No one thought Jannik Hansen was going to turn into Alex Burrows 2.0.
Well, unless you were Thomas Drance.
The Danish winger has enjoyed a career season ever since being paired with the Sedin twins on Nov. 10 against Columbus. Up to that point, Hansen had a respectable six points in the first 15 games.
However, against Columbus that evening, Hansen scored a goal and registered three assists. His four points on the night were a new career high. Ever since that evening, he hasn’t looked back.
Last Thursday against San Jose, Hansen surpassed the 20-goal total for the first time in his career. What’s most impressive about this feat is that he’s accomplished this with barely a smidgen of power-play time.
In fact, his power-play goal against the Los Angeles Kings on Monday was his first power-play point of the season. His lack of power-play time from head coach Willie Desjardins is a head scratcher. Surely the Canucks could have used their second leading goal scorer to boost their 26th overall power play.
Jannik Hansen has tallied his 2nd career PPG in his 533rd game with @VanCanucks. His only previous PPG came Apr.22/13 vs Chicago
— Joey Kenward (@kenwardskorner) April 5, 2016
His proficiency at even strength has been unbelievable this season. Among skaters who have played at least 41 games, Hansen is second overall with a 1.23 goals per 60 minutes at even strength. He trails only Brock Nelson of the New York Islanders, and sits ahead of some elite company in the top 10, including Tyler Seguin, Matt Duchene and Connor McDavid.
He’s contributing in all different facets for the Canucks. Hansen has always been a solid two-way player, but his offensive game has really flourished this season. His points per 60 at even-strength is still among the league leaders as he sits 11th overall in the NHL, according to war-on-ice.com.
Other than the aberration under John Tortorella, Hansen has been a solid offensive contributor for the last five seasons. Playing with the Sedins has obviously been an asset, but he does rank higher than the twins in points per game despite seeing less ice time at even strength.
With the Canucks in an obvious rebuild, logic might dictate that general manager Jim Benning should sell high on Hansen this offseason.
Hansen is 30-years old will likely see his play decline before the Canucks become relevant Stanley Cup contenders. His value has never been higher and he comes at a very reasonable $2.5 million/year cap hit.
While the comparisons to Burrows are relevant, Burrows was five years younger when he made his debut with the twins. Hansen doesn’t have that same luxury and it’s unlikely he will have the same elongated success.
However, trading Hansen has to come at the right price. If Benning’s trade history is an indication of what a return could entail, it might be better off to keep the versatile winger.
What could the Canucks accept in a trade for Hansen? Would a first round pick suffice, or would a trade have to include a prospect and a roster player?
General managers are holding onto draft picks now more than ever, so expecting a first round pick for Hansen is probably a stretch. Maybe there is one team out there willing to pay a premium for Hansen, but many might look at his success and attribute it to his time with the Sedins.
Unless one team makes a fantastic offer, it’s probably best for the Canucks to hold on to Hansen.