WHO'S THIS GUY?
Zac Dalpe. The other Zac(k).
Weight: 195 pounds
Born: November 1, 1989 in Paris, Ontario. Paris is nicknamed "the prettiest town in Canada". I would disagree. Or not.
Contract Status: Restricted Free Agent.
How he became a Canuck: On September 29, 2013, Dalpe and Jeremy Welsh were traded to the Canucks in exchange for Kellan Tochkin and a 4th round pick in the 2014 draft.
Special talents: He can play a bit of guitar and sing.
Special Fact: He played a season for the Penticton Vees of the BCJHL before being drafted into the OHL and then the NHL soon after.
SO WHAT DID HE DO?
Dalpe ended up being a bottom 6 player for the Canucks, mostly centering the 4th line with Tom Sestito and Dale Weise, and several other guys who made their way through, whether from the AHL or by demotion by coach Tortorella.
-Dalpe averaged only 7:07 of ice time per game under Torts. The only player on the roster at any time this season that played any less than that was, go figure, Jeremy Welsh. Isn't that special? Zac cleared 10:00 of playing time 11 times out of 55 games this season. At one point in the season (December) Tortorella was telling the media that he was "trying to find more icetime for guys like Dalpe, Welsh and Sestito". He said more than that. See here. I will talk more about that later.
-Dalpe played 55 games, scoring 4 goals and 3 assists, 52 shots, was a -7.
-He hit on Sarah McLachlan and the Dice and Ice event:
"I love you," he says. What a dog.
SO, WAS HE ANY GOOD? WHAT DID WE LIKE?
Let's take a look at the 4 goals Dalpe scored this season:
1. It took Zac 12 games to register an assist (vs Carolina, go figure) but it took him 25 games to score his first goal:
Nice pass, Weise.
2. Four games later, it's another Zac attack, this time against the Blues, playing with the Sedins:
Dalpe said after that game:
"It could be a short leash, but at the same time I am going to try and take advantage of it," Dalpe said. "I'm not going to change up my game and think I am a super-skilled guy now that I play with the Sedins. I am going to do what I do, shoot the puck, and hopefully play well with them."
Unfortunately, that trial did not last long and the leash was indeed short.
3. Six games later he scores a goal and adds an assist against the Coyotes. Here is the goal:
Cleaning up his own garbage. Nice!
And that was it. No points in his final 9 games of the season.
-Dalpe had only 6 penalty minutes this season. That would put him up there with Canucks Lady Byng status with Chris Tanev.
COOL. WHAT DID WE HATE?
-Dalpe's 45.9% faceoff percentage was the worst on the team amongst the centers (tied with Jordan Schroeder). But he only took 7% of the team's faceoffs, you know, because he got no ice time.
-He only played 1:25 of shorthanded (22nd on the team) and 13:26 of power play (20th on the team) icetime all season long (55 games).
-Dalpe's 36 hits ranked him 2nd-worst on the team behind Chris Tanev for guys that played more than 50 games. Think of it this way: Darren Archibald had 30 hits in 16 games.
-He blocked 9 shots this season. Only Zack Kassian had less (6) for players playing more than 50 games.
I don't recall anybody in the comments section or anywhere else on the site talking shit about Dalpe. He's a guy that went under the radar given his sheltered minutes. You know what I hate about Dalpe? I don't know 100% what his potential is. But I think I am quite sure he is a bottom 6 player at the NHL level and is quite close to being a career AHL'er. I remember a few times where he shot the puck and a lot of us were saying "Wow! What a shot this kid has!" He does have a hard shot and quick release. But none of that matters if you can't put up the points and be successful in this league. So many predecessors have had a hard shot and quick release and never stayed in the NHL. It is what it is.
Then there is this:
Kirk Muller gave Dalpe more ice time in Carolina than Tortorella did in Vancouver. But Dalpe's NHL numbers are futile. His AHL numbers are good, as his career stats above show.
SO, WHAT NOW?
Dalpe, to his credit, kept an NHL job this past season. He made $550,000 and is now a restricted free agent.
Prognosis? I'd like to see some better skilled forwards around Dalpe. Hockey's Future had this to say about Dalpe in his talent analysis:
A fine offensive talent, Dalpe has done enough to impress management with his scoring ability. He is an excellent playmaker who has the uncanny ability to shoot just as well as pass, making for a deceptive forward who is sure to rack up points in whatever league he plays in.
That doesn't mean that Hockey's future is the Bible, by any stretch. I do like his speed and tenacity most of the time, but like I said before: he doesn't get enough ice time to really give us a good look at what he can do. Zac is 24 years old. Have we seen he best of him at an NHL level? Likely, yes.