For the primary time in two years, the Vancouver Canucks could have a first-round choose and for the sixth time in eight years, they’ll have a top-ten choose. From these first rounds, they’ve come away with Bo Horvat (2013), Jake Virtanen (2014), Olli Juolevi (2016), Elias Pettersson (2017), Quinn Hughes (2018), and Vasily Podkolzin (2019). All however one have them have performed an NHL sport and three of them are main the cost into the subsequent technology. I’d say that’s fairly good drafting over the previous few years.
Associated: THW 2021 NHL Draft Information
As for the later rounds, the Canucks have gotten fortunate there too with names like Nils Hoglander (2019), Jack Rathbone (2017), Michael DiPietro (2017), Kole Lind (2017), Jonah Gadjovich (2017), and Thatcher Demko (2014) all both making the NHL or displaying NHL potential. Once more, a fairly good observe report over the previous few drafts.
Now as we enter the 2021 model of the festivities, the Canucks are prepared so as to add to that spectacular group with seven extra names. That’s in the event that they don’t find yourself buying and selling a few of them within the subsequent day or so.
Canucks 2021 Draft Picks
Listed below are the draft picks the Canucks have of their arsenal as of this writing:
- First spherical – ninth general
- Second spherical – 41st general
- Fifth spherical – 137th general
- Fifth spherical – 140th general
- Sixth spherical – 169th general
- Sixth spherical – 178th general
- Seventh spherical – 201st general
After the primary two rounds, basic supervisor Jim Benning and firm should wait till the fifth spherical to pick out once more as they traded their third and fourth-round picks to the Dallas Stars and Chicago Blackhawks respectively. Their third-rounder acquired them future third-line heart Jason Dickinson in order that mainly makes it a win already. As for the opposite picks, we’ll simply have to attend a number of seasons to see if the second draft with out uber-scout Judd Brackett bears the identical fruit as 2020 after they chosen promising prospects Jacob Truscott, Dmitry Zlodeyev, and Viktor Persson.
What the Canucks Want
Holding the ninth and 41st general picks this yr, Benning will add two gamers who ought to make an affect on the Canucks someday. The primary two rounds are stuffed with prospects with intriguing potential. From forwards to goaltenders, he ought to have the choose of the litter when it comes time to make his picks. That being stated, there are a few positions that must be on the prime of his draft board.
Blue Chip Centerman
For the second draft in a row, the Canucks might be seeking to strengthen its pipeline at heart ice. They might have some potential NHLers in Carson Focht, Arvid Costmar, and Dmitri Zlodeyev, however all of them mission to be third or fourth line pivots. What they want is a sure-fire NHL prospect that can make a distinction within the prime six. With Bo Horvat ageing and Elias Pettersson shortly getting into his prime, they’ll want that subsequent wave very quickly.
Defencemen with High-4 Potential (Ideally Proper Handed)
The Canucks actually solely have one bonified blue-chip defensive prospect, and his final title begins with an “R”. As soon as he performs a full season with them in 2021-22, the pool drops off considerably. After Jett Woo, there are a whole lot of unknowns in Truscott, Persson, Joni Jurmo, and Toni Utunen, however once more there aren’t any huge names that stand out as positive issues. So, in a draft touted as “the yr of the defenceman”, Benning ought to take benefit and pull in not less than one defenceman that may doubtlessly step into the highest 4 someday.
Potential Targets To Tackle the Canucks’ Wants
The Canucks are within the excellent place to fill not less than considered one of their wants proper off the hop at ninth general. The truth is, they might doubtlessly examine off each earlier than the draft hits the 42nd choose. If they’ll do this, the remainder of the proceedings might be simply filling the pipeline with the very best gamers accessible, no matter place.
ninth General: Mason McTavish, C, Peterborough Petes (OHL)
THW Prospect Profile
After a dominating efficiency on the 2021 U18 World Championship, Mason McTavish won’t make it to ninth general. Although if he one way or the other falls, the Canucks ought to seize him and chortle all the best way to the financial institution. He’s all the pieces they want of their pipeline proper now, huge, sturdy, quick, and has the potential to grow to be a first-line heart.
McTavish isn’t just huge, he’s additionally supremely gifted. For a giant participant, he can skate, making him all of the extra harmful. Add that to his good passing, capturing, fingers and intelligence and you’ve got a participant that’s the full package deal offensively.
Frankie Benvenuti, The Hockey Writers
As a lot as all of us love Pettersson, he’s not the perfect prototypical first-line heart. Along with his dimension and incapability to win faceoffs, the Canucks can be much better off with a centerman like McTavish. The one factor he must develop is his defensive sport, and that can include time and training.
Loads of shops are projecting the Canucks to pick out North Vancouver product Kent Johnson. Whereas he can be a tremendous choose, he doesn’t actually fill their wants at heart ice. He could also be listed as a middle on his hockey card, however he spent most of final season enjoying wing with the Michigan Wolverines. His general sport doesn’t actually scream stable primary heart. He almost certainly will play as a winger within the NHL, which doesn’t assist the prospect pool proper now.
One other title to regulate is Cole Sillinger from the WHL’s Medication Hat Tigers and USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede. The Canucks have already interviewed him and seem to have a delicate spot for the Columbus native already.
Once we interviewed Cole he was a fairly spectacular younger man…Hanging across the rinks when his dad performed, he is aware of what an NHL hockey life seems to be like. He’s acquired an NHL shot, is a relentless employee and a heck of a child.
Canucks GM Jim Benning on Cole Sillinger (from ‘Canucks: Sizzling-shot Sillinger on NHL draft radar with talent, savvy, household lineage’, The Province, 7/21/21)
Deciding to play his 2020-21 season within the USHL after the WHL shut down for half the season, he excelled with the Stampede to the tune of 24 targets and 46 factors in 31 video games. Anticipated to be chosen within the top-15 by many specialists, he may fill that heart want as nicely. His major strengths are his character, shot, and hockey IQ, however his skating is considerably suspect. Nevertheless, that was stated of Horvat means again when as nicely, and have a look at what he’s now.
41st General: Scott Morrow, RD, Shattuck St. Mary’s 18U Prep (USHS-Prep)
THW Prospect Profile
Scott Morrow has risen up draft lists all season lengthy from toiling within the second spherical to being a late first-round choose. He won’t be there at 41st general, however he’s an intriguing alternative if he falls into the early second spherical. The smooth-skating defenseman is almost certainly a long-term mission, however it is going to be nicely definitely worth the wait when he lastly makes it to the NHL. Blessed with super mobility, imaginative and prescient, and smarts, he’s the definition of a modern-day blueliner.
Taking part in for the famed Shattuck St. Mary’s Prep, a faculty that boasts alumni like Sidney Crosby, Zach Parise, and Jonathan Toews, Morrow excelled to the tune of eight targets and 48 factors in 30 video games. His offensive sport is one thing to behold as he is aware of the best way to use his skating and smarts to generate possibilities from the again finish. Nevertheless, his defensive sport has some important holes in it as he turns the puck over at inopportune occasions and typically will get caught up ice on a pinch. Though, if that’s cleaned up, he may grow to be as dynamic as top-five potential Luke Hughes.
Morrow doesn’t actually match the definition of a two-way defenceman however given his offensive potential and distinctive hockey IQ, the precise coach would possibly have the ability to repair that subject fairly shortly. If that occurs, the Canucks may have one other blue-chip prospect on their fingers.
If Morrow is gone by the point the Canucks choose at 41, there are different right-handed defencemen they might have a look at. The primary being Brent Johnson from the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede, sarcastically a teammate of Sillinger’s. He’s not the largest at 5-foot-11, however he’s arguably one of many calmest, most secure blueliners accessible within the second spherical.
What impresses me probably the most about Johnson is how composed he’s when he’s on the ice. He has good hole management and retains his opponents to the skin of the defensive zone, limiting most possibilities they’ve of getting scoring probability on web.
Mathieu Sheridan, The Hockey Writers
Johnson isn’t solely good in his personal zone, he’s a really polished puck mover as nicely. He’s at all times prepared to leap into the play and he’s good at recovering when the play strikes within the different path. His sport within the offensive zone can be spectacular as he is ready to both get the puck to the web with a fast shot or discover his teammates with an amazing move.
If the Canucks don’t focus solely on their handedness, they might additionally have a look at defencemen like Jack Peart, Olen Zellweger, and Evan Nause, who would all adequately fill the two-way wants they’ve proper now.
5 Potential Gems within the Later Rounds
As soon as the Canucks enterprise out of the primary two rounds and into the fifth, sixth, and seventh rounds, the waters get just a little murky. Listed below are 5 names they need to be taking a more in-depth have a look at, typically no matter organizational want.
1. Manix Landry, C, Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL)
THW Prospect Profile
All the time one of many hardest staff on the ice, Manix Landry could possibly be a kind of prospects that fly underneath the radar as a late-round choose, then bursts onto the NHL scene as a top-six ahead. Lauded for his velocity, tenacity, delicate fingers, and general never-say-die angle, he has all of the attributes of a participant everybody loves enjoying with, however by no means in opposition to. His motor most likely runs the most popular of any on this draft class as he by no means backs down on the forecheck, backcheck, or any foray into the offensive zone.
Whenever you have a look at the gamers the Canucks draft, they at all times have a look at work ethic and character above all else. Landry has each in spades, so I’d not be shocked to see them use considered one of their fifth-round picks on him. That’s if he falls that far.
2. Jeremy Wilmer, C, USNTDP Juniors (USHL)
THW Prospect Profile
Jeremy Wilmer could also be small, however he positively doesn’t play to his dimension. The Canucks could be hesitant to draft him after their expertise with one other small participant in Petrus Palmu, however in the long run, he could be definitely worth the danger. Lauded for his velocity, creativity, and intense work ethic, he has the potential to shock everybody like Tyler Johnson did when he was handed over altogether. Slated by some to be in that very same place, Wilmer could possibly be price a flyer within the sixth or seventh spherical.
3. Sasha Teleguine, C, Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL)
Taking part in within the Canucks’ yard in Chilliwack, Sasha Teleguine may turn into one of many largest gems on this yr’s draft. Stuffed with tantalizing velocity, fingers, and offensive potential, the North Attleborough, Massachusetts native was one of the crucial thrilling gamers for the Chilliwack Chiefs within the shortened 2020-21 season. Skilled by his father Victor Teleguine, who’s a highly-regarded Russian abilities coach, he grew into a talented offensive dynamo that might get a fan out of their seat in a second’s flat.
To be sincere, I wouldn’t be the participant I’m immediately with out him…My dad has been the spine for me my complete life. The quantity of occasions he bought ice for talent periods, simply me and him 1-on-1 and rising up engaged on skating, edges and easy puckhandling…Even these days, earlier than I acquired out right here I’d spend 4 or 5 hours every week with him engaged on small abilities that might translate in video games. He’s been a basic piece of the participant I’m immediately.
Sasha Teleguine on his father’s affect in his growth
Ranked by FCHockey and McKeen’s Hockey to go someplace within the fourth spherical, Teleguine may doubtlessly drop into the fingers of the Canucks within the fifth, as he’s not ranked by anybody else. With talent and velocity like his, I’d take an opportunity on him if I used to be Benning.
4. Kyle Kukkonen, C, Maple Grove Crimson (USHS-MN)
THW Prospect Profile
If the Canucks are searching for worth within the sixth or seventh spherical, heart Kyle Kukkonen could be the proper man to go after. A scoring machine together with his highschool workforce, the Crimson, he racked up 31 targets and 74 factors in 23 video games and walked away together with his second Youth Hockey Hub (YHH) Participant of the 12 months Award. Identified for his management, work ethic, and polished two-way sport, he may grow to be a stable third-line heart within the vein of latest Canucks’ ahead Josh Dickinson. Besides with stronger numbers within the faceoff circle, as he’s already recognized to be efficient there.
Dedicated to Michigan Tech subsequent season, Kukkonen could have an opportunity to construct on his abilities and proceed to show to everybody that he’s price a choose within the 2021 Draft.
5. Aku Koskenvuo, G, HIFK U20 (U20 SM-sarja)
THW Prospect Profile
Lastly, we get to a goaltender that could possibly be molded right into a famous person if put into the Ian Clark faculty of goaltending. Blessed with very good athleticism and a large 6-foot-Four body, Finnish netminder Aku Koskenvuo has the uncooked toolkit of an NHL starter. In the precise teaching setting, which he’ll get in Vancouver, he ought to grow to be a really stable NHL goaltender. With Demko manning the crease for the foreseeable future and DiPietro doubtlessly his successor, he could have loads of time to develop into the participant he has the potential of turning into.
Canucks Ought to Stroll Away Glad After 2021 Draft
No matter who the Canucks finally select, they need to stroll away with some high quality prospects when all is claimed and accomplished. Whether or not they fill their place wants stays to be seen, but when they’ll add not less than some elite depth to the middle ice place and extra potential top-four defencemen to the pipeline, I believe this draft must be thought-about a large success.
Matthew Zator is a THW freelance author, editor, part-time journalist, and scout who lives and breathes Vancouver Canucks hockey, the NHL Draft, and prospects normally. He loves speaking about younger gamers and their potential. Matthew is a must-read for Canucks followers and followers of the NHL Draft and its prospects. For interview requests or content material data, you may comply with Matthew by his social media accounts that are listed underneath his photograph on the conclusion of articles like this one about Tyler Motte.