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Canucks 2019-20 Playoff Report Cards: Troy Stecher

Stecher came in clutch with two game-winning goals in the playoffs.

Vancouver Canucks v St Louis Blues - Game One Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Troy Stecher entered the 2020 NHL playoff bubble knowing that this could be his last chance to suit up for his hometown team. The pride of Richmond, BC is now a restricted free agent and his future with the team is uncertain.

With one last chance to prove his worth to management, Stecher had a strong showing in Edmonton and proved that he deserves a chance to be a part of the Vancouver Canucks defence next season.

Both of Stecher’s goals during this run came at opportune times and were factors in the Canucks upsetting the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues.

Troy Stecher’s 2020 Playoff Stats

Troy Stecher Playoff Stats

Player Age Pos GP G A PTS + / - PIM EV PP SH GW EV PP SH S S% TOI ATOI
Player Age Pos GP G A PTS + / - PIM EV PP SH GW EV PP SH S S% TOI ATOI
Troy Stecher 25 D 17 2 1 3 9 10 2 0 0 2 1 0 0 21 9.5 278 16:20

Stecher had three points over the 17 game playoff run with both of his goals coming in the first round series against the St. Louis Blues. He played increased minutes but still held his own, and it was the timely performance of depth players like Stecher that really helped this team succeed.

Strengths

Stecher was forced into a larger role than expected when fellow right-handed defenceman Tyler Myers went down with a shoulder injury in the series against St. Louis. Canucks fans will know that what Stecher lacks in size, he more than makes up for with his heart and that much was made obvious throughout the postseason.

Vancouver Canucks v St Louis Blues - Game One
Troy Stecher (#51) celebrates after a goal against the St. Louis Blues.
Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

The Canucks outscored opponents 15-6 at five-on-five while Stecher was on the ice, giving him the best goals-for total on the team.

Weaknesses

While Stecher did have flashes of brilliance and performed admirably throughout the run, he still showed limitations as he did make some mistakes. On the defence side of things, he could use some work as he sometimes found himself out of position or losing crucial puck battles.

The Canucks were out shot, as well as out chanced, with Stecher on the ice which resulted in the Canucks having an expected goals percentage of 42.49% at five-on-five. Keep in mind that many of the advanced stats did not shine favourably on the Canucks during this run, so putting Stecher’s poor numbers in the context of his teammates removes a bit of the sting.

Still, Stecher does not control or drive the play well and is far from an analytics darling. Despite that, the fact that the Canucks had the lion’s share of five-on-five goals during his minutes shows that he was doing something right.

Best Moment

This was not only the best moment of the playoffs for the Troy Stecher, but perhaps one of the best moments of the entire 2019-20 Canucks postseason run. An emotional Stecher scoring a huge goal for the Canucks and then sharing a personal moment with his father who sadly passed away this year.

Sport has the power to bring people together through these types of emotional moments and any Canucks fan who was watching this game could empathize with Stecher during that instant. It was definitely one of the marquee moments of this Canucks run and watching the team rally around and support Stecher gave fans an insight into why this group was so successful.

Overall Grade: B+

Stecher is now a 25 year-old RFA (as long as the Canucks extend a $2.325 million qualifying offer) at a significant crossroad of his career. He is coming off a playoff push where he showed that he can be a contributing piece to a successful team, all the time while knowing his limitations and exceeding in his role.

The Canucks are starved for right-handed defenseman, and there is logic in bringing the capable Stetcher back into the fold. However, the reality may go a completely different direction if the two sides can’t see eye-to-eye and Stecher believes he can get more money on the open market.

Whichever way it goes, Stecher has enjoyed a good run with the team and will be remembered as a fan favourite local kid. Canucks fans have seen him evolve before our eyes and hopefully will get the opportunity to see him make another leap while still wearing a Canucks jersey.