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The Hockey News' Ultimate Fantasy Pool Guide: A look at the Canucks

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Finally bought the mag yesterday. If you have not bought it yet or are not going to buy the issue, then this post is for you. I will give you what The Hockey News is saying and projecting for each Canucks player and then I'll throw my own 2 cents in, because that's what I do.


1. Kevin Bieksa. After a breakout season, Bieksa was out most of last year with injury. He returned before the end of the season, but a fresh start in the fall will benefit him.
THN projected output: 80 games played, 10 goals and 35 points.
Zandberg's projection: 82 games played, 15 goals, 45 points. Plus a bunch of errors in his game. Oh well. :)

2. Alex Edler. No projection by THN.
Zandberg's projection: A reduced role if the blueline stays healthy, yet he is ready to play in the top 2.
82 games played, 7 goals and 20 points.

3. Lukas Krajicek. No THN projection here either. WTF.
Zandberg's projection: Poised for a breakout. In 2006-07 Krajicek scored 16 points in 78 games. In 2007-08 he scored 11 points in 39 games. I see a pattern: Increased ice time and a few more points, especially whenever Salo gets injured.
74 games played, 5 goals and 25 points.

4. Willie Mitchell. No THN projection.
Zandberg's projection: Has never scored more than 14 points in the NHL. Has never played a full season either.
70 games played, 1 goal and 11 points

5. Mattias Ohlund. THN: Never too high, never too low. Ohlund is at least consistent in that respect. He also scores a lot of goals for a defenceman but doesn't get many assists.
78 games played, 12 goals and 32 points.
Zandberg's projection: I'll agree with THN's point projection.

6. Sami Salo. Good thing Salo doesn't get paid by the game.(ha!), he's one of the most frequently injured players in the league. But when he does play, he's a high-scoring defenceman.
THN projection: 65 games played, 10 goals and 30 points.
Zandberg's projection: 65 games played, 15 goals and 38 points.


1. Henrik Sedin. After 5 seasons of increases, Sedin finally leveled off. It had to happen some time. For the foreseeable future, expect both brothers to hover around the 80 point mark.
THN projection: 82 games played, 17 goals and 74 points.
Zandberg's projection: The twins need a sniper on their line. Maybe Bernier is that guy.
82 games played, 16 goals and 84 points.

2. Daniel Sedin. So, the Sedins maxed out at around 80 points. Not a bad level at all. The Canucks don't have enough auxiliary scoring to produce more and not enough to score less, either.
THN projection: 82 games played, 33 goals and 78 points.
Zandberg's projection: THN is not taking into account that the Sedins had their best offensive season playing with Anson Carter. I miss that guy until a suitable replacement is found.
82 games played, 35 goals and 82 points.

3. Pavol Demitra. Playing with Marian Gaborik should have been a gold mine for Demitra, but it was far from it. Too many years, too many injuries, too many disappointments.
THN projection: 70 games played, 17 goals and 52 points. Still have him listed as a free agent though.
Zandberg's projection. Disappointment indeed. Anyone that picks Demitra in a hockey pool is mad or a sucker for punishment.
67 games played, 25 goals and 64 points.

4. Ryan Kesler. Kesler had a breakout season last year, but don't expect him to be a huge goal scorer. He's a 2-way player who will likely find a home on a checking line.
THN projection: 79 games played, 15 goals and 38 points.
Zandberg's projection. If Kesler wasn't a 2-way player and just a scorer, he could get over 60 points. Alas, checking is his game and he likes it. But he is a player on the rise.
80 games played, 25 goals and 48 points.

5. Mason Raymond. It's full time duty for Raymond this season. Depending on who the Canucks pick up this summer, he can be on a scoring line or the 4th line.
THN projection: 70 games played, 16 goals and 35 points.
Zandberg's projection: I think a scoring role is in order here. Can he avoid a sophmore slump? He has plenty of skill.
76 games played, 22 goals and 45 points.

6. Kyle Wellwood. Wellwood looked like he'd go to the next level before last season, but not anymore. The oft-injured forward is very close to fading into oblivion.
THN projection: 70 games played, 10 goals and 37 points.
Zandberg's projection: Easy now, THN. A fresh start for Wellwood should benefit him. More and more Canuck fans will love him as the year goes on I predict.
78 games played, 13 goals and 49 points.

7. Alex Burrows. Burrows is an energy line agitator who can score a little too. If your fantasy league counts penalty minutes, Burrows is a pretty decent consideration.
THN projection: 80 games played, 10 goals and 24 points.
Zandberg's projection: Contract year. Should be an increase in points for Alex.
82 games played, 15 goals and 30 points.

8. Steve Bernier. The Canucks have tried everyone on the right side with the Sedins. Bernier will be the next option. He has terrific offensive instincts, but admits he has to batlle an issue with conditioning and weight.
THN projection: 75 games played, 23 goals and 47 points.
Zandberg's projection: I don't care if he eats too many potato chips, I think this guy is going to impress. He is also in the final year of his contract I believe.
78 games played, 30 goals and 60 points.

9. Taylor Pyatt. Pyatt has had plenty of opportunity on Vancouver scoring lines and still hasn't scored regularly. It's not going to get any better as he moves down the depth chart as the Canucks improve.
THN projection: 78 games played, 15 goals and 29 points.
Zandberg's projection: I agree with THN assessments of Pyatt. However, this is the final year of Pyatt's contract as well, so expect some extra motivation. If not, I think he's going to get waived or traded.
80 games played, 20 goals and 37 points.

10. Matt Pettinger. No THN projection.
Zandberg's projection: Another player in the final year of his contract. But pettinger is going to fall down the depth chart as well. He could also fall past #12 on the depth chart or get traded.
74 games played, 8 goals and 18 points.

11 & 12 spots: Jeff Cowan is in the final year of his contract, but he seems expendible with the acquisition of Darcy Hordichuk. I think Cowan the former Brabarian is going to be shown the door at some point and Hordichuk and Ryan Johnson will take the 11 & 12 spots.


1. Roberto Luongo. Luongo can do it all on his own, just not all the time. He's playing at his best and his stats are great. His win totals could be better, but the team needs to help out more.
THN projection: 39 wins, a 2.31 GAA, a .920 save percentage, and 6 shutouts.
Zandberg's projection: May see a few more games off this season which he hinted at a few weeks back. But he won't have any distractions this time and is driven to improve from last season.
40 wins, a 2.21 GAA, a .920 save percentage, and 5 shutouts.

2. Curtis Sanford. It's not that difficult to back up Roberto Luongo. Your main job is patting Luongo on the back after the game. Anything more than 10 or 15 games and the Canucks have serious issues.
THN projection: 5 wins, a 2.77 GAA, a .903 save percentage and no shutouts.
Zandberg's projection: 9 games played, 5 wins, a 2.65 GAA, a .900 save percentage and 1 lucky shutout.

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