Preseason Point Predictions Versus Reality: Dawn Of Production

The All Star Game gives us all a little breather from Canucks hockey, and is as good a chance as any to take stock of the team’s season thus far. Recently, much has been made of the preseason predictions that were handed down for the Canucks’ performance this year, most of which predicted the team to slide to the bottom of the league standings. However, the prognosticators have been proven wrong once again, as Vancouver is flirting with a playoff position more than halfway through the year.

Team performance aside, this weekend is also a good opportunity to look at how individuals on the team have performed based on preseason point production predictions (say that five times fast!). For the purposes of this, I’ve taken my own predictions (published here: https://hockeytalkie.wordpress.com/2016/07/27/vancouver-canucks-2016-17-point-predictions/) along with those made by The Hockey News, and compared them with the actual 82 game pace that each player is on. (Since the predictions were mostly made for an 82 game pace, that made the most sense to use for comparison, even though some players obviously won’t end up playing 82 games).

 

Henrik Sedin

THN Prediction: 55

HockeyTalkie Prediction: 65

Actual Pace: 52

Comments: The predicted spike in production for the Sedin twins after landing Loui Eriksson as a linemate never materialized, and their production has reached its lowest levels in years.

 

Daniel Sedin

THN Prediction: 59

HockeyTalkie Prediction: 65

Actual Pace: 43

Comments: Daniel’s decline has been even steeper than Henrik’s, with him hovering around a 0.5 point-per-game average.

 

Loui Eriksson

THN Prediction: 52

HockeyTalkie Prediction: 60

Actual Pace: 34

Comments: Perhaps the most disappointing player on this list. Eriksson hasn’t played terrible or anything, but his production is nearly half of what was predicted.

 

Bo Horvat

THN Prediction: 51

HockeyTalkie Prediction: 50

Actual Pace: 52

Comments: Many people guessed that Horvat would continue to do great things this season, and he has definitely delivered. Despite what were called overly optimistic predictions by myself and THN, Horvat is arguably exceeding anyone’s expectations.

 

Sven Baertschi

THN Prediction: 33

HockeyTalkie Prediction: 50

Actual Pace: 45

Comments: Few, outside of yours truly, predicted a major breakout from Sven Baertschi. While his extremely cold start hurt his point totals, since then his production has actually been way over a 50 point pace.

 

Jannik Hansen

THN Prediction: 35

HockeyTalkie Prediction: 30

Actual Pace: 41

Comments: Most predicted that Hansen would take a step back after a breakout year, but that’s only been the case due to injury. In terms of pace, Hansen is having a fantastic year once again.

 

Brandon Sutter

THN Prediction: 30

HockeyTalkie Prediction: 35

Actual Pace: 38

Comments: Many were hopeful that Sutter could bounce back after an injury-plagued season, and he definitely has. His point totals are even higher than most would have expected.

 

Anton Rodin

THN Prediction: 17

HockeyTalkie Prediction: 41 pt pace

Actual Pace: 27

Comments: Rodin was a wildcard coming into the season, and he’s still a wildcard halfway through. Injuries have robbed Rodin of his chance, and his “actual pace” is only based on three games and one point, so be aware of the small sample size.

 

Jake Virtanen

THN Prediction: 25

HockeyTalkie Prediction: 34 pt pace

Actual Pace: 8

Comments: The less said about Virtanen’s season, the better. He’s beginning to rebound in the AHL, so let’s focus on next year for him.

 

Markus Granlund

THN Prediction: 16

HockeyTalkie Prediction: 20

Actual Pace: 32

Comments: Easily the breakout player of the season, nobody could have predicted Granlund’s skyrocketing production. Even my own prediction of 20 points was called silly by some, but look where he is now!

 

Brendan Gaunce

THN Prediction: 16

HockeyTalkie Prediction: 20 pt pace

Actual Pace: 7

Comments: Gaunce hasn’t had any sort of offensive spark at the NHL level, but he’s also found himself stuck in the fourth line the entire time. He will likely never be a big producer, but is still playing solid hockey.

 

Derek Dorsett

THN Prediction: 19

HockeyTalkie Prediction: 20

Actual Pace: 23

Comments: Dorsett was continuing to be a premium fourth liner, and was even outproducing most predictions, before an injury got in his way. Will be interesting to see if he can continue his roll when he returns.

 

Alex Burrows

THN Prediction: 22

HockeyTalkie Prediction: 21 pt pace

Actual Pace: 30

Comments: Alex Burrows is the renaissance man of the Canucks. After nearly being bought out, Burrows has resurrected his career and is on his best pace in years.

 

Alex Edler

THN Prediction: 30

HockeyTalkie Prediction: 40

Actual Pace: 21

Comments: The Canucks defense, out-of-nowhere Troy Stecher aside, has been a disappointment in terms of production this year. No one is feeling that more than Edler, who is barely at a 20 point pace.

 

Ben Hutton

THN Prediction: 24

HockeyTalkie Prediction: 30

Actual Pace: 22

Comments: Hutton could be argued to be experiencing a bit of a sophomore slump, but it is not pronounced. Look for a breakout from him next year.

 

Chris Tanev

THN Prediction: 17

HockeyTalkie Prediction: 30

Actual Pace: 16

Comments: My big, bold prediction really didn’t pay off. Tanev remains a steady, if unspectacular, top pairing defenseman.

 

Erik Gudbranson

THN Prediction: 16

HockeyTalkie Prediction: 15

Actual Pace: 16

Comments: No surprises here. Some hoped for a bit a leap from Gudbranson, but he is what he is at this point.

 

Nikita Tryamkin

THN Prediction: 10

HockeyTalkie Prediction: 10

Actual Pace: 10

Comments: High five, THN! We did it! For Tryamkin, offense will have to come later.

 

Luca Sbisa

THN Prediction: 11

HockeyTalkie Prediction: 15

Actual Pace: 19

Comments: Sbisa has blown everyone’s expectations away this year, and while he still isn’t much of an offensive threat, he’s outpacing predictions on that front, too.

 

Philip Larsen

THN Prediction: N/A

HockeyTalkie Prediction: 30 pt pace

Actual Pace: 18

Comments: No one knew what to make of Philip Larsen coming into the season, and most still don’t. He looked alright on the powerplay, but certainly wasn’t the potential spark he was advertised as. His severe injury put a halt on any sort of development.

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