Three Reaches from the First Round of the 2016 Draft

Jeremy Davis
June 25 2016 07:00AM

Day one (and round one) of the 2016 NHL Draft has come and gone, and 25 teams have added to their prospect pools. With 181 more players set to find teams today, I thought I'd pick through the first round and see who went off the board with their selections, as well as who got good value in their spot.

First up are three reaches from day one, teams that picked players well before they probably should have, leaving a bevy of better players still available.

Read Article | 4 Comments

Wrapping up Day 1 of the NHL Draft for the Vancouver Canucks

J.D. Burke
June 25 2016 12:00AM

Though there weren't many trades involving contracted NHL players, the first day of the Entry Draft wasn't without intrigue. Particularly Vancouver Canucks related intrigue.

The Columbus Blue Jackets shook the proverbial apple cart at third overall, taking Pierre-Lud Dubois. Consider that the hard right to the Canucks stomach, as much of what we heard in the lead up the draft suggested they coveted Dubois with the fifth overall pick. So too did they covet Olli Juolevi of the London Knights, and they were able to secure the budding Finnish defenceman with the fifth overall selection.

We're just scratching the surface, though. In fact, so too is our front page. There was so much content today on Canucks Army, that much of it has fallen into the background. Let's recap today's events, with some cameos from the Canucks Army staff and their contributions to covering the events as they unfolded.

Read Article | 4 Comments

pGPS: Best prospects left after day one

Ryan Biech
June 24 2016 11:00PM

Day one of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft is in the books.

Saturday will be fast and furious with round 2-7 being done in the same amount of time it took to do round one today. Although it may go by quickly, the importance of these picks cannot be overstated. Successful organizations will find talent in Day 2 of the draft, and although the Canucks don't currently possess a 2nd round pick, anything can happen. So let's take a look at some of the best prospects that will available when day 2 begins.

Read Article | 2 Comments

Benning on taking Juolevi 5th overall: 'we couldn't go by him'

Jeff Paterson
June 24 2016 10:37PM

Photo Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig / USA TODAY Sports

BUFFALO, NY – Jim Benning exercised great caution when he invoked the name Niklas Lidstrom while describing what made Olli Juolevi so attractive the Vancouver Canucks felt they had no choice but to nab the Finnish defensman with the fifth overall selection in Friday’s National Hockey League draft. 

In no way was the team’s general manager making a direct comparison between the London Knights blueliner and the Detroit Red Wings legend, but Benning was trying to convey just how much he liked the 18-year-old’s all-around game and his ability to have an impact at both ends of the ice.

“He’s good in his own end, he reads the play well and has good defensive awareness,” Benning said of Juolevi’s many strengths. “And when he gets the puck on his stick, he has his head up and he can move the puck up ice, he can skate the puck up ice, he’s good on the power play, he can walk the line on the power play, he gets his shot through and on the net and of all the defensemen we liked his all-around game the best.”

Read Article | 7 Comments

Juolevi: 'it's awesome to be going to Vancouver'

Jeff Paterson
June 24 2016 07:38PM

Photo Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports

BUFFALO, NY – Olli Juolevi has done a lot of winning in 2016. 

He was part of Finland’s World Junior team that struck gold on home ice in January. He was part of a London Knights team that won the Ontario Hockey League title and then claimed the Memorial Cup a month ago. On Friday night, he experienced another victory of sorts, as the top defenseman selected in the National Hockey League entry draft when he was nabbed fifth overall by the Vancouver Canucks.

The Canucks opted for the 18-year-old from Helsinki after their initial target coming into the draft Pierre Luc Dubois of Cape Breton was taken third overall by Columbus. When Jesse Pulujarvi fell to Edmonton with the fourth pick, the Canucks were left to decide between Juolevi and his London teammate Matthew Tkachuk.

The Canucks opted for the blueliner.

Read Article | 22 Comments