September 09 2014 01:40PM
The question of how a prospect that only appeared in 18 games last season, and performed poorly, yet still managed to jump up three spots after having been ranked 5th by our staff last summer is a fair one, although I'd caution that 1/3 of the voters involved have changed since then. That probably has more to do with the shift than anything else, really.
With that being said, it's also surely a testament to what we believe is Hunter Shinkaruk's dynamism as a prospect. That high-end skill level explains why we continue to have Shinkaruk rated this high on our list, despite his most recent 'lost' season.
Shinkaruk's disappointing campaign was reflected in my own personal rankings, where he dropped from the top spot to firmly in second behind the guy we all know is number one on this list at this point. Still, I remain steadfast in my belief that Shinkaruk has the greatest reasonable ceiling among any player currently in the team's system.
September 08 2014 11:56AM
Selected by the Vancouver Canucks with the sixth overall pick at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Calgary Hitmen forward Jake Virtanen is the highest draft pick amongst all current Canucks prospects and debuts as the third highest ranked junior aged player on our list.
If you've been following this blog over the past year, you're probably a bit surprised to see Virtanen check in this high on the list. The CanucksArmy consensus has generally contended that the Canucks erred in drafting Virtanen with the sixth overall pick, something I don't quite agree with. This might be why I drew this particular assignment (despite being much more familiar with the OHL), or maybe I drew it because I had Virtanen ranked as the organization's second best prospect, which I've been assured is the highest such ranking the Abbotsford, B.C. born power forward received from our team of erstwhile Canucks bloggers.
Here's my logic: if the Canucks organization folded tomorrow (god forbid), and all of the club's prospects were suddenly made available to rival NHL clubs in a dispersal draft, which aspiring NHL player would be selected second, immediately following Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray tripping on his way up to the podium to shout "Bo Horvat! Yess!" into the microphone? I don't think this is close. Quite obviously the 18-year-old who is coming off of a 45 goal age-17 season in the WHL would be the second selection; and well ahead of the undersized 20-year-old winger who just lost a full season to a serious hip-injury; and also ahead of the quick, reliable AHL defenseman who projects to have limited (if any) offensive value at the NHL level.
Read past the jump for more on Virtanen.
September 05 2014 11:37AM
NO, it's not. Now quit asking.
As any Canuck fan worth her or his salt will tell you, it's not October until the sky starts falling. Literally and figuratively.
But as we wait for the
rainy Canucks' season to start, let's review some of the things making news around the NHL as the dog days of summer come to a close...
Nation World HQ
September 05 2014 08:05AM
Sean Monahan a cautionary tale for Leon Draisaitl, advanced stats for dummies, player profiles, prospect depth charts and more in this week's Roundup
September 04 2014 02:37PM
Hockey! It's finally back! Well, almost.
Just one measly week from tomorrow, the annual Young Stars Classic Tournament - hosted once again in Penticton, just a 4+ hour drive from Vancouver should you feel so inclined to see it for yourself in person - will get underway, giving us a preemptive look at a good portion of the players in the team's pipeline.