Russian and NCAA-bound players are riskier to draft, but the Canucks should keep picking them

Thomas Drance
March 31 2016 05:00PM

In the wake of Jimmy Vesey's unsurprising decision (unsurprising to everyone except the Nashville Predators, apparently) this week to spurn the team that drafted him and test unrestricted free agency, the status of NCAA-bound draft picks has been on the tip of the tongue.

This is true industry-wide, but it's been particularly true in the Vancouver market. There was some thought that the Canucks would've pursued Mark Jankowski if the Flames had been unable to get that deal done and the club's top two prospects - Brock Boeser and Thatcher Demko - are currently playing in the NCAA. 

If you look at Jim Benning's draft record with Boston and Buffalo and Vancouver, there's no clear trend in terms of his fishing holes. A career scout, Benning doesn't seem to have a favoured league or nationality of player or what have you. 

He's also drafted two Russian players, something the previous Canucks regime never did, and three college-bound players in his first two drafts. Clearly Benning doesn't appear to be worried about the increased signing risk posed by NCAA-bound or Russian-born players. And he shouldn't be. 

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Blackfish: Canucks Army Weekly Prospect Report - March 31st, 2016

Ryan Biech
March 31 2016 03:00PM


Boston College and North Dakota are in the Frozen Four!

The CHL playoffs are in full swing, with the majority of the first round coming to a close this upcoming weekend!

The Canucks are in a top three draft spot!

You could outside enjoying the lovely weather or reading this week's Blackfish - so let's get at it!

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Graphic Comments: Campbell, the suit that acts like a heel

Graphic Comments
March 31 2016 02:00PM


The latest disclosure of emails related to the NHL concussion lawsuit leaves a lot of questions unanswered. But the biggest one might just be, "why does Colin Campbell still have an email account?"

But the fact that he does have an email account, and uses it, leads to a much more important follow-up question, "why does he still have a job with any kind of responsibility for what happens in the NHL?"

No, really. Why?

I mean, it's not like we didn't already know about how he likes to abuse his position.

But some of the latest emails to be released really make you wonder what redeeming qualities Campbell actually has as an NHL executive.

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March 31 2016 01:00PM


The Canucks and Sharks face off for the second time in three days in a battle of sea mammal logos. In an actual fight, the Orca should win as we don't really know what type of shark San Jose is actually. Doubt it's a great white but maybe a sand tiger shark? Kinda dangerous but mostly in aquariums. Anyways, the Canucks are probably going to drop another one bringing the total to TEN games!

Can Alex Burrows turn the trick again and snap the streak and fail attempt to break his composite stick? Time will tell. Bottom line, this team needs the season to end. The date we really are interested in is April 30; something about a draft lottery.





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Thatcher Demko Named to "Hobey Baker Hat Trick" As Top 3 Finalist

Jeremy Davis
March 31 2016 12:15PM


The accolades keep pouring in for Canucks goaltending prospect Thatcher Demko, as the 20-year old netminder was named today to the Hobey Baker Hat Trick as one of the three finalists for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as the NCAA's top player.

Demko's competition for the award includes Winnipeg prospect Kyle Connor and former Nashville prospect-turned-free agent Jimmy Vesey, both of whom have had outstanding seasons.

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