As training camp opens this week and prospects are evaluated for roster spots, the Canucks will be contemplating an entirely different decision: who will be the next team captain. Henrik Sedin, drafted 3rd overall in 1999 and Canucks captain from 2010-2018. Hank leads the team all-time in games played (1330), assists (830), points (1070), and plus/minus (165), He is 7th in goals (240), 2nd in goals created (351.5), and 6th in shots (1856). Off the ice, he and his brother Daniel were outstanding members of the community, visiting Canucks place countless times and donating $1.5 million to the BC Children’s hospital. To be sure, the next Canucks captain will have huge shoes to fill. Five players who should be considered as the next captain of the Canucks are Bo Horvat, Alex Edler, Chris Tanev, Brandon Sutter and Brock Boeser.
Bo Horvat was drafted by the Canucks 9th overall in the 2013 NHL entry draft. Horvat would make a good captain because he has been groomed for the role by Henrik. Horvat plays in all situations (even strength, PP, PK). He was second in team scoring in 2015-16 and led the team in scoring the following season. Last season, Horvat won team MVP award and most exciting player award for the second straight year. Horvat is just starting the 6 year deal he signed just prior to last season. Horvat is at a good age to take on the role of team captain. He is 23 years old and should be entering his prime in the next year or so.
Drafted by the Canucks in the 3rd round (91st overall) of the 2004 NHL entry draft, Alex Edler is the longest serving Canuck after the Sedins retired. Edler has been through both the good and the bad with this team. As he is the most senior member of the team, Edler has the most playoff experience. Like Horvat, Edler plays in every situation (PP, even strength and PK). The last and only time Alex Edler has played all 82 games was 2011-12. Edler is entering the final year of his contract and if the team is not doing well around the trade deadline, they may ask him to waive his no-trade clause. Certainly, the contract situation may be a deterrent to naming Edler captain, but the team may want him as captain as a bridge before a more permanent replacement is named.
Chris Tanev was signed as a free agent by the Canucks My 31, 2010. One big reason that Tanev could make a good captain is his resiliency on the ice. The 28-year old defenseman has had terrible luck with injuries. He has never played all 82 games in a season. Tanev still bounces back despite being injured every year. He does not play in every situation (only even strength and PK; some minutes on the second PP unit). Tanev has 16 games of playoff experience. Durability is a big question mark and a reason why Tanev may not be the next captain.
Brandon Sutter was acquired in a July 28, 2015 trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins that sent Nick Bonino, Adam Clendening and Anaheim’s 2nd round pick of the 2016 NHL entry draft to the would-be Stanley Cup champs (the Penguins won in 2015-16). Experience is a big reason why Sutter will get consideration to be named the next Canucks captain. He has played on good (Penguins) and bad teams (Penguins). Sutter is a solid teammate who leads by example. He is entering his fourth season as a Canuck.
Drafted by the Canucks 23rd overall in the 2015 NHL entry draft, Boeser took the league by storm last season. He was tied for the team league in scoring with Daniel Sedin (Boeser had more goals and Sedin had more assists. While Boeser is lacking in NHL experience, he has had tons of adversity off the ice with friends passing away and his father becoming ill with both Parkinson’s disease and later cancer. He hasn’t let the bad things that have been happening around him affect his play on the ice. He had one of the more memorable rookie campaigns by a Canuck in recent memory. He tied for the team lead in scoring, despite not playing the first 2 games and missing the final month of the season. Boeser also did phenomenally at the NHL all-star game, winning the accuracy shot contest and the MVP award the next day at the game after scoring 3 points (2 goals 1 assist) in the 2 games. It is very unlikely Boeser will be the next captain due to inexperience, but the coaches should at least consider him.
Personally, I think the next captain should be Bo Horvat because he’s the right age (just about to enter his prime), he has some playoff experience, and he is under contract for the next 6 years.
Who do you think should be the Canucks next captain? Comment below.