2016-2017 NHL Team Predictions: Vancouver Canucks

nhl team predictions vancouver canucks

Our Canadian NHL team predictions start out West with the Vancouver Canucks. Last year the Canucks had a rough season along with the rest of the western Canadian teams finishing 2nd last in the western conference with 75 pts.

The Canucks let Hamhuis and Vrbata go to free agency along with others, but were able to sign unrestricted free agent Loui Eriksson to a six year contract. Loui fills a huge void on the 1st line in the left wing position. The talented Swedish forward had 63 points last year and should fit in well with Henrik and Daniel Sedin, giving the Canucks a great 1st line.

Prior to free agency the Canucks traded forward Jared McCann to the Florida Panthers in exchange for defenceman Erik Gudbranson. Although Gudbranson is a solid top 4 defenceman, he isn't going to fill the void missing with Hamhuis gone on their top pairing.

Overall the the roster hasn't changed much and although the Canucks seem like an improved team on paper the league is too good and many other teams improved their rosters this summer as well. 

Projected Roster
Forwards
Eriksson  Sedin  Sedin
Baertschi  Horvat  Hansen
Granlund  Sutter  Virtanen
Emerson  Gauce  Burrows
Dorsett, Megna

Defence
Edler  Tanev
Hutton  Gudbranson
Sbisa  Tryamkin
Biega  Juolevi

Goaltenders
Miller
Markstrom

Prediction: 12th West

The Canucks have a good first line, after that though they're relying heavily on the shoulders of the young guns to perform. I expect Eriksson to play first line but maybe coach Desjardins will go with Hansen after the success he had last year with the Sedins and place Eriksson on the second line to balance the top six.

On defence Edler and Tanev will need to prove they can be a good 1-2 punch as a top pair, while Hutton and Gudbranson should pan out on the second. The rest of their defence is a battle at camp as 2016 draftee Olli Juolevi could push for a spot on the team.

If Ryan Miller has a great season maybe they make a push for the playoffs, but overall I don't see the Canucks having enough depth to qualify for the playoffs, and I see this season being a transition year, giving the younger players bigger roles.

Related:

2016-2017 Team Predictions: Calgary Flames
2016-2017 Team Predictions: Edmonton Oilers
2016-2017 NHL Team Predictions: Winnipeg Jets

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