The Canucks surprised a lot of people by playing meaningful games in March when the expectation was that they’d be close to the bottom of the standings. GM Jim Benning has done a nice job securing prospects at every position and rebuilding the homegrown way. He’s also had success adding veteran support further down the lineup through free agency, which has helped to ease the young team’s growing pains.
IMMEDIATE NEEDS: After Vancouver’s big three scorers of Elias Pettersson, Bo Horvat and Brock Boeser, only one other forward exceeded 30 points, and Antoine Roussel wasn’t picked up for offense. Just about every other forward has the capacity to raise his offensive ceiling. If they don’t do so soon, they’ll be pushed down – or off – the depth chart.
LONG-TERM NEEDS: The Canucks had 13 ...
About the Author
Brian Costello joined The Hockey News in 1990 when the likes of Bruce Boudreau, Randy Carlyle and Joel Quenneville were players, not coaches. Costello covered major junior hockey for five seasons before getting called up to THN. He likes to focus his attention on pre- and post-NHL careers, following closely the progress of the draft, up-and-coming prospects and fancying himself a Hall of Fame expert.