The Vancouver Canucks were a team squarely in the middle of the textbook definition of a full-scale rebuild. They played their first season without twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin since 2000, after selecting them second and third overall, respectively, in the 1999 NHL Draft. After finishing the 2016-2017 season with a lowly 69 points and then improving to only 73 points in 2017-2018, the Canucks made a nice step forward last season, finishing with 81 points. In fact, they outperformed other Western Conference foes Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings, two teams who were predicted to fare much better than the Canucks heading into last season. A large part of the progress came on the heels of the development of youngsters on the team.
Elias Pettersson, 20 years old, led the team with 66 points. Bo Horvat, 24, had 61 points, and Brock Boeser, 22, had 56 points. In net, veteran Jacob Markstrom continued to do well in what amounted to only the second time in his 10-year career that he logged more than 60 games.
Sensing that the team was on the cusp of leaping forward into serious playoff contention, Jim Benning, the team’s general manager, made a flurry of moves in the offseason to get the Canucks back to glory. Will they pay off? Let’s take a look at the Canucks’ outlook for this season, with real games scheduled to start in less than a month.
The biggest move the team made in the offseason was acquiring winger J.T. Miller from the Tampa Bay Lightning on draft day. Miller is a promising 26-year-old who scored 47 points for the Lightning last season and is expected to occupy a top-six role for the Canucks this season. Vancouver paid a lot for his services, though, as they shipped a conditional first round pick to Tampa in the trade.
The Canucks added another gritty forward in the offseason, Michael Ferland. He scored 40 points last year for the second season in a row. On defense, the Canucks added the bulking Tyler Myers, signing the 6-8 mammoth away from the Winnipeg Jets.
They also filled out their roster with some quality depth and leadership for the young guys by signing Jordie Benn. The idea with all of these moves was to supplement the team’s young core with experience, grit and leadership.
Despite the definite progress last season and the flurry of positive moves by the team in the offseason, the 2019-2020 season doesn’t look too promising, at least according to the sportsbooks. The Canucks are not surprisingly rated near the bottom of the Stanley Cup odds list, at 40-1. That ties them with the Chicago Blackhawks, New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers at those odds.
Despite the not-so-rosy outlook for the Stanley Cup, though, many people expect the Canucks to make continued progress and improve on their point total from last season. If they do so, they could be in for a legitimate shot at making the playoffs, which anyone in Vancouver would consider a successful season.
Want to place a bet on the Canucks this season? Visit one of the sportsbooks below for the latest odds to win the Stanley Cup as well as other props and game lines.
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