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Canuck Player Autopsy: Adam Clendening

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Depth, youth and, talent ceilings and pedigree are always illusory terms when it comes to talking about young hockey players, no ?

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Who's this guy?

Adam Clendening. No nickname as of yet.

Position: Defence

Shoots: Right

Height: 6' 0"

Weight: 190 lbs

Born: 24 years ago on Oct 26th, 1992, in Wheatfield New York. Drafted 36th overall ( 2nd round ) in 2011 by the Black Hawks.  After two years, from 2008 to 2010 in the US National Development Team, Clendening played two years at Boston University ( see stats page here ), where his offensive production led to playing for the Hawks in Rockford.  After two full seasons there, where his offensive production flourished at that level, the deep Hawks decided a trade him after 38 games in the AHL and 4 in the NHL with the Hawks ( 1G, 1A  ) for one Gustav Forsling on Jan 29th, 2015.

What'd he do?

Clendening got into 17 games for the Canucks this year, where he managed to get two assists, and put up 15 shots on his way to a +1.  ( Yeah, yeah, I know.  The stats get a little meager the farther down the depth chart we go... ;-).

What I remember of his game was both good and bad.  He makes a good first pass, and shows some offensive flair and imagination that could be a very good thing going forward.  The other positive thing I noticed is that he can get up the ice pretty decently.

The flip side is that his game still needs some work in his own end, and his flair sometimes gets him in trouble.  It is all about knowing when to make the high risk, high reward play, and when to make the safe one, and just bank that little black disc off the damn boards and out.  That is something that should come with more experience in the NHL.

So was he any good?

Well, I am not even going to get into the advanced stats with Mr Clendening, as I honestly don't feel they are relevant for a player that has only played 17 games.  If you are so inclined, they are here. He displayed moments that were NHL, and moments that were still AHL in his time with the big club.  I think he showed more of the former than the latter, for what that is worth.

What'd we like?

He didn't score it here, but this is a nice first goal.  I like how he reset with Hossa and then found the shooting lane. Like a boss.

Love this video.  You can tell howe proud his dad is.  And his pedigree is pretty sound, eh ?  I mean, third generation NHL is pretty laudable.  As is working toward the degree getting finished.  Dad sounds pretty adamant on that one !

Cool. So what did we hate?

Again, it is tough to pick out what I hated about Clendening over his intermittent for now NHL career.  Like I mentioned above, his game at this level needs some improvement in his own end.  Not so much with things like "having a good stick", he does have that, and experience will only make him better over time, you would think.  He has a good sense for the game.  In the NHL, things just come quicker than they do at the AHL level.  He has to make decisions quicker, and sometimes just make the simple one.

He is excelling at the AHL level right now.  Thomas Drance wrote about some of the Utica players that had showed well in the playoffs to date ( I like #3 A LOT.  That guy really intrigues me as far as a camp story in Prince George. ), and while it was in his ranking of Frank Corrado, that is some pretty decent praise for the game of the New York state native.

So what now?

After signing a 3 year, 2.775 million dollar contract in 2012-13 in Chicago, Clendening is now a restricted free agent of the Canucks.  The thing to remember in Vancouver is, in the upcoming season. Clendening, Ryan Stanton, and Frank Corrado will all require waivers to go down to the Comets next year.

With the need for "11 NHL ready defensemen", as Mr Benning mentioned, there are three right there that have a very real consideration to be made.  All three have shown the ability to play at this level.  With these three leading the way, and some younger guys in the pipeline, things don't look as bleak anymore on the back end. Nevermind the fact that SuperScout is trying to get more picks, and will probably go blue line this time around in the first round if he can, ( or if that is the "best player available" as the talking heads always say ), and that there is always trades and whatnot.

For what it is worth, I think they do resign a player of Clendening's calibre.  Two years at 1.9 sound about right ?