Don't get too carried away by positive early Canucks 2024-25 projection

A hockey projections expert has the Vancouver Canucks finishing tied for the most points in the NHL next season, but this has to be taken with a pinch of salt.
Vancouver Canucks v Edmonton Oilers - Game Three
Vancouver Canucks v Edmonton Oilers - Game Three / Codie McLachlan/GettyImages

We appreciate there are a plethora of perceptions out there, with regards to how free agency has gone for the Vancouver Canucks so far. Our perspective, is that it's hard to argue with the results of their approach.

Yes the Canucks missed out on landing a major big name -- with Jake Guentzel the main example -- but it wasn't for lack of trying. And in fairness, Jake DeBrusk wasn't exactly too bad as a 'consolation' prize.

The Canucks were able to get Filip Hronek tied down long-term, as well as getting plenty of players - both re-signed and free agents -- on team-friendly deals. And as we've already stated, they did the smart think in walking away from Elias Lindholm and Nikita Zadorov rather than overpaying for two players, whose main focus was to squeeze as much money as possible from any organisation willing to fork out too much.

Overall, we would put the Canucks' offseason as a whole up to this point, at a B+. And even for those who want to argue this and say we're being too generous, we hope they will at least concede that the roster didn't get worse overall.

A tough act for the Canucks to follow

At the same time, we do acknowledge that it's going to be a challenge for the Canucks to equal their success of this past season. They won their first division title since 2012-13 and finished with their third-most regular season points in team history.

For what it's worth though, it seems there's at least one hockey expert out there who does think the Canucks will equal their success of the 2023-24 campaign. In fact, actually be marginally better.

We're talking about Adam Fraser, an NHL analytics expert with a strong reputation for projections. He has taken to social media on his JFresh account to announce his first regular season standing predictions for the 2024-25 season, factoring in all of the free agency moves made so far.

Canucks will finish first ... in a tie

Canucks fans will be delighted to find out the Fraser has the Canucks projected to finish tied for the most points in the NHL next season, with 111. This does come with a delicious sense of irony though, with the other team being their Pacific Division rivals, the Edmonton Oilers.

This is of course the same team which knocked the Canucks out of the playoffs in a tightly contested second round, before going on to lose themselves in the Stanley Cup Final. Certainly it would make for an intriguing race in 2024-25, if the two Canadian rivals are battling all season long for supremacy at the top of the Pacific division.

Of interest to Canadian NHL fans as a whole, Fraser has only the Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens missing the playoffs. This means the other five all qualify, including even the Ottawa Senators!

The unpredictability factor

Really, it's that inclusion of the Senators which alludes towards why we would not take Fraser's projections as gospel. (No matter how good he is at his job, and the answer is 'very'.) Harsh or not, the Senators still have a lot of work to do, to end a playoff drought dating back to 2016-17.

Of more relevance to readers of this site, consider that Fraser projected the Canucks to finish this past season with just 93 points. Not only did this place them in fifth place in the Pacific Division, it had them missing out on the playoffs altogether.

As much as this was a reasonable enough assessment at the time, with many hockey media experts having similar predictions for the Canucks, it still serves as a reminder to not take any of this too seriously. Although in fairness, having some fun and making predictions is meant to be one of the whole point of being involved in professional sports, no matter in what capacity.

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Ultimately, no matter how things look on paper, everything will be decided on the ice, where the unpredictability factors is increased exponentially. At the same time, if Canucks fans want to take some hope or comfort from Fraser's projections for the 2024-25 season, who are we to argue with this.

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