Zack Kassian
Image: Holly Gunning/HF

Zack Kassian


LaSalle Ontario

Currently Playing In:






Eligible for draft:









1st round (13th overall), 2009


215 lbs.

<<<<<<< Updated upstream

2006-07: The Windsor Minor Midgets (AAA Minor Midgets) winger netted 32 goals and a stellar 80 points in 57 contests.

2007-08: The wingers first OHL season ended with nine goals and 21 points in 58 games. He should be back with Peterborough (OHL) for another season in 2008-09.

2008-09: In 61 games with Peterborough (OHL), Kassian netted 24 goals and 63 points. His 136 penalty minutes were a career-high for the winger.  Played in the 2009 Top Prospects Game, where he made his mark with a crunching check on top prospect John Tavares.

2009-10: Kassian began the season slow with Peterborough, only netting 8 goals in 33 games before he was shipped out to Windsor, as they prepped for a Memorial Cup run. Though he only dressed for 5 games int he regular season, he would score 4 in that time, and then 7 in 19 playoff games.

2010-11: Kassian made his pro hockey debut at the end of the season after finishing  his junior career with the OHL's Windsor Spitfires and representing Canada at the World Junior U-20 championships.  Kassian, who joined the Spitfires in a late-season trade in 2009-10 prior to the Memorial Cup run, was second on the Spitfires in points, scoring 26 goals with 51 assists in 56 games. Kassian finished with a +10 plus/minus and received 67 PMs. In 16 OHL playoff games he scored 6 goals with 10 assists and was +2 with 37 PMs. Kassian's physical play drew the ire of officials at the WJC tournament as he was ejected for a hit against a Czech Republic player and suspended for two games. In five games for silver medal-winning Canada he had 2 goals with 1 assist and was +1. Kassian joined Portland during the Pirates' second round AHL playoff series with Binghamton. He was scoreless with one minor penalty in three games and had five shots on goal in the Pirates' 6-2 win in Game 6.

2011-12: Kassian opened the season with the Buffalo organization – splitting time between the Sabres and their AHL affiliate Rochester – before being traded to Vancouver on February 27th along with defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani in a four player trade. In 27 games with the Sabres he scored 3 goals with 4 assists and was minus-one with 20 penalty minutes. Acquired by the Canucks to add a physical presence to their forward group, he had 31 penalty minutes in 17 games while finishing minus-one with 1 goal and 2 assists. He played in four of five games during Vancouver's  playoff series with the Kings and was plus-one with 2 penalty minutes. Kassian scored at nearly a point-per-game pace during his AHL time with Rochester – scoring 15 goals with 11 assists in 30 games with the Amerks – and was plus-four with 31 penalty minutes.


Talent Analysis

The 6'3, 205-pound right winger is a power forward prospect. He has imposing size and has shown a willingness to use it.  While he may not have as much offensive upside as other forwards at the top of the draft order, Kassian's total package of size, checking, and energetic play make him an appealing addition to a club looking for a top-six forward who can open up the ice for other teammates. An ability to put the puck in the net adds to his value as he has proven he won't be an offensive liability with more skilled teammates.



Kassian projects as an imposing power forward at the next level with good enough hands and hockey sense to potentially play on the second line someday. He uses his body effectively in the offensive zone and creates mismatches along the wall for opponents because of his strength. Kassian could ultimately end up anywhere from a fringe first liner to a scoring third liner depending on his development over the next few years.


Nicklas Jensen remains top prospect in Vancouver Canucks’ system

by Larenzo Jensen

Zack Kassian - Vancouver Canucks

Photo: Zack Kassian celebrates his first goal as a member of the Vancouver Canucks following a midseason trade from the Buffalo Sabres. (courtesy of Bob Frid/Icon SMI)


The Vancouver Canucks' prospect pool may not be considered deep, but the organization has a number of players that project well within the team's puck-possession system. The current roster, laden with veterans drafted by the club, has been carefully chosen out of necessity. The team's regular season success in recent years has forced the organization to pick near the end of each draft round but the system has been improved with shrewd scouting and astute free-agent signings.

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