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 right wingers of the decade.
That’s more or less the case here as well, though the number one spot isn’t as much of a slam dunk as it might appear—at least if you go strictly by the stats.
In any case, just like the other rankings, the rest of the list was much harder to fill out than the top spot. And, like the left wing list from early this week that highlighted J.T. Miller, who had played only 30 games with the team, things started getting a tad desperate here as well.
Here are the top five Vancouver Canucks right wingers of the decade.
5. Jake Virtanen
246 games: 41 goals, 37 assists, 78 points
Yeah, we’re doing it.
It wasn’t easy, but this was between Virtanen and Radim Vrbata, who had exactly one productive season with the Canucks, scoring 63 points in 79 games.
Is that better than Virtanen’s arguably zero productive seasons with the Canucks? Maybe. But the Abbotsford native hasn’t really gotten the chance to play in the team’s top six and, as it is, he’s starting to develop into a decent bottom-six player (albeit one who seems to sink his linemates’ underlying numbers).
But Virtanen seems like he’s settled in as at least a 15-goal scorer for the Canucks, and has grown a lot over the parts of five seasons with the team. So far this year, he has 19 points to show for 36 games. Not bad.
Sorry Radim, but we’re going to narrowly edge you out here. Call it recency bias.
4. Mikael Samuelsson
81 games: 19 goals, 34 assists, 53 points
This might seem like a weird one. It’s true, Samuelsson played only two seasons with the Canucks (technically three), but they were among the most productive years a winger has had with Vancouver this decade.
The Swede put up 53 points in 74 games in 2009-2010 (along with 15 points in 12 playoff games that year) and then followed that up with 50 points in 75 contests in 2010-2011 (and an additional three points in 11 postseason games).
Has someone like Jake Virtanen done enough thus far to rank ahead of Samuelsson? We’d say no. Again, Radim Vrbata was in the conversation, but he couldn’t quite edge out Samuelsson. And there was no chance we were going to go with other candidates who are around Samuelsson in total points, like Zach Kassian and Derek Dorsett.
So Samuelsson it is. And feel free to bask in the warm glow of the days when guys didn’t have to be at least the team’s third-best player to score 50 points.
3. Jannik Hansen
458 games: 90 goals, 109 assists, 199 points
Somewhat surprisingly, Hansen ranks seventh in points among Vancouver Canucks of the 2010s. That’s despite him never reaching over 40 points in a single season.
But Hansen was a consistent fixture on the team’s bottom six through much of the decade. The Dane was speedy, and decent enough defensively that he often gained the trust of his coaches. In particular, the third line of Hansen with Raffi Torres and Manny Malhotra during the team’s 2011 run to the Stanley Cup stood out as a unit that could agitate, win battles and chip in offensively.
In all, Hansen was a useful warrior during the parts of 10 seasons he spent with the Canucks. And hey, he’s currently fourth in points among all Danish-born NHLers. Though that might change soon with Nikolaj Ehlers hot on the Honey Badger's heels.
2. Brock Boeser
172 games: 70 goals, 75 assists, 145 points
Yep, it took less than two-and-a-half seasons with the Canucks for Boeser to snag the second spot among right wings of the team’s decade. He wouldn’t need many more years to snag the top spot either, if we’re being truthful.
The sniper is eighth in points among Canucks of the past 10 years and, at the time of publishing, had a points-per-game percentage of .84, better than anyone in the top 10 except the Sedins.
And yes, you can start feeling better about the decade that was (and what’s to come) with this selection. We got through it together, congrats.
1. Alex Burrows
452 games: 108 goals, 106 assists, 214 points
The recently honoured forward is not only fifth on the team in terms of points in the last 10 years, he’s also one of the most beloved players of all time. Hence his placement in the team’s Ring of Honour despite not having exactly gaudy offensive numbers.
But from the goal that earned him his Dragonslayer nickname to the one against Boston in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, Burrows had a history of coming up big in huge moments.
On this list, the underdog gets top billing—Burrows was absolutely one of the defining Canucks of the 2010s.
Let us know what we got wrong in the comments!
Please note the point totals start with the 2010-2011 season, so they may be slightly off in some cases.
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