2017-18 Vancouver Canucks Team Preview & Expectations
30-43-9, 67 points, this is the stat line that Canucks fans saw when game 82 was said and done. With a minus-61 goal differential, the Canucks were again, a disappointment compared to their second place division finish two years ago.
At this point, almost anything they did would be an improvement for the upcoming season. And, with the moves Vancouver pulled off in free agency, they might have improved. First off, the Canucks and heads coach Willie Desjardins parted ways. With one departure comes the arrival of minor league coach Travis Green to now lead the way. With Green came three really good players. These players were as follows: Sam Gagner, a young man who played with Columbus last year will look to help get some offense going for the Canucks.
Through playing in 81 games, Gagner had 50 points (18 goals, 32 assists). The Sedin brothers and Gagner could possibly reinvigorate the offense. On defense, Michael Del Zotto comes over from Philadelphia looking to strengthen the back end which contains the likes of Alex Edler and Chris Tanev. Finally, at the goalie position, Anders Nilsson looks to come in and make an impact with Jacob Markstrom.
While the aforementioned players are NHL ready, the Canucks bring with them players like Bo Horvat. Horvat is a young player who looks to become an NHL mainstay. With the likes of the Sedin twins, Loui Eriksson and even Sam Gagner as examples, there is no telling where Horvat will end up.
Looking at this roster, picking out a weak spot is really pretty tough. On the forward lines, Loui Eriksson, the Sedins, Horvat and Dorsett could help them score plenty if they find chemistry. The weakest spot on this team may lie in the defense and goalie area. Michael Del Zotto joins the likes of Erik Gudbranson, Ben Hutton, Patrick Weircioch, and more in hopes of turning the defense around.
A complete turnaround is not guaranteed at all in one season, and it wouldn’t happen over night anyway. However, with the talented young players, and with the young coach, the Vancouver Canucks will grow to be a dangerous team. As for the next season, any one that doesn’t see them coming may be in for a big surprise. Will they win the Stanley Cup in 2017-18? No. But, it’s safe to say that this team should not be ignored.