Who Is He?
Jannik Hansen. AKA: The Honey Badger. He used to be Beaker after his less than smooth speaking style, but now we all know he just doesn't give a shit.
6'1", 195 pounds
Born in Herlev, Denmark
A 9th round pick by the Canucks in 2004 by Davis Nonis. I think he just flipped a coin at that point of the draft. Other notables picked ahead of Jannik were Edler and Cory Schneider.
Salary: Hansen just played the second year of a 4-year deal that pays him $2.5 million per season on average.
What Did He Do / What Did We Like?
67 games played with 22 goals and 16 assists.
While this wasn’t a career year for points for Hansen, it was a career year in terms of goals, shooting percentage (18.8%), points per game and game-winning goals total of 5. Jannik’s +/- was a team leading +16, which says a lot of his luck or playing ability when it comes to playing on a team that was -35 at even strength. I have always loved Hansen’s speed and his first 3 strides are hard to catch up to. Jannik was anchor on the PK, especially after the recurring injuries to Sutter. Jannik may never be my choice for a winger with the Sedins but he definitely was more comfortable playing the cycle game this year. Jannik will never be the guy with great hands on the breakaway but he sure has developed a snap shot that gets the job down on a breakaway and his slapshot is wicked.
You can see some glaring differences in the stats of Hansen this year as he was starting to be used as an offensive weapon instead of a warm body that switch lines every game.58.6% offensive zone starts goes against the trend of usage he had from previous year. And Hansen's average ice time/game was up 2:28 over last year's
You can see how Hansen spent most of his time on the ice. You would hope that a guy who gets most of his time with the twins would help create more goals and assists. But alas, Jannik doesn't spend hardly any time on the PP with the Swedes. So 38 points with no PP time is pretty good. You can also see Hansen and Horvat is the go-to PK option.
This chart illustrates even more the Sedin effect and Hansen, plus the lack of PP time for Jannik.
1st goal of the year for the Canucks
A turnover that leads to a rare Hansen deke.
A turnover forced by Hansen leads to him finishing it off with a deflection.
Another booming slapshot to win the game in O/T.
A trifecta of goals by Hansen against Pittsburgh.
What Did We Hate?
25 of Hansen's 38 points came with a Sedin or two on the scoresheet. There was much debate before the year began about whether Jannik should be a first line winger. The consensus was a loud no, but it now seems Hansen might be the only choice at this point and that's not a good thing. Playing with the Sedins has improved his cycle game and Hansen is more willing to go into the corners to bang it out. But Hansen hasn't developed Ryan Kesler's tendency to kick out to the slot and take that quick snap shot. In fact Hansen still seems hesitant to shoot the puck while having great opportunities. Playing with the Sedins creates a pass first mentality that sometimes kills a shot.
It's hard to find a lot of fault with a player that has a decent 200 foot game, was the second highest goal scorer on the team while having no PP time and was a highly used PK player. It's even harder still to find fault if we compare him to most of the Canuck forwards this year. And yet for five years straight there has been some discussion about trading Hansen at the deadline or at the draft. I think the fan's frustration is not really because of Hansen himself, but because we believe there just has to be someone out there that is better suited to play withe twins. (right, Radim?) I admit in past years I have been one those people who thought, "if Hansen was just gone, they would have to get someone else to play with the Sedins." But this year I have changed my mind. Hansen needs to stay put. From all accounts he his a great example to the youth in the locker room and on the ice. Hansen's salary cap is a thing of beauty if you just look at the 22 goals. And while I/we may bitch about it, Jannik is one of the few Canucks that can actually play with the Sedins. He has become the third cog in a still very effective cycle. And after watching Vrbata, Gaunce, Vey and Etem all try and step in to that third spot, only Jannik can think Swedish.
So what now?
We keep Jannilk around this draft. He still has two more years left on a friendly contract. He fits in anywhere, even the PP if the coaching staff would just put him out there on the weakside. Hansen has the work ethic and 200 foot game that can still continue to grow and keep him maybe help get him over the 40 point total next year if he can stay healthy, oh...and play with the Sedins.