As we near the end of the decade, we’ll attempt to round out and rank all things Canucks over the last 10 years. Here are (in our estimation) the top five Vancouver Canucks centres of the decade.
He wasn’t there at the tail end of it, but any list of the top Vancouver Canucks centres of the past 10 years is obviously going to pay homage to Henrik Sedin.
After all, the Swede is the best Canucks centre of all time (though a certain current player might have something to say about that before it’s all said and done).
But who else made the list? Here’s how we see the Canucks centres of the last 10 years.
5. Manny Malhotra
Yes, this is somewhat telling. A defensive forward who essentially played two seasons with the Canucks is on a list of the top centres of the last 10 years.
Despite major success at the start of the decade, the Canucks haven’t been great for a majority of the 2010s, and that’s probably why a player like Malhotra slips onto this ranking.
But it must be said that the Mississauga native and current Canucks assistant coach was about as solid as they come during his time in Vancouver.
He was the perfect third line pivot when the team made its Stanley Cup run, taking on hard matchups and starting a majority of his shifts in the defensive zone (87 percent in 2011-12!).
Malhotra was also one of the better faceoff men in the league and became a fan favourite in Vancouver very quickly. He even finished fifth in voting for the Selke Trophy (best defensive forward) in 2010-11.
So despite only scoring 48 points in 159 contests with Vancouver, Malhotra takes the fifth spot over players like Nick Bonino, Brandon Sutter and Brad Richardson.
4. Elias Pettersson
It’s early, obviously, but among players who have played more than one game with the Canucks over the last decade (thanks for being the statistical outlier Taylor Fedun), Pettersson’s 0.98 points per game ranks second, behind only J.T. Miller.
The Swede has been a revelation for the Canucks and, barring something very unforeseen, will be the runaway choice for the Canucks’ best centre (and, probably, best player) of the 2020s.
3. Bo Horvat
The Canucks current captain is fourth on the decade in terms of points, only eclipsed by Alex Edler and the Sedin twins. And as Horvat seems to continue to improve, Canucks fans might be in for a much better decade than what we saw in the 2010s.
2. Ryan Kesler
One of the most notorious players to ever wear a Canucks sweater, Kesler’s tenure in Vancouver ended badly. But the good times were among the best. He scored 178 points in 253 Canucks games, including back-to-back years of over 70 points. He was also nominated for the Selke Trophy three times, winning once, in 2010-11.
And, of course, there was the playoff series against Nashville.
1. Henrik Sedin
As the intro noted, there’s no question here. The Sedins are the best players in Vancouver Canucks history, and they dominated for most of the 2010s, even as they aged. Henrik scored 498 points in 602 games, four more than his brother for the lead among Vancouver Canucks players in the 2010s. No one else got close.
Is this a tad anticlimactic? Sure. But though rankings 2-5 have some room for debate, there’s simply none here.
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