitigated by improvements in defensive play, shot-blocking, face-offs, and hits.
And as he continues to improve, the sky’s the limit!
Hogz !
Brian Phillips:
Quinn Hughes, with Höglander is a close second.
It may seem odd for a superstar to be recognized in this way, but the Most Improved honour should be awarded to a breakout performer regardless of their previous or current role. This year, Quinn Hughes has become a goal-scoring threat for the first time, as well as showing a massive improvement defensively. This is on top of taking his record-breaking feats to a Norris Trophy level. To make that big of a jump in one season is worthy of a most improved award in my opinion.
Dakota Joshua.
He has gone from healthy scratch to top 5-on-5 performer and should be the top-priority free agent signing.
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
It’s great that it’s actually a hard choice. I was thinking immediately of Hughes, who set the tone for the entire team. But Boeser, Höglander, Juulsen, Joshua, even Myers can make legitimate cases.
I’ll stick with Hughes though, because he’s made the entire league sit up and pay attention to his play.
Craig Gowan:
There are several candidates for most improved player: Hughes, Miller, Garland, Boeser, Höglander, Myers, and Juulsen. These improvements are a credit to the coaching staff as well as the players. But the players who stands out for me is Dakota Joshua. He’s gone from a mediocre 3rd/4th line winger to a top 3rd line player, first choice penalty killer, and player who is tough to play against because of his consistent physicality. I believe he has the potential to be a top-six winger and PP net front presence. He’s the guy I think should be the #1 UFA re-signing priority.
While arguments could be had for Juulsen, Myers, or Höglander, the real big three of improvement are Boeser, Joshua, and Hughes. And, the winner is…….Hughes.
It’s a three-horse race between Juulsen,  D. Joshua, and Höglander. There are very good arguments for each of those players. If I had to rate them I would go with Joshua, then Höglander, then Juulsen. The reason they are rated this way is that you can put Juulsen in and out of the lineup and not see a noticeable drop or rise on overall team performance, so even though Juulsen has improved by leaps and bounds, this puts him out of the running. Höglander and Joshua are pretty close, imo. The reason Joshua gets the nod is perhaps circumstance or could be recency bias, but I always get the feeling that we could replace Höglander with a Bains or a Podz. Joshua we missed… the team was not as good without Joshua, period. For that reason alone, Joshua wins and should be priority #1 for signing to a 3-4 year deal in the offseason.
Jon Anderson:
While all players already mentioned are worthy, I am surprised no one has mentioned Miller yet. He improved from being seen as overpaid and temperamental to being a leader with great work ethics, much improved offensive and defensive game, and an undeniable intensity and leadership (all of which have made him an amazing bargain.)
BeerCan Boyd:
Pretty good consensus on here that it’s either Joshua, Höglander, or Juulsen. All worthy choices. The truth is, pretty much every player on the roster has been “improved” this season. Except for Kuzy, and he’s long gone.
Reg Dunlop:
The one award no player ever wants to win. Ask me how I know, lol.
Höglander. He’s fantastic.
Miller. He’s found another gear. If he keeps it up, his jersey hangs in the rafters.

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