Vancouver Canucks: Looking at the power play for 2018-19


Many Canucks fans have been asking for a youth movement and 2019for the first time in the past ten years there will be changes to the top six forward group. Here’s how the power play should look next season.

Some things need to change and some things need to stay the same. The biggest loss for the Canucks is clearly the retirement of Daniel and Henrik Sedin, they leave a void in leadership that is going to be very hard if not impossible to replace.

Moving forward there are questions about the power play now, the first unit has been the Sedins staple for over 10 years with the Canucks. Brock Boeser and his shot will lead it in 2018-19, but who will surround him?

The Returning power plays

That’s the question for the Canucks power play and there are more questions than answers about playing with the extra man.

There are a few players should return to the first unit, the likelihood of Bo Horvat being the net front presence again next season is a very good. Almost as good as Horvat was infront of the net this past season.

Horvat hit double digits for power play goals this season (10 goals) for the first time in his career, he also was relied upon to take the opening draw of the power play where he won 56.1 % of those faceoffs.

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Dale Hunter was Horvat’s coach in junior with the London Knights and Hunter claimed that Horvat was one of the best net front presences he’s ever seen and Coach Hunter has seen a lot of great players in his time.

Horvat has great hands in tight, is strong on his feet, has good hand eye coordination and can dig the puck out of the corners when needed.

Brock Boeser will be in his zone.

Enough said.

Movers and Shakers

The rest of the power play should be wide open for competition and those spots will be challenged by newcomers and current young players looking for an opportunity.

The power play quarterback is a key spot, this past season we saw Alexander Edler for the most part in that spot, he may be the best option for the Canucks but he by no stretch of the imagination a great option. Some other options for that spot would be Troy Stetcher or Michael Del Zotto.

Stetcher could be interesting as the quarterback, he seems to be an NHL calibre defenceman moving forward for the Canucks but if he would develop a better shot he would be a key piece for this team moving forward.

Replacing the Legends

The bumper position that was run by Daniel Sedin the past season could be filled by a Canucks with some offensive upside who needs more opportunity. Some names that come to mind are Sam Gagner, Loui Eriksson or Markus Granlund.

Gagner and Grandlund would be intriguing options, both players had a down season last year but have shown in the past that they can be offensive producers, Gagner may have a stale bran muffin for a shot but he has good hands and surely knows to get the puck to Boeser. Granlund adds a different skill set as he has great hands and possesses a half decent shot to boot.

The last spot that is open will be the right half wing, the spot that Henrik Sedin patrolled last year and the 10 years prior. There will be options for this spot, any left handed shooter would be ecstatic for the opportunity to play this spot. Nikolay Goldobin, Brendon Leipsic and Sven Baertschi are all viable contenders for that spot on the power play.

My pick is Elias Pettersson.

Pettersson has run this position on the ice all season long with the Vaxjo Lakers and even ran this zone with Sweden at the World Junior Championship. He has the hands, the shot and the passing ability to be on the Canucks first unit power play already and I think this will be one spot where he thrives at the NHL level.

Looking Ahead Instead of Backwards

Next season will be complicated for the Canucks power play, this year we saw assistant coach Newell Brown take the team’s unit up to ninth best in the league.

The emergence of “The Brockstar” was definitely a key component in the jump to ninth, as they finished the 2016-17 season with second worst power play in the NHL. The complicated part is replacing the Sedins, the man advantage was where the twins still showed their skill the most as their careers wound down.

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Some new additions to the power play could bring some excitement, especially if Pettersson gets and opportunity to run his zone on the first unit and be on the opposite side of the ice to Boeser.

The Canucks have some pieces in place that could seriously develop this team into a top five power play unit in the NHL, they finished ninth this year so it’s not too crazy to think, but rip me in the comments if think this team’s power play will be a dog’s breakfast without the future hall of fame players Henrik and Daniel Sedin.