Former Regina Pats captain and Vancouver product Kyle Burroughs carved out what could be described as a somewhat memorable first season with his hometown Canucks.
The defensive defenceman spent the first few seasons of his career with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the New York Islanders’ AHL affiliate. Burroughs was eventually named captain of the Tigers, marking the second time in his career he wore the C on his jersey.
Throughout his time in the AHL, Burroughs recorded 86 points in 324 career games with Bridgeport and the Colorado Eagles. He earned a brief opportunity to showcase his talents with the Colorado Avalanche last season, appearing in five games and recording both his first NHL point (an assist) and fight (against Nick Bjugstad).
Burroughs’ game was something that interested former Canucks general manager Jim Benning. Last July, Burroughs signed a two-year deal with the Canucks carrying a $750,000 cap hit.
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As the Canucks dealt with injuries and COVID-19 problems, Burroughs found himself filling a much-needed No. 7 defenceman role in the NHL. That allowed the hometown kid to get some action in Vancouver, recording five points (one goal, four assists), 122 hits, and 59 blocked shots in 42 games.
Burroughs also found himself chucking the knuckles a handful of times this year, three times to be exact according to our friends at HockeyFights. With Luke Schenn being the primary menace for the Canucks, having Burroughs’s grit and intensity in the lineup favours everyone.
According to Dobber Sports, Burroughs primarily played on the third defensive pairing with both Brad Hunt and Tucker Poolman. While playing on a pairing with Hunt, the two combined for one goal, a Corsi-for percentage of 45.4 and a shots-for percentage of 46.2.
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While playing with Poolman, the two combined for three goals, a Corsi-for percentage of 54.5 and a shots-for percentage of 52.0 through 78:03 — relatively solid numbers considering the low amount of ice time Burroughs maintained throughout the season.
In terms of individual analytics, according to Natural Stat Trick’s five-on-five table, Burroughs finished with a 0.992 PDO, a 47.85 Corsi-for percentage, and a 45.34 expected goals percentage. These are workable numbers and should be taken with a grain of salt considering this was Burroughs’s first full NHL season.
The Canucks are coming off significant coaching and management changes, which will undoubtedly change how they operate this summer. However, the Canucks are short on capable defensive options — especially on the right side.
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Burroughs managed to make a solid impact with the Canucks. He played a hard and physical game all season long, standing up for his teammates and even getting his name on the score sheet a few times.
With one more year at $750,000 on his deal, Burroughs would be easy for the Canucks to keep around — but perhaps general manager Patrik Allvin and team president Jim Rutherford have a total defensive overhaul in the works.
Failing that, let’s see a little more of Kyle Burroughs next year.