Vancouver Canucks 2021-22 Season Recap

Vancouver Canucks 2021-22 Season Recap

by June 26, 2022 0 comments

The Vancouver Canucks were looking to rebound off a disastrous year in 2021 in which they were hampered by injuries while also battling COVID-19. Getting off to a slow start, the team won just nine of its first 17 games. Sitting in eighth place in the Pacific Division at the time, the franchise chose to part ways with head coach Travis Green following losses to the Chicago Blackhawks and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Bringing in longtime Washington Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau, the 67-year-old led the group on a resurgence during the second half of the season. Rattling off a 32-15-10 record, the Canucks finished just five points out of a playoff spot.

Make sure to check out all of our other NHL Season Recaps.

By the Numbers

Record: 40-30-12
Power Play: 23.48% (9th)
Penalty Kill: 74.89% (30th)
Goals For: 246 (18th)
Goals Against: 231 (25th)

Best Player

J.T. Miller enjoyed a breakout campaign during his tenth year in the league. The 28-year-old led Vancouver in both goals (32) and assists (67). Finishing 31 points ahead of the closest Canuck’s player in defenseman Quinn Hughes, his 99 tallies was the seventh-highest single-season total in club history behind legends like Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Pavel Bure, Alexander Mogilny, and Markus Naslund. This led him to finish 14th in Hart Trophy and 23rd in Selke Trophy voting. Playing on a line alongside free-agent acquisition Conor Garland and Alex Chiasson, the 29-year-old averaged a career-high 21 minutes of ice time per night. With one year remaining on his deal at just $5.25 million, he remains a prime candidate to be moved this offseason.

Biggest Disappointment

Brock Boeser enjoyed a strong 2020-2021 campaign. The former first-round pick led the team with 23 goals in 46 games. Unable to replicate his success last season, the Burnsville, Minnesota native got off to a slow start with just four goals and eight points across the season’s first 18 games. He also suffered an upper-body injury and a bout with COVID-19 while also dealing with personal issues concerning his family. This led him to record just 44 points in 68 contests. Along with this, his shooting percentage fell nearly five percent, from 16.3 to 11.8. Struggling to generate chances at even strength, the winger saw more than half his goals come on the power play.

Behind the Bench Analysis

After inking a two-year extension with Vancouver before the start of the season, the Canucks began the year under the guidance of Green. Failing to live up to expectations early on, the team parted ways with him after recording just 18 points in their first 25 games. Struggling to develop their young core, the 51-year-old was unable to get the most out of captain Bo Horvat, Elias Pettersson, and Boeser. Choosing to give the reigns to Boudreau, the longtime bench boss was able to come in and stabilize the group. Nearly guiding the franchise to its first postseason appearance since 2020, the Toronto, Ontario, native helped them improve on their 32nd-ranked penalty kill. This led him to rank 12th in Jack Adams voting as the NHL’s coach of the year.

Front Office Analysis

Deciding to clean out its front office in early December, Vancouver parted ways with longtime general manager Jim Benning and assistant general manager John Weisbrod. With the writing on the wall for Benning for multiple seasons, the former player failed to see many of the organization’s high-end draft picks develop during his tenure. He also put them into salary cap peril with many bad signings, including Jason Dickinson and Tanner Pearson. Under new guidance heading into next year, the Canucks named Patrick Allvin the 12th GM in team history. Tasked with getting the group back on track, the 47-year-old has quite a few tough decisions ahead of him. He must clean up their salary cap issues while also finding ways to improve the lineup.

2022 NHL Entry Draft

As a result of their fourth-place finish in the Pacific Division, Vancouver is currently slated to select 15th overall in the NHL Entry Draft on July 7th. Without their second-round selection, the Canucks acquired Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Garland from the Arizona Coyotes for Loui Eriksson, Jay Beagle, Antoine Roussel, a 2021 First Round Pick (#9), a 2022 Second Round Pick, and a 2023 Seventh Round Pick. Furthermore, the club also traded its third-round choice to the Ottawa Senators for defenseman Travis Hamonic while also shipping out its fourth-round selection to the Los Angeles Kings for Tyler Toffoli. In desperate need of a right-shot defenseman, they could also look to add depth in the middle of the ice, with Miller and Horvat playing on expiring deals next season.

Offseason Wish/Checklist

A franchise with no shortage of storylines following a season full of changes, the first step for Vancouver this offseason will be to free up long-term cap flexibility. Crunched up against the league’s total heading into next year, the organization has $48.5 million committed to ten players, none of which include Miller, Horvat, and Boeser. Set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer, Miller remains a prime trade piece for Allvin. He is set to command a significant raise on the open market after narrowly missing out on his first 100-point season.

Lastly, the Canucks must decide what to do with Boeser. Subject to the NHL’s qualifying offer rules, the tender for the University of North Dakota product is $7.5 million, a hefty price to pay for a player who has yet to eclipse the 30-goal mark or record more than 56 points in a season.


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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

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