Pearson has six goals and nine assists for 15 points in 34 games this season. He is on pace for 14 goals and 21 assists for 36 points. He was set to be a UFA in the offseason but he was given a three-year contract extension last spring worth 3.25 million per season. A big chunk of Canucks fans didn’t like this as Pearson is nearing 30 and his play is starting to decline.
The offence is not what it was once was from Pearson. In the 2019-20 season, Pearson posted career-high numbers with 21 goals and 24 assists for 44 points in 69 games. That is on pace for 25 goals, and 28 assists for 53 points in a full 82 game season.
For the majority of his career, Pearson was a guy who can play on the second line and put up 15-20 goals a season. That isn’t the case anymore.
In 2019-20, he had a shooting percentage of 9.6% according to MoneyPuck. This season it is at 5.9%. The good part is his shots have been hitting the net. 87.1% of Pearson’s shots have hit the net.
Pearson may not be doing a lot of scoring but he can do other things.
On Saturday night against the Seattle Kraken, Pearson managed a rare Gordie Howe hat trick. (A goal, assist and a fight in the same game.) In fact, Pearson is the fourth Canuck to register a Gordie Howe in the last twenty years.
Pearson got an empty goal, an assist on Conor Garland’s third period goal and fought Carson Soucy after a questionable hit on Garland in the first period.
“It was a pretty big hit,” said Pearson. “Didn’t like it, stepped in.”
He also has been giving a great effort on the board battles and forced some turnovers over the past few games. In addition to getting the assist on Garland’s goal, he provided the screen.
Pearson has gotten better since he was bumped down to the bottom six and split up from Bo Horvat. Horvat also has been more offensively productive since they split. Maybe they aren’t Bonnie and Clyde after all.
Per NaturalStatTrick, he is third on the Canucks in Corsi for at five-on-five with 52.26%. Pearson leads the Canucks in scoring chances for with 53.10% and is third in expected goals percentage with 52.48%.
Pearson is no longer a top-six player and his contract isn’t good but he is still useful in a bottom-six role and that’s where he should stay. While he isn’t scoring as much, (It seems he scores more into the empty net nowadays) Pearson still can help out defensively and help create some offence.