It's time for hockey fans on the east coast to recognize how good Marc-Edouard Vlasic is. My two cents has him making Team Canada to represent the storied hockey nation at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Vlasic defied the odds at his first pro training camp by making the Sharks team even though he was more or less penciled in to play one more year of Junior. From the moment Vlasic played in the NHL it was obvious he had tremendous defensive skills, from anticipation to footwork and of course his great stick which he uses so well.
We have watched Vlasic grow as a player and become more assertive as he has gotten stronger and gained more experience. He is someone who makes tough plays look easy because of his tremendous positioning and cherishes playing against the top players from other teams.
It's hard to believe that Pickles is only 26 and has already played 519 regular season NHL games and 79 NHL playoff games. The fact is the best is yet to come as he is just now reaching his prime. It will be fun to watch him continue to impact games and help the Sharks pursue the coveted Stanley Cup.
Vlasic has become a quiet leader and an integral part of the puzzle in San Jose. Above is a video from a couple of seasons ago where Vlasic shuts down the Avalanche forward Matt Duchene with his tremendous skating, stick and defensive positioning. He makes it look so simple!!!
Pickles, good luck with your tryouts for Team Canada, my ballot is for you to make the team this year.