Five years ago, the Vancouver Canucks were the second worst team in the NHL. They had 69 points which were only behind the Colorado Avalanche. Colorado had 48 points in the 2016-17 season which was the fewest by a non-expansion team since 1967 and the lowest by a team in the cap era.
But a lot can change in five years. The Avalanche are now the reigning Stanley Cup Champions. The Canucks are better from 2016-17 but are nowhere near the Avalanche’s level yet.
Many players have worn the blue and green jersey for the Canucks in the last five years. Many of course, didn’t last long.
We are going to take a look at five forgotten Canucks players from the past five years. These players have played for them somewhere in between the 2016-17 season and last season. These players weren’t in Vancouver for long but we will look back at their time with the Canucks, where they have played since then and where they are now.
You might think I’m making these names up but I’m not. These are actual players that played for the Canucks. These aren’t the names of Seinfeld characters or the names of people I went to high school with.
#1: Joseph Cramarossa
Joseph Cramarossa was drafted in the third round, 65th overall in 2011 by the Anaheim Ducks. After years in the OHL, ECHL and AHL, Cramarossa made up the Ducks opening night lineup for the 2016-17 season. But, he was scratched for the opening game against the Dallas Stars and sent back to the San Diego Gulls a day after.
He was called back up over a week later and he made his NHL debut against the Canucks. The Ducks beat them 4-2. Against the Los Angeles Kings on November 1, 2016, he scored his first NHL goal.
On March 1, 2017, the Canucks claimed Cramarossa off waivers. He played 10 games for the Canucks and had no points but nine penalty minutes. Cramarossa is a guy who is physical and can get into fights. That’s kind of what he did in Vancouver. His time with the Canucks ended when he got hurt blocking a shot on March 21 against the Chicago Blackhawks. That resulted in him getting season-ending surgery on his right foot.
Cramarossa went through a PTO with the Calgary Flames in September of 2017 but he spent the whole season with the AHL’s Stockton Heat. He was traded by the Heat on Valentine’s Day 2018 to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins for Colin Smith.
The left-winger played 93 games with the AHL penguins until November 20, 2019, when he was traded by Pittsburgh to the Chicago Blackhawks for Graham Knott. Cramarossa did not play for the Blackhawks, instead, he played for the Rockford Icehogs.
Cramarossa spent the last two seasons with the Minnesota Wild organization. He saw NHL action for the first time since 2017 when he played four games with the Wild in the 2020-21 season and played one game last season where he got an assist in a 5-4 late April overtime win by the Wild over the Avalanche. He is signed with the Wild for next year as part of the second year of a two-year contract.
It also looks like he is into NFTs (Nonrefundable tokens) as he promoted a hockey-themed NFT collection on his Twitter account. NFTs are known for being bad for the environment as they rely on cryptocurrencies that cause carbon emissions.