Kevin Bieksa, or “Juice” as he’s known around Vancity, was the Canucks fifth round draft pick in 2001. After finishing University, Bieksa spent some time in the AHL before joining the Canucks full time in 2006.
In his first full season with the Canucks, Bieksa brought not only his strong defensive play, but also put up 42 points, which earned him team awards for best defenseman and as the team’s Unsung Hero.
Bieksa has been the subject of some controversy and trade rumours during his time in Vancouver, often criticised for making high-risk plays. However, he has consistently had the support of the coaching staff behind him (at least publicly) and he finished the 2010-11 season plus-32, a career high which put him second in the league behind Zdeno Chara.
The two-way defender also proved to be invaluable in the post season, recording 10 points, including the game winning goal in game five against the San Jose Sharks, to send Vancouver to the Stanley Cup Finals.
This summer, after publicly expressing a desire to stay in Vancouver, he signed a 5-year deal with the team. The 30 year-old Ontario native has everything you could ask for in a defender; he’s willing and able to drop the gloves, but knows when to back down, he makes opponents pay for their mistakes, and he can be counted on to chip in a few goals. All this in addition to his sly smile and biting come backs which have made him a fan favourite in Vancouver.