Nils Hoglander has been the Canucks’ steadiest player since returning

VANCOUVER, BC - MARCH 22: Nils Hoglander #36 of the Vancouver Canucks skates during NHL action against the Winnipeg Jets at Rogers Arena on March 22, 2021 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - MARCH 22: Nils Hoglander #36 of the Vancouver Canucks skates during NHL action against the Winnipeg Jets at Rogers Arena on March 22, 2021 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) /
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Nils Hoglander has far exceeded even the loftiest expectation for the Vancouver Canucks this season and has shown no signs of slowing down.

A second-round pick in the 2019 draft, the 20 years old Swede made the team out of training camp and was immediately thrust into a top-six matchup role alongside Bo Horvat and Tanner Pearson, and has not only kept his head above water, but thrived in the position.

Hoglander’s raw stats are impressive, as he currently has 19 points in 40 games, and is on pace to score just under 40 points in an 82 game season. However, his underlying metrics are even more remarkable, which is evident when we look at his advanced stats from Natural Stat Trick.

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On the season, Hoglander is the only Canuck who has a corsi over 50% this year for players who’ve played more than 100 minutes at five on five. More importantly, his expected goals percentage sits at a sparkling 51.36%, which is only second to Zack MacEwen among NHL regulars, but Hoglander has played more than three times more than MacEwen has at five on five this season.

Of course, the most important thing is the actual on-ice results, and Hoglander isn’t a slouch there either. The Canucks have outscored opponents 25-21 in over 500 minutes of five on five time with him playing this year, and the rookie has been even more impressive since the team returned to the ice.

Over the past three games, Hoglander has a corsi of 58.67% and an expected goals percentage of 57.24%, which both rank first on the team for players who’ve dressed for all three games. Vancouver has also outscored opponents 3-0 with him on the ice at five on five during that span, which is remarkable given that many rookies tend to slow down as the season nears its end.

Given Hoglander’s play, it’s puzzling that he averages less than 13:30 minutes of five on five ice time per game, which is fifth on the team among forwards. He definitely deserves to play more, especially considering his low usage on the power play, and it’ll be interesting to see if Travis Green leans on the rookie more for the remainder of the year.

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But what do you think, Canucks fans? How impressed have you been with Hoglander this season? Lets us know in the comments below!