*This was originally published in Aug. 2021
Over the years the Vancouver Canucks have had a plethora of talented goal scorers grace the ice at Rogers Arena and the Pacific Coliseum. The top-20 goal scorers span four eras of hockey from Andre Boudrias, Stan Smyl, the West Coast Express and of course the Sedins.
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They all created legacies that will stand the test of time, etching their names in the history books with many exciting moments that every Canucks fan remembers even if they weren’t there to witness them. So with that said, here are the top 20 goal scorers of all time!
1. Daniel Sedin (393)
After being drafted second overall in 1999, Daniel Sedin ended up playing 1306 games in the NHL, all with the Canucks. In this day in age, that is almost unprecedented. In addition to his 393 goals, which of course lead the team, he cemented a legacy of philanthropy, leadership, and character that will be felt in Vancouver for decades. Playing mostly on a line with his twin brother Henrik and a revolving door of other wingers which included players like Trent Klatt, Alex Burrows, Anson Carter, and Markus Naslund, he also helped change the landscape of the NHL with the perfection of the cycle game.
Daniel’s career started off slow but ended with a bang. Despite scoring 20 goals in his rookie season, he didn’t really take off until the 2005-06 season when he put up 71 points in 82 games. After that, he just kept getting better, piling up four 30-goal seasons, seven 20-goal seasons and one monster season in 2010-11 when he won the Art Ross Trophy with 104 points in 82 games. That season also included his only 40 goal campaign.
Daniel retired in 2018 at the young age of 37 and now has his number hanging in the rafters at Rogers Arena. He has continued his work in the community and is still a prominent figure in Vancouver. Suffice it to say, he will forever be a Canuck.
2. Markus Naslund (346)
The first of six captains on this list, Markus Naslund held the number one spot for many seasons until Daniel Sedin overtook him in 2016. Acquired in a now-lopsided trade that sent Alex Stojanov to the Pittsburgh Penguins, he took off with the Canucks.
His deadly wrist shot was his weapon of choice and he used it often. He became a superstar in the NHL along with his West Coast Express linemates Todd Bertuzzi and Brendan Morrison.
Naslund narrowly missed winning the Art Ross Trophy in 2002-03 when countryman Peter Forsberg overtook him on the final day of the regular season. He also scored a career-best 48 goals that season. He did win the Lester B Pearson Award as a consolation prize though.
He ended up playing 884 games with the Canucks, with only one season where he didn’t score over 20 goals. His career with the team included three 30-goal seasons, three 40-goal seasons and four 20-goal seasons. Just like Daniel Sedin, he has his number hanging in the rafters.
Unfortunately, Naslund did not finish his career with the Canucks, signing with the New York Rangers in 2008. He retired the following season after scoring 24 goals in 82 games. He was last seen at Rogers Arena when the Sedins had their numbers retired in 2019-20.
3. Trevor Linden (318)
The second captain on this list, Trevor Linden has been an icon in Vancouver ever since he was drafted second overall in 1988. He quickly became an impact player in the NHL at the young age of 18, scoring 30 goals and 59 points, and finished second in Calder Trophy voting. Unfortunately for him, a young Brian Leetch had 71 points that same season. He went on to lead the Canucks as captain at the young age of 20, with a warrior-like mentality all the way to a Stanley Cup Final appearance in 1994.
Linden’s career with the Canucks spanned 16 seasons but was broken up by the infamous trade to the New York Islanders during the 1997-98 season. That break also included time with the Canadiens and Washington Capitals. He was later re-acquired in 2001-02 by then-general manager Brian Burke. His time with the Canucks was a storied one, but his best years came between 1988 and 1996 where he had four straight 30-goal seasons and hit the 70-point plateau four times. Just like Daniel Sedin and Naslund, he has his number retired by the team.
Linden retired in 2008 and later became the president of hockey operations in 2014, a role he held for four seasons. He is now spending time away from hockey and was last seen during Sedin week in 2020.
4. Stan Smyl (262)
The third straight captain on this list, Stan “The Steamer” Smyl was one of the first warriors for the Canucks. After being drafted 40th overall in 1978, he played 13 seasons with them and finished with three 30-goal seasons and five 20-goal seasons. He served as captain for eight seasons and led an upstart Canucks team to a Stanley Cup Final appearance in 1982, playing mostly on a line with Darcy Rota and Tomas Gradin.
After retiring in 1991, Smyl became an assistant coach with the Canucks shortly thereafter, the next season in fact. He held that role for eight seasons before becoming a head coach in the American Hockey League (AHL) and International Hockey League (IHL) for five seasons. After that, he held various roles in the hockey operations department and is currently the senior advisor to the general manager.
5. Pavel Bure (254)
The “Russian Rocket” was one of the most exciting forwards to ever don a Canucks jersey. Surprisingly drafted 113th overall in 1989 because teams thought he wasn’t eligible until 1990, Pavel Bure set the NHL on fire with his trademark speed, puck handling, and lethal wrist shot. From his first shift in 1991, Canucks fans knew they had something special. He scored 34 goals and 60 points in his rookie season and won the Calder Trophy.
Bure played seven phenomenal seasons with the Canucks racking up two 60-goal seasons, one 50-goal season and multiple 100-plus point seasons, mostly on a line with Linden and Greg Adams. He ended up winning two Rocket Richard Trophies during that time as well.
Unfortunately, his career was somewhat derailed after a freak knee injury in 1995-96, two seasons after he helped the Canucks to the Stanley Cup Final. He was traded before the 1998-99 season to the Florida Panthers where he played four seasons and scored another 152 goals including two more 50-goal campaigns. Finally, after two seasons with the New York Rangers, he retired in 2003.
Bure took some personal time for himself after that, then in 2010, he started the World Legends Hockey League (WLHL) for retired hockey players. He is currently the commissioner and is a player in that league as well.
6. Tony Tanti (250)
Tony Tanti did not begin his career with the Canucks but became one of their most prolific scorers. Drafted in the first round by the Chicago Black Hawks in 1981, he only ever played three games for them before being traded to the Canucks for Curt Fraser in 1983. In his first full season with the team, he promptly scored 45 times while playing on a line with Patrik Sundstrom and Dave “Tiger” Williams (from ‘Remembering Tony Tanti in 1983’, The Province – 10/27/10). He went on to have five straight seasons of 30 or more goals despite being on a team that lost more often than not.
Tanti’s career with the Canucks ended with a trade to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1990 that brought Dave Capuano, Andrew McBain, and Dan Quinn to the West Coast. He played parts of two seasons there scoring only 20 goals. He was then dealt again, this time to the Buffalo Sabres for Ken Priestlay. He only played 80 games with them before retiring from the NHL to play another six seasons in Germany. He is now in the flooring business, living in West Vancouver.
7. Henrik Sedin (240)
Drafted third overall in 1999 behind his brother Daniel, Henrik Sedin also played his entire career with the Canucks. Known more for his elite playmaking abilities, he only scored over 20 goals three times in his career. However, there was only one season where he scored less than ten, so he could put the puck in the net when he put his mind to it. His best season was in 2009-10 when he scored 29 times and won the Hart and Art Ross Trophies. He also won two King Clancy Awards in 2015-16 and 2017-18.
Related: Sedins’ Hall of Fame Credentials
Just like his twin brother Daniel, he was a legend in a Canucks uniform oozing class, character, and leadership. Henrik was also a pillar in the community donating his time and money to various endeavors in and around Vancouver. He had his number retired during the 2019-20 season and will go down as one of the top captains in Canucks’ history.
8. Thomas Gradin (197)
Just like Tanti, Thomas Gradin was drafted by the Blackhawks but never actually played for them. Two seasons after being selected, his rights were traded to the Canucks for a 1980 second-round pick, which eventually became Steve Ludzik. He joined the team in the 1978-79 season and ended up scoring 20 goals and 51 points in 76 games.
Gradin played 613 games with the Canucks and was a model of consistency scoring 20 or more goals seven times during his tenure with the team. He never won any major awards but was in the voting for the Selke Award twice. He racked up the points playing mostly on a line with Smyl and Rota and eclipsed the 80-point plateau twice. Even though he scored a lot, his first instinct was always to pass, which frustrated fans at times.
Unfortunately, he did not finish his career with the Canucks, playing one season with the Boston Bruins before retiring after the 1986-87 season at the relatively young age of 30. He returned to Sweden and is now the head European scout for the Canucks. Known for his influence in selections like Alex Edler and the Sedins, he has continued to be a popular figure in Canuck Nation. He is also in the Ring of Honour at Rogers Arena.
9. Alex Burrows (193)
One of the biggest feel-good stories in Canucks history and the NHL at large, Alex Burrows was the definition of beating the odds. Signed as an undrafted free agent out of the ECHL by then-AHL affiliate Manitoba Moose, he played parts of two seasons there before getting an NHL contract from the Canucks. After that first callup in 2006, he never looked back and ended up playing 822 games on the West Coast.
Burrows became a rare commodity in the NHL, combining skill, physicality, and agitation. He had multiple seasons where he had over 100 penalty minutes and over 20 goals scored. He started on the fourth line, then eventually became a valuable part of the Canucks’ checking line along with Ryan Kesler and Jannik Hansen. Then the crescendo, head coach Alain Vigneault put him with the Sedins. Almost instantly, they had chemistry and the rest is history. After that union was consummated, he broke out in the NHL, scoring 20-plus goals in four straight seasons, thus transforming into an unlikely top-line forward.
Unfortunately, after 2011-12 he started to decline and eventually got dealt to the Ottawa Senators at the 2017 trade deadline. He played parts of two seasons in the Nation’s Capital and retired at the end of the 2017-18 season. He is currently coaching the Laval Rocket, the AHL affiliate of the Canadiens.
10. Bo Horvat (190)
The only active player on this list is current captain Bo Horvat. Selected ninth overall in the 2013 Draft after a highly controversial trade involving goaltender Cory Schneider, he has now become the leader of a new core of Canucks, which includes Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, and Brock Boeser.
After joining the team in 2014-15 as a 19-year-old, Horvat has steadily improved his game and is now one of the most important players on the team. Relied upon to be the matchup center and key faceoff man night-in and night-out, he managed to put together four straight 20-goal seasons while averaging over 20 minutes of ice time between 2016 and 2020. All in all, he has six 20-goal campaigns to his credit and has failed to record 40 points only once in eight seasons. He also just recently hit a new career-high when he finished the 2021-22 season with 31 goals.
At 27 years old, he is just entering his prime and will be tasked to lead this new group into the next decade. If all goes to plan, the Canucks hope to be raising a Stanley Cup in the not-too-distant future with him at the helm.
11. Todd Bertuzzi (188)
“Big Bert” was another legend for the Canucks. Acquired in the deal that sent Linden to the Islanders, Todd Bertuzzi was the prototypical power forward. Strong, fast, soft hands and the propensity for physical play, he was a scary player to face on a nightly basis. In his prime, he was also one of the NHL’s most exciting players to watch, stringing together four straight seasons with 20 goals or more. He was also a key part of the West Coast Express with Naslund and Morrison.
Bertuzzi was traded by the Canucks before the 2006-07 season to the Florida Panthers for Roberto Luongo, ending his tenure with the team at 518 games. He only played seven games with the Panthers, then was traded again to the Detroit Red Wings before spending time with the Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames and finally the Red Wings again. He finished his career in the Motor City after playing five seasons with them.
12. Don Lever (186)
One of the lesser-known names on this list for modern-day Canucks fans, Don Lever was selected third overall in 1972 as the Canucks’ third-ever draft pick after selecting Dale Tallon and Jocelyn Guevremont in the 1970 and 1971 drafts. He went on to have eight productive seasons in Vancouver, scoring 20 or more goals six times.
Then in 1980, he was dealt to the Atlanta Flames for Brad Smith, Ivan Boldirev and Dary Rota. After two seasons, he was traded again, this time to the Colorado Rockies for future Flames’ legend Lanny McDonald. After only one season there, his rights were transferred from the Rockies to the New Jersey Devils in 1985. Finally, after three seasons, he was traded to his final team, the Buffalo Sabres. He played two seasons there before retiring in 1987. He was an assistant coach with the Sabres and St. Louis Blues, then held a couple of head coaching jobs in the AHL.
13. Ryan Kesler (182)
After being selected 23rd overall in the 2003 draft, Ryan Kesler started off slow with the Canucks. He began his stint as a third-line center who was great on faceoffs and the penalty kill, playing mostly on a checking line with Burrows and Hansen. Then in 2008-09, Mats Sundin and Pavol Demitra were aligned with him and that’s when his career took off. He scored 26 goals and 59 points that season.
In the seasons following that, Kesler became the de facto second-line center and scored 20 or more goals in six of the next seven seasons. He even had a career-best 41 goals in 2010-11 playing on a line with Mason Raymond and Mikael Samuelsson. For a few seasons, he was probably one of the best two-way forwards in the NHL.
Then after it was clear the Canucks were going into a rebuild, he demanded a trade. General manager Jim Benning obliged and dealt him in the 2014 offseason to the Anaheim Ducks for Nick Bonino, ending his tenure at 655 games. Kesler went on to score 20 or more goals three more times before various injuries forced him into retirement. He is now doing a podcast with former Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa while keeping himself busy with his family.
14. Greg Adams (179)
Greg Adams joins Linden and Bure as members of this list to appear in the 1994 Stanley Cup Final. That just shows how special that team was. Adams however, was on the back half of his career while Linden and Bure were just starting. Acquired in the monumental trade that brought both him and legendary goaltender Kirk Mclean to the Canucks, Adams was a star almost immediately. In his first season after the trade, he posted a career-high 36 goals, which stood as his best goal total in the NHL right up to his retirement. He then went on to score 20 or more goals five more times during his eight-season tenure with the Canucks.
Adams played primarily alongside Bure and Linden on the top line, so he obviously was not keyed on a lot, which opened up opportunities for the lanky winger. He was a streaky scorer but never strayed away from the dramatic, scoring now-famous goals that eliminated the Maple Leafs from the 1994 playoffs and started the Canucks off on the right foot in the Stanley Cup Final.
Adams was traded a season later to the Dallas Stars for Russ Courtnall, where he played the next four seasons totaling 60 goals and 117 points in 177 games. He then signed a free-agent contract with the Phoenix Coyotes in 1998 and spent two seasons there before finishing his career as a member of the Florida Panthers.
15. Petri Skriko (171)
Finnish forward Petri Skriko became one of the Canucks’ biggest steals of the draft. After being selected in the eighth-round in 1981, no one ever thought that he would become a four-time 30-goal scorer, let alone make it to the NHL at all. He proved everyone wrong when he broke into the league during the 1984-85 season. He was one of the top rookies that season scoring 21 goals and 35 points in 72 games.
Though, that was just the beginning for Skriko as he put together four straight 30-goal seasons after that and even flirted with a 40-goal campaign in 1985-86. His speed and wrist shot were his trademarks, as well as his penchant for streaky scoring. His career was spent mostly with the Canucks, as he played only 69 more games after being dealt in 1990-91 to the Bruins for a second-round pick and subsequently traded again to the Winnipeg Jets for Brent Ashton in 1991-92.
Skriko left the NHL during the 1992-93 season to play in Finland for Kiekko-Espoo of the SM-liiga after playing only 17 games with the Sharks. After that, he became one of the best players in Denmark with Herning IK before retiring in 1999. He spent the next four seasons coaching in Finland and Denmark, then did some scouting for the Capitals and Flames.
16. Dennis Ververgaert (139)
After being selected third overall in the 1973 NHL Amateur Draft, Ververgaert spent his first six seasons in the NHL with the Canucks. He was a very productive player as well with four 20-goal seasons playing mostly on a line with Andre Boudrias. He was a tough player with great touch around the net, but could never live up to the expectations of his draft position especially when legends Lanny McDonald and Bob Gainey were selected after him.
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Ververgaert set multiple records during his time with the Canucks, which included most points by a rookie in 1973-74 and most points by a right-winger in 1975-76. Both have since been broken by Elias Pettersson and Pavel Bure respectively. In 1978, he was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers for a couple of minor league forwards and retired in 1981 as a member of the Washington Capitals. He is now a resident of Vancouver and is an active member of the Canucks Alumni.
17. Alexander Mogilny (139)
Next to Bure, Alexander Mogilny was probably one of the most exciting and skilled players to ever suit up for the Canucks. His creativity, speed, and natural goal-scoring ability were unmatched, even though his work ethic left something to be desired at times.
Alex, he was not the most motivated guy because he was so f** good. He was so good it was scary. He could pass, he could shoot, he could skate, he could even play really physical. I’ve seen him bury guys in the corner, take the puck and go and score because he was pissed off – at will.Former Canucks defenceman, Adrian Aucoin
After several seasons of success with the Buffalo Sabres which included a 76-goal season, he came to the Canucks in 1995 as part of a massive trade involving Mike Peca, Mike Wilson, and a first-round pick. The next season, he made an immediate impact scoring 55 goals and 107 points even with Bure out with an injury.
Unfortunately, he could not replicate that success again, as he only scored 84 goals over the next four seasons before getting traded again to the New Jersey Devils for Denis Pederson and Brendan Morrison. He spent parts of the next two seasons there scoring 46 goals before signing a free-agent contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs for the next three seasons. He retired during the 2005-06 season as a member of the Devils with 473 career goals.
18. Brendan Morrison (136)
The third member of the West Coast Express, of course, makes an appearance on this list. Acquired from the Devils in the Mogilny trade in 1995, Morrison enjoyed almost eight seasons of success with the Canucks. He became a fan favourite and one of the most underrated top-line centerman in Canucks history. He wasn’t the most skilled of his linemates, Naslund and Bertuzzi, but he just clicked with the two all-star forwards and provided a defensive conscious for the line. He could score goals too, as evidenced by the four 20-goal seasons he had during his time with the team.
Sadly, Morrison did not return to the Canucks after his contract ended, signing with the Anaheim Ducks before the 2008-09 season. He bounced around after that, spending time with the Stars, Capitals, Flames and finally the Blackhawks. He had a chance to re-join the fold at Rogers Arena in 2010-11 with a try-out contract but ultimately decided to join the Flames instead. He retired in 2012 and is now the host of a fishing show on YouTube called “Old tale with Old Yale”.
19. Patrik Sundstrom (133)
Sundstrom was another early addition to this list as he played for the Canucks during the early to mid-80s. As a ninth-round pick in 1980, he wasn’t expected to be much of an impact player, but ultimately became one of the biggest producers on the team with four 20-goal seasons to his credit. He took off when he was aligned with Tanti and Williams on the top line in 1983 where he scored a career-high 38 times and totaled 91 points. He was known as a skilled playmaker, so it was a natural fit with the high scoring Tanti.
Sundstrom played a total of 374 games with the Canucks before being shipped off to the Devils in a trade that brought back two key future pieces in Adams and McLean. He continued to produce in the Meadowlands, putting up another two 20-goal seasons while playing 305 games. He basically split his NHL career between two teams. He ended up returning to his native Sweden where he played another two seasons before retiring in 1993. Currently, he is a youth hockey coach in Sweden.
20. Andre Boudrias (121)
Andre Boudrias was with the Canucks from the beginning of its existence as an expansion team in 1970. Acquired in a trade with the Blues before the 1970-71 season, he had six very productive campaigns with the newly minted West Coast team.
After a very paltry start to his career with the Canadiens, Blues, Blackhawks and Minnesota North Stars where Boudrias had only 30 goals in 204 games, he exploded with the Canucks scoring 82 goals in his first three seasons with the team. During his tenure, he had two 20-goal seasons and one 30-goal season and only dipped below 60 points once. He also was named captain for the 1975-76 season.
Although Boudrias was identified as a pest and tough guy, no one expected the amount of production he had with the Canucks. But like another person on this list, he proved everyone wrong and became an offensive star and fan favourite, playing mostly with Ververgaert, Rosaire Paiement, Poul Popiel, and Bobby Schmautz.
After being selected by the North Stars in the 1972 WHA General Player Draft, his rights were traded to the Quebec Nordiques in 1976. He left the Canucks and played for them in his final two seasons. After he retired, he became a highly respected scout with the Canadiens and Devils, winning a total of five Stanley Cups as a part of both organizations. Sadly, he passed away in 2019 at the young age of 75.