Canucks Roll Call is assessing every player who held a significant place in the fortunes of the 2021-22 Vancouver Canucks season. We’ll be looking at the highs and lows they experienced during the recent campaign, as well as what the future holds for them in Vancouver. Today we feature defenceman Kyle Burroughs.
Position: Right shot defenceman
2021-’22 totals (GP-G-A-P): 42-1-4-5, 39 PIM
Contract Status: One season remaining at $750,000.
Vancouver native Kyle Burroughs is a handy guy to have around. Being an aggressive right-shot D-man on a team that finds that area as its weakness is a good starting point. A great way to summarize his value is by sharing an excerpt from a write-up we did about him in early April when he returned from an injury he suffered in mid-February:
The characteristics you’ll most often hear Canucks teammates compliment is his willingness to sacrifice his body for the team, take hits, deliver hits and drop the mitts.
Burroughs fought Riley Stillman of the Chicago Blackhawks back on October 21st, then Tanner Jeannot of the Nashville Predators on January 18th, and Lawson Crouse of the Arizona Coyotes on February 8th.
Reviews just for fun: Burroughs landed the only two punches of the Stillman fight, an uppercut early and a jab late, so he had the edge. The Jeannot fight was uneventful as both men missed with a big swing and fell to the ice before the fight really got going, and then against the much taller and bigger Crouse, Burroughs dug in and hung on to the end. Slight edge to Crouse.
Burroughs: 1-1-and-1 with nothing too devastating.
Last week he returned off that lower-body injury for the two Canucks road games and played 16:49 and then 17:55 in Vegas and Arizona.
Burroughs ended up with one goal and four assists and 39 penalty minutes in 42 games played. He fears no one and packs whatever punch he can in his 6-foot, 198-pound body. Despite third pair ice time on the nights that he did play, he finished with the fourth most hits delivered on the team with 122.
Burroughs’s first and lone NHL career goal came on November 19th against the Winnipeg Jets at Rogers Arena. Former Canucks D-man Nate Schmidt did him a favour. While tying up Elias Pettersson in front and trying to make a kick save on Burroughs’s wrist shot from the point, Schmidt accidentally deflected the puck past goalie Eric Comrie to give Vancouver a 2-0 2nd period lead.
He had a single two-point game on February 17th at the San Jose Sharks.
Burroughs struggled mightily in the first month of the season, racking up minus nights while seeing his ice time fluctuate. As one might expect, his possession and team expected goals analytics were not stellar.
On a club lacking depth in his department he’s a 6th/7th defenceman. Should the team add an effective righty at some point, he’s a 7th defenceman in the NHL or an AHL stalwart.
What the future holds
Pending an acquisition, Burroughs will likely just continue to do what he’s been doing. He improved as last season wore on and that tendency should continue as he gains experience. Between Vancouver and a cup-of-coffee with Colorado the season before, Burroughs has only played 47 total NHL games.
Job: Take care of business as best he can in his own end and make the first pass. Simple.
Should Quinn Hughes move to the right side of the D-corps on the top pair, things might get interesting for Burroughs. If Tucker Poolman is healthy and plays, Burroughs will be the odd man out unless he proves to be more valuable than Poolman. That’s not likely at this point, but then again, whether Poolman plays and how long he lasts remains a mystery. That’s the world of concussions.
Tyler Myers is a given ahead of Burroughs on the right side.
Burroughs will work hard at Canucks training camp and wait to see where the chips fall.