Vancouver Canucks' Prospect Coverage: D Chris Tanev

Joseph Trenton@@TrentonNHLCFLAnalyst IIIMay 9, 2012

Tanev and Luongo tries to freeze the puck for a whistle.
Tanev and Luongo tries to freeze the puck for a whistle.Rich Lam/Getty Images

Chris Tanev began his professional career as a college free agent in 2010. He and Lee Sweatt were the players that the Canucks managed to attract in the Spring, and officially sign to an entry-level contract.

Tanev played one college season with the Rochester Institute of Technology, completing the year with 10 goals, 18 assists for 28 points in 41 games. That is a pretty impressive rookie season for the young defenseman.

Tanev was an undrafted player back in 2008 as an 18-year-old, and again in 2009 when he was 19.

Described by many as a late bloomer, Chris Tanev is on record of saying that he experienced a growth spurt really late in high school. It was then that hockey became a possibility for him.

Canucks Head Coach, Alain Vigneault, really likes the decisions Tanev makes in his own zone. In a short stint of three professional years, Tanev has dressed in 54 NHL games for the team and 10 playoff games. It is a very rewarding feeling for both the team and the player to be able to see the NHL potential become reality.

Over the course of this summer, Tanev, like many others, knows what he has to do to get better for next season. At the end of the season, Chris Tanev said he will, "Definitely get stronger. I'm going to be working on my shot a lot so hopefully that improves. Those are the two main things. There are a lot of little things I am going to work on during the summer and hopefully implement them in games next year."

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Already a +10 rating in his NHL career, if Chris Tanev builds some muscle and offense to his game, then the Canucks will be very pleased to bring him in as a member on their top-six unit at training camp.

With potential openings left with Sami Salo's possible retirement from the NHL, and Aaron Rome entering unrestricted free agency, Chris Tanev can make a strong case to the coaching staff that he belongs full-time with the Canucks.

Closing the season with the final year of his entry level contract soon to expire, Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis will be busy speaking with Tanev's agent in discussion of a new contract extension this summer.

This is Joseph Trenton reporting on the Canucks Prospects Series.

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