Today we'll get some fantasy insight into the Canucks. Our expert is Mike aka Yankee Canuck from Nucks Misconduct. Make sure you give YC and the guys at NM a visit.... you may enjoy their Fantasy Chat with Jeff Angus from Dobber Hockey.
We asked Y.C. seven fantasy related questions about the Canucks. Check out his answers below
If you're interested in FHS' breakout picks and fantasy take on the Canucks check out our draft kit which includes The Breakout Bible, the Fantasy Scouting Report (with SuperStats included) and our Fantasy Prospect Database.
BY YANKEE CANUCK FROM NUCKS MISCONDUCT
Q1) Vancouver's Breakout of the Year?
I don't see any breakouts up front (the top line will roll along as it usually does, Ryan Kesler's line may regress due to injuries) so it's probably Alexander Edler who is the likely candidate to benefit from Christian Ehrhoff leaving. Edler will man the point in what was the league's best PP unit last season and should see an increase in his eight goals from last year's injury-shortened season. He cracked 40 points in 2009-2010, so if he can play close to 82 games I would see him topping his career best.
Q2) Darkhorse Breakout on Vancouver?
If injuries keep Mason Raymond and/or Mikael Samuelsson out for the forseeable future, Jannik Hansen may be the darkhose to slide up the depth chart and step into a top six role. He's been used primarily in a checking role for most of his career, but if he can skate in more favorable situations, he could easily chip in 10+ goals and top 30 points, both of which would be career highs. Another possible darkhorse is Keith Ballard assuming he finally steps into the role of a top four defenseman and contributes more on special teams. However if he remains relegated to the third pairing and Vigneault is quick to yank him out of the line-up for anyone that can stand upright, he has no value.
Q3) League-Wide Breakout of the Year?
If a breakout is defined by points, Bobby Ryan could outright explode like Perry did with the top-heavy Ducks. Michael Ryder may find himself on the first line down in Dallas as opposed to the third line duties he had in Boston. Ian White should be in line for a boost simply by replacing Rafalski in Detroit. But if a breakout is defined as "who the hell is that guy?" I'd keep an eye on Stefan Elliott in Colorado, David Rundblad in Ottawa or Scott Parse if he gets to play with Mike Richards in LA.
Q4) Player likely to Breakdown on Vancouver?
That's a mighty coin toss between Sami Salo and Marco Sturm. Neither define durability and Sturm only played 35 games last season. Keep them both away from sharp objects and Raffi Torres. Samuelsson is another guy who could tip over when the wind blows right and hit the IR for a lengthy spurt.
Q5) Best Fantasy Prospect on Vancouver?
It has to be Cody Hodgson. Without any notable camp standouts, he's the only prospect likely to get a strong look for opening night. If he replaces Kesler on the second line he'll get plenty of ES/PP opportunities and a chance to finally showcase his talent.
Q6) How do you see Vancouver's Goalie Situation playing out this year?
Why fix what ain't broke? Roberto Luongo put up his best numbers to date last year with Cory Schneider spelling him for at least 20 games. The two nabbed the Jennings Trophy for a reason. Look for Luongo to get the lion's share but Schneider will start in the back-to-backs and probably earn a few more starts assuming Vancouver locks up the NW in March. Both are worth adding in leagues.
Q7) What are the odds Cory Schneider gets traded this season?
Not unless Eddie Lack shows the Canucks he's ready. Schneider may not be long for the Canucks in a few seasons, but for now he's a valuable insurance policy and showed last year he can be trusted if (when?) Luongo gets in trouble. Someone would need to give Gillis a no-brainer deal for him to move his back-up when the potential of another Cup run is so high.
Thanks to Y.C. for the great answers. If you have any Canucks related questions post them in the comments either us (or hopefully Y.C.) will answer them.