We may end up seeing Tucker Poolman as a healthy scratch not even halfway through the first year of a four-year, 10 million dollar contract.
Early in his Canucks career, it’s safe to say that Poolman has not come as advertised. At the time of the signing, Jim Benning said, “losing Chris Tanev hurt us,” and that “we think Tucker Poolman has some of that in him.”
Poolman was expected to come in and play with one of Quinn Hughes or Oliver Ekman-Larsson and be the defensive piece that allows his more offensive partner to shine. Unfortunately for Poolman, he has been outplayed by Tyler Myers, Luke Schenn and — when healthy and available — Travis Hamonic.
Puck possession and zone exits have been a struggle for Poolman this season. He seems fine when defending in his own end and is an above-average skater as well. The big problem in Poolman’s game is when the puck is on his stick. After a few decent games to start the season, it felt like opposing teams took notice of this weakness as well, and began to take advantage of it.