After signing F Loui Eriksson in the offseason, the Canucks season went downhill, and completely crashed. They finished 2nd last in the NHL and last in the Pacific division with 69 points, only ahead of the Colorado Avalanche, who had a historic season (a historically bad one) with 48 points. They made a couple quality signings, but they are still continuing the rebuild. Here\’s a look at what they did in the offseason.
Notable additions: C Sam Gagner, D Michael Del Zotto, G Anders Nilsson, RW Thomas Vanek, F Alex Burmistrov, D Patrick Wiercioch.
Notable subtractions: G Ryan Miller, D Luca Sbisa, D Nikita Tryamkin, F Jack Skille, D Philip Larsen, F Drew Shore, F Alex Grenier.
Here are my projected forward lines.
Dan Sedin – Henrik Sedin – Thomas Vanek
Sven Baertschi – Bo Horvat – Brock Boeser
Loui Eriksson – Sam Gagner – Brandon Sutter
Mike Chaput – Markus Granlund – Jake Virtanen
The Sedins are returning once again, but this should be their final season in Blue and Green. Vanek is a sure bet to be traded. Baertschi\’s 18 goals in 2016-17 went unnoticed by many. Horvat can become their first line center this year, and Boeser can break out. This is a big year for Sutter and Eriksson. Virtanen just makes the team in my books, but some AHL time could never hurt. Reid Boucher, Alex Burmistrov, Derek Dorsett, Brendan Gaunce, Nikolay Goldobin, Jayson Megna and Anton Rodin are all fighting for spots, but most of them (definitely Goldobin and Gaunce probably others) will be in the AHL.
Here are my projected defensive pairs.
Alex Edler – Chris Tanev
Michael Del Zotto – Erik Gudbranson
Ben Hutton – Troy Stetcher
Edler and Tanev are vets that I feel like are both underrated and overrated somehow. Del Zotto might not have been the best signing, but is okay. Hutton and Stetcher had good first years, and are looking for similar second years. Patrick Wiercioch is the 7th defenseman.
This is finally Markstrom\’s year to break out, and even though he\’s the backup of the future, starter of the future Thatcher Demko will only play if there\’s a big injury. He\’ll start in the AHL. Nilsson was a good signing for them. Richard Backman will be Demko\’s backup, but will be the third NHL goalie if there\’s a short-term injury.
The Canucks are still a pretty horrible team. I think that they will compete… for the first overall pick in 2017-18.