February 6, 2014

Growing Up: Zack Kassian is Going to Be Really Good, Really Soon

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Written by: Recultured Team
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He’s not all the way there yet, but Zack Kassian is growing up faster than anyone could have reasonably expected before this season. Just watching his play on a game to game basis, it’s clear that John Tortorella and the new Vanouver Canucks coaching staff have gotten through to the big right winger.

To the stat-watching fan, Kassian’s growth might not be so apparent. After all, he’s only got 15 points in 48 games this season (a 0.31 point-per-game pace), as opposed to his 11 points in 39 games last season (a 0.28 ppg). However, watching him on the ice, you can see the strides he’s made in terms of his quickness and his consistency, which Kassian himself has noted as his greatest weakness.

According to behindthenet.ca, a brilliant tool for finding advanced hockey statistics, Kassian’s most common linemates this season have been Brad Richardson and David Booth, with whom he shares 53.3% and 40.3% of his icetime. With a combined 29 points in 92 man games, Booth and Richardson aren’t exactly ideal linemates for developing a scoring forward. It’s easy to think that, with his skill level, Kassian could easily be putting up 10-15 more points this year if he was consistently playing with guys that could finish off his plays. However, as a product of both Tortorella’s system and playing on the lower lines, Kassian has made significant strides in his defensive this semester.

It might not be showing up tangibly just yet, but the Canucks are slowly developing a 6’3 220 pound forward that can do everything on the ice. As Kassian finishes filling out and improving his conditioning and speed over the next couple of years, he’s going to be a gigantic thorn in the side of every opponent. He’s already started that this year. Just ask the Edmonton Oilers what they think of him. If his play this season is any indication, Kassian is going to put a significant amount of points for this team very soon and, combined with his agitating style and willingness to drop the gloves to stick up for himself and his teammates, he’s going to be a massive (pun intended) asset for this team.

Image credit to: robthehockeyguy.com
(Vancouver Canucks’ Zack Kassian celebrates after fighting Edmonton Oilers’ Ben Eager, not pictured, during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday January 20, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

About the Author

Recultured Team
Recultured Team
This is where you'll find the blog posts that the team has contributed to collectively! What team? Wildcats! -Nope, wrong team. Recultured!

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