During the 2021-22 season, a few milestones can be hit by Vancouver Canuck players. Whether it be goals, assists, points or win, this season is sure to be a special one for Vancouver fans. Here are players and coaches who could hit some personal milestones this year.
Travis Green – Coaching Wins
Coach Travis Green is in his fifth season with the Canucks. This season could be special for him as he is 25 regular-season wins away from 150 in his career. He is already in the top five for all-time wins by a Vancouver coach, but could move up to third if he can capture those 25 victories. If he gets to 150 this season, he will pass Hockey Hall of Famer Pat Quinn and Foster Hewitt Memorial Award winner Harry Neale to claim third place on the all-time wins list.
If Green can get his team to the playoffs this season and win three games, he can also move into third all-time in playoff wins. He currently sits at 10 wins, with Roger Neilson and Marc Crawford sitting at 12 each. Both milestones are achievable as long as he can keep his team focused throughout the season.
Jaroslav Halák – Shutouts and Games Played
Jaroslav Halák is projected to be the Canucks’ backup behind Thatcher Demko this season. Despite the projected limited games, he still could achieve a few milestones this season.
The first is shutouts. He is currently at 52 in his career, and he needs three more to get to 55 and move into 22nd place on the all-time shutout list. The other milestone is games played. Halák is 11 games away from hitting 550 in his career, and he ranks 66th all-time in this category and seventh among active players. If he gets 30 games, which is not out of the question, he could pass fellow European Arturs Irbe into the top 60 in all-time games played.
Quinn Hughes – Assists, Points and Power-Play Points
Although not signed yet, Quinn Hughes is projected to have a big season with the Canucks. He can pass quite a few milestones this season—the first is assists. He currently sits at 86 assists and is 14 away from hitting 100 for his career. If he gets to 100, he will become the 17th Canuck defenceman to hit that number with the franchise.
The other milestones are power-play points and points. On the power play, Hughes currently sits at 46 career points. He could move into the top 15 all-time amongst Canuck defencemen if he gets seven more this season. As for overall effectiveness, he currently sits at 97. To get into the top 15, he would need to match his jersey number with 43 points. All three milestones are achievable this season, but the main focus is getting the player signed for now.
Elias Pettersson – Assists and Points
Just like Hughes, Elias Pettersson is still waiting on a new deal with the Canucks. That being said, there are still a couple of milestones to watch out for this season.
The first is assists. He currently sits 12 shy of 100 for his career. If he can match his career-best of 39 assists from 2019-20, he will finish the season in 39th place in franchise history for assists. Along the way, he will pass Hall of Famers like Mark Messier and Igor Larionov on the franchise’s all-time list.
The other milestone to watch is points. He currently sits at 153, which is good enough for 58th all-time in Canucks history. If he matches his career-best of 66 points, he could skyrocket past the 200-point mark and into 37th place in franchise history. Based on the Canucks roster, Pettersson could be in for a big season with an opportunity to pass some significant milestones in his career.
Brock Boeser – Goals
Brock Boeser is becoming a better all-around player, but is still a natural goal scorer at heart. Fans should expect a big season out of him because not only is he fully healthy, but it is also a contract year. Here are some of the goal-scoring milestones he should pass this season.
Boeser currently sits at 98 goals for his career. That is good enough for 38th in franchise history. If he can replicate his career average of around 23 goals per season, he will finish in the top 20 all-time for goals with 120. With time on the power play and an entire season of playing with Pettersson, he should easily make it into the top 20 this season.
Connor Garland – Goals, Assists and Points
Connor Garland may have been the most important addition the team made this offseason. They finally have an excellent top-six forward group, and his additional has allowed coach Green to create a more balanced lineup—2021-22 should be a special season for Garland as he finally will be put in a position to succeed.
There are three milestones to watch for this season when it comes to Garland. The first is goals. He currently sits at 47 for his career and needs three to hit 50. The second is assists. He is at 49, which means to get to 50, he only needs one. The last is points. He sits at 96, which is four off of 100. If he starts the season with three goals and an assist, we could see a perfect 50-50-100 stat line for his career—something to watch out for, for those who love symmetry.
Tyler Myers – Hits
Tyler Myers is expected to be an intricate part of the Canucks’ blue line. He is capable of putting up 25 points this season and should be amongst the league leaders in penalty-kill time. This season should also be a special one when it comes to hits.
Currently, Myers sits at 897 career hits. He ranked 98th all-time in that category. Without question, he should be able to get to 900 this season. The real debate is how high he can climb the all-time list. Based on an 82-game schedule, he averages 95 hits. If he can hit 95 this season, he will be at 992, leaving him in the top 80—1,000 is not too far out of sight for the 6-foot-8 defenceman and could even be achieved this season.
Thatcher Demko – Wins
Demko comes into this season as the bona fide No. 1 goaltender. He should get 50-55 games this season and is projected to be a top-10 goaltender in the league. If he has the season Canuck fans are hoping for, he could find himself passing a significant milestone for his career.
Currently, Demko ranks 12th all-time in Canucks history with 34 wins. He needs 16 to hit 50 for his career and move into ninth place on the all-time win list for franchise goalies. According to NHL.com’s fantasy projections, he is in line for 27 wins this season. That would move him past Cory Schneider for eighth all-time. Look for him to star for Vancouver this season and make his way to China for the Olympics in February.
J.T. Miller – Points
J.T. Miller has become a leader for this team over the past two seasons on and off the ice. He has 118 points in 120 games and spoke out when the NHL tried to force the Canucks back early from their COVID-19 break last season. He is now closing in on a special milestone that is very achievable this season.
Miller is currently 45 points away from 400 in his career. The last time he got below 45 points in a season was 2015-16, so it is almost a lock that he will hit the milestone this season. There is even a good chance he could end the season in the top 50 all-time. He needs 50 points to reach 168, which would put him in a tie with Andrew Cassels for 50th. This should be no problem for him with power-play time and top-six minutes this season.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Points
No one on the Canucks has more to prove than Oliver Ekman-Larsson. He needs to have a big season for the team; otherwise, it could mean some firings by the end of the season. Regardless of if he returns to Norris form or has a career-worst season, he should pass a significant point milestone this season.
Ekman-Larsson is currently 12 points away from 400 in his career. Once he hits 400, he will be only the ninth ever Swedish defenceman in league history to pass the milestone. He could even pass a former Canuck on the list as Alex Edler sits eighth all-time with 409 points. Ekman-Larsson passing Edler this season seems unlikely as he would have to outscore the now Los Angeles King by 21 points, but it is a race to keep an eye on for Canucks fans this season.
A Season Full of Milestones
This season should be a special one for the Canucks—not just for the players but for the organization. They are one win away from 1,650 and will be playing their 4,000 game in league history this season. Fans should be excited as this season projects to have quite a few milestones passed.
Adam is excited to be joining The Hockey Writers as part of the Seattle Kraken and Vancouver Canucks team. His work can also be found at area51sportsnet.com where he covers the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League.