30-Year-Old Defenseman – Vancouver Canucks
Alexander Edler Contract Information:
Re-signed to a six-year, $30 million deal in January of 2013.
Edler (leg) was ruled out for the season with a broken leg by GM Jim Benning, Mark Spector of Sportsnet.ca reports.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Upon seeing his production dip the previous season, Edler took yet another step backwards in 2013-2014. The 28-year-old defensemen struggled mightily, posting a league-worst minus-39 rating and notching only 22 points (seven goals) in 63 games. Nothing went right for the Swede in a disastrous season that saw the Canucks miss the playoffs for the first time in six years. Edler saw only 2:51 of power-play time, almost a minute less than the previous year. He also posted a career-low 3.9 shooting percentage, which undoubtedly factored into his lowest goal total in five seasons. With the departure of Jason Garrison to Tampa Bay, Edler has a chance to reclaim his role as the main quarterback on the Canucks’ power play. Only three years removed from his 49-point season, Edler still possess all the tools to be a middle-tier fantasy defenseman. He seems due for a bit of a bounce-back given the new coaching staff and offensive firepower (Radim Vrbata and Nick Bonino) the team will add to the mix.
After putting together a career-best campaign the previous season, Edler took a step back last year. He finished with 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists) in 45 games – his lowest scoring pace since the 2008-09 season – while posting the first negative plus-minus rating of his career. But despite the overall drop in production, Edler still managed to light the lamp at the highest clip of his career. At 27, he’s still in the prime of his career, so we predict a bounce back campaign from the Swedish blueliner. And while he may miss the occasional defensive assignment, there’s not denying his offensive ability from the blue line. Edler is once again cemented in one of the Canucks’ top pairing and will see ample time on the man advantage.
After flashing breakout potential each of the previous three seasons, Edler finally came into his own in 2011-12. He finished as the sixth highest scoring defenseman in the NHL, totaling 49 points (11 G, 38 A) in 82 games. His even plus-minus rating was disappointing and highlights his need to be better on the defensive side of the puck, but that was offset by his 17 power-play points. Edler will once again be locked in to the Canucks’ top defensive pairing, and he’ll be among the team leaders in overall ice time and power-play ice time, giving him plenty of opportunities to match or eclipse last year’s breakout.
Edler, a 25-year-old Swede, was well on his way to a career-best campaign and cementing himself as one of the top up-and-coming defensemen in the league before a back injury sidelined him for over two months. Despite the lengthy stint on the shelf, Edler still managed to finish the season with solid production from the back end, totaling 33 points (8 G, 25 A) and a plus-13 rating in 55 games. He’ll once again see plenty of time with the Canucks’ top offensive lines, while also quarterbacking the power play. Edler’s injury last season will likely lower his price on draft day, but you would be wise to grab him before he puts everything together and fully breaks out.
The 24-year-old Swede cemented himself as one of the Canucks’ top-four defensemen last season, finishing with 42 points (5 G, 37 A) in 76 games. Despite an influx of talent to their back end this offseason, Edler should still figure prominently in the mix, likely seeing over 20 minutes of ice time per game and action on the power play again in 2010-11. He’ll be a cheap 40-point option with plenty of upside while you're searching for blue-line help late in drafts.
The Canucks rewarded Edler, 23, with a four-year contract extension prior to the 2008-09 season under the impression that he would one day mature into a top-four defenseman. Well, that day is here. Edler posted career highs of 10 goals and 27 assists in 80 games last season. He's part of a suddenly crowded defensive unit, but he's all but guaranteed to remain in one of the top two pairings and should see plenty of ice time on the power play. If you're looking for a cheap source of 40 points from the back end, look Edler's direction on draft day.
Edler took advantage of a rash of injuries to the Canucks' blue line last season and cemented himself in their rearguard rotation. During the 2007-08 campaign, Edler notched eight goals and 12 assists in 75 games. The 22-year-old is often compared to Nicklas Lidstrom due to his strong passing skills and high hockey IQ. He should continue to grow as a player and would be worth a gamble in any size league.
Edler, similar to youngster Luc Bourdon, will battle it out for a spot on the parent club this season. Vancouver Canucks fans often are split on which defenseman is a better fit for the club, but should Edler get the job, his minutes would be limited due to the players ahead of him. His upside is high, but it may not be realized this season.
Edler is on his way to becoming a fixture with the Canucks, but is currently buried in the depth chart. He has offensive skills and will do well to learn the defensive aspects of his position in the minors. He may get some call-ups during this season, but is unlikely to be a fantasy producer just yet.