Canucks’ 2021-22 Player Grades: Boudreau, Burroughs & Lammikko

The Stanley Cup Playoffs continue to narrow down the competition for Lord Stanley’s Cup, with just three teams still standing. As the season inches towards the offseason, we continue to break down the performances of Vancouver Canucks players (and coaches from this season, and today we will look at head coach Bruce Boudreau, along with players Kyle Burroughs and Juho Lammikko.)

Related: Canucks’ 2021-22 Player Grades: Hunt, Poolman & Richardson

With player grades comes an interpretation of what each person saw over the course of the season, with each list consisting of breakdowns of roughly three players. With each, we’ll not only look into their overall stats and analytical numbers, but also their impact on the organization and outlook moving forward with the team.

Bruce Boudreau

No, Boudreau is not a player, but he made as much of an impact on the team as anyone. He was hired after Vancouver relieved Travis Green of his head coaching duties just a few months into the season. Despite the Canucks’ 8-15-2 start, ranked dead last in the Pacific Division, they finished just five points back of a playoff spot under Boudreau. His immediate impact was on full display, and he will be returning to coach in the 2022-23 season, giving him a full campaign behind the bench.

Instant Impact

Boudreau took over as the Canucks’ head coach on Dec. 5, and from the moment he arrived, he made an impact, including a seven-game winning streak and going 8-0-1 over his first nine games. Boudreau also became just the third coach in NHL history to win the first seven games with his new team. The Canucks finished the season with a 32-15-10 record, good for a .649% points percentage (P%). Over an 82-game season, that would have projected them to finish with roughly 106 points, good for second in the division, behind the Calgary Flames.

A Full Season Ahead

One of the comments made by Jim Rutherford during the team’s media availability at the end of the season was that he wanted to see what Boudreau could do over an entire season. “He did a terrific job, but he didn’t coach a whole season,” Rutherford said (this can be heard at the 10:05 mark of the video). Well, now Boudreau will get that to put his imprint on the roster. While the expectation for a 106-point season might be a stretch (only 10 teams hit that mark this season), 97 points got the Nashville Predators into the final wild-card spot, and that is very attainable.

Overall Verdict

Whether or not he has the same impact next season, the grade is for this season, and you couldn’t have asked for much more than what Boudreau gave the Canucks, outside of a playoff berth.

Grade: A

Kyle Burroughs

Burroughs played the most he’s ever played at the NHL level, suiting up for 42 games this season (his previous career-high was five with the Colorado Avalanche in 2020-21). The 2013 seventh-round draft pick by the New York Islanders signed a two-year contract worth $1.5 million total this past summer with Vancouver. The difficulty was to find playing time behind Tyler Myers, Tucker Poolman, and Luke Schenn, who were also signed on the right-side defence.

Kyle Burroughs, Vancouver Canucks
Kyle Burroughs, Vancouver Canucks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Offensive Breakdown

Burroughs has never been known for his offensive skill set. Dating back to his days with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League (WHL), the most points he scored in a season was 40 in 2013-14. He also had a couple of solid campaigns with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League (AHL), putting up 49 points over two seasons between 2016 and 2018. In 42 games with the Canucks, Burroughs had a goal and four assists. It’s nothing to gush over, but he did this averaging just 12:56 of ice time (TOI) per game, and it was more points than Poolman, who played 40 games.

Defensive Statistics

The one aspect of Burroughs’ game that was never in question was his physicality. At 6-feet, 198 pounds, he not only threw the body, but he was also not afraid to sacrifice it, as he piled up 122 hits and 52 blocked shots. His Corsi-for percentage (CF%) wasn’t great at 48.3 percent, but there were other positives on the defensive end. The team’s on-ice save percentage (oiSV%) when Burroughs was on the ice was a .918%, which was better than both Thatcher Demko (.915%) and Jaroslav Halak (.903%) during the season.

Overall Verdict

Fans have yet to see a full season from the Vancouver native, and they might not. Teams are always looking for a physical, bottom-pairing defenseman for cheap, and the Canucks have the luxury of having a couple of them.

Grade: C

Juho Lammikko

One of three restricted free-agent (RFA) forwards the Canucks brass has to deal with this summer, Lammikko is coming off a season in which he too played the most games of his NHL career, suiting up for 75 contests. The former third-round pick was acquired from the Florida Panthers back on Oct. 10 as part of the Olli Juolevi deal, and he played up and down the lineup throughout the season. At times, he centred the second and third lines due to injuries to Bo Horvat, Tanner Pearson and Nils Hoglander and finished the season centring the fourth line.

Offensive Breakdown

Lammikko set career-highs in every offensive category for the Canucks this season. While he’s not the flashiest player out there, he put up seven goals and eight assists, more than he had in his previous two seasons with the Panthers. While he hasn’t shown it yet in the NHL, he has put up decent numbers in the past, scoring 51 points in 57 games with Karpat of the Finnish Liiga in 2019-20.

You may also like:

It was also nice to see his shooting percentage (S%) go up, scoring 10.4 percent of the time, up from 9.3 percent in 2020-21. He also shot up significantly in the faceoff circle, winning 51 percent of his draws, which blew his career average of 43.8 percent out of the water. All of this while averaging the most ice time of his career, averaging 12:17 TOI per game.

Juho Lammikko, Vancouver Canucks
Juho Lammikko, Vancouver Canucks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Defensive Statistics

This is the area where Lammikko needs a little bit of work; his CF% is a tough 38.7 percent. Normally, these numbers suggest there wasn’t a large enough sample size, but 75 games are definitely enough to be slightly concerned. Not to mention his team’s oiSV% when he was on the ice was just .898 percent. Where he excelled was in his ability to not turn the puck over, as he was credited with just nine giveaways and 17 takeaways, which were both career-bests for him.

Overall Verdict

We’ll see if Lammikko returns on a cheap, short-term deal as his durability and adaptability throughout the season came into play quite a bit for the Canucks. While defensively there is work to be done, having a full season under his belt could help him improve moving forward.

Grade: C+

We will be doing player grades for the entire Canucks roster throughout the offseason, breaking down their statistics, roles and future with the team. If a player is not on this list, make sure to follow along with the series to view each player breakdown as we head into the 2022-23 season.

Substack Subscribe to the THW Daily and never miss the best of The Hockey Writers Banner