- Christopher Tanev
Christopher Tanev Born December 20, 1989
East York, ON, CAN
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) Weight 190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb) Position Defence Shoots Right NHL team (P)
Chicago Wolves (AHL)
NHL Draft Undrafted Playing career 2010–present
Christopher Tanev (born December 20, 1989) is a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman who is currently playing for the Chicago Wolves in the American Hockey League (AHL) within the Vancouver Canucks organization of the National Hockey League (NHL). Unselected in the NHL Entry Draft, he was signed by the Canucks as a free agent after his freshman year with the Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers. In his only college season, he was named Atlantic Hockey's Rookie of the Year, in addition to receiving All-Tournament and Third All-Star Team honours, while helping the Tigers to a conference championship. Prior to college, he played three seasons in the Ontario Provincial Junior Hockey League (OPJHL).
Tanev was born in East York, Ontario, Canada to Sophie Meredith and Mike Tanev. He has two brothers, Brandon and Kyle. Playing minor hockey within the Greater Toronto Hockey League, he competed with the Toronto Red Wings. After being cut from seven midget-level teams at age 16 due to a lack of size (he was less than five feet and roughly 120 pounds at the time), Tanev resorted to playing for his high school's team and took up roller hockey in the summer. After graduating from high school at the East York Collegiate Institute, he enrolled in the Rochester Institute of Technology as a finance major while playing college hockey.
Junior and college
Tanev played in the Ontario Provincial Junior Hockey League (OPJHL) for three seasons. Starting off with the Durham Fury in 2006–07, he recorded no goals and nine assists over 40 games. He split the following season between Durham, the Stouffville Spirit and the Markham Waxers 17 points (2 goals and 15 assists) over 49 games between the three teams. Playing the 2008–09 campaign with Markham, he led all team defencemen in scoring with 41 points in 50 games, while serving as an alternate captain; he was named the team's top defenceman at the end of the season.
In 2009–10, he joined the NCAA Division I ranks with the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Tigers of the Atlantic Hockey Conference. Placed on the team's top defensive pairing with team captain Dan Ringwald, he recorded 10 goals and 28 points over 41 games, while leading his team with a +33 plus-minus rating. After being named Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Week on three occasions during the season, he received Rookie of the Year honours and was named to the conference's All-Rookie and Third All-Star Teams. In the 2010 playoffs, Tanev helped the Tigers to a conference championship, defeating the Sacred Heart Pioneers in the final. He was named to the All-Tournament Team. Advancing to the NCAA tournament, RIT was eliminated in the national semifinal by the Wisconsin Badgers. Tigers head coach Wayne Wilson described him during his freshman year as a "late bloomer", having grown six inches in his final year of junior, while praising his offensive skills.
During the NCAA tournament, Tanev was scouted by Vancouver Canucks director of player development Dave Gagner, who was previously acquainted with Tanev as his childhood roller hockey coach. The Canucks scouting staff collectively identified him as "the smartest player on the ice" in the East Regional segment of the tournament. On May 31, 2010, Tanev signed as an undrafted free agent with the Canucks, foregoing his final three years of college hockey eligibility. He had received interest from at least three other teams, including the San Jose Sharks, Ottawa Senators and Columbus Blue Jackets, but ultimately chose Vancouver.
Beginning the 2010–11 season with the Canucks' minor league affiliate, the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League (AHL), he scored his first professional goal against the Rochester Americans on November 13, 2010. He received his first call-up to Vancouver on January 16, 2011, after injuries to Canucks defencemen Andrew Alberts and Aaron Rome. Making his Canucks debut two days later against the Colorado Avalanche, he became the first RIT alumnus to play in the NHL. He later recorded his first NHL point on January 24, a second assist on a Dan Hamhuis powerplay goal, the final Canucks tally in a 7–1 win against the Dallas Stars. He remained with the NHL team for an extended period as Canucks defencemen continued to suffer injuries.
On March 31, 2011, Tanev had to be helped off the ice during a game against the Los Angeles Kings after opposing forward Kyle Clifford pushed him head-first into the end-boards. While recovering from the upper-body injury, he was returned to the Moose on April 7, as several regular defencemen were set to return to the Canucks lineup from injury, as well. Averaging 13 minutes of ice time per game over 29 NHL contests with one assist, Tanev was commended by Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault for being "very dependable...making the high-percentage plays." Vigneault also added that he had a good chance of playing with the Canucks "on a regular basis down the road." Completing the 2010–11 regular season with the Moose, he finished with 1 goal and 8 assists over 39 AHL games. Tanev added a goal and two assists in 14 playoff games as the Moose were defeated in the second round. Following Manitoba's elimination, he was called up to the Canucks for their playoff run as a reserve. In the Canucks' Game 3 contest against the San Jose Sharks in the third round, defencemen Christian Ehrhoff and Aaron Rome were both injured. Tanev was inserted into the lineup for the following game, making his NHL playoff debut on May 22, 2011. As the Canucks moved on to the Stanley Cup Finals against the Boston Bruins, Ehrhoff and Rome returned to action, temporarily sending Tanev back to the sidelines. Following injuries to Dan Hamhuis and Rome's suspension, Tanev played in the final three contests of the series, which the Canucks lost in seven games.
Following his professional rookie season, Tanev trained in the off-season particularly to increase his strength. Entering the Canucks' training camp with an added 10 pounds, he made the Canucks' opening lineup for the 2011–12 season. After dressing for three of the team's first five games, he was re-assigned to the Chicago Wolves, Vancouver's new AHL affiliate (the Moose were relocated to St. John's, Newfoundland, after the Winnipeg Jets returned to the NHL). Vigneault explained that the organization wanted Tanev receiving more ice time than he was while competing for the "No. 5 to No. 8 spots on [the] team."
Tanev is a defenceman lauded for his "hockey sense" and puck-moving ability. Upon being scouted out of college by Canucks personnel, his style of play was compared to offensive defenceman Christian Ehrhoff. An unagressive player, Tanev relies primarily on his positioning to check players. Following his performance in Game 5 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, teammate Kevin Bieksa also highlighted his calm on-ice demeanor, quipping that "he could have played with a cigarette in his mouth."
Regular season Playoffs Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM 2006–07 Durham Fury OPJHL 40 0 9 9 8 4 0 3 3 6 2007–08 Durham Fury OPJHL 19 1 6 7 12 — — — — — 2007–08 Stouffville Spirit OPJHL 4 0 0 0 0 — — — — — 2007–08 Markham Waxers OPJHL 26 1 9 10 12 23 1 2 3 4 2008–09 Markham Waxers OPJHL 50 4 37 41 33 14 1 5 6 8 2009–10 RIT Tigers AH 34 8 16 24 4 7 2 2 4 0 2010–11 Manitoba Moose AHL 39 1 8 9 16 14 1 2 3 4 2010–11 Vancouver Canucks NHL 29 0 1 1 0 5 0 0 0 0 NHL totals 29 0 1 1 0 5 0 0 0 0 AHL totals 39 1 8 9 16 14 1 2 3 4 AH totals 41 10 18 28 4 — — — — — OPJHL totals 139 6 61 67 65 41 2 10 12 18
Award Year Markham Waxers Top Defenceman 2008–09 Atlantic Hockey Rookie of the Year 2009–10 All-Rookie Team 2009–10 All-Tournament Team 2009–10
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