The Vancouver Canucks finished the regular season with the most points and based on that were the number one rated team. The Canucks made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final, before losing to the Boston Bruins 4-0 in Game 7, of course there goal was to win the Stanley Cup, they came close and by all accounts it was a successful season.
With the 2010-2011 season over it is time to look to the future and what they have to do to get better so they can make it back to the Stanley Cup Final next year and this time be victorious. The future start on June24th as the 2011 NHL Entry Draft begins.
The Canucks will probably not do anything crazy and will try and keep their current team as is as much as possible and will concentrate on making minor adjustments to improve their depth. If they can remain healthy next year and make some key additions through free agency there is no reason they can’t make it back to the Stanley Cup Finals again.
Having a successful season has it ‘s pitfalls as well, as Vancouver will not have a chance at the top prospects as they will have one pick in the first round, picking second last with the 29th pick. All indications are that they will choose a defensemen to bolster their depth on the blue line, as there is the possibility of losing some of their depth on defense through free agency. The Canucks have three key defensemen eligible for free agency, Kevin Bieksa, Sami Salo and Christian Ehrhoff. They will likely let Ehrhoff go and try to resign Salo & Bieksa. Vancouver’s other picks in the entry draft are #60 in the second round, #90 in the third round, # 120 in the fourth round, # 150 in the fifth round, # 180 in the sixth round and finally #210 in the seventh and final round. Unless Vancouver GM Mike Gillis can move up in the draft, which is unlikely, don’t expect any of their draft choices to make an immediate impact next year, as they pick second last in each of the seven rounds.
Free agency starts on Canada Day, July 1 and Vancouver should be looking at improving their secondary scoring to play with Ryan Kesler on the second line; some potential candidates could include Brooks Laich, Ville Leino and Simon Gagne. It should be a very interesting summer for the Canucks as they try and get over their disappointment in losing the Stanley Cup and try to make some minor tweaks that will get them back to the Stanley Cup Finals again next year.
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Written by Kevin Kelly