In previous years, like maybe last year, yeah it might have been appropriate to rag on Gillis for his drafting (although, one might argue that we were icing a more veteran lineup due to the "win now" mentality).
Right now, we largely have a Gillis team. The fact that we have so many players who have been solid contributors for so long should be something we praise anyway.
As for drafting and development goes, Corrado is looking like an absolutely stellar fifth round draft pick. Gaunce, Horvat and Shinkaruk are very promising prospects. Not much to criticize about with these three first round picks at all. Andersson has had a promising start to his pro career, and there is still untapped potential with Jensen, Archibald and Mallet.
Look at Gillis’ development track record with undrafted players; how does this not count as player development? Tanev has been an absolute gem of a signing by Gillis. Lack is another undrafted signing by Gillis who looks to be at the minimum a solid signing. Eriksson is another one, and we’ll see how he pans out in Utica. Same goes for Kellan Lain, who I thought had a promising camp.
Let’s not forget about Kassian, who is another guy Gillis acquired which the Canucks are still developing.
Of the players on this current roster, eight forwards, five defensemen and one goaltender have been acquired by Gillis. That’s over 60% of the roster.
Anyway, decent game by the boys. Lundqvist certainly did not look like King Henrik. The Canucks PP looked deadly, and the shot total was a bit misleading for those who actually watched the game as the Rags were firing from every angle, and many of these were easy saves for Luongo.
Speaking of Luo, he is obviously on top of his game right now, which is good to see. Too bad he now has a week off to contend with.
The PK was good. Positioning was good, which led to several breakaways and odd man rushes. EVERYBODY plays on the PK right now, which I think is great. Even supposedly crappy defensive players like Booth played on the PK and played well.
Booth looked good. Not much rust there and he is still an excellent skater. He has lots of promise of a good season. We need health and productivity out of Kesler, Booth, Higgins and Hansen.
The vets all looked fine. Torts system seems to be settling in. Torts offensive mantra from his defensemen clearly is “shots”, which is what led to the first goal. I’m loving the energy out of the vets in the Phoenix and NYR games (I didn’t catch much of the Sharks game).
Shinkaruk and Horvat should and I think will stick around for a while. Shinkaruk has fan favourite written all over him…tons of energy, enthusiasm and a smile that lights up the entire arena. He looks like a good teammate, and he obviously absolutely loves getting out there and playing hockey. Despite being 18, these two do not shy away from any areas and are keen to take or give a hit to make a play.