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Getting To Know Luca Sbisa

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It has been primarily Bonino talk around here but let's look at the other piece of the Ryan Kesler trade, Luca Sbisa.

Born: January 30, 1990 in Ozieri, Italy, but moved to Switzerland at the age of one.

Shoots: Left

Height: 6'2"

Weight: 198 - 205 pounds

Wears Number: 5

Drafted: 19th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft

Favorite Player: Mats Sundin. I like this guy no matter what anybody says about him.

Contract Status: 1 season left on his 4 year contract that pays him $2,175,000 per season. Can become a restricted free agent next summer.


1. June 2009:  Flyers traded Sbisa, Joffrey Lupul, and 2 first round picks to the Ducks in exchange for Chris Pronger and Ryan Dingle.

2. Ducks traded Sbisa, Nick Bonino and a first and 3rd round pick to the Canucks in exchange for Ryan Kesler and a 3rd round pick.

Career Stats:

Experts' Scouting Reports For Sbisa:

The Hockey News:

Assets: Displays a mature, all-around game and is relatively low-maintenance. Owns solid offensive ability and excellent mobility from the back end. Can log a lot of ice time.

Flaws: Needs to get stronger in order to better handle the professional ranks. Isn't an overly physical defender and can struggle against power forwards. Lacks consistency.

Career Potential: Talented all-round defenseman with upside.

Elite Hockey Prospects:

A well-rounded, two-way defenseman. Sbisa skates very well and can log the puck up ice. Also has some nice hands and passing ability. Doesn't fear contact, but isn't very aggressive.

Hockey's Future:

No matter the level, Sbisa has shown that he has all the tools to one day be a top-notch NHL defenseman. His strength lies in his effortless puck-moving style and elite skating ability.

When Luca Sbisa made the Flyers' opening roster in the 2008-09 season, he became one of the youngest players to ever suit up for the Orange and Black. With Steve Eminger slowly showing the signs of a failed experiment, the organization desperately needed Sbisa to step up. He was fantastic in 39 games for the Flyers before he hit a slump and was loaned back to Lethbridge to finish out the 2008-09 season.

Misc What's Been Said About Sbisa

Anaheim Calling:

May 2013:

Playoff Stats: 5 G, 0 P, 4 PIM, minus-2. Also, his Corsi was a big, ugly negative number (corsi rel: -20.2, corsi on: -26.99).

Offense: Sbisa didn't record a single point in the playoffs, and only scored 15 points during the regular season. However, the Ducks have primarily used him as a two-way/defensive defenseman, so his lack of production didn't concern me terribly.

Defense: Sbisa had flashes of brilliance towards the end of the regular season (after Bruce Boudreau benched him). He didn't make a playoff appearance until Game 3 - replacing a scratched Sheldon Souray - and wasn't much better. He always seemed to be on the ice for a back-breaking goal against, and was not successful at clearing the crease.


OK, enough of that. I think a somewhat decent picture has been painted of Sbisa from the above quotes and stats. He's a 24 year-old defenceman who not only Ducks' GM Bob Murray saw a lot of potential in, but also Canucks' GM Jim Benning. He's still maturing. He's a work in progress. He still has upside. Benning recently said (can't quote it) that he projects Sbisa to be a top 4 Canucks defenceman in the next 2-3 years. Let's carry on with more Sbisa info:

Last season was a tough one for Sbisa's progression. He sprained his ankle in his first preseason game and did not play his first regular season game until November 4. 9 games and 1 assist later this happened:

Nice fight right? Sticking up for his buddies? Unfortunately he tore a tendon in his right hand during that fight and would not be able to return until some time in January. When he was ready to return January 21st, he didn't crack the lineup because the Ducks were on a roll. Bruce Boudreau said this about Sbisa being a healthy scratch:

"He's not coming in to get anointed. He's going to have earn a spot there as Mark Fistric earned a spot. (Fistric) Sat out 10 games in a row earlier on in the year [and now] he's earned his place."

Luca finally played again on January 28.

If you check out his game to game stats at ESPN there's some weird stuff going on with his ice times. All over the place with maybe even 2 times being benched in there. But hey! He did score his first goal of the season in March against our guys.

Sbisa played in only 2 playoff games out of 13 for the Ducks in the 2014 Playoffs, registering 1 assist. Those games were games 5 and 6 in the first round against Dallas, where the Ducks finished the Stars off. In game 5 Sbisa had 18:43 of ice time. In game 6, only 9:57. I think I know why. Check this out. Dear god, it's Jason Garrison all over again. He just couldn't maintain a spot in the lineup. Yes, the Ducks had plenty of options on D. The Canucks offer Sbisa a chance to stick with the top 6 and mature as an NHL player.





The top 7 there all have 1-way contracts so you can pretty much see where this is heading.

Let's look at more Sbisa stats.

-Last season he played 30 games for the Ducks. His +/- rating of zero put him in the Ducks' basement in that category.

-It's not like Boudreau didn't give him chances. Sbisa's 17:03 ice time per game average ranked him 10th on the team.

-Boudreau did use him in shorthanded situations, but not in power play situations.

-Luca hits a lot. Another reason why Benning likes him.

-I think we'll see him blocking shots as well.

-Did not face a lot of top quality players.

-Had a negative corsi number despite that fact. Well, he didn't put up a lot of points either. But if you ain't putting up points you gotta defend.

-His PDO is 1002 which means.... I don't know. How about that his future is unpredictable? Sbisa is not going to put up 40-50 points in the NHL by my estimation. I think 20-30 points down the road is more of a realistic prediction, given his current NHL numbers.

-An interesting look at what Sbisa really could accomplish is his 2011-12 season with the Ducks where he played 80 games and had 24 points (and got that 4-year contract). In that season, he had 3 PP assists, averaged 17:55 ice time per game, led the team with 186 hits, was 4th on the team with 99 blocked shots, had a huge role on the penalty kill...

The bottom line on Luca Sbisa is that we really don't know what he will accomplish. Prospectors predict a top 4 role as does our GM, but the truth is that we have to wait and see what Sbisa really is. Will he be a top 4 defenceman for the Canucks? Only time will tell.

In the meantime, here are some clips of our new defenceman:

Welcome to the microscope, Sbisa! Best of luck to ya.

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