Bonino shrugs off Kesler comparisons

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How will the Canucks replace Ryan Kesler?

Of all the questions facing Vancouver’s hockey team leading into the 2014-15 NHL season, that may be the biggest one.

Currently, Nick Bonino is slotted into the second-line center spot that Kesler vacated when the former Selke Trophy winner was traded to Anaheim for Bonino, Luca Sbisa and the 24th overall pick in the 2014 draft.

“With Bonino coming in, he’s a really good player,” winger Daniel Sedin said, per the Vancouver Province.

“But replacing (Kesler)? That will be a team thing. We’re going to need guys playing on the PK more than they have before and offensively we need someone stepping up to score those goals.”

Kesler led the Canucks with 25 goals in 2013-14. He also logged 21:48 of ice time per game, second to only Sidney Crosby (21:58) among league forwards.

Management’s hope for Bonino is that he can score 20 goals, something he’s only done once (22 goals in 2013-14) in his NHL career.

“Obviously, there are going to be the comparisons,” said Bonino. “But my game is my game and I’m not going to try and do what someone else did.”