When the Canucks announced the re-signing of Andrew Ebbett this offseason, I was thrilled. Ebbett is, in many ways, an ideal thirteenth forward, the kind of player who can step into almost any problematic situation and provide an effective, albeit temporary solution.
In his injury-shortened 18-game stint with the Canucks last season, Ebbett played minimal minutes, but played those minutes in every situation. He had a bit of time on the penalty kill, a bit of time on the second unit powerplay, and was a very strong possession forward at even strength, despite starting the vast majority of his shifts in the defensive zone against fairly tough competition.
Ebbett is a utility player, the type of player who has every tool in his tool box, but isn’t good enough with any one of them to overcome his lack of size and earn a full-time role in the NHL. He is good enough with those tools, however, to be a useful part-time player. One of those tools is goalscoring; he managed 5 goals last season, putting him on an 82-game pace of 23 goals. While I doubt he’ll be a 20-goalscorer next season, he may get a chance to to make the opening day roster with Kesler on the IR and no third-line centre in sight.Continue Reading —›