Photo: Center Jordan Schroeder, selected 22nd overall in 2009, recently returned to the Canucks lineup after recovering from an ankle injury (courtesy of Bob Frid/Icon SMI)
Things were certainly looking up in Vancouver during the 2008-09 campaign, especially considering the note they ended the 2007-08 season with. After failing to make the playoffs, the Canucks bounced back to secure the third seed in the Western Conference.
Photo: Timely scoring from Wisconsin sophomore Joseph Labate was key for the Badgers down the stretch before the team fell to UMass-Lowell in the first round of the NCAA tournament (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
Hockey pundits dubbed the Vancouver Canucks' 2012 NHL Entry Draft selections as "off the board" after their first round selection of Brendan Gaunce. In retrospect, Canucks scouts and management did their utmost to ensure that their later round selections followed several criteria: big, gritty, with a hint of untapped potential.
Photo: Nicklas Jensen, shown here skating for Team Denmark, is expected to return to North America after his season ends in the Swedish Elite League. (courtesy of Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
For the Vancouver Canucks organization, regular season success over the last half-decade has been a dual-edged sword. Winners of multiple President’s Trophies and continually atop the Northwest Division standings, any neutral hockey enthusiast might think it is crazy to label their success a bane. But on two levels, this success has presented challenges that few organizations would covet.
Photo: Colgate defenseman and Vancouver Canucks prospect Jeremy Price has been a stready contributor on the Colgate blueline through his four seasons with that program (courtesy of Colgate Athletics)
After a little bit of a slow start to his collegiate hockey career, Jeremy Price has come on strong, and he has developed into one of the top offensive threats of any ECAC defensive contingent.
Photo: Chicago Wolves goaltender Eddie Lack leads a shallow group of netminder in the Vancouver Canucks' prospect pipeline. (courtesy of Zuma Press/Icon SMI)
Had the NHL lockout not come to pass, it certainly would have been an interesting training camp in Penticton this season for the Vancouver Canucks. They have graduated a number of players over the past five years, leaving only a couple of select, higher-tier prospects to mature and come of age. With Ryan Kesler and Alex Edler still on the shelf after surgeries, it was shaping up to be an impromptu game of musical chairs to fill the holes left by Kesler’s and Edler’s convalescence.