Drafting Skills: Vancouver Canucks

Recent Draft History – Evaluating the first 3 rounds of the last 5 Drafts for each team. I’ve left out 2016, as it’s way too early to tell on 95% of the picks. Instead, this will be examining drafts from 2011 to 2015.

Vancouver Canucks

 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Nicklas Jensen (RW) 29th overall – It’s been 6 season since Jensen was drafted, and he as suited up for a grand total of 31 NHL games. That’s not exactly great. He posted ‘OK’ numbers in the OHL before making the jump the AHL, however he has never found his scoring touch. He was traded from Vancouver in 2016 as part of the trade that brought in Emerson Etem.

Round 2 – Pick was traded to Minnesota for a 3rd and 4th round pick in this draft.

Round 3 – David Honzik (G) 71st overall – This looks like another miss for Vancouver. After finishing up his QMJHL career, Honzik is now playing in the Czech league. How are his numbers this year you may ask? 26 GP 6-20-0, GAA 3.01, SV% 0.899. Yikes. Big miss here.

Round 3 – Alexandre Grenier (RW) 90th overall – Grenier looks to be their best selection out of the first few rounds. He’s currently taking the long road, playing in his 4th full season in the AHL, but has put up 40 points in 54 games so far this year. Time is running out for him to make the jump, the 25 year old needs to impress next season or that could be it for him. He’s not getting any younger, especially in a league that is trending younger.

2012 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Brendan Gaunce (LW) 26th overall – Gaunce has yet to solidify himself as an everyday NHLer. He’s seeing time this season, but mostly due to injuries the Canucks have suffered. He managed quite a bit of offense while in junior, and continued that early in his AHL career. The Canucks are hoping he can translate that into the NHL, as they’re a team that will be changing quite a bit over the next few years. There are hopes he can be part of the new group of players that they will need to emerge over the next couple of seasons.

Round 2 – Alexandre Mallet (C) 57th overall – Another pick by the Canucks that is no longer playing in North America. Mallet is over in the Czech league, and is disappointing on all accounts. He had one good year in junior as a 20 year old, before being mediocre in the ECHL. I can’t imagine Mallet every making the jump to the NHL. Tough for the Canucks, as there were many players taken after him that have made an impact in the NHL today.

Round 3 – Pick was traded to Anaheim in the trade that brought in Maxim Lapierre. The pick that Anaheim got from this trade resulted in goalie Frederik Andersen. The Canucks would be much better off today having kept that pick and taking Mr. Andersen.

2013 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Bo Horvat (C) 9th overall – Horvat took an extra year to develop than some of the others that were drafted around him, however this season he is coming into his own. He’s hit the 20 goal mark for the first time in his career, and should end up with close to 60 points. He’s the future for the Canucks, and one they need to embrace desperately. His speed and playmaking ability set him apart from others at his position. Horvat should continue getting better over the next couple of seasons. Keep in mind though, the Canucks traded Cory Schneider away for this pick… puts a slight cloud over Horvat.

Round 1 – Hunter Shinkaruk (LW) 24th overall – Shinkaruk was traded in 2016 to Calgary for Markus Granlund. This appears to be a steal (so far) for Vancouver. Shinkaruk is still in the AHL, and Grandlund has 17 goals and 29 points in 66 games this season so far for the Canucks. Shinkaruk is a year younger, but it appears this one will go in the Canucks favour for the foreseeable future.

Round 2 – Pick was traded for Derek Roy. He played decent enough for the Canucks, with 6 points in 12 games to finish the season.

Round 3 – Cole Cassels (C) 85th overall –  This selection was part of the trade that brought in David Booth and Steve Reinprecht, for Mikael Samuelsson and Marco Sturm. He’s currently playing for Vancouver’s AHL affiliate in Utica, and has less than impressive numbers. 10 points through 52 games, with 29 PIM and a +2 rating. Can’t imagine Cassels making an impact in any shape at the NHL level, which is unfortunate as Sven Andrighetto was taken with the next pick and has already suited up in 87 NHL games.

2014 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Jake Virtanen (RW) 6th overall – There are many who believe Virtanen was rushed into the NHL and that hurt his current development, as this year he has been anything but impressive at the AHL level. He played in 10 games with Vancouver before being shipped to Utica, where he currently has 14 points in 50 games. Not. Great. At. All. Now, he’s only 20 years old. There is PLENTY of time for him to find his game. The tough part for Canucks fans to swallow, is 2 picks after him the Leafs took William Nylander (48 points in 66 games this year), followed by the Jets taking Nikolaj Ehlers (54 points in 69 games this year). Either of those picks would be a massive upgrade for the Canucks.

Round  1 – Jared McCann (C) 24th overall – Another 24th overall selection for the Canucks, another swing and a miss. The pick was acquired in the Ryan Kesler trade, and McCann played 69 career games for the Canucks putting up only 18 points. McCann has show promise that he will be a full-time NHL player someday, however this past summer was traded to Florida in the exchange that brought in Erik Gudbranson (which is another story altogether).

Round 2 – Thatcher Demko (G) 36th overall – Demko is viewed as an elite goalie prospect, and the goalie of the future for the Canucks. He may get his chance sooner than later, with Ryan Miller on the final year of his deal. He’s currently playing in the AHL for the first time, and has OK numbers for a rookie (GAA of 2.57, SV% 0.909 in 33 games). He’s a big guy, and plays the game well. This is a great selection for the Canucks in the 2nd round.

Round 3 – Nikita Tryamkin (D) 66th overall – Tryamkin played in 13 games in the season after being drafted, and has played in the majority of Canucks games this year. He hasn’t looked out of place, especially on a weak Canucks team. He controls play decently well, and while he doesn’t put up big numbers, he also doesn’t allow the most chances against from the Canucks back-end. He has a bright future ahead.

2015 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Brock Boeser (RW) 23rd overall – Boeser is the real deal. He will be a future, everyday player in the NHL. The Canucks can expect Boeser to make an impact on a daily basis as early as next year, as he’s currently finishing up his second season at the University of North Dakota (33 pts in 31 games). He’s a big kid for 20 years old, and will help boost the offence for the Canucks that has dipped in the past couple of seasons. They’ll need all the help they can to turn the franchise around after the Sedins make their exit in the next couple of years.

Round 2 – Pick was traded to Calgary for Sven Baertschi. This trade has panned out decently for the Canucks, as Baertschi has turned into an effective player this year. He’s producing an over 0.5 pts per game for Vancouver. Meanwhile, the player the Flames drafted (Rasmus Andersson) is producing at a 0.44 point per game pace in the AHL.

Round 3 – Guillaume Brisebois (D) 66th overall – Brisebois has looked great this year in the QMJHL for Charlottetown. He’s put up 10 goals in back to back years now, along with 37 assists to finish the year with 47 points. He’s improved his defensive game as well, going from a -13 rating in 2015-2016 to +35 this year. He likely is a couple years away from the big leagues, but he’ll get his first taste of pro hockey next season when he debuts in the AHL.


All-in-all, the Canucks have not done great in recent drafts. They’ve traded a lot of picks away, being a contender for a few years. However, even when they were picking early in the first round, they’ve missed repeatedly. Their goaltending prospects are amongst the tops in the NHL, so we’ll give them that, but other than that, and a few rare finds, they’ve lacked what so many others teams have in recent years.


Info: hockeydb.com; http://www.prosportstransactions.com/hockey/DraftTrades/Years


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