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2018-2019 NHL Preview: Vancouver Canucks

Life for the Canucks Post-Sedins

Arizona Coyotes v Vancouver Canucks Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images

In this 31 part series, I will be working my way back from 31st to 1st in my projected 2017-2018 standings. Second up are the Vancouver Canucks who are in their 48th year as a franchise. They have not made the playoffs in the last three seasons finishing 2nd to last in the Western Conference the last two years.

Basic Stats

2017-2018 NHL Standings: 26th

2018-2019 Projections

NHL Standings: 30th

Western Conference Standings: 14th
Pacific Division Standings: 7th
Goals for Rank: 26th
Goals against Rank: 27th
PP Rank: 9th
PK Rank: 21st
Coach: Travis Green (31-40-11) 2nd season.

Overview

The elephant in the room is that the Sedins have retired. That’s hall of fame production that will be filled by Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat. I just don’t see it, Brock and Bo will be combined 100-120 point effort but hardly what the Sedins did prior to the last few years where they were putting up 140+ points each season. There are a few young forwards who could be interesting: Sven Baertschi is waiting for that breakout moment (seeming less and less likely) I like Tanner Kero and Jake Virtanen to be interesting 2nd and 3rd line talent. On defense it seems to me like it’s gone downhill, long are the days of Kevin Bieksa, Dan Hamhuis and Yannick Weber. Now they have Michael Del Zotto, Alexander Edler and Chris Tanev who aren’t the worst by any means but they won’t be carrying any deficiencies or short comings in terms of depth on this team. Jacob Markstrom is very average in net. He’s not costing them anything but not making stealing games for them either.

Major Additions: Jay Beagle

Major Subtractions: Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin

Prospects and Picks

Elias Petersson: Picked last year at number five he might be ready to step up and make an impact this year. He played in the Swedish elite league scoring 56 points across 44 games last year including 24 goals. I mentioned in my analysis last year: Elias has a fantastic attitude and reads the ice well but there are concerns over his size and ability to score on big stage situations. He proved it in Sweden last year, he might see some more bump and physical play in the NHL but could be a talented top six forward for a team in need of talent.

Quinn Hughes: Taken 7th in this year’s NHL Draft, Quinn led all Big Ten defenseman with 29 points last year. Surely people remember a recent highly touted Wolverine (Zach Werenski) who had no speed bump making the transition and now the question turns to Quinn as to whether or not he needs more experience in college vs. turning pro. He is a good skater and has shown he can score at both college and so far in prospect play. I think he spends half the season at AHL as the team closely watches knowing they have no pressure to bring him up.

Sleeper Fantasy Asset

Brock Boeser: The Sedins had a combined 40 power play points last year on a very low year for their production. That will need replaced and I would say Brock (23 ppp last year) is the top beneficiary of this situation. No doubt the Canucks’ power play (which was 9th last year) likely takes a dip down to the 20s without the two Sedins manning it. In Boeser’s very first year, he had 5 points in 9 games (.55 points per game), however last year he had 55 points on just 62 games (.88 points per game). Extrapolated to 82 (with a slight discount), we could see just shy of 70 points from Brock with 30 goals.

Cap Situation

$54MM Spent; $23M in Cap room; 19 players signed; average team age 26