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Canucks' Prospect Cupboard Nearly Empty

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We've talked about how the NHL rewards failure by giving the best draft picks to the worst teams, and punishes the teams that actually make an effort to get to the second season.  The Vancouver Canucks are an example of neither - the Canucks have made the playoffs seven times in the last ten seasons, but the Canucks are a notoriously bad playoff team because they've been unable to advance beyond the second round since 1995.    Their prospect system reflects those results.  Hockeys Future ranks the prospect pipeline 22nd in the NHL, and unless the Canucks' two best prospects kick into gear, that ranking is going to fall in the near future.

One useful tool to measure the depth of Vancouver's system is Gabriel Desjardins' NHL Equivalency.  Gabe's methodologies are described on his translations page:

One way to evaluate the difficulty of one league relative to another is to examine the relative performance of players who have played in both leagues.  Players rarely play significant time in two leagues in the same year, but they often play in one league in one year and in another the next.  As long as a player’s skill level is approximately constant over this two year period, the ratio of his performance in each league can be used to estimate the relative difficulty of the two leagues.

After the jump, we'll look at the NHLE numbers for the Vancouver prospects.

Player NHL PPG NHL82 G NHL82 A NHL82 P
Anton Rodin 0.416 4 30 34
Darren Archibald 0.350 17 11 29
Alex Friesen 0.308 11 14 25
Sergei Shirokov 0.303 9 16 25
Steven Anthony 0.300 9 16 25
Cody Hodgson 0.293 15 9 24
Kellan Tochkin 0.290 12 12 24
Billy Sweatt 0.273 7 15 22
Jordan Schroeder 0.229 7 12 19
Taylor Matson 0.182 11 4 15
Mario Bliznak 0.172 5 9 14
Ilja Kablukov 0.166 8 5 14
Eric Walsky 0.128 3 7 10
Aaron Volpatti 0.070 0 6 6
Stefan Schneider 0.037 3 0 3
Matt Butcher 0.000 0 0 0
Prab Rai N/A - Back Injury

Player NHL PPG NHL82 G NHL82 A NHL82 P
Adam Polasek 0.164 2 11 13
Jeremy Price 0.154 2 11 13
Evan Oberg 0.110 7 2 9
Chris Tanev 0.091 1 6 7
Peter Andersson 0.035 0 3 3
Sawyer Hannay 0.031 0 3 3
Yann Sauve 0.000 0 0 0
Taylor Ellington 0.012 0 0 0
Patrick McNally Equivalency not available


  • The Canucks have one player with an NHLE of 30 points or better, Anton Rodin.  In comparison, the Oilers have fiveCurtis Hamilton, Ryan Martindale, Linus Omark, Anton Lander, Robby Dee.  The Maple Leafs have four:  Matt Frattin, Greg McKegg, Josh Nicholls, Nazem Kadri.
  • The Canucks have four more players with an NHLE of 25 points or better:  Darren Archibald, Alex Friesen, Sergei Shirokov, and Steven Anthony.  The Oilers have three: Tyler Pitlick, Toni Rajala, and Martin Marincin, The Maple Leafs have none.
  • Neither of the Canucks' highly-regarded offensive prospects, Cody Hodgson or Jordan Schroeder, have a noteworthy NHLE, but Hodgson is having a much better season since November began.
  • There is little to talk about on the blueline here.  The Canucks may have some defensive guys on their way, but there is little offense to speak of.  The Oilers, meanwhile, have four defensemen with NHLE values of 18 or better:  Martin Marincin, Brandon Davidson, Jeff Petry and Jeremie Blain.