Canucks Player Autopsy: Jannik Hansen

USA TODAY Sports

Known by many Canucks fans as the Honey Badger, this Dane was given this nickname because he simply didn't give a fuck. Was this year a sign of what's to come, or more a product of the Canucks under John Tortorella?


WHO IS THIS GUY?

Jannik Hansen

Position: RW

Shoots: Right

Height: 6'1''

Weight: 195 lbs

Born: March 15, 1986 in Herlev, Denmark

Salary: Made $1.1 Million, but his new deal with a limited NTC kicks in next season, paying him 1.5, 2.5, 3 and 3 over the next 4 years with a cap hit of 2.5 Million.

Drafted 287th overall in 2004, Hansen appeared to be a longshot to make the NHL at best.  His hard work on the Canucks' farm team in Manitoba earned him 10 playoff games with the Canucks in 2006, and though he did spend parts of a couple more seasons in Winnipeg, from that point on Beaker spent most of his time with the parent club.

Hansen's career stats:

WHAT DID HE DO?

Not a hell of a lot, compared to the last couple years, and that set off alarm bells.  Hansen had been developing into a guy who was looking like a solid 2nd liner, and with 10 goals and 17 assists in the lockout-shortened season last year, a return to his 39 point season the year before seemed a reasonable expectation.  He missed 9 games with a shoulder injury, but that still doesn't account for the drastic drop.  So what gives?

Part of the decline comes from how John Tortorella used him.  Whether it was an actual plan or an injury-forced necessity, Hansen appeared on the top line with the Sedins a fair amount, and that whole "Anyone could score with the Sedins" narrative got shot to hell.  Hansen never gelled with them, and I would imagine it was due to some type of lingering Sweden/Denmark issue that we don't understand.  Another thing that jumps out is his assists.  He didn't crack double digits for the first time since 09/10.

One thing he did this year was give us one of the best laughs (and lord were they in short supply) at the expense of one of our enemies, as he puts one past Tuukka Rask from center ice

There weren't many teams you can say the Canucks played well this year, but the Blues were one of them, and here's a beauty snipe on the rush from Beaker.

It was the worst loss of the year.  But there was this... *shrugs*

Advanced Stats n stuff

Rather then mess around with stuff I am so not an expert on, I will give ya the link so you can go check them for yourself, but some things you need to know which will help make a little more sense of his year:

- His shot percentage stayed pretty much static, but his shot totals were down a lot

- He was hardly used on the PK this season, which would explain part of why the PK sucked.  Hansen's reputation in Vancouver is partly built as a solid penalty killer.

- Those two goal clips?  Prototypical Jannik Hansen goals.  Using his speed on the rush.  We saw so little of that this year, and that likely is one of the byproducts of the Torts gameplan.  We'll see for sure when next season rolls around and we have a new coach and new systems being run, but I won't at all be surprised to see a number of players putting up numbers we're more accustomed to seeing simply because they're being used in roles that highlight their strengths instead of trying to make them play a style they haven't before.

- One good sign for a return to normal: Hansen's Corsi was up, and that came playing against better competition.  So while he may not be suited for the slow grind of the Torts method, it wasn't due to regression.

SO WHAT DID WE LIKE?

This season was such a let down, and if it wasn't for Alex Edler falling into the giant hole of suck, we'd likely be talking about Hansen's stinker of a year.  Once again though, here's a case where the advanced stats give you a window into what's really going on, and why the 'trade Hansen' rumblings don't particularly make a lot of sense.

Here's another hard working goal from a game they probably should have won against Tampa

This one was his 7th of the year in December.  He finished with 11. 

He did click well here with the Sedins though, one of those rare moments as Hank draws off the D men to give Hansen room to put one past Josh Harding

And... a nice lil snipe past Tea Bag Timmy

COOL. SO WHAT DID WE HATE?

Well, it seems like he spent most of the year not playing like, you know, the Honey Badger.  This guy worked his ass off to get to the NHL.  He's from Denmark, people.  This is not a hockey hot bed.  The only things Denmark is known for is herring, porn and King Diamond.  Let him play his style next season and he puts up career best numbers.  Book it.

SO WHAT NOW?

Here's the rub.  Apart from the Sedins and I guess Eddie Lack, there ain't a damn guy on this roster, NTC or not who couldn't either be moved or asked to be moved as The Lord and (insert GM name here) retool this team over the summer.  On a healthy team, Hansen is a key component on either the 2nd or a very good 3rd line, and part of what used to be one of the best special teams units in the NHL.  I could see Hansen appealing to some teams because of this, but I can't see them being eager to part with him, especially if Ryan Kesler is moved out.  Hansen will also be a good influence on the youth movement heading into the future, his work ethic is always strong, and as players like Dane Fox, Bo Horvat and others try and forge out careers with Hansen, he can help provide leadership as the core that got them to the finals in 2011 is swapped out.

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