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Canucks Player Autopsy: Derek Dorsett

Meat and Potatoes....enforcer...grinder.....Willie D pet...all of these can and do describe Derek Dorsett. One of Benning's lightning rods began his new contract this year and was....great...or was it poor.....mediocre?

That's not Rich Sutter
That's not Rich Sutter
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Who's this guy?

Derek Dorsett. I think we pretty much stuck with DD as his nickname this year. But I also offer the following: Dammit Dorsett, Staged-fight Dorsett, Derek "Hands of Bernier" Dorsett

Position: Right Wing

Shoots: Right

Height: 6'0" ( but he plays bigger )

Weight: 192 lbs

Born: Kindersley Sask.  This town has 4,678 people in it. It’s the smallest place in Canada to have a Walmart. And if you think the connection is strong with Willie D because of this place, let it be known that Dave Lewis, ast. Coach of the Hurricanes, who was once thought of as a candidate for Canucks coach, is also from Kindersley. It was pre-ordained that Dorsett was coming here.

What'd he do?

For those that focused on his new contract, I am sure the answer to the question above will be, "Not enough." Derek had a career year in 2014-15 and got the contract reward for his hard work and versatility. This year Derek was strictly a bottom 6 kind of guy. This fact only led to the anti-Benning faction complaining louder about the $2.65 million 4 year contract Dorsett began this year.

Derek was still the guy to answer the bell for his teammates this year. The question at the start of the year was did he really need to fight? Why stage fights? DD’s in game aggressiveness would lead to altercations anyway so there is no need to force it. And in the second half of the season we saw less and less of his gloves coming off. Overall Derek fought 11 times this year vs 17 last year. Unfortunately he wasn’t very effective as has him only winning 2 of those fights. To be fair though, DD did have a tendency to fight bigger guys.

So was he any good?

The key to answering this question is, what benchmark are we using?

If we were to go buy salary, I think most of us can agree the answer this year would be no. But don’t worry he has three more years to change our mind.

If we were to use his stats from last year for comparison, the answer would be no and yes.


Derek’s goals and assists were down from last year while his average ice time was up. Derek had 2 more minutes of penalties this year even though he had 4 less fighting majors. So from these basic stats I think the answer would be no. But let’s dig deeper.


For all the success of Dorsett’s career in 2014-15, his possession numbers really sucked, but damn was he lucky (PDO). This year saw an increase in his Corsi numbers, pretty steady on his Fenwick and his luck went in the crapper.

I think the real tale of the stats has to do with the role of Derek this year. Last year he was all over the map when it came to lines. This year he was consistently on the 4th line and occasionally the 3rd line.



So we can see that 4th line staple at the beginning of the year (DD,Prust & Crack) was only able to produce 2 points. Dorsett was then the protector for McCann for some of the year, which is the role with Horvat last year. McCann not have needed it as much as Horvat did as Jared has more of a temper and will stand up for himself. Derek got back to getting points at the end of the year with Bo and Etem. Having a talent like Bo on your line is never a bad thing, but Derek also was able to show is speed and capabilities in the corners.

Dorsett barely got time with the Sedins or 2nd line time,which definitely affected his point total. For the minutes he received on the lines he was on, I think he was very similar to last year.

Derek did score some goals:

So what did we hate?

Stop saying his contract. We know

And the staged fights. He really did stop that nonsense in the second half.

How about something then that there is no stat for and completely subjective? Derek Dorsett has no shot. And what I mean by this is that his shot is release is slow and not very accurate. I think Derek knows this and it would explain why he barely takes 1 shot a game. You could see in the latter part of the year when he was playing with Bo/Etem that he wanted to pass off instead of shooting.

So what next?

3 more years @ $2.65million/yr. I’m sure his role as "4th line tutor" will continue. DD is liked by his teammates because of the role he does play. Depending on injuries next year we could see more Dorsett on the PK. Along with Sbisa, Dorsett will continue to be the lightning rod for the anti-Benning group. I really hope we can get Derek can get some consistent linemates.