August 22 2014 11:21AM
In his first year of eligibility for our cherished annual prospects list, Erie Otters forward Dane Fox makes his debut at number 12. An undrafted free agent, the 20-year-old Fox cashed in a whopping 64 goals while playing triggerman for Connor McDavid and Connor Brown with Erie in 2013-14. Sought after by a number of teams this winter, Fox signed a three-year entry-level contract - a deal that included the maximum signing bonus - with the Canucks in December.
Fox is the very last of a diverse and relatively successful class of undrafted free agents that were signed by the Canucks during the Mike Gillis era. It's a class that can claim a couple of star graduates, including Eddie Lack and Chris Tanev, and some big misses in Sebastian Erixon and Evan Oberg. No matter, the thing about an undrafted free agent is that they're found money, basically no-risk propositions.
In Fox's case, it's easy to get carried away looking at his massive OHL goal totals and forget that he managed his feat, and it's still impressive, while playing as an overager with a generational talent on a stacked team. That's critical context, and it's pretty unlikely that Fox will be a top-line scorer at the NHL level. Fox is still an intriguing depth prospect though, and his relatively high debut ranking slot speaks to that.
Nation World HQ
August 22 2014 08:05AM
The NHL changes the draft lottery, Bertuzzi-Moore 10 years later, a Gino Odjick tale, truculence in Calgary, bye bye Tyler Bozak, and more in this week's Roundup
August 21 2014 04:42PM
We've been fairly preoccupied on this platform these days with the annual prospect profile series we've been running, and for those of you that have been patiently sticking with us since the beginning, the payoff is coming in short order.
But in the meantime, there have been a few worthwhile happenings in the hockey world over the past couple of days which are at least tangentially related to the Canucks. This makes them worthy of at least a brief discussion for our purposes.
If you'll indulge me, some words on a renewed deal with the Kalamazoo Wings, an adjusted draft lottery system, Jordan Subban's flashy display of skill, and the team's shiny new toy in the form of a video coach just past the jump.
August 21 2014 10:58AM
Years down the road, when we're looking back on the 2014 NHL entry draft with the benefit of hindsight, the story of Thatcher Demko may not be so much the story of Demko himself, but of goalies and their unique relationship with the draft.
Indeed, all-star netminders have been selected in the first few picks of the draft, but for every Carey Price (5th overall, 2005), there is a Brian Finley (6th overall, 1999). For every Cory Schneider (26th overall, 2004), there are multiple Leland Irvings (26th overall, 2006). For every Jonathan Bernier (11th overall, 2006), there is a Brent Krahn (9th overall, 2000), and so on and so forth.
If you're a regular reader of this blog, I assume you're acquainted with our good friend Sham Sharron. If not, now is a fantastic time to get to know him if you've got an hour or six to kill. One of Sham's cardinal rules for drafting prospects was to avoid goalies at all costs since they're voodoo and, much like Sham's namesake, can't be trusted.
But why can't we trust goalies? Why should we avoid them? I'm glad you asked.
August 20 2014 11:50AM
One of the main driving forces behind this profile series - aside from striving to provide mid-August analysis that goes beyond debating whether Trevor Linden's trunks in his Ice Bucket Challenge are short, or too short - is to hopefully become more familiar with prospects that we could potentially one day see wearing Canucks jerseys on our television sets.
The first handful of guys that come up each year can prove to be a slog, because realistically, the chances that we'll ever need to really know their names are quite slim. But it's all part of the process; eventually we reach a point in which the quality of the players discussed rises, and as a result their respective futures become noticeably more promising.
While we're starting to reach that inflection point, Joseph LaBate is a name that longtime readers of this blog know all too well by now.