With Christmas on the horizon and the decade coming to a close, it is the perfect time to rank the best Canucks of the 2010’s. This is the Canucks Advent Calendar.
Each day until Christmas I will rank one player until we have the top 25 of the 2010’s. These Vancouver icons will be ranked on their statistics, impact on the city and overall play during their time with Vancouver. Rankings will be based on the player’s Vancouver tenure during the 2010’s only, prior seasons with the team will make little impact to the rankings.
9. Christopher Tanev (2010 – Present)
Statistics: 479 GP, 21 G, 86 A, 107 PTS
For the entirety of the 2010’s Chris Tanev has been a constant on the Vancouver Canucks roster. From President’s Trophies and Swedish twins to lottery picks and aspiring superstars, Chris Tanev has been through it all. Since joining the team in the 2010-11 season as an un-drafted signee he has maintained a calm, loyal asset to the Canucks franchise. The defensive defenceman never hesitates to lay down his body to defend the goaltender. Positionally sound, and not one to take unnecessary penalties; Chris Tanev is the epitome of a defensive top-4 defenceman.
After only one season playing at the Rochester Institute of Technology – a school that had never produced an NHL talent, Tanev signed in Vancouver. More surprising than this, he would play 29 games in the NHL during the season he signed with the franchise. As a direct result to Andrew Alberts and Aaron Rome falling to injury, Tanev was called up early than projected. The undrafted kid from an unheralded school looked eerily calm when he stepped on the ice. He seemed to fit into the Canucks organization almost immediately and began building the foundation on which he would base his play-style on for the remainder of his career.
During his initial season with the Canucks, Tanev would play a bottom-pairing shutdown role. Tanev would record only one assist through those 29 games but he knew his role. He was able to produce over a block per game, a statistic that he maintained through his five playoff games. Tanev would improve his point total to two and also raised the amount of blocks during the following season. In both of these seasons, Tanev would be apart of Vancouver’s first two President’s Trophies in franchise history. Furthermore, playing with some of the greatest players in Canucks history would give Tanev irreplaceable experience and wisdom.
Becoming a Consistent NHLer
By the time the 2012-13 season rolled around Tanev was beginning to figure out how to stay on Canucks roster. This would be Tanev’s final season with a stint in the AHL. Furthermore, this would also be the first season that he played more NHL games than AHL games. Tanev would play over 17 minutes on average per all 36 games. With seven points and even more blocked shots, Tanev was proving his worth as a quality shutdown defenceman.
Vancouver’s overall play would worsen through the 2013-14 season. With this being said, this was Tanev’s first season as a full time NHLer. He had over two blocks per game and 17 points in nearly 70 games played, it was safe the say that Tanev had found a home. With over 20 minutes of TOI per game, he had solidified himself as that top-4 defenceman that he aspired to be.
Tanev would have his healthiest and best offensive season to date during his 2014-15 campaign. Playing a career-high 70 games he would score a career-high 20 points and recorded a career-high 170 blocked shots. Vancouver would make the playoffs once again during the this career season for him. This would be the final postseason appearance for the Canucks as it currently stands. Up to this point, Tanev had no points through his 10 NHL playoff games. He would record three assists in his six games against the Calgary Flames during the 2015 playoffs.
A Leader in Vancouver
Playing 69 games during the following season, Tanev would record identical numbers. With 18 points and 166 blocked shots, it seemed like Tanev had found his niche as a 20-point defensive defenceman. Vancouver’s squad was aging. Many iconic, familiar faces were moving on from the blue and green. This meant that Tanev would be turning into one of the leading, dependable players on Vancouver, that up-and-comers like Bo Horvat and Jake Virtanen would be looking to for guidance.
During the 2016-17 season Chris Tanev would become assistant captain of the Vancouver Canucks. Vancouver would continue to struggle finding their identity with this squad of young upstarts. Tanev was a constant in the room. His presence was that of an NHL worthy player, a highly-touted defensive force. Unfortunately Tanev would catch the injury bug while simultaneously becoming a leader. From 2016-17 to 2018-19 Tanev would play just 150 games recording a total 33 points.
This season Tanev has been able to stay healthy and already has nine points in 34 games. He has been paired with rookie Quinn Hughes quite often and has at times acted as a mentor. With already 78 blocks this season, Chris Tanev should be on pace for a career year. He has played the entirety of this decade and has stuck with Vancouver through thick and thin. He is a core-member of the Canucks defence and leader for the young guys. Chris Tanev has given everything he has to Vancouver throughout the 2010’s and that is why he is the ninth most impactful Canuck of this decade.
I hope that you have enjoyed this installment of the Canucks Advent Calendar! Be sure to check back tomorrow for the next player on the list!
Discuss this Canucks Advent article and more at the Overtime Heroics Forums!
Check out more Canucks Advent articles in our Hockey section!
And don’t forget to head over to our shop if you are interested in purchasing some Overtime Heroics gear!