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 humble estimation) the top five Vancouver Canucks left wingers of the decade.
Yesterday we ranked the top Vancouver Canucks centres of the decade. And like that list, any attempt to rank the left wingers that have populated the team’s roster in the last 10 years will start (or in this case, end) with a Sedin.
But the Canucks have actually been blessed with some decently prolific centres, at least for a team that’s spent the majority of the decade in the bottom half of the league.
The same can’t really be said for the team’s left wingers. But don’t take our word for it. Check the names on the list below. And before you throw your head back in disbelief, really think about the product this team has iced for large swaths of the decade.
Here we go.
5. J.T. Miller
30 games: 13 goals, 18 assists, 31 points
He’s only played 30 games for the Canucks this decade, but J.T. Miller is the team’s fifth best left winger of the last 10 years.
How is that possible? Well, it’s more or less just process of elimination.
Here are the other serious candidates that didn’t make the list, and please let me know if you’d be comfortable with them on any sort of a “best Canucks of the decade” list:
Loui Eriksson, David Booth (who was more of a right-winger anyway, har har), Shawn Matthias, Antoine Roussel.
We actually thought long and hard about putting Thomas Vanek on this thing. That’s how dire it was. And what would you rather, 61 games of 34-year-old Thomas Vanek or 30 from the J.T. Miller we’ve seen this year? C’mon.
Whatever your opinion of the Miller trade, the forward has made quite the mark on the Canucks this season and has slid onto the top line with ease. He’s been the team’s second-best player this year, and there’s an argument that he’s been the first.
4. Mason Raymond
171 games: 35 goals, 46 assists, 81 points
The much-maligned Raymond was better than a lot of fans remember. But it’s important to note that only half of his best season occurred in the 2010s.
That would be the first and only time Raymond got to over 20 goals in a single NHL season.
The speedy forward was a solid top-six asset for the Canucks over a decent stretch, and that’s really all you can ask from this list.
3. Sven Baertschi
225 games: 58 goals, 52 assists, 110 points
We hate to beat a dead horse on how lackluster the players on this list are, but c’mon. Sven Baertschi, at 27 years old, can’t get into a middling team’s lineup.
And yes, that might be a misguided approach by the team’s current management as they try to fill out the bottom-six roles with defensive role players rather than skilled forwards.
But it’s still the case. Over his first four full seasons with the Canucks, Baertschi had a tough time battling in injuries. But when he has been in the lineup, he’s produced at a decent clip. In fact, he’s 12th in scoring over the decade among Canucks. Not bad. Good enough that he should be in the lineup, honestly.
2. Chris Higgins
314 games: 62 goals, 80 assists, 142 points
We’re as surprised as you, but Higgins spent parts of six seasons with the Canucks, and put up some relatively decent numbers.
The New York native is actually ninth in points among Canucks this decade.
Much of that has to do with longevity, of course, as Higgins has the lowest points-per-game percentage on this list.
But he was a liked player during his time here and put up at least three productive seasons in a Canuck uniform, along with a playoff run in which he came through in some big moments.
1. Daniel Sedin
602 games: 102 goals, 396 assists, 498 points
As we said, there is no contest.
We’re actually looking forward to doing other position lists, just so it won’t so clearly obvious that it’s going to end with a Sedin.
Sedin’s 185 goals are 77 more than the next closest Canuck (Alex Burrows).
Please note the point totals start with the 2010-2011 season, so they may be slightly off in some cases.
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