Who's this guy?
Position: Right Wing
Weight: 195 lbs.
Born: March 15, 1986 in Herlev, Denmark
History: Drafted 287th overall (9th Round) in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the Vancouver Canucks
What'd he do?
Hansen had a good regular season, putting up 10 goals and 17 assists. His 27 points was good for third on the team behind the Sedins. Despite bouncing between lines throughout the season (a testament to his versatility), he logged second line minutes - 17:33/game, placing him behind only the Sedins, Ryan Kesler, Alexandre Burrows, and Derek Roy amongst forwards. With the obvious caveat that the shortened season allows for greater statistical inconsistency, prorating Hansen's PPG over a full season would have given him a career year with 17 goals and 47 points. He also took an impressively low 8 penalty minutes on the season. His +/-, for those of you who put any stock in that statistic, was quite good at +12.
Of course, no one remembers the Canucks 2013 regular season. In the playoffs, Hansen disappeared from the score sheet and recorded 0 points in the Sharks' sweep of the Canucks. Some timely secondary scoring in the playoffs from Hansen would have significantly improved the Canucks' chances of moving beyond the first round.
So was he any good?
Leaving aside the playoffs, Hansen had a strong season for a support player. For part of the season Hansen used his speed to great effect on a line with Mason Raymond and Jordan Schroeder, and throughout the year his secondary scoring helped the Canucks earn valuable points during a season in which offense was often difficult to come by. Hansen plays an up-tempo game and his speed creates opportunities. His versatility was on display throughout the year, as he played in virtually all situations on the ice. If Hansen continues to develop, he will be a key part of the Canucks core for years to come.
What'd we like?
Remember that Hansen-Schroeder-Raymond line I mentioned? They did some beautiful stuff, such as this Hansen goal against the Minnesota Wild:
And check out the speed and nice finish on this breakaway goal:
It's not always pretty, but Hansen always brings the effort. Nice to see him get rewarded with an ugly hard-work goal against the Edmonton Oilers:
Speaking of effort: I called out Hansen for not producing during the playoffs, but nonetheless you've got to love his banging and crashing to help the Canucks score their only goal of Game 1 (credited to Kevin Bieksa, unassisted):
If you enjoyed those clips, want to see every goal scored by Hansen in 201, set to "Ole, Ole!"? Sure you do:
Cool. So what did we hate?
As mentioned, Hansen did not contribute offensively in the playoffs. He also missed an opportunity to prevent a heartbreaking Game 2 loss to the Sharks, hitting the post on an empty net chance and thus allowing the Sharks their chance to tie the game. While this was a sad moment, the loss (as well as the series) cannot be pinned on Hansen any more than most Canucks players. Still, if the Canucks are to have any chance of playoff success with this core of players, secondary scorers like Hansen will need to contribute more in the postseason.
Hansen is not know as a dirty player, but he received a 1-game suspension for an uncharacteristic hit to the head of Marian Hossa. There was debate amongst fans about whether this should have been a suspension, but here is the official take via Sheriff Shanahan:
So what now?
Hansen is signed through next season at an extremely reasonable $1.35 million cap hit. He will surely be due a raise after that, and if he continues to play at a high level the Canucks would do well to lock him up and, hopefully, induce him to sign a GMMG patented hometown discount. Expect Hansen to continue to provide strong depth scoring and good defensive play, including penalty kill duty, in the coming seasons.