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The 2023-24 Vancouver Canucks Bandwagon Fan Cheat Sheet

Are you jumping on the Vancouver Canucks bandwagon? Here's everything you need to know about the players on the 2023-24 Canucks.
Everything a bandwagon Canucks fan needs to know.

So, the Vancouver Canucks are good again.

It’s been a while. The Canucks have missed the playoffs in seven of the last eight seasons and have been painfully mediocre despite the best efforts of their star players. You would be forgiven if you let your fandom lapse during those hard times. 

But now the Canucks are first place not only in the Pacific Division but also in the entire NHL. They lead the NHL in goals, are one of the best teams defensively, and just had six players at the NHL All-Star Game. That’s a team for whom everyone wants to cheer.

That means the bandwagon fans are back.

Let’s be clear: Pass it to Bulis is not about gatekeeping. If you’re a bandwagon Canucks fan, I will be the first to say welcome or welcome back, as the case may be.

To be honest, being a bandwagon fan sounds like a good time. Can you imagine only cheering for a team when they’re actually worth cheering for? What a utopian, idyllic experience that must be.

But if you’re a bandwagon fan, you do face some challenges. 

If you haven’t been following the team super-closely, you might be missing out on all sorts of key information, inside jokes, line nicknames, and deep lore. When someone at the bar says, “Can you believe the Leafs traded Sam Lafferty to make room for Ryan Reaves?” you need to know who Lafferty is, how good he’s been for the Canucks, and that your friend is inviting you to laugh at the Toronto Maple Leafs.

PITB is here to fill you in on what you need to know about the Canucks roster in this year’s edition of the Bandwagon Fan Cheat Sheet.


The Canucks’ forward group is led by the elite trio of Brock Boeser, Elias Pettersson, and J.T. Miller, who sometimes play together on what is known as the Lotto Line. That line nickname comes from their numbers — 6, 40, and 9 — which sound like 649 when said together, like Lotto 6/49.

Let’s break down key information for every forward on the roster, in handy-dandy alphabetical order.

Teddy Blueger


About: Teddy Blueger wears number 53 and plays centre. He can typically be found on the third line between Conor Garland and Dakota Joshua, a line nicknamed The Good Job Boys by PITB, but also the Life Line, Thirst Line, or No Name Line. He and his linemates have been the team's most consistent line throughout the season and he’s a responsible defensive centre and an underrated playmaker. 

Very Important Fact: Blueger ate his Grandma's borscht out of the Stanley Cup after he won it with the Vegas Golden Knights.

Nickname(s): Teddy Bear, Blues Clues, Baby Blueger, Boogie Woogie Blueger Boy  

He kind of looks like: If Steve from Blues Clues saw some things and it changed him in ways he can't explain.

If he touches the puck, it is currently on its way out of the defensive zone. That’s called a zone exit.

Expect to hear: "Blueger is such a reliable two-way player."

Don’t expect to hear: "Blueger is such an unreliable narrator — I don't believe he actually ate borscht out of the Stanley Cup."

Brock Boeser


About: Brock Boeser wears number 6 and plays right wing. Boeser has gone through some very difficult life experiences and has emerged from them as a kind, emotionally intelligent, and humble human being. He’s also the Canucks’ best goalscorer, though less with the laser-accurate wrist shot he scored with in his rookie year and more by getting into scoring areas around the net to tip in point shots and bang in rebounds. 

Very Important Fact: In high school, Boeser used to hang out with his friends at Applebee’s.  

Nickname(s): The Flow, Brockstar, Boes (pronounced like “Bess”)

He kind of looks like: Prince Charming from Shrek.  

If he touches the puck, he’s going to score a goal that will be immediately waved off because J.T. Miller lightly grazed the goaltender.

Expect to hear: “I’m so happy Boeser finally scored 30 goals in a season; I always believed in him.”

Don’t expect to hear: “The Canucks definitely should have traded Boeser last season.”

Phil Di Giuseppe


About: Phil Di Giuseppe wears number 34 and plays left wing. He plays a straight-forward, hard-forechecking game that appeals to head coach Rick Tocchet, which occasionally gets him in the top-six with J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser. With his extremely Italian name, Di Giuseppe has earned the favour of the Italian-Canadians in the Canucks fanbase. He leans into it, considering his favourite actor is Sylvester Stallone and two of his top-three favourite movies are Rocky and Goodfellas.  He’s also “pretty good at chess.”  

Very Important Fact: Unless Surrey’s Arshdeep Bains gets called up to the NHL, Di Giuseppe is the only Canadian forward on the Canucks roster. 

Nickname(s): Philly, PDG, Filthy G, DJ Zappy, The Italian Stallion

He kind of looks like: When Hugh Jackman grows a full beard.  

If he touches the puck, he will chip it behind the defence and win it back on the forecheck.

Expect to hear: “I don’t think he should be in the top-six, but the Canucks are a better team with Di Giuseppe in the lineup.”

Don’t expect to hear: “That Di Giuseppe is one-a spicy meatball!”

Conor Garland


About: Conor Garland wears number 8 and plays right wing. He’s the shortest player on the Canucks at 5’8” but despite his smaller stature, he’s the best puck-possession player on the team. He’s great at spinning off checks, squirming out of danger, and creating scoring chances, making him the primary driver of the Good Job Boys on the third line. He gives Thatcher Demko the best hugs.  He's also a pain in the neck for opposing players: he finished fourth on a poll of NHL players by The Athletic for the player whose face they'd most like to punch.

Very Important Fact: Garland is a “huge” fan of the movie Jaws and his favourite social media account is The Daily Jaws, the “world’s number one Jaws fan community.”

Nickname(s): Garly, Gars, Gee, Corolla Garland

He kind of looks like: John Krasinski. Kind of. 

If he touches the puck, he’s about to win a puck battle against a guy six inches taller and 50 pounds heavier than he is.

Expect to hear: “Garland must be such a pain to play against; he’s impossible to pin down.”

Don’t expect to hear: “Garland is such a good Greco-Roman wrestler; he’s impossible to pin down.”

Nils Höglander


About: Nils Höglander wears number 21 and plays left wing. He’s been described by Elias Pettersson as “a power forward, but a tiny one.” Before coming to the NHL, he earned a reputation for scoring “lacrosse” goals but has yet to pull one off with the Canucks, though he’s still managed to score plenty of goals this season from the fourth line. He grew up in a tiny community in northern Sweden called Bockträsk with a population of about 20 people and learned to skate on the frozen lake.

Very Important Fact: Höglander sprays his socks and skates with water before putting them on and says dry skates “feel slippery” to him.  

Nickname(s): Höggy, Högs, Hoagie, Nisse  

He kind of looks like: A mischievous sprite who will steal all of your chocolate.

If he touches the puck, he’ll probably pull off a nifty move that will make an opponent trip over their own feet and make you hoot and holler.

Expect to hear: “The Canucks really should give Höglander some time on the power play.”

Don’t expect to hear: “I just don’t think Höglander is trying hard enough.”

Dakota Joshua


About: Dakota Joshua wears number 81 and plays left wing. In contrast to his linemate, Conor Garland, Joshua is the tallest forward on the Canucks at 6’3”. Joshua is a power forward, with the size and speed to be physical on the forecheck — he leads the Canucks in hits — but also the soft hands and scoring touch to finish off scoring chances around the net. After a healthy scratch early in the season, Joshua has become an essential part of the Canucks’ lineup, both on the third line with the Good Job Boys and on the penalty kill. 

Very Important Fact: Joshua’s mom, Jullee, played centre for the Michigan Polar Bears in the Metro Senior Women’s Hockey League in Dearborn, Michigan and brought Joshua and his two younger brothers to her games, tying their belts together with a skate lace to keep them together in the stands. Jullee passed down her extreme love of hockey — she literally wore hockey skates under her wedding dress when she got married — to her kids and Joshua wrote “Hi MOM!!” on his first goal puck in her honour.  

Nickname(s): Dak, JoDak, DJ, DJ Jazzy Joshua

He kind of looks like: Michael Ealy.  

If he touches the puck, he’s either just won a battle along the boards or he's making a shockingly nice move to score a goal.

Expect to hear: “Dakota Joshua is still so underrated.”

Don’t expect to hear: “Dakota Joshua has received more than enough praise and is now overrated.”

Linus Karlsson


About: Linus Karlsson wears number 94 and plays right wing. The Swedish forward has spent most of the season in the AHL, where he is one of the Abbotsford Canucks’ top scorers, but he’s been called up ahead of bigger-name prospects like Vasily Podkolzin and Aatu Räty when the Canucks need another forward in the NHL. He’s a decent two-way forward with some scoring ability on the power play.

Very Important Fact: Karlsson scored more goals than Elias Pettersson in their respective rookie seasons in the SHL.

Nickname(s): Loonie, Peanuts, Karls Jr. (I made all of these up, he doesn’t have any nicknames yet)

He kind of looks like: Edward Norton in Fight Club.  

If he touches the puck, then he’s in the NHL lineup, probably because someone got hurt.

Expect to hear: “Karlsson is a lot faster than they said he was in scouting reports.”

Don’t expect to hear: “I don’t know: a Swede on the Canucks? Sounds pretty far-fetched.”

Sam Lafferty


About: Sam Lafferty wears number 18 and plays right wing. He is very fast — arguably the fastest player on the Canucks — and typically plays on the fourth line where he can use his speed to crash in on the forecheck. The Canucks got him from the Toronto Maple Leafs for a fifth-round pick so the Leafs could clear cap space to acquire Ryan Reaves, who is a significantly worse player. Lafferty’s greatest contribution to the Canucks, then, isn’t his speed or his ability to chip in goals from the fourth line, but giving Canucks fans another chance to laugh at the Leafs.

Very Important Fact: Lafferty is one of the best golfers in the NHL, as he played Division I golf at Brown University as well as Division I hockey. He’s considered a scratch golfer — someone who can be expected to shoot even par on any given course. 

Nickname(s): Laff, Laffs, Laffer, Laffy Taffy, Barrel of Laffs, It is to Laff

He kind of looks like: Canadian actor and star of Bon Cop, Bad CopColm Feore.  

If he touches the puck, he will carry it through the neutral zone at top speed.

Expect to hear: “Can you believe the Leafs gave him up for a fifth-round pick?” Seriously, you’ll hear this all the time.

Don’t expect to hear: “Lafferty speeds around the ice, keeping his speed above 20 mph, and if his speed drops, he’ll explode. I think he’s called the player that can’t slow down.”  

Elias Lindholm


About: Elias Lindholm wears number 23 and plays centre. The Canucks acquired him in a trade before the All-Star Game, sending Andrei Kuzmenko and a first-round pick to the Calgary Flames. He scored 42 goals for the Flames a couple of seasons ago while playing on a line with Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk but he’s more of a reliable two-way centre than an elite scorer. He has good finish around the net and can find soft spots in defensive coverage, making him a good fit with an elite playmaker. He played on a line with Elias Pettersson with Sweden at the 2019 World Hockey Championship.

Very Important Fact: Lindholm has two Boston Terriers named Stitch and Penny.

Nickname(s): Lindy, The Beast  

He kind of looks like: Chris Evans.  

If he touches the puck, he’ll do it while wearing a Canucks jersey now.

Expect to hear: “Trading for Lindholm is a sign that management believes that this team is ready to compete for the Stanley Cup.”

Don’t expect to hear: “I think we have too many players named Elias now. One of them will have to go.”

Ilya Mikheyev


About: Ilya Mikheyev wears number 65 and plays right wing. He’s a speedy skater, even though he lost a step after knee surgery last season, and can create a lot of breakaways with his skating. He’s not quite as good at finishing on those breakaways, however. He typically plays in a top-six role alongside Elias Pettersson, but also plays on both sides of special teams and is a particularly good penalty killer.

Very Important Fact: Mikheyev scored an endorsement deal and a commercial with Campbell’s Soup after mentioning his love for soup in a media scrum in Toronto. 

Nickname(s): Mik, Mickey, Mickey Blue Eyes, Cobra, Soup, Souperman

He kind of looks like: that one guy from the Campbell’s Soup commercial.

If he touches the puck, the crest on the goaltender’s jersey is about to take a beating.

Expect to hear: “I don’t think Mikheyev has fully recovered from his torn ACL; those injuries can affect you for a long time.”

Don’t expect to hear: “Mikheyev could easily win the Accuracy Shooting event at the All-Star Skills Competition.”

J.T. Miller


About: J.T. Miller wears number 9 and plays centre. He’s a power forward who is quietly one of the best playmakers in the NHL, with a particular knack for creating offence on the power play. He’s an emotional leader for the Canucks, who sometimes lets his emotions get the better of him and has a tendency to make loud mistakes in the defensive zone, but when everything’s clicking, he can make a case to be the best player on the team.

Very Important Fact: When he was a kid, Miller flushed his little brother’s yo-yo down the toilet, causing the toilet to overflow, flood the bathroom, and cave in the ceiling of the kitchen below.

Nickname(s): Millsy, Jimothy Timothy, Jonathan Tonathan, Jiller Tiller, Jurnover Turnover

He kind of looks like: Jeffrey Donovan in Sicario, especially when he wears his glasses.  

If he touches the puck, he’s going to make a gorgeous pass for a scoring chance, usually to someone on the Canucks.

Expect to hear: Fans giving impassioned defences of J.T. Miller in the face of the disrespect he constantly receives.

Don’t expect to hear: Anyone actually disrespecting J.T. Miller.

Elias Pettersson


About: Elias Pettersson wears number 40 and plays centre. He’s the Canucks’ franchise forward and biggest star with a knack for highlight-reel plays. He’s so good at the fancy stuff that it’s easy to forget that he’s arguably the Canucks’ best two-way forward, with an excellent defensive game and a penchant for throwing unexpected hits that knock his opponents flat on their rear ends. Pettersson is an intelligent, creative, and skilled offensive talent and is an elite passer, winning this year's Passing Challenge at the All-Star Game. He also has one of the hardest slap shots in the NHL, winning last year’s Hardest Shot competition with a 103.2 mph shot.

Very Important Fact: Pettersson can juggle while riding a unicycle.  

Nickname(s): Petey, Alien, EP40

He kind of looks like: A blonde Sedin twin.

If he touches the puck, you’re about to see something special, whether it’s a slick deke, a clever pass, a great shot, or a heavy reverse hit.

Expect to hear: “Petey, do your dekes.”

Don’t expect to hear: “I hate it when Pettersson throws hits because it challenges all of my preconceptions of skilled Swedish players.”

Pius Suter


About: Pius Suter wears number 24 and plays centre, most of the time. He can be found literally anywhere in the lineup: he can play all three forward positions, can contribute anywhere from the first to the fourth line, and plays on both sides of special teams. Rick Tocchet has called Suter “one of the smartest players on our team” and he was arguably the Canucks’ smartest off-season signing.  

Very Important Fact: Both of Suter’s two NHL hat tricks came on January 24, three years apart. He also wears number 24, was born on May 24, and made his NHL debut at the age of 24. At this point, if I find out his favourite TV show isn’t “24” then I’ll be tremendously disappointed.

Nickname(s): Pew Pew, Suits, Prius Suter, Swiss Army Knife

He kind of looks like: Boris Grishenko from Goldeneye, particularly when he’s wearing his glasses.  

If he touches the puck, he’s going to do something smart with it.

Expect to hear: “If you really watch Suter, you’ll be blown away by all of the little things he does right.”

Don’t expect to hear: “I don’t think Suter is versatile enough.”

Nils Åman


About: Nils Åman wears number 88 and plays centre. He can typically be found centring the fourth line between Sam Lafferty and Nils Höglander. He plays a very low-event game where he doesn’t create much offensively but also doesn’t give up much defensively. He’s shown glimmers of being a savvy playmaker, however, and he’s been an effective penalty killer.

Very Important Fact: The letter “Å" in Swedish is not just an “A” with a diacritic but a separate letter that comes after “Z.”

Nickname(s): A Man, The Man, The Omen

He kind of looks like: Dave Franco in The Disaster Artist.  

If he touches the puck, he’ll probably make the safe, boring play.

Expect to hear: “I haven’t noticed Åman at all in this game but that’s probably a good thing.”

Don’t expect to hear: “They need to get Åman some time on the powerplay.”


The Canucks’ defence is led by captain Quinn Hughes, who typically plays with Filip Hronek on the top pairing. The defence has been completely overhauled since last season and is significantly better than it used to be.

Ian Cole


About: Ian Cole wears number 82 and plays left defence. Well, most of the time. Cole sometimes switches to his off-side to play right defence because the Canucks have too many left-shot defencemen. Cole is a veteran with two Stanley Cup rings and he brings that experience and wisdom on and off the ice as a steadying presence for the Canucks. He’s far from the tallest Canuck but he’s one of the heaviest, and he plays a physical defensive game around the net and blocks a ton of shots. He’s also the only Canuck born in the eighties.

Very Important Fact: Cole is a “big cornbread fan.”  

Nickname(s): Colesy, Coler

He kind of looks like: If Jared Goff grew a beard and lost some teeth. 

If he touches the puck, it will ricochet off his shins and away from the Canucks’ net.

Expect to hear: “The Canucks really needed an older player like Cole who has seen firsthand how Stanley Cups are won.”

Don’t expect to hear: “The Canucks really needed an older player like Cole to get senior discounts at restaurants.”

Mark Friedman


About: Mark Friedman wears number 51 and plays right defence. The Canucks traded for Friedman as a depth defenceman and he was effective early on the third pairing with Ian Cole. He lost that job to Noah Juulsen as the season progressed but he’s still a solid depth option. He’s an agitator who gets under the skin of opponents and draws a lot of penalties.

Very Important Fact: Friedman is the only player in the NHL with a Christmas birthday.

Nickname(s): Elliotte, Wild Man (Note: he does not like that nickname)

He kind of looks like: Chace Crawford as The Deep.  

If he touches the puck, he probably fell on it after an opponent crosschecked him in the face.

Expect to hear: “Friedman played really well with Cole early in the season and deserves another chance to get into the lineup.”

Don’t expect to hear: “I wish Friedman would get in opponents’ faces more; he's just too passive.”

Akito Hirose


About: Akito Hirose wears number 41 and plays left defence. He’s a poised, intelligent, and mobile defensive defenceman with limited offensive upside, who impressed in a seven-game audition last season but the Canucks’ depth on the left side and some concerns about his strength have kept him in the AHL with the Abbotsford Canucks for most of the season. 

Very Important Fact: Hirose learned meditation from his prep school coach, Scott Atkinson, and practices those breathing techniques on the bench.

Nickname(s): Kit

He kind of looks like: Actor and Only Murders in the Building victim Julian Cihi.  

If he touches the puck, the Canucks likely have a lot of injuries on defence, which is concerning.

Expect to hear: “Hirose could play the game with a cigarette in his mouth.”  

Don’t expect to hear: “Hirose should play the game with a cigarette in his mouth.”

Filip Hronek


About: Filip Hronek wears number 17 and plays right defence. The Canucks acquired him by trading the first-round pick they got back from the Bo Horvat trade. Expected to anchor the second pairing, Hronek has instead partnered with Quinn Hughes to make one dynamite top pairing. He skates well, moves the puck well, and has an absolute bomb of a slap shot. He also has a big ol’ beard.  

Very Important Fact: Hronek is notoriously quiet in interviews and once went two full seasons without doing a press conference while with the Detroit Red Wings.

Nickname(s): Fil, Filly, Hronas

He kind of looks like: If Czech actor and singer Voytech Dyk grew a big beard. 

If he touches the puck, it will rocket directly into an opponent, causing them to collapse to the ice in agony.

Expect to hear: “I hope the Canucks can re-sign Hronek to a reasonable contract.”

Don’t expect to hear: “Hronek just never stops talking. Enough already, we get it.”

Quinn Hughes


About: Quinn Hughes wears number 43 and plays left defence. This is his first year as captain of the Canucks, so their immediate success suggests he’s a pretty good leader. Hughes is a dazzling skater with sublime skill, great vision, and a newfound knack for scoring goals. His ability to keep the puck at the offensive blue line is mind-blowing. He’s the favourite to win the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenceman. His real first name is Quintin.

Very Important Fact: Hughes and his younger brother, Jack, bought a summer house together in Michigan and once had a side bet for a game between the Canucks and Devils: loser bought a painting for the house. Quinn lost the game.  

Nickname(s): Huggy, Huggy Bear, Hughesy, Q, Q-Ball

He kind of looks like: He's constantly on the verge of an existential crisis.

If he touches the puck, he’s going to have it for a really long time and the other team’s about to get increasingly frustrated that they can’t get it away from him. 

Expect to hear: “It’s incredible that we get to watch one of the best defencemen in NHL history right now.”

Don’t expect to hear: “I’m still not sure Hughes was the right choice for captain.”

Noah Juulsen


About: Noah Juulsen wears number 47 and plays right defence. The 26-year-old has spent a long time working to get to the NHL and has finally earned a semi-regular spot on the Canucks’ defence as the team’s seventh defenceman. He’s a hard-working, shot-blocking, heavy-hitting stay-at-home defenceman, who has earned rave reviews for being a great teammate. 

Very Important Fact: A local kid, Juulsen modeled his game on Kevin Bieksa when he was growing up.  

Nickname(s): Juuls, Run The Juuls  

He kind of looks like: The good-natured henchman for the evil villain in a video game, where if you complete the right sidequests you can turn him good and unlock him as a playable character.

If he touches the puck, he probably just clobbered some poor schmuck on the other team.

Expect to hear: “Juulsen has completely turned his game around.”

Don’t expect to hear: “Juulsen has completely turned his head around, like the girl from the Exorcist.”

Cole McWard


About: Cole McWard wears number 48 and plays right defence. He has only played one game this season with the Canucks and has spent the rest of the season in the AHL. That’s a bit surprising because the Canucks gave him a long run alongside Quinn Hughes during training camp and the preseason, suggesting he was close to cracking the NHL lineup. Now it’ll take some injuries before he gets back to the NHL.

Very Important Fact: Neither of McWard’s parents played hockey: his dad played water polo and his mom was a multi-sport athlete in softball, basketball, track, and soccer.  

Nickname(s): Detective McWard

He kind of looks like: A young detective facing a challenging case that is making him question his career choice.  

If he touches the puck, the puck is probably in Abbotsford.

Expect to hear: “McWard has some real potential to be a top-four defenceman in the NHL.”

Don’t expect to hear: “You’re off the force, McWard! We can't have a loose cannon like you! Turn in your gun and badge!”

Tyler Myers


About: Tyler Myers wears number 57 and plays right defence. While he was born in Texas, he spends his summers in Kelowna. He’s the tallest player in the NHL at 6’8”. When he keeps himself contained and sticks to the system, Myers can be an effective shutdown defenceman with his smooth skating and reach, but there’s always a wild chaos stirring underneath, threatening to break out at any moment. Often, that chaos takes the form of needless minor penalties.

Very Important Fact: Myers’ “hidden talent” is that he’s double-jointed.  

Nickname(s): Myse, Mysie, Chaos Giraffe, Taco, The Big Easy, Big Tex, Big Sexy, Tyler Minors

He kind of looks like: A taller, blonder James Blunt.  

If he touches the puck, your guess is as good as mine what he’s going to do with it.

Expect to hear: “Myers has got to stop putting the Canucks on the penalty kill.”

Don’t expect to hear: “Myers is such a steadying presence on the backend, I’m never worried when he’s on the ice.”

Carson Soucy


About: Carson Soucy wears number 7 and plays left defence. At 6’5”, he’s one of the taller defencemen in the NHL but still only the third-tallest on the Canucks. When he’s in the lineup, Soucy is excellent at taking on tough match-ups against top forward lines and shutting them down. Unfortunately, he’s spent more time injured than healthy this season with a couple of leg injuries and a hand injury taking him out of the lineup for long stretches. He’s one of the most upbeat, encouraging guys in the Canucks’ room.

Very Important Fact: One of Soucy’s all-time favourite movies is The Other Guys.  

Nickname(s): Souce, Dr. Souce, Sushi 

He kind of looks like: A model. He’s a handsome man.

If he touches the puck, it’s likely on its way safely out of the defensive zone.

Expect to hear: “The Canucks’ defence looks unbeatable when Soucy’s healthy.”

Don’t expect to hear: “I think the Canucks have too many tall defencemen.” 

Nikita Zadorov


About: Nikita Zadorov wears number 91 and plays left defence. He’s nearly as tall as Tyler Myers at 6’6” and throws heavy, devastating hits, whether along the boards or in open ice. He also has a heavy shot, though that gets less use. He’s a great skater, particularly for his size, and his combination of reach and mobility makes him effective against the rush, but his defensive reads can sometimes be an issue and he’ll get caught out of position at times chasing hits. Zadorov was one of the few Russian athletes to speak out publicly against Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine and has specifically called for Russia to become a democratic country rather than a kleptocracy.  

Very Important Fact: When Zadorov played with Max Domi on the London Knights, Max’s father, Tie Domi, donned his skates again to teach Zadorov how to fight.

Nickname(s): Big Zee, Great Big Zee, Big Zed

He kind of looks like: Ivan Drago. Not, like, physically, but as a concept.

If he touches the puck, it was incidental to his goal of sending an opponent into the Rogers Arena seats.

Expect to hear: “Ooh, Zadorov might get suspended for that hit.”

Don’t expect to hear: “I wish Zadorov played with more of an edge.”


The Canucks have one of the top goaltending tandems in the league, with a Vezina-candidate starter and a reliable veteran backup. They also have some depth in case of injury, with the reigning World Championship MVP in Arturs Silovs in the AHL.

Thatcher Demko


About: Thatcher Demko wears 35 and is the Canucks’ number-one goaltender. He was born in San Diego, California and has joked about being an atypical California who preferred staying inside on the ice instead of going to the beach. He studied Psychology and Philosophy at Boston College, which perhaps plays a role in his cool and calm demeanour on and off the ice. He struggled last season with poor play and a major injury but has bounced back this season as one of the favourites to win the Vezina Trophy as the best goaltender in the NHL.

Very Important Fact: Almost all of Demko’s goalie masks feature an iconic Will Ferrell character on the backplate: Jackie Moon from Semi-Pro, Ron Burgundy from Anchorman, Brennan Huff from Step Brothers, Ricky Bobby from Talladega Nights, and Mugatu from Zoolander. He has mixed it up a couple of times with Jim Carrey’s Ace Ventura and Jack Black’s Dewey Finn from School of Rock.

Nickname(s): Demmer, Thatch, The Snatcher, Mr. Demko, Bubble Demko (but he doesn’t like that last nickname)  

He kind of looks like: Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi.  

If he touches the puck, he just made a save look far easier than it actually was.

Expect to hear: “Oh my gosh, Demko! How did he keep that one out?”

Don’t expect to hear: “Demko should have been a surfer.”  

Casey DeSmith


About: Casey DeSmith wears number 29 and is the Canucks’ backup goaltender. He has been very good in his role as backup, giving Demko all the rest he needs throughout the season. His reliability has been a major factor in the Canucks’ success this season, as he consistently gives the team a chance to win when he gets a start. He expected to start the season with the Montreal Canadiens after a trade from the Pittsburgh Penguins but the Canucks traded Tanner Pearson to bring him to Vancouver. 

Very Important Fact: While a lot of hockey players play golf, DeSmith is instead an avid disc golfer.  

Nickname(s): The Golden Snitch  

He kind of looks like: Casey Affleck.  

If he touches the puck, he just made a save look almost exactly as easy as it actually was.

Expect to hear: “The Canucks might want to give DeSmith a few more starts to make sure Demko is rested for the playoffs.”

Don’t expect to hear: “DeSmith is the best goaltender on the Canucks whose name starts with the letters ‘De.’”