Canucks Player Autopsy: Ryan Kesler

Rich Lam

Sharpen your scalpels and snap on a pair of rubber gloves: it's time to dissect the Canucks 2013 season on a player-by-player basis. You might want to wear facial protection, this could get messy.

Who's this guy?

Ryan Kesler

Position: Center

Shoots: Right

Height: 6'2''

Weight: 202

Born: August 31 in Livonia, Michigan

History: Drafted by Vancouver 23rd overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft

What'd he do?

In Kesler's 17 games during the year, the second-line center scored 4 goals and 9 assists. His 13 points still managed to rank in the top 10 on the team, so there's no telling what kind of season Kesler was capable of had he been healthy for all 48 games. His +/- numbers were nothing to write home about though, as his -5 was tied for the third worst rating on the team.

In the playoffs, Kesler was the only player other than Alex Burrows who managed to score more than one goal. His +/- rating was still in the negative range at -2, but he did rank in the top three overall on the team in shots (13) and shooting percentage (15.4). Much like the regular season, we could have seen Kesler make a much bigger impact if the Canucks hadn't been swept in the first round.

So was he any good?

Ryan Kesler spent much of the season dealing with various injuries as his health continued to be an issue. Kesler missed the first 12 games of the season (the equivalent of about 21 games in a full season) coming back from off-season shoulder and wrist operations. After coming back, Kesler sustained a fracture in his right foot. It was initially believed the injury occurred while blocking a shot against Dallas on Feb. 21, but Kesler's agent, Kurt Overhardt, believed it actually happened on Feb. 15, also against Dallas during Kesler's first game back. We never got to see Kesler at 100%, so we'll just have to spend the off-season wondering what he could have been capable of.

What'd we like?

Ryan Kesler marks his return with a power-play goal against the Blues on Feb. 17.

Since nobody else seemed to want to score, Kesler stepped up with his second goal of Game 2 versus the Sharks.

Each of Kesler's 4 goals from 2013. Since he wasn't around much, this will only take 2 minutes of your day to watch.

And the now infamous, "Compete like bastards," quote from Game 4 versus the Sharks.

So what now?

We're all still sitting here twiddling our thumbs, just waiting for Kesler to return to full health. After his monster 2010-2011 season in which Kesler scored 41 goals and 32 assists, the team rewarded his performance with a 6-year contract extension, so Vancouver's long term plans include Kesler. We're not asking for another 40 goal season, not yet at least. For now, Kesler's next step is using the off-season to return to full health and put his injuries behind him, because next year, we're going a full 82. Canuck

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