- Kyle Welsford
Player Grades 2021-2022
Updated: Apr 27
A: Exceptional, Fantastic, Great
B: Good, Solid, Quality
C: Average, Ordinary, Meh
D: Bad, Poor, unsatisfactory
F: Terrible, Fail, Insignificant
Grades are based on Point Production, Defensive metrics, Usage, Overall expectations, and How I Feel
Minimum Requirements: 10+ Games Played
In order of Games Played
Sheldon Dries: C
GP 11 G 2 A 1 TP 3 +/- (-3)
Sheldon Dries had a fantastic season in the AHL (62 points in 54 games) and suited up 11 times for the big club down the stretch. Putting up 2 goals and 3 points isn’t anything to get too excited about, but he didn’t look out of place in a bottom 6 role and was used on the PP, notching 1 PP goal. Prorating his plus/minus over an 82-game pace would come out as -22 which is not good, to say the least.
Overall, decent AHL/NHL tweener that can help Abbotsford compete for the Calder.
William Lockwood: C
GP 13 G 0 A 0 TP 0 +/- (-3)
Will Lockwood played 13 games for the Canucks before getting injured thus ending his season. While he didn’t register a single point, his speed and physicality were on full display registering 49 hits (3.76 hits per game).
He played just over 11 minutes a game this season, hopefully, he comes into camp next season and seizes one of those bottom 6 spots up for grabs.
Justin Bailey: D-
GP 14 G 0 A 0 TP 0 +/- (-5)
What?!?!? Justin Bailey played 14 games this season!! Playing many of the games under Travis Green is the only reason why this grade isn’t an F.
Bailey is just absurdly fast… that’s it. Mans has 9 points in 82 career games. Time to move on
Jaroslav Halak: C-
GP 17 GAA 2.94 SAV .903
Halak started just 14 games as his performances were marred with inconsistency. Performances like the one he had against Avs showed how us how good Halak could be. Performances like the one on the road against the Devils are seared into my head… he completely gave up (unacceptable).
Halak will not be back next season and that’s a good thing.
Travis Dermott: B
GP 17 G 1 A 1 TP 2 +/- (+5)
Travis Dermott was acquired at the deadline from the Leafs in exchange for a third-round pick and was immediately thrown into the lineup. Playing just shy of 17 minutes a game Dermott was capable of playing on both sides and his skating ability was evident from the get-go. I would have liked to see more production from him, but his solid defensive play was great to see.
He will be on the last year of his contract next year (1.5M AAV) and will become an RFA. I expect he will be on the opening lineup.
Brad Richardson: B+
GP 17 G 2 A 2 TP 4 +/- (+1)
Brad Richardson returned to Vancity at the deadline on a waiver claim from Calgary. Playing in Vancouver from 2013 to 2015, Richardson was a welcome sight for many fans as he filled the 4th line center role. Putting up 4 points in just 17 games while playing just under 11 minutes a game is very impressive. What is even more impressive was his absurd 57.3% faceoff percentage.
If Brad wants to come back on a league-minimum contract, sign me up!
Nic Petan: D
GP 18 G 0 A 2 TP 2 +/- (-2)
Nic Petan is the definition of an AHL/NHL tweener. Putting up 2 points in 18 games is not what you want to see when you are an offensively driven player, especially when receiving powerplay time.
Petan is a UFA this offseason. Would not be surprised if the Canucks moved on, although he is a local guy.
Justin Dowling: C-
GP 22 G 2 A 2 TP 4 +/- (-3)
Hard to believe that Justin Dowling played over a quarter of the season with the Canucks. Dowling was consistently invisible on the ice and his 9 and a half minutes of ice time reflected that. 4 points in 22 is just not good enough when you aren’t physical or good defensively.
Dowling is signed for one more season and hopefully will spend it in AHL.
Tucker Poolman: C-
GP 40 G 1 A 2 TP 3 +/- (+3)
Tucker Poolman was signed as a free agent last offseason in what is looking like another poor Benning UFA signing. Poolman is clearly not an offensive defenseman but 3 points in 40 games are tough. He is big and fast which is good, but he has no hands and is oddly not physical… only 33 hits in 40 games… wtf.
He was plagued with lingering concussion symptoms this year. Hope he can come back healthy and compete for a spot on the bottom pairing next year.
Kyle Burroughs: B
GP 42 G 1 A 4 TP 5 +/- (-3)
Kyle Burroughs a Langley native signed a two-year two-way contract last offseason. Burroughs while not displaying much offensive upside, displays tons of physicality which the defence desperately needs. He put up 122 hits in 42 games while playing just under 13 minutes a game.
Burroughs will be another depth option on the back end and will be competing for a spot on the bottom pair.
Matthew Highmore: B-
GP 46 G 5 A 7 TP 12 +/- (+1)
In his first full season with the Canucks Matthew Highmore put up career highs in goals, assists, and points. No doubt playing on the acclaimed Motto line helped his numbers, but Highmore is a high-energy guy with good speed and a decent offensive skillset.
He is an RFA this offseason, but I expect the Canucks will be eager to want to sign him for 2-3 more years for 1-1.5M AAV. Solid season but needs to take another step next year.
Brad Hunt: B
GP 50 G 3 A 14 TP 17 +/- (-3)
Brad Hunt, who is another local player, suited up for 50 games this season putting up 17 points and playing just over 15 minutes a game. Hunt clearly shines in the offensive zone as he was thrown on the second unit Powerplay.
Hunt is a pending UFA, but my hunch is that both sides are going to want to get a cost-friendly extension done.
Nils Hoglander: C+
GP 60 G 10 A 8 TP 18 +/- (-7)
Nils Hoglander coming off a stellar rookie season (27 points in 56 games) in which he finished 8th in Calder voting had a classic sophomore slump. Putting up 18 points in 60 games was disappointing although he did show flashes of elite skill. He needs to work on his two-way game in order to play more minutes… only 13 minutes a game this year.
He will be an RFA at the end of next season
Jason Dickinson: C
GP 62 G 5 A 6 TP 11 +/- (-1)
Jason Dickinson was brought in for a third-round pick last offseason in a trade with the Stars and then was signed to a 3-year contract extension netting him 2.65M per season. Coming into the season most pundits didn’t expect him to be much of a contributor offensively; however, most would agree that 11 points in 62 games are unacceptable.
He did play much better under Bruce but 13 minutes a game at 2.65M is tough. Could be traded away this offseason.
Thatcher Demko: A+
GP 64 GAA 2.72 SAV .915
Thatcher Demko this team's MVP, played his first season as the unquestioned starter. Suiting up for 64 games he regularly stole or kept games in reach. It is truly scary to think about where this team would be without Demko. Not too much to say that already hasn’t been said.
Interested to see how much better his stats can be with a formidable defence in place.
Luke Schenn: A
GP 66 G 5 A 12 TP 17 +/- (+15)
What a year for Luke Schenn! Before this season his best plus/minus was +3, he finished the year with a +15 and scored 17+ points for the first time since 2011-2012. Yes, being paired with Quinn Hughes has undoubtedly led to this statical growth but let’s give Luke some credit. He has played well consistently and took on the much-needed role of protector for the team.
So glad we didn’t trade Luke Schenn!
Alex Chiasson: B-
GP 66 G 13 A 9 TP 22 +/- (+5)
Alec Chiasson was Canucks fans whipping boy early in the year, but he slowly and surely overcame that notion to give the Canucks supreme value late in the season. Nearly half of his total points came on the powerplay (10) and his 11 minutes per game does not serve all that much utility outside of the PP.
Wouldn’t mind signing him for 1 more year at league minimum for depth.
Vasily Podkolzin: A-
GP 79 G 14 A 12 TP 26 +/- (+7)
Drafted 10th overall in the 2019 draft Vasily Podkolzin emerged on the scene this year and put up a very formidable rookie season. His consistent will to get better impressed veteran players and coaches alike. He is already a well-rounded two-way player with an elite shot and fantastic work rate. 14 goals as a 20-year-old rookie are nothing to scoff at.
Beyond excited for next year for Vasily. Top 6 forward in the making…
Tanner Pearson: B
GP 68 G 14 A 20 TP 34 +/- (+9)
Tanner Pearson fresh off a three-year contract extension (3.25M AAV) put together a very solid and underrated season. Playing alongside of either Bo, Miller, or Pettersson; Pearson was able to capitalize on this golden opportunity as he played a more responsible two-way role whilst also chipping in offensively at a respectable rate.
Hopefully, Pearson finds himself on the Canucks third line next year… Injuries are starting to become a concern.
Bo Horvat: B
GP 70 G 31 A 21 TP 52 +/- (+3)
You may be wondering why Bo isn’t receiving a higher grade for putting up a 30+ goal season. Well, it comes down to overall production. 15 even-strength assists simply are pathetic for a top 6 forward playing close to 20 minutes a game. Yes, he went 57% from the circle (that’s insane) and he did put 30 goals but there are so many holes in his game for a 27-year-old vet…
Can’t sign Bo for anything over 6M, injuries are becoming a concern. Has only played 4/8 seasons without a substantial injury.
Brock Boeser: C+
GP 71 G 23 A 23 TP 46 +/- (-5)
People are going to moan and complain about this grade, but the reality is he had 17 even strength points… 17!! He produced at the lowest rate during his entire NHL career and just adding insult to injury he had a 13-game goalless drought that saw him score just 4 points.
This is all coming in the most important offseason for Brock (he is an RFA. If you are wondering what he could get, check out the article I wrote here)
Juho Lammikko: C+
GP 75 G 7 A 8 TP 15 +/- (-6)
Playing his first season with Canucks after being acquired in the Olli Juolevi trade, Lammikko put up a quite meagre point production playing just above 12 minutes a game. The good news is that he was over 50% (51%) on the faceoffs and kept his penalty minutes down (14 PIM).
Lammy is an RFA, and I suspect the Canucks to resign him for 1 to 2 more years at a team-friendly cap.
Quinn Hughes: A+
GP 75 G 8 A 60 TP 68 +/- (+10)
Well, Quinn Hughes broke the Canucks all-time record for most points by a defenseman in his 3rd full season and no one is surprised… One could argue Quinn just had the best season for a defenseman in franchise history.
- Playing over 25 minutes a game (WOW)
- 68 points
- Improved defensively (+10)
Locked up for another 5 years at 7.85M AAV Canucks fans can rest easy that their best player isn’t going anywhere for a long time.
Conor Garland: A-
GP 77 G 19 A 33 TP 52 +/- (+18)
Playing his first season with the Canucks after being acquired from the Coyotes in the OEL deal, Conor Garland put up a very quiet and very good season. Putting up the 2nd most even-strength points, only trailing J.T Miller, and having the best plus/minus on the team, Garland dragged the team into the fight on many occasions.
Signed for 4 more years at 4.95M AAV, Garland gives the Canucks supreme value, and he is only getting better
Oliver Ekman-Larsson: B
GP 79 G 5 A 24 TP 29 +/- (+5)
Coming over in one of the most controversial trades in Canucks history, OEL had a decent season. Thrust into a defensive shutdown role, OEL played decently and filled in very nicely when Hughes went out of the lineup. The issue being is that when you have 6 years left at 7.26M AAV you need to produce at a better rate… Brad Hunt and OEL produced at the same rate… His defensive game was impressive, being much more physical than expected.
If he had this type of season for the next 6 years, I would take it…
Elias Pettersson: B+
GP 80 G 32 A 36 TP 68 +/- (+1)
What an up and down year for EP40. He started the year looking like he forgot to play hockey and then played some of the best hockey in his career down the stretch. Hitting 30+ goals in January felt impossible, so this accomplishment shouldn’t be understated… Needs to put in a good offseason and play as good out of the gate as down the stretch this season.
Can the man please just put in a solid offseason… my goodness this guy is already posting Instagrams and travelling. This is what is prohibiting him from taking that next step… brutal
J.T Miller: A+
GP 80 G 32 A 67 TP 99 +/- (+15)
J.T Miller had one of the best Canuck seasons of all time and you would think judging by many fan's reactions that he put up 65 points… the man had 99 points in 80 games… just absurd stuff. Miller was the Canucks offence this season, forget about just being the key offensive driver. Under Boudreau, he was one of the league's deadliest offensive threats. His trade value couldn’t be any higher…
The one-million-dollar question… what to do with Miller? Clearly, you need to trade him, right?...
Tyler Myers: B
GP 82 G 1 A 17 TP 18 +/- (+15)
Tyler Myers was the only Canuck to play every game this season and put up the best plus/minus of his entire career (13 years). Playing alongside OEL, Myers made up what was a decent shutdown pair for the Canucks, logging solid minutes every night. Yes 1 goal is comical, and he is 1-1.25M overpaid, but the hate this guy receives is unwarranted.
With 2 years left at 6M AAV, the Canucks can surely trade him this offseason… I hope