September 23, 2011; Toronto, ON, CANADA; Buffalo Sabres forward Colin Stuart (15) during the second period against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. Buffalo defeated Toronto 2-1. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Scouting Report: Who is New Vancouver Canucks Forward Colin Stuart?

The Vancouver Canucks signed unrestricted free agent forward Colin Stuart to a one-year, two-way contract worth $100,000 in the AHL and $550,000 in the NHL last week.

The signing was a bit puzzling considering he is 31 years old and his AHL statistics aren’t all that impressive. He has 204 points in 474 games for a 0.43 points per game average.

Neither are Stuart’s statistics with the Iserlohn Roosters in Germany’s Deutsche Eishockey Liga. In 45 games this season, he managed only nine goals and 21 points.

So why did the Canucks sign this guy if he isn’t going to be a Jason Krog or Darren Haydar-type with the Utica Comets? What kind of a player is Stuart?

Elite Prospects’ scouting report:

Stuart is a hardworking forward with nice size. He plays with lots of energy and is good on the penalty kill. Skates well and has solid hands and hockey sense.

This is how Stuart described himself to Hockey’s Future:

I play an up-tempo, speed game and would describe myself as a two-way power forward…  I feel my strengths are my skating and my shot, I would like to
improve my overall game and puck control… I am a second/third line player, I play on the power play and have a very active role in killing penalties.

Rather than being a leader to the offensive forwards in the Canucks system,  it appears Stuart will be a leader for the penalty killers with the Comets. He will probably act as a player-coach and help the prospects with some of the finer details of penalty killing.

Stuart’s appears to be quite a threat to score on the penalty kill as well. He has four shorthanded goals in only 56 games played in the NHL. It is noteworthy somebody like Jannik Hansen, who has made a career out of being a penalty killer, only has two shorthanded goals in 318 career NHL games.

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