Canucks’ Benning on Kassian: ‘He’s got the physicality and size to be a power forward for us’

10 Comments

Zack Kassian is expected to be in the lineup tonight when the Vancouver Canucks play host to the Detroit Red Wings.

It’ll be Kassian’s first game since Nov. 25. The 23-year-old was originally out with a broken finger, but was a healthy scratch for the Canucks 3-2 to loss to the L.A. Kings on Thursday.

“He’s got the physicality and size to be a power forward for us. He’s going to have to embrace that style of game,” Canucks general manager, Jim Benning, told The Vancouver Province. “That’s how he’s going to help us win.”

Kassian, who has two goals and five points in 17 games this season to go along with a minus-5 rating, is just one season removed from scoring a career-best 14 goals and 29 points in 73 games during the 2013-14 season.

Benning admitted he’s willing to listen to calls from other teams regarding the availability of the former first-round pick.

“With any young player you have to patient, but having said that, if somebody calls us, and we think we can make our team better we’re going to look at that. We’re going to talk about it,” Benning said. “That’s the case with any player.”

Injuries have forced Kassian to miss 18 games this season.

Originally the 13th overall selection of the Buffalo Sabres in 2009, Kassian has 27 goals and 55 points in 173 career games with the Sabres and Canucks.