‘The Nuck Stops Here’ is a Vancouver Canucks news, opinion and analysis column that runs every Sunday throughout the regular season.
Anton Rodin Undergoes Successful Surgery
After having played just three NHL games this season, the Canucks announced that forward Anton Rodin has undergone successful knee surgery in Cleveland. The recovery timeline is estimated at roughly six months. Rodin, 26, was drafted by the Canucks in the second round (53rd overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. He played three NHL games this season (picking up one assist in the process), and was named MVP of the Swedish Hockey League last season despite playing in just 33 contests.
Scores of the Week
Nashville Predators – 4 : Vancouver Canucks – 2
Columbus Blue Jackets – 0 : Vancouver Canucks – 3
Boston Bruins – 4 : Vancouver Canucks – 3
Current Record: 24-25-6 (54 Points ~ 6th in Pacific Division, 10th in Western Conference, 25th in NHL)
Nikita Tryamkin Emerging as a Core Defender for the Canucks
Among a season of disappointments — namely the production of the Sedin twins and Loui Eriksson — Russian defender Nikita Tryamkin has emerged as one of the primary bright spots of the 2016-17 campaign for the Canucks.
The 6-foot 7-inch blueliner has established himself as a dominant presence on the Canucks defense, presenting himself as a physical force, as well boasting defensive reliability. Despite being paired with a number of different partners — including Troy Stecher, Philip Larsen and Alex Biega — he has continued to look relatively steady in his first full NHL season. Coming into the year, the coaching staff had (justified) concerns over the 22-year-old’s conditioning and readiness for the league.
He has corrected those aspects of his game and has become a key element of the team’s defensive unit, playing some important minutes in games with playoff implications. The rise of Tryamkin into an everyday defender who can hit, move the puck, and play sound defensive hockey has allowed the club some wiggle room with regards to their roster management strategy.
With the 2014 third-round pick easily projecting as a top-four defenseman next season (if he’s not at that level already), it allows the Canucks to dangle Ben Hutton, Chris Tanev or Alex Edler as trade bait, should they look to make a major splash on that front. Tryamkin may go down as the highlight of the Jim Benning era and is not only a valuable long-term asset but an essential piece of the team today.
Does Jayson Megna Have a Future With the Canucks?
In signing Jayson Megna this offseason, it’s likely that management saw the move as little more than a minor-league depth signing. However, due to a plethora of injuries, Megna has been forced into a full-time NHL role and has, for the most part, held his own.
While he’s been forced to punch above his weight at times — playing on the top line and the power play — that’s no fault of his own, and rather a mishap on the coaching staff’s part. In general, Megna has demonstrated speed and tenacity worthy of a fourth line role, as well as the occasional glimpse of skill and offensive capabilities. It’s the skill set needed for a 13th forward that can kill penalties while chipping in a handful of goals over the course of a season.
Will all of this add up to a contract extension for the 27-year old? It’s certainly possible. While the youth movement looks to further advance next season, Megna could play respectably as a call-up, or in the position of the extra forward. Despite facing scrutiny this season, Megna has done well relative to expectations and may have earned himself another year or two with the organization.
Around the Blog-O-Sphere
Fun links about the Vancouver Canucks from all around the internet.
Time in the AHL is a wake-up call for Jake Virtanen [National Post]
Ryan Miller is pricing himself out of the Canucks’ pocketbooks [Daily Hive]
Reid Boucher is just looking for a shot [Vancouver Sun]
Prospect Tate Olson is preparing for the WHL playoffs [The Province]
Analyzing Ryan Miller’s struggles when overplayed [CanucksArmy]
Jim Benning changing trade deadline strategy [The Canuck Way]