Ramblings: Searching for (More) 50-Goal Scorers, Re-drafting 2008, Twitter Madness, Ellis, & Cave (April 8)

Cam Robinson


Over in the Canucks Twitter universe, there's a March Madness-style bracket going on that pits a variety of who's who from the Vancouver media, former-pros, and fan sphere. I was happy with a run to the Sweet Sixteen before bowing out to The Athletic’s, Wyatt Arndt, aka The Stanchion.

Now, here's where it gets fun. This week, they're down to the final four – TSN Canucks Beat Writer, Jeff Paterson takes on Stanch on Thursday while The Athletic’s Harman Dayal, aka The Boy Genius squares off against Roberto Luongo.

I placed my vote earlier in the day for my man, Harm. At the time there were around 1500 votes and Harman was up 57%-43%. That is, of course, until Bobby Lu dropped this hammer fist of a blow to his competition. 


So long, and thanks for all the fish, Harm. Luongo is going to the finals and it sure looks like he's ready to push it all in for the win. Maybe the fans will even let him off the hook for his recapture penalty saga.

… probably not though. 



Seeing how it's basically the offseason and we have to work to create content, I thought that I would piggy-back off of Michael Clifford's piggy-back from last night's Ramblings on finding potential 50-goal scorers.

Slim Cliffy dropped Svechnikov, Laine, DeBrincat, Meier and Brady Tkachuk as potential 50-goal men.

I'm going to add a couple here.

Jake Guentzel

This one isn't a stretch at all for my money. The 25-year-old dropped an even 40 in 2018-19 and was on pace for 41 this year before suffering a shoulder injury that has him sidelined for 4-6 months.

The important things needed to hit a lofty milestone like 50 are all there for the American winger. You can check off the 'elite linemates' box as he sees all of his minutes next to Sidney Crosby and or Evgeni Malkin.

He's a gifted and proven high-conversion finisher. 

This past season saw his shooting percentage dip from 17.6 to 15.7 percent but he ramped up the volume to put up over three shots per game to make up for the loss. If he can manage to keep pushing up to around 3.5-3.6 shots – or around 285-300 shots, while maintaining a 16-17 percent mark and you've got yourself a 50-goal man.

Elias Pettersson

This one is more of a reach simply for the fact that this is a player who has yet to hit 30 goals in a season let alone 50. However, if we played the remaining schedule this year, he would've broken 30. And the truth of the matter is, I'm putting this one on as more of a what could he possibly become with his skillset.

Pettersson's counting statistics stayed mostly level from his terrific rookie year to his sophomore campaign. The goal pace plateaued while the point pace improved from 76 to 80 over a full season. However, the biggest steps in his game came defensively and with maintaining consistency.

With two seasons under his belt, the level of gain will only continue to rise. I like him to push for 40 next year while continuing to convert at a 16-19 percent rate and then who knows after that. A 50-50-100 campaign seems very doable for the 21-year-old superstar.

Mika Zibanejad

I had to put him on the board because he was going to pop 50 this year if the world would've let him. His 41 goals in 57 games led the league on a per-game basis and put him on a ridiculous 59-goal pace.

Of course, he was clicking at about seven percent higher a rate than normal, but he's also in the meat of his statistical prime at 26 and is now living with a Hart-level, Artemi Panarin on the PP and taking matchups away from him at evens.

Zib was on a magical run and has likely lost his chance at 50 this season, but he could conceivably do it again. 


Kyle Conner

Since Cliffy already named Laine, I'll go for his teammate in Connor. I've loved the way this kid plays dating back to his time tearing the USHL apart with Youngstown. He's always had an insatiable appetite for speed and scoring goals. Those traits don't appear to be going anywhere as he enters his fourth full NHL campaign in 2020-21. 

This past season, the 23-year-old produced 38 goals in 71 games – a 44-goal pace. He did so by once again converting in the high-teens (15.9) – a place he's made his home the last three seasons.

Additionally, his penchant for increasing his shot volume continued this year, going from 2.52 in 2017-18, to 2.77 in 2018-19, and finally to 3.37 this year. Watch out for the next big boy step into the rarified air of the four-shots-per-game club and you've got a 50-plus goal scorer.

It doesn't hurt that he's locked down all the prime ice next to Mark Schiefele since coming out of the NCAA. That won't be changing anytime soon.



I joined Elan from Keeping Karlsson over the weekend to talk all sorts of fantasy stuff. 


Continuing my re-drafting series, I made the promise to look at a more recent group than the 30-year-old classes I dove into the last two weeks. I use these redrafts as a nice reminder that the best players aren’t always taken at the top of the draft. In fact, very rarely are the 10 best players from a crop all selected in round one.

The draft remains a crapshoot.

For a refresher, here are links to the re-draft of 1989 and 1991. Today, we're looking at the ever-exciting 2008 class. Here is a link to their counting stats. Their actual draft position is in brackets.


1st Overall (Tampa) Erik Karlsson (15th)

2nd Overall (LA)  – Steven Stamkos (1st)

3rd Overall (ATL) – Drew Doughty (2nd)

4th Overall (STL) Roman Josi (38th)

5th Overall (TOR)John Carlson (27th)

6th Overall (CBJ) – Alex Pietrangelo (4th)

7th Overall (NSH) – Braden Holtby (93rd)

8th Overall (PHX) Jordan Eberle (22nd)

9th Overall (NYI) Jacob Markstrom (32nd)

10th Overall (VAN) Cam Atkinson (157th)


2008 was the year for the defenseman. At the time, picks 2-5 were blueliners and all told, there were 12 selected in the first 27 picks. This list mimics that with five of the top-10 being backs. With two goalies sprinkled in, it was clearly not a year to accrue high-end forward talent.

Hit me up on twitter to have your say on who should go where. 



Quickly, I think we have to give a good long look at Ryan Ellis potentially being an elite player. Thanks to injuries, he was held to just 49 games this season, but he produced at a 65-point-pace. That's the second time in the past three seasons where he's paced over 60. The issue is that both those seasons were only half completed.

According to the very smart Evolving-Wild twins, Ellis was third in the league for both WAR (4.1) and GAR (23.2). He trailed only Artemi Panarin and Pettersson in both categories. GAR = Goals-Above-Replacement. WAR = Wins-Above-Replacement.

The 29-year-old has consistently been an elite even-strength producer, and that will need to continue as Roman Josi eats up the big PP minutes in Nashville. But if Ellis can stay healthy for a full season where he can click in that 7-10 percent range as he's done a few times, watch out.



We'll end on a sombre note. As the hockey world awaits the return of their beloved sport, a player is currently battling for his life. 

According to his wife, Edmonton Oilers centre, Colby Cave was rushed into life-saving brain surgery. He’s out of surgery now but remains in the medically-induced coma. Obviously, this goes beyond anything sport. I'm not an overly spiritual person, but I do believe in the power of positive energy. I'm sending some to the Cave family right now. 



Be well. Stay safe. Don’t forget to exercise and drink plenty of water. Sorry, the dad and school teacher in me has to come out sometimes.



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