Make or break year for the Canucks Jordan Schroeder

Former first round pick could be odd man out

There’s really only one spot for Jordan Schroeder on the 2013-14 Vancouver Canucks roster, and there’s a strong chance it won’t be the right fit.

With Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler taking up the top two centre positions, the logical place to slot Schroeder in is as a third line centre, but even that seems a little up in the air.

Brad “Marquee Free Agent” Richardson has looked good in camp and jelled well with Jannik Hansen and Chris Higgins during recent scrimmages. You’ve also got Mike Santorelli and prospects Bo Horvat and Brendan Gaunce also potentially pushing for a spot up the middle.

It really leaves little room for Schroeder, and after all the hype when he was picked 22nd overall in 2009, his career this far can only be looked at as a disappointment. He’s been mediocre in the AHL and pretty unremarkable in his 31-game stint last season. He never even got one sniff of action in the postseason.

It’s a far cry from those heady days back in 2009 when Canucks assistant GM Laurence Gilman compared him to Patrick Kane. “I don’t want to put too much pressure on this kid, but Patrick Kane is a similar player in being small guy with real good offensive instincts,” he told scribes at the time. ” Jordan has similar attributes.”

Yeah… just a little off.

Schroeder just doesn’t seem to fit on the team. He’s skilled, but not skilled enough to make a difference in the NHL. He has speed, but lacks the size, vision and toughness to be a top-three centre on a good team.

Put it this way: Would you feel comfortable having Schroeder go up against another team’s top line on the road? I certainly wouldn’t.

2013-14 will be a make-or-break year for Jordan Schroeder.

2013-14 will be a make-or-break year for Jordan Schroeder.

A third line centre is the type of player that can either give you a little extra offense, lock the opposing team’s top line down on offense, stir up trouble or win face-offs. I don’t see Schroeder doing any of that, plus he was an atrocious 43 percent on draws last season.

It speaks not only to the Canucks’ eternally poor draft record, but also the franchise’s development system. Schroeder was really the first pick in the Mike Gillis era.

Sure,  Cody Hodgson officially was, but all of the scouting for that draft was done well before Gillis was ever hired.

Schroeder was one of this management group’s first big moves, and it hasn’t panned out yet whatsoever.

If the Canucks want to go deep, they are going to need contributions from the kids, and there’s been no indication that Schroeder can be that guy.

The Canucks know what they’re going to get with Schroeder, which is why I think it would be worth a gamble to give Gaunce or Horvat a 10-game shot with the big club at the very least.

To top it all off, Schroeder is coming off of shoulder surgery — not exactly a good sign for a guy who’s young, undersized and not known for his physical play.

This year is basically Schroeder’s last chance to be a significant player on the Canucks. He’s signed for one more season, and if he doesn’t produce in 2013-14, don’t be surprised to see him on the first taxi to the airport.


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About Ben Lypka

Straight outta South Central Delta, BC, Ben's been a sports nut for as long as he can remember. With experience covering the Olympic Games and reporting on sporting events in BC and Alberta, he hopes to bring a unique perspective to the NWSB! You can catch him on twitter too! Connect with Ben today!
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