Vancouver Canucks Daily Rumblings: Scoring Goals a Fantasy?

Feb 9, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Vancouver Canucks defenseman Matt Bartkowski (44) celebrates his goal in the second period against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 9, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Vancouver Canucks defenseman Matt Bartkowski (44) celebrates his goal in the second period against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

We all know the Vancouver Canucks had a hard time scoring goals last season, but does that really mean they don’t even have five valuable fantasy players?

After a season like 2015-16, I wouldn’t be surprised if fantasy hockey players were careful when it comes to selecting Vancouver Canucks. Seeing only one Canuck ranked in the top 100 of a top-200 list still hurts, though. The Canucks really aren’t good at scoring goals, are they?

On the bright side, Brock Boeser is the best freshman forward the University of North Dakota has ever seen — and he could help very soon.

Boeser Taking His Time

Kevin Woodley — Canucks’ Brock Boeser not too cool for school

"Boeser was third in NCAA scoring, earning All-America first-team honors, and was named to the Frozen Four All-Tournament Team after helping North Dakota win the NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey championship by scoring a goal and five assists in two games, including four points in the final.With all that already under his belt, it’s tempting to wonder why Boeser didn’t turn pro and sign with the Canucks. What is left to accomplish by going back to North Dakota?For Boeser and the Canucks, the answer was easy: Leadership."

The Canucks are struggling to add a scorer and the most talented one in their system decided to go back to school. Everyone loves school! (Said no one ever.) So why is that?

Per Kevin Woodley, the answer is leadership, and he says it was an easy one for Boeser and the Canucks. But is that it enough of a reason? Does playing another year in college really help more than learning from guys like Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Alex Burrows or Alex Edler?

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I gave it some thought and it led me to what Boeser saw in Vancouver last season. Jared McCann and Jake Virtanen, who combined for 133 points in 106 games in their final year of junior, made the league out of camp. But, of course, they didn’t jump right into the top six. Instead, they spent most of their ice time on the fourth line, playing up to 10 minutes per night — but only if they weren’t scratched.

Boeser currently has Loui Eriksson, Jannik Hansen, Alex Burrows/Emerson Etem, Derek Dorsett and Jake Virtanen ahead of him. There is no way that he would be a top-six player for the Canucks right away, and I’m sure he doesn’t want to end up like Virtanen and McCann.

Had Boeser decided to turn pro this year, like his line mates Drake Caggiula and Nick Schmaltz did, there would have been a good chance for him to start the season in the AHL with the Utica Comets. When it is that or the fourth line, I can understand that Boeser would rather be a leader in North Dakota for a year and make the jump in 2017. I could definitely see him come to Vancouver as the NCAA top scorer and Hobey Baker Award winner next season, and jump at least into a middle-six role.

This is pure speculation, but it would make sense.

Canucks Scoring Just a Fantasy

Jeff Paterson — The Province: Here’s a fantasy — the Canucks scoring goals

"My reason for checking the article out was to see how many Vancouver Canucks made the grade and where they slotted. Canucks fans don’t need reminding of the club’s offensive struggles last season, but I was curious to see what a national writer thought of the hockey team’s best offensive weapons and how they stacked up in a league-wide assessment.The findings are a stark reminder that even those outside the local market realize just how little firepower the Vancouver Canucks line-up boasts, and that offence — particularly from the supporting cast — is likely to be a glaring weakness again this season."

“Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?” Good thing Queen made that distinction in 1975.

Henrik Sedin (61), Loui Eriksson (110) and Henrik Sedin (116) are the only Vancouver Canucks who made’s top-200 fantasy hockey options list. The reason is that fantasy hockey is mostly based on simple stats like goals, assists and points, and the Canucks really don’t have a lot of scorers on their roster. However, this is just fantasy — and says nothing about the real life.

Well, that is my hope, anyway.

In the 2015-16 season, the Canucks ranked 29th in league scoring. However, that was with Jannik Hansen being the second-best goal scorer, Brandon Sutter injured for the majority of the season and Bo Horvat in a role he wasn’t ready for.

This year, Vancouver has Sutter back, who can play Horvat’s tough minutes including short-handed time, and Loui Eriksson is joining the fold. With the Sedin twins, Eriksson and Horvat, the Canucks have enough scoring talent to spread out.

Next: Canucks Top 10 Prospect Ranking

A top six of Sedin – Sedin – Hansen and Baertschi – Horvat – Eriksson could actually score a lot of goals. This is more wishful thinking than objective analysis, but judging by the names, the Canucks have some nice scoring talent in the lineup. And that is without Sutter and Swedish league MVP Anton Rodin.

The 2016-17 campaign will show how much fantasy and the real life actually have to do with each other. But there is a good chance that Canucks scoring will fall in the latter category.