Alex Edler etched his name into the Canucks’ record books on Friday, setting a new mark for defencemen.
Picking up a pair of assists against the Nashville Predators at Rogers Arena, Edler tied and passed Mattias Ohlund for most all-time points by a Canucks blueliner. He now has 326 points in 741 career NHL games, all with Vancouver.
The 31-year-old got his first assist when Bo Horvat tipped his wrist shot from the point on the power play to give the Canucks a 1-0 lead in the first period. The record-breaker came on a second assist to Daniel Sedin’s third period power play goal, which gave Vancouver a 3-2 lead.
The Canucks ended up losing the game to the Western Conference leaders, but not before showing a video tribute on the big screen before overtime, with fans and teammates giving him a nice ovation.
Respect your Edlers 🔥 3⃣2⃣6⃣ 🔥 pic.twitter.com/ofYJa03Q37
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) March 3, 2018
“It’s a great accomplishment,” said head coach Travis Green in his post-game press conference. “He’s been a great Canuck for a long time and he’s a really good pro. He’s a great example for our young guys.”
In breaking Ohlund’s record, Edler passed a player that helped him a lot in his early years.
“It means a lot to be up there with him,” Edler told reporters after the game. “He was a mentor for me. It was great to have him here my first year.”
Edler had the veteran Swedish defenceman to look up to when he broke into the NHL as a baby-faced 20-year-old on November 4, 2006. They would go on to play three seasons together before Ohlund moved on to Tampa Bay in 2009.
— Vanessa Jang (@vanessajang) March 3, 2018
“I think it’s special to be up there with Mattias,” Edler said. “I played a lot of games here, it’s not like I have 300 points in 500 games. To be up there with a guy like that is pretty special.”
Humble words from Edler, but he did achieve the feat in 29 fewer games than his mentor.
Edler’s still got lots of gas left in the tank, leading the team in ice time this season as he usually does, playing 23:41 per night. He also leads all Canucks rearguards in points this year with 26 (2-24-26) in 53 games.
If Edler plays out the remaining two years of his contract, he could very well own every major Canucks record for defencemen.
The mild-mannered Swede sits third all-time in goals, trailing Jyrki Lumme by three, and Ohlund by 13. He’s second in terms of assists, behind Dennis Kearns by 44. Edler is also third in games played, 29 games behind Ohlund and 40 behind Harold Snepsts.