Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/25/17 at 06:54 PM ET
from iain MacIntyre of Sportsnet,
So there was, naturally, a wariness regarding Vanek when the Canucks signed him. What could he really offer a rebuilding team during the downslope of his career?
Well, for starters, five goals and 15 points through 23 games. Only rookie Brock Boeser has been more productive for the Canucks in terms of points per minute. Playing on the third or fourth line, Vanek is averaging only 13:18 of ice time, which ranks 12th among Vancouver forwards who have played at least five games.
But beyond his scoring, Vanek has looked fully engaged, displaying guile and tradecraft, and leading by example by playing hard without complaint each night even when his low ice time makes little sense. (Checking forward Brendan Gaunce has gone 82 games without a goal, yet is getting 14:14 a night from coach Travis Green).
Vanek is strong on the puck, his playmaking is better than expected, and his robust work in front of the net has helped the power play.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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