Loui Eriksson: 86
The player that has Canucks Nation most excited this season is clearly Loui Eriksson. If he gets to play on the top line with the Sedins, that is. But even if he doesn’t, Eriksson is one of the best players on the team, and he will likely be one of the top scorers at the end of the season. At 31 years old, Eriksson is showing no signs of slowing down, justifying a rating of 86.
Jannik Hansen: 84
Is Jannik Hansen a legitimate top-line winger? Probably not, but he is someone who can move up and down the lineup and be a complementary player to skilled guys like the Sedins when need be. A speedy and gritty winger with a scoring touch, Hansen definitely deserves to be rated 84.
Jake Virtanen: 80
There are so many questions about the Canucks. One of them is whether Jake Virtanen can build on his rookie season, solidify his position with the club and increase his scoring. If not, he might end up as a purely defensive forward. For now, Virtanen is an 80 — a strong defensive winger who provides little scoring — but there is no doubt about his top-six potential.
Derek Dorsett: 80
I’ll admit that having Virtanen and Derek Dorsett get the same rating doesn’t seem fair. However, the two have almost the same scoring rate while playing a solid defensive game. Dorsett is overpaid but he is a strong fourth-line player and a valuable part of the team.
Anton Rodin: 76
This is one of the hardest players to rate, mostly because of the huge difference between Europeans and North Americans in the NHL series. For example, German club Dusseldorfer EG has its best German players barely crack 70 while most of them are rated in the 60s. Their top player in NHL 16 was former NHL and AHL forward Drayson Bowman, who — to be fair — is their best player, but doesn’t deserve to be 12 points better than Dusseldorf’s average second liner. Long story short, Anton Rodin likely won’t be rated a 76 but he certainly deserves to be — even if he doesn’t make the team.
The Vancouver Canucks have a strong top line, many promising youngsters who have a lot to prove, a couple of declining veterans and a bunch of wild cards. EA SPORTS NHL 17 will probably be a decent representation of that, even if my ratings are far off.
Having a top line that’s rated 87-87-86 is enough to cause excitement for the game, though. The actual ratings will soon be released. Until then, how would you rate the Canucks?