Vancouver Canucks Acquisitions: Qualities The New Players Will Provide


So far the off-season has been a hectic one in British Columbia. We have has seen the departures of players such as Brad Richardson, Shawn Matthias and Eddie Lack among others. GM Jim Benning hasn’t been wasting his time and has both a mixture of both youth and experience in place for next season. July 1st proved to be a day of reckoning for the team and since then five new names have become Vancouver Canucks. Losing many key lower line players can always affect a teams performance, so what precisely is the new bunch bringing to the team?

Brandon Prust

One of the more surprising July 1st trades saw Zach Kassian traded to the Montreal Canadiens for left winger Brandon Prust. This deal balances out as a fairly even trade, but Prust  is far above being the average brawler. In Montreal, this man was beloved by both the fans and the media as being the teams unsung hero. Prust is hard-hitting and tough fighting third/fourth liner, but is also noted for his hard work rate, checking and is an excellent penalty killer. From 451 career games which has also taken in spells at the Arizona Coyotes and New York Rangers, Prust has 39 goals and 108 points scored. While Kassian was well liked by the Canucks faithful, Prust has the potential to become a fan favorite and provide a tougher presence on ice for this team.

Matt Bartkowski

Acquired as a free agent with his contract in Boston expiring, Matt Bartkowski is good addition to the blue line. Previously, Bartowski found playing time with the Bruins hard to come by and in his seven years at TD Garden, he played only 131 games. Bartkowski now has a fresh start with Vancouver and will be keen to make an impression. After Bieksa was traded to Anaheim, the Canucks will need a new face to develop into a new defensive leader. Although he lacks prowess in scoring, Bartkowski is well regarding for his excellent skating and isn’t afraid of diving into contact with opposing players. Whether he will be a full-time member of this team remains to be seen, but this team has great potential to work with.

Richard Bachman

Signed as a free agent after completing a recent spell with the Edmonton Oilers, goalie Richard Bachman brings 42 games of NHL experience. Jacob Markstrom has been re-signed as back-up after Lack’s trade to Carolina. Bachman is now more than likely going to be assigned to their AHL affiliate, the Utica Comets. However, the Comets will be gaining a real ace in the pack because this player has extensive AHL experience. From his time playing for both the Texas Stars and Oklahoma City Barons, Bachman has put up impressive numbers and last season was selected for the AHL All-Star Game. Although short at 5″10, this goalie is known for having great reflexes and is capable of stepping up when needed. Markstrom’s former spot at the Comets will be in good hands.

Taylor Fedun

After leaving the San Jose Sharks, Fedun has signed a one-year deal with the Canucks. His ice-time in the NHL has been limited to just 11 games and 6 points in spells with both San Jose and Edmonton. A good mover of the puck and capable offensively, Fedun has also dealt with serious injuries that affected his progress in the past due being on the shorter size. With the roster filled already packed to capacity with wingers, Fedun will still be a useful prospect for Utica should he be assigned. Last season playing for AHL’s Worchester Sharks, he notched up 34 points in 70 games. Previously he may have been overlooked in the NHL, but an impressive season could spell a turn around for this man.

Blair Jones

Released from Philadelphia, Vancouver has now gained a new center in 28-year-old Saskatchewan native, Blair Jones. This man has 132 NHL games under his belt from his time with Calgary, Tampa Bay and Philadelphia, currently standing at 7 goals and 17 points. A good depth forward with intelligent play on the ice and solid two-way ability, Jones’ lack of scoring may prevent him from the joining the team currently. Having a solid pro that can use size and strength to the team’s advantage is always welcome though. Vancouver has noticed that Jones is worthy of a shot and he may find himself sent down to the AHL for now. If given the call, you can bet that he will be hungry to make this one count.

In summation, the Canucks have brought in a good mix of experience to help aid them for next season. This season’s free agency may have not had the wow factor than last years one-two punch of Ryan Miller and Radim Vrbata, but still there are some potential jewels be found. Prust in particular is a pleasing trade that will fit in nicely into Willie Desjardin’s team. For now we will watch this space on this one, but who knows what could become of the new class?

Next: Canucks By The Numbers- Nos. 4 & 28

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