With Christmas on the horizon and the decade coming to a close, it is the perfect time to rank the best Canucks of the 2010s. This is the Canucks Advent Calendar.
Each day until Christmas I will rank one player until we have the top 25 of the 2010s. 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 2010s only, prior seasons with the team will make little impact on the rankings.
7. Alexander Edler (2006 – Present)
Statistics: 841 GP, 98 G, 285 A, 383 PTS
Alex Edler has been a cornerstone of the Vancouver Canucks organization for over a decade. Furthermore, the Swedish defenceman has always shown loyalty and appreciation for the franchise. Through some of the team’s best seasons winning Presidents Trophies to some of their worst, picking in the draft lottery. He has been with the Canucks through all of it. Even now, approaching 2020 he still is a top-pairing defenceman running the blue-line. Edler has achieved this through hard work and perseverance which I will outline below.
Edler was a third-round pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft but did not find his way to North America until 2005. He spent his 2005-06 season with the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League before joining the Canucks’ American Hockey League affiliate the following year. The young Swede played well for the Manitoba Moose and was even afforded an opportunity for an NHL call-up. Edler played 22 games for Vancouver during the 2006-07 season where he would score three points.
His performance during his 22-game stint on the west-coast earned him a roster spot the following season. Edler played only two games for the Moose during 2007-08. He never returned to the AHL again. Edler recorded 20 points in his Canucks rookie campaign. At age 22 he was showing a lot of potential at the NHL level.
Vancouver underwent an array of changes during the 2008 offseason. It was clear a transition was taking place. They had a brand new core and were looking to make the playoffs. This transitional period left an opportunity for Edler to seize a bigger role on the Canucks. He capitalized on this as he started to become a legit top-4 blueliner. 10 goals and 27 assists secured this role for him during the 2008-09 season. Edler played extremely well during the playoffs and recorded eight points as the Canucks fell to the Chicago Blackhawks in the second round.
The Canucks found a lot of success throughout their 2009-10 season. They were one of the top teams in the Western Conference. Henrik Sedin won the Hart and Art Ross Trophies. Unfortunately, they failed to topple the Blackhawks yet again in the second round. This was Edler’s best offensive season to that point. He was able to score 42 points which was his career-high at the time.
The 2010-11 season brought glory like the Canucks had never seen before. They sat at the top of the standings and were awarded the Presidents Trophy. They were finally able to topple the Blackhawks but fell in the Stanley Cup Finals. Although Edler was injured for much of the regular season and only suited up for 51 games he was healthy for all 25 games of their playoff run.
For the first and only time in his career, Edler was named a 2011-12 All-Star. He took a leading offensive role on defence with Christian Erhroff gone from the team. The Swede was able to record a career-high 49 points through 82 games. The Canucks’ play would earn them their second consecutive Presidents Trophy. With that being said, they did not find success in the postseason as they were ousted in the first round by the L.A. Kings.
Becoming a Leader
After another tough defeat in the playoffs, it seemed as though the Canucks weren’t performing up to past standards. This included Edler. He scored 22 points in consecutive seasons. Granted, the 2012-13 season was shortened and the 2013-14 season brought injury woes. Even though his offensive play seemed to regress, he was showing signs of maturity. He seemed more confident and was becoming a leader on this Vancouver team that he had inhabited for nearly a decade.
The 2014-15 Canucks team was very different than those of years past. They had missed the playoffs the season prior and had made some additions to their roster. They had a new starting goaltender, some developing players, and even a new coach. This was the final time the Canucks made it into April for a playoff series. Edler was able to play the majority of the year and added 31 points for the team. He was able to couple this with a fairly strong playoff showing (three points in six games).
From the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons, Edler’s stats faltered due to nagging injuries. The Canucks secured lottery picks and he only totaled 41 points through those two regular seasons. 70 games throughout 2017-18 brought a bounce-back year for the veteran defenceman. He was able to post 34 points while working as a mentor for Vancouver’s young core. After the retirement of the Sedin twins the following year, Edler took an even larger leadership role and was named an assistant captain. Although he missed 26 games he still was able to put up 34 points while running their blueline at age 32. He was off to a hot start this season with 15 points in 27 games. Although he was injured recently, fans are hoping to see him back in the blue and green soon.
Edler has stayed the course in Vancouver for a very long time. At age 33, he is still playing well and quarterbacking the defence. His longevity and overall impact on the Canucks’ blueline have earned him the number seven spot on the Canucks Advent Calendar.
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!
Purchase Overtime Heroics gear at our online shop!