June 19 2014 10:16AM
Coincidentally, today's prospect preview revolves around the guy who was hyped up by Rhys yesterday. I learned so much from that profile that I'm kicking myself for actually having Nikolaj Ehlers ranked so friggin' low on my own ballot. It's not that I didn't think Ehlers was a guy worthy of drafting (especially compared to a lot of bigger alternatives) but it's hard to separate Ehlers' play from that of Jonathan GD'd Drouin's. Drouin had one of the best seasons of any Québec junior hockey player since Jacques Cartier sailed down the fleuve Saint-Laurent*.
*Okay, Crosby, Lemieux and Bossy were good, I guess.
June 18 2014 02:26PM
"It's not you, Jake. It's me."
When we're talking about player evaluations, it often seems like we get caught up in the whole black-or-white, he's-either-good-or-bad-there-is-no-alternative train of thought. While it's tempting to fall into this, the fact of the matter is that there's a hell of a lot of grey area when it comes to ranking players because no one really understands exactly how hockey works yet (similarly, no one really understands how gravity works either but that doesn't stop physicists from creating very accurate and detailed models based on what the best available approximations and theories tell us. This is a long-winded way of saying that Corsi, Fenwick and possession theory are our best available approximations of understanding hockey and yes we totally can accurately analyze hockey with numbers, you guys. But, I digress).
Similarly, there's a ton of grey area when ranking prospects, and perhaps the most contentious ranking we at Canucks Army have had is that of Jake Virtanen. Virtanen has a lot of good things going for him - he led all first-time draft eligible players in even strength goals, possesses a great shot relative to other CHLers, and is by all accounts one of the most "toolsy" players in the draft. In other words, he's a good NHL prospect.
Vancouver, however, would be smart to avoid Virtanen at 6th overall. Read past the jump to find out why.
June 18 2014 12:44PM
In yesterday's profile of Kasperi Kapanen, commenter JJ-T stated that "let's go with your pick [Kapanen] and see how we do against the Boston's [sic], LA's [sic] etc. [sic], you know, the cup contending type of teams. I do believe we're in the bottom percentile when it comes to size, no?"
I doubt the Canucks are in the bottom percentile when it comes to size. Percent literally comes from "per hundred" and there are only 30 teams in the league. The Canucks are in the bottom third when it comes to weight, yes, but not height. Size wasn't the Canucks issue last year. It was goal scoring, and, somewhat by coincidence, the five of us Canucks Army draft prognosticators have collectively identified several smallish, offensive forwards who can help the Canucks alleviate the major problem.
Which brings us to the 5'10" 165-lb Robby Fabbri of the Guelph Storm. We've ranked him 8th. Eeeep.
June 17 2014 03:27PM
It's incredible how Shawn Thornton has become one of the most overrated players in hockey. The news that the Boston Bruins won't re-sign the beloved enforcer, who has averaged fewer than five goals per 82 games over his 11-year career including playoffs, shook the hockey media Tuesday.
June 17 2014 12:00PM
The first sentence of Kasperi Kapanen's Wikipedia entry is "Kasperi Kapanen is a Finnish ice hockey player." Generally, that's enough to make me actually want a player. I don't think the Canucks have ever played a Finnish player that I disliked, from Jyrki Lumme and Esa Tikkanen in the 1990s to Jarkko Ruutu and Sami Salo in the 2000s.