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Season so far: Markus Granlund

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It may be early, but let's take a look back at how Granlund has blossomed this season...

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Markus Granlund has faced an overwhelming battle to prove himself to Canucks fans. When he was acquired in exchange for Hunter Shinkaruk back in February 2016 Granlund was dissected, chewed up, pat out, and eviscerated as being an unworthy return for one of the team's prized assets.

How time flies.

After a so-so end to the 2015/16 season, Markus has flown out of the gate this season. He led the team's forwards in pre-season scoring with 5 points (tied with Anton Rodin) and looks every inch a solid roster player. While he has suffered during the five-game losing streak - as have so many of his colleagues - the line of Granlund-Sutter-Hansen has looked the most potent of all the Canucks' lines this season.

So what has happened?

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THE STATS

Some like Hero charts, some don't. The fantastic blog Own The Puck allows you to draw these stats together at the click of a button. Here is Markus Granlund's Hero chart for previous seasons:

Granlund Hero chart

So, based on the underlying stats, Granlund appears to be a 3rd/4th line tweener with some potential growth in future. Those figures are not attractive, and show that we must surely be seeing that potential this season.

According to HockeyAnalysis.com, after 7 games, Granlund's advanced stats were as follows:

Corsi For %: 48.4%, 4th on the team behind Daniel, Henrik and Loui. Sutter and Hansen trail considerably.

Deployment: spread evenly across O Zone, Neutral Zone and D Zone. All are in the 30%s, skewed slightly towards O Zone starts, while Sutter and Hansen are skewed towards D Zone starts.

PDO: 98.9, 9th on the team but 4th of the forwards behind Loui, Sutter and Hansen.

Yes, I cherrypicked some nice stats for Granlund. Point is, he's not at fault for the recent slump, and apparently nor is Loui Eriksson.

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THE EVIDENCE

Markus has scored two goals and set up one, and is on a four-game pointless streak. His three points come in two games, so he has gone seven games in nine without scoring a point. That's bottom six production to me.

Granlund's first point of the season was the primary assist on Bo Horvat's goal in the comeback win against Carolina. Nice hands to set up Bo:

Goal number one was a lot of hustle, plenty of bustle, and a nice easy finish thanks to smart hands elsewhere:

Goal number two was all Jannik Hansen:

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SEASON FROM HERE

What can we reasonably expect from Markus for the remaining 73 games of the season? Based on his stats, and previous career history, perhaps another 15-20pts in a bottom six role.

FWIW, I can't work out what we have here. Pre-season means nothing, and while his underlying stats are okay, he's not scoring enough to justify a top six role.

What do you think we can expect from Markus? Let us know below!