Jacob Markstrom might be the Vancouver Canucks’ MVP, but elite seasons from Quinn Hughes and J.T. Miller argue that it’s more of a three-headed monster.
Not many people would argue the fact that Jacob Markstrom has been the Vancouver Canucks’ most valuable player in the 2019-20 season. He absolutely stood on his head all year long as the starting goalie on Canada’s pacific west coast and rightfully deserves the title of “Team MVP.”
There is no question the Canucks aren’t the same team without their prized netminder, but both forward J.T. Miller and defenceman Quinn Hughes made big contributions to Vancouver that could seriously back up an argument for the rightful possession of the team award.
I will be diving into each case and discussing what elements of each player’s arsenal makes a compelling argument to put them into the team MVP conversation. Today will focus on the wonderful season of Canucks’ newcomer, Miller.
The case for J.T. Miller being the Canucks’ MVP:
Jim Benning believed in the abilities of Miller when he traded for him last year. But there’s no way he knew just how much Miller would blow up when he got to beautiful British Columbia. The 27-year-old coming from Tampa Bay fresh off of a 13 goal, 47 point campaign was ready for a bigger role in the west. Boy, did he ever deliver in his first season with the Canucks!
The big dog showed up to perform at his best every single game. He’s an absolute beast on the puck who plays a tremendous 200-foot game. He currently leads the team in scoring with 72 points, (27 goals, 45 assists) through 69 games. That’s 25 more points than last year’s total, and with a full season, there were still 13 games to be played.
Miller also currently takes sole-possession of second-place league-wide in faceoff win percentage. The winger with some centerman experience went back to his roots in Vancouver to pick up the slack of Elias Pettersson. His Swedish linemate is still listed as the center, but Miller’s wicked faceoff ability has brought some serious puck possession to Vancouver’s best line. Without his winning 59.2% on the dot, there’s no way the lotto-line dominates in puck possession as they did all year long.
His leadership skills are natural and it’s mind-blowing the guy doesn’t have a letter permanently stitched on his sweater. It’s only a matter of time because Miller is as good as it gets. He makes everyone around him better. He elevates the game of Pettersson, he often makes Hughes look good, and he took Jake Virtanen under his wing showing him how to be a true NHL power forward.
Miller is the complete package. He is the most productive forward on the team, his compete level is elite, he can play a 200-foot game, he dominates the power play and keeps the puck away on the penalty kill. He truly makes the Canucks a better team, and he could truly be the team MVP.
Tomorrow, Hughes will be up for debate as the rightful heir of the team MVP award. Keep an eye out and let me know what you think in the comments below.