this is a list of the potential Canucks defence for the coming year ranked by my preference so far in the preseason from what I have seen from each player.
1) Christian Erhoff- Strong on the point on the powerplay. Not the hardest slapshot but very accurate. Is comfortable playing with the Sedin's and dealing with the pressure to perform that that entails. Looks really good alongside Hamhuis.
2) Hammer (Hamhuis)-Solid defensively which will help fill the void left by Willie Mitchell however hammer has way more offensive upside. Is very physical and you dont want to mess with this mahf.
3) Alex edler- five years ago this guy was playing in hockey beer leagues in sweden. Now he's emerging as one of the premier defenseman on the canucks. Great Puck mover, as well as the best slap passer the canucks have. Edler, slap pass to henrik, goal.
4)Sami Salo- Even though he will be injured until november his booming slapshot will not be forgotten. hopefully he will pull a lance armstrong and play better with one testicle.
5) Bieksa- As bad as he was in the playoffs last year against chicago, he still has a lot of potential. he is very bad defensively where he constantly finds himself out of position, but so far this preseason that has not been evident. he has dealed with a lot of injuries over the past three seasons. If he can stay healthy this year and get into the swing of things hopefully he can once again regain his status as one of the canucks premier defenseman.
6) Keith ballard- terrible preseason until yesterday. Him and bieksa were on the ice for the first three goals against against edmonton. It can be explained by the fact that he had hip surgery and was on crutches for two months starting in may. He is a few months behind schedule but expect him to start showing why we traded 2 players that were first round draft picks plus a first round draft pick for this guy. look at this hit from yesterday:
7) SOB (shane o'brien)- a very physical defenceman that is not afraid to fight. he was the only canucks player that could stand up to bifugly last year. unfortunately he hasnt had much preseason time. Expect OB to play in Manitoba a lot this year, however he will be called up to the canucks when we need an enforcer. This guy has a history of taking stupid penalties.
8) andrew Ahlberts- the more i see this guy play the more i ask why we traded a second round pick for him last year. he is so bad. what him in this play from yesterday spend too much time trying to look up the ice to make the right play before joe pavelski makes a pinball of him: