Anton Rödin Signs with Brynäs

Thomas Drance
May 28 2013 08:22AM


Image courtesy Canucks.com

In late March we wrote up an Aftonbladet report that Canucks prospect Anton Rödin had made a verbal agreement with his former SEL club Brynäs to return there following the 2012-13 American Hockey League season. At the time we presumed that Rödin would at least wait to see whether or not the Canucks extend him a qualifying offer this offseason, but that presumption appears to have been incorrect. 

Today multiple sources (and Aftonbladet) are reporting that Rödin has signed with Brynäs and will return to Sweden to play in the Elitserien next year. The Canucks will retain Rödin's rights (he'll basically become a restricted free-agent), but I think we can safely close the book on his time as a Canucks prospect.

Read past the jump.

Needless to say Anton Rödin, Vancouver's second round pick in the 2009 NHL draft, never really worked out for the Canucks. After dominating a world junior tournament and impressing enormously in the Elitserien during the 2010-11 season, Rödin just never successfully adjusted to the North American game. In his first season with the Wolves, Rödin managed twenty-seven points and battled shoulder tendinitis issues. He was hurt again in his sophmore American Hockey League campaign, and was even less productive when he was in the lineup, managing only fourteen points in a tick under fifty contests.

I find it a bit baffling that Rödin was such a non-entity in the American Hockey League, especially considering his speed, plus puck-handling ability and craftiness in puck battles. For a guy who weighs less than 180 pounds, Rödin had a solid knack for punching well above his weight along the boards. It's mystifying to me that his skills didn't translate into more offense even playing against secondary competition

With Rödin returning to Sweden permanently and Kevin Connauton now one of the surplus of puck-moving blue-line prospects in the Dallas Stars organization, the Canucks have essentially burned their second and third round picks from the 2009 NHL draft. In total, those two picks resulted in a handful of underwhelming games from rental centre Derek Roy...

Vancouver's 2009 draft class is an interesting one, actually, in that there's lots of hand-wringing about it from Canucks fans even though the jury is out (or should be) on evaluating the majority of the players selected. Connauton and Rödin were flops in the Canucks organization, obviously, but Jordan Schroeder looks like an NHL player to me and Jeremy Price, Peter Andersson and Joe Cannata remain in the system. Those three will all play at the AHL level next season, at least they will if the Canucks can secure a parking spot for their newly purchased affiliate franchise, and while none of those players are particularly close to contributing to the big league club there's still opportunity for them to develop into NHL regulars.

Tony Gallagher recently evaluated the relative weakness of the Canucks prospect pool and put the organization's scouts on blast:

Can you say, honestly, that more shouldn’t have been expected out of Jordan Schroeder by now, if he was going to be the player they had hoped. He’s not finished developing, and you certainly don’t want to be making assumptions too quickly, but at the moment it doesn’t look like he’s top-six material unless he makes a whack more progress. Anton Rodin has been a bust so far. Kevin Connauton has been given up upon.

The loss of a first-rounder in 2010 for the Keith Ballard trade was obviously a huge blow, but which of the pro scouts was that high on the guy in the first place if his use here wasn’t the coach’s fault?

Yann Sauve getting hit by a car just as he was beginning to show some maturity wasn’t helpful, granted, but basically, unless Nicklas Jensen, Peter Andersson, Eddie Lack and Brendan Gaunce are all as good as everyone is hoping, it’s been a very lean run.

So shouldn’t there be some heads rolling here? Just because you once played for the Vancouver Canucks, have a great personality and can tell a good joke doesn’t qualify you to pick talent and stock an NHL team.

The Canucks are made fun of by the other scouts. To get a job, it seems all you need in your background is to have once put on the jersey and you’re in.

Yawn.

Here's the thing about Mike Gillis's draft record, and hold on to your butts because this is going to be a crazy revelation: it's mixed. I really like the organization's habit of taking NCAA bound players in the late rounds, but their emphasis on undersized skilled forward in 2008 and 2009 didn't work (though they appear to have changed course since). Also, they're clearly playing at some angle drafting more mature players of late that I frankly don't think makes a lot of sense (of course, I also don't really understand their angle yet). 

For all of the criticism of the team's draft record, it's likely that all of Brendan Gaunce, Chris Tanev, Frank Corrado, Jordan Schroeder and Eddie Lack will credibly compete for NHL jobs at training camp this fall. Basically Vancouver's draft record is just about average, even if it looks worse than it is. Kind of like Luongo in the shootout.

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Thomas Drance lives in Toronto, eats spicy food and writes about hockey. He is an NHL News Editor at theScore, the ex-managing editor of CanucksArmy.com and an opinionated blowhard to boot. You can follow him on twitter @thomasdrance.
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#1 UkeeRob
May 28 2013, 09:27AM
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We really need to get a future core player with this years draft pick. With such a deep draft it's possible at our current pick, but we have to get it right. Some of you guys are a little more versed at this years prospects, who do you think is the best prospect ranked around our slot? Sure would be nice to pick up another first round pick, or even another low second.

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#3 orcasfan
May 28 2013, 10:24AM
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Of course, we have all learned to shake our heads at Gallagher's Canucks "reporting" over the years. Even for the bunch of inept so-called journos in the Vancouver sports media, Gallagher usually sets the low-tide mark! If you have a look at the Canuck's organization table, you notice a couple of thinks immediately - first, there are a lot more scouts on staff, and second, most of them are not ex-Canucks! Actually, the only ex-Canuck scout that think should be booted is good old Harold Snepts. His domain, I believe is BC and the West. When was the last time he found a gem for the team out of the WHL or BCHL? Was Ellington really the best he could do?

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#4 Gordon
May 28 2013, 10:50AM
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Gallagher is full of horse dung he wouldn't know a good player if he were evaluating prospect that's why he is a beat writer. And so good at that either I would hate to think what our franchise would look like if he were managing.

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#5 Unknown Comic
May 28 2013, 12:05PM
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It's hard to watch Gallagher write about how coaches become stale, or players need a new voice. Meanwhile we fans would like the same thing, but have had to read him for 40 years.

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#6 Fred-65
May 28 2013, 01:24PM
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Yep when do they "release Gallgher" and admit their folly in the first place :-)

The kid I like and i watched for the U-18 tourney was Samuel Morin.(D) I see they've moved him up to 20th in THN, Top Self/International scouting list him at 30th. I was surprised at how good his feet were for his size.

The other player I like is Gauthier (C) he seems to fit from a high of 18th overall to a low 22 so he's right in our zone.

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#7 NM00
May 28 2013, 02:56PM
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"For all of the criticism of the team's draft record, it's likely that all of Brendan Gaunce, Chris Tanev, Frank Corrado, Jordan Schroeder and Eddie Lack will credibly compete for NHL jobs at training camp this fall. Basically Vancouver's draft record is just about average, even if it looks worse than it is."

The Canucks have yet to produce a single NHL regular after 5 Gillis drafts. The closest is Kassian (via Hodgson). But considering he was sent down to the AHL this year, I don't think we should count him as a regular yet.

It isn't just the poor drafting. It's the poor drafting combined with wasting draft picks on Bernier, Alberts, Ballard & Roy.

Even the list of guys who will compete for jobs next season (Brendan Gaunce, Chris Tanev, Frank Corrado, Jordan Schroeder and Eddie Lack) don't project to be impactful by anyone outside of Vancouver.

And Gaunce & Corrado in particular are competing for jobs due to the Canucks cap issues. And it is quite telling that selections from the last 3 drafts (Gaunce, Jensen & Corrado) have essentially caught up to or passed the selections from Gillis' first 3 failed drafts.

There isn't an Alex Edler or Cory Schneider in that group in all likelihood.

Gillis took over as GM 5 years ago with Edler, Schneider, Bourdon (RIP), Raymond, Grabner & Hansen all working their way through the system or on the NHL team. 3 of them (Edler, Schneider, Bourdon) were top prospects in the industry which shouldn't be overlooked.

And that's just Nonis' work. Let's not forget Kesler, Bieksa & the Sedins from Burke.

How people continue to defend Gillis's poor transaction record is appalling. It's time to take off the rose coloured glasses and critically examine his body of work. It's not a small sample size anymore.

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#8 elvis15
May 28 2013, 04:15PM
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Gallagher-schmallagher. I agree we've been average to this point with Gillis' drafting - some good, some not - but that could change with a few more prospects coming along. I think for the most part, and considering the general conversion rate for draft picks to become NHL regulars, we've picked good value.

Who knows, maybe Edler gets traded to Colorado for their 1st overall and we suddenly get a whole lot better!

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#9 Rick Smits
May 28 2013, 06:28PM
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Eddie Lack competing for an NHL job next year... BAHAHAHAHA!!!! You're killing me... Stop it! Guy has been completely outplayed by his AHL journeyman counterpart over the past two seasons.

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#10 Drafting
May 28 2013, 06:30PM
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Chris Tanev and Eddie Lack weren't drafted by the Canucks. That leaves only Guance, Corrado and Schroeder. 2 of which are 1st round picks - 1st round picks are usually considered gimmes. That leaves only 1 drafted player 'outside' the 1st round in 5 years of drafting. There's no way on this planet you can tell me that's good drafting. That's absolutely pathetic.

Only 1 player that Gillis has drafted or signed has played a full year with Canucks. That name is Tanev (this year).

This scouting dept needs a major overhaul. The guys who found Corrado/tanev/lack should be kept. The rest should be canned or given a different role in the org.

IT's just no acceptable.

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#11 NM00
May 28 2013, 07:11PM
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@Drafting

Or maybe the GM preaching the organizational philosophy is the issue.

Relative to their position, the Canucks drafted very well under Dave Nonis.

In fairness to Gillis, he hasn't had high draft picks. Late first rounders aren't gimmes. But 5 drafts should have produced more NHLers/top prospects. Not only has Gillis failed to draft an NHL regular to date, he doesn't have prospects that other GMs covet, either.

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