June 10 2014 10:38AM
For a lot of Canucks fans, this is their first rodeo going in to the NHL entry draft with a high 1st round pick, and certainly the first time this has happened in the Twitter era. We're all a little excited. Unsure at what to make of this whole mess, but excited. What makes it all the more exciting is that a local kid - Vancouver's own Sam Reinhart - is projected to be one of the top prospects of this year's draft class, and according to Ben Kuzma, Jim Benning may be willing to move the 6th overall pick along with Bo Horvat to Florida for the 1st overall selection and the chance to draft him.
But hey, a rumour is just that: a rumour. This probably isn't going to happen (especially if you believe what Benning said to Mark Spector recently). As professional fans of an awful team, the guys at The Leafs Nation have gone through this "trade up for 1st overall!" hysteria before; nearly every year in fact. Unsurprisingly, nothing really ever comes of this talk, and we all get excited for nothing.
But what if...
What if Jim Benning really is out to make a big splash and land Reinhart? What if Vancouver is willing to part with their two highest draft picks since 1999 to make it happen? What if Florida goes for it? Is Sam Reinhart really that good? Is parting with Horvat and another top-10 draft pick really worth it? Should Vancouver do this deal if it's presented? Read past the jump to find out.
May 27 2014 11:47AM
Nathan Smith played just 4 career games with Vancouver after being drafted 23rd overall in 2000.
By now, you've all read my last article wherein Sham Sharron outdrafts the actual Vancouver Canucks in a neat little thought exercise meant to illustrate just how poor the Canucks' amateur scouting has been since 2000. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you can read it here. You can also read real-life Cam Charron's follow-up that addresses why an exercise like this may yield the surprising results it does here.
The point of that article wasn't to say "this is how Vancouver SHOULD have drafted", which some apparently took it as. It was instead meant to point out that if such a(n admittedly) faulty method - which ignored half of the world's hockey talent - can produce better results than what Vancouver was actually doing, there is a massive problem in the Canucks' amateur scouting that must be addressed immediately.
What the last article didn't do though was put into perspective how woeful Vancouver and their scouting department has been at finding any NHL talent through the draft relative to the rest of the NHL. That is what we'll do here. Read past the jump to be filled with even more sadness and regret.
May 20 2014 01:07PM
I was recently having a Twitter discussion with Canucks Army contributor Patrick Johnston (@risingaction) and regular reader Ryan (@Verviticus), in which we were essentially arguing which Canucks entry draft in the Ron Delorme Era was the worst (it's probably 2007, although 2002, 2000, and 2009 are all pretty miserable too).
We came to the conclusion that, man, Vancouver's drafting really has been inexcusably awful for over a decade now. Sure, there have been a handful of home runs with guys like Alex Edler, Kevin Bieksa, and Ryan Kesler, but nearly every Canucks fan can name The One That Got Away or That Guy They #ShouldOf Drafted. Still, every team in the NHL passed up Shea Weber or Patrice Bergeron or Milan Lucic, so is Ron Delorme's record as head of Canucks amateur scouting really that much worse than everyone else?
To find out, I decided to design an extremely basic you-don't-have-to-even-think method of drafting and compared it to Vancouver's draft record under Delorme. I've put a summer intern with nothing but a book of CHL stats and no access to any non-Canadian junior league up against an entire team of world-travelling, game-watching professional amateur scouts. If the Canucks' brass can't clear this woefully low hurdle, then holy hell they are awful.
Spoiler: it's even worse than you think.
May 14 2014 01:08PM
Yesterday, we shared our OHL Quality of Competition and Quality of Teammates estimates for the 2013-2014 season and found that it Canucks prospects tended to face above average competition for their respective teams. Today, we'll have a look at QoC and QoT estimates for the WHL. Read past the jump for those.
May 13 2014 10:27AM
With the Canucks long since having been eliminated from playoff contention, it's been a bit of a spring malaise here at Canucks Army as we really haven't had much to write about (other than the occasional spat of off-ice personnel news, though I'm sure we'll have plenty of #hot #sports #takes when
Jim Benning the next GM is hired).
Regrettably, the next real thing to look forward to that involves actual hockey players is the draft which is more than a month and a half away. Fortunately, this down time gives us plenty of opportunities to break down the CHL in an effort to see just which 18-year old kid we all want to bear the burden of all of our collective hopes and dreams, and how the most recent drafted crop of Canucks prospects are doing.
As you all know, our own Josh Weissbock does tireless work tracking not only Canucks prospects through the season, but also a whole whack of other stuff for various North American hockey leagues. Among these things is Quality of Competition and Quality of Teammates, which we'll look at for all OHL players past the jump.