The Vancouver Canucks took the day off Tuesday, which gave Ryan Stanton time to work on his speech.

The defenceman will soon be in the spotlight, taking a twirl on the ice as the game’s first star, tossing his stick to admiring fans and clever one-liners to enthralled reporters. The 24-year-old waiver-wire pickup needs to be ready because surely his glorious National Hockey League night is coming.

How could it not be?

On Monday, it was Canuck rookie goalie Eddie Lack, undrafted and unsigned in the NHL until he was 22, who skated out post-game amid flashing camera bulbs and cheers of “Eddie! Eddie! Eddie!” after a 2-0 shutout against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Twenty-seven hours earlier, the first star and local hero in a 3-1 win against the Colorado Avalanche was Burnaby forward Mike Santorelli, who was waived by the Florida Panthers and dumped by the Winnipeg Jets last season. Santorelli accepted from the Canucks in July a two-way, free-agent contract that included the minimum NHL salary of $550,000 US and restaurant recommendations for Utica, N.Y., where Vancouver’s new farm team is based.

Santorelli is in the minor-league and prospects’ section of the Canucks’ media guide, but at least he is in it. Stanton, claimed on waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks on Sept. 30, missed the Canucks’ publishing deadline.

Lack is in the NHL section of the media guide only because former starter Cory Schneider was traded to the New Jersey Devils. But there is a lot of white space on Lack’s two pages. Not printed were the obvious questions about the goalkeeper’s readiness for the NHL after three seasons in the American Hockey League and major hip surgery last winter.

At the start of the season, questions about Stanton and Santorelli were more basic, like: How are their names spelled? And where did they play last year?

But not only are these three guys, from whom little was expected, having a great week, they’re having terrific seasons.

“I just wonder where we’d be if this wasn’t happening for us,” Canuck coach John Tortorella said after Monday’s win.

Where would the Canucks be without them?

“Not where we are right now,” winger Daniel Sedin said.

Given general manager Mike Gillis’ lack of certifiable upgrades to the Vancouver roster beyond the free-agent courtship and signing of fourth-line centre Brad Richardson, the best hope for improvement in the lineup was an uptick in performance from a few returning players and the breakthrough by a couple of the new ones.

Defenceman Chris Tanev and, to a lesser extent, Richardson and winger Chris Higgins have provided the uptick. The breakthroughs are coming from Stanton, Santorelli and Lack.

With only one NHL game on his resumé after three years in the Blackhawk organization, Stanton has not only dressed for every Canuck game this season, but contributed 11 points, a plus-four rating and timely toughness. And in the three games since top defenceman Alex Edler sprained his knee, Stanton has averaged 18:09 of ice time and helped push the Canucks’ winning streak to five games while Vancouver crept back into playoff position at 18-10-5.