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.
September 04 2014 11:19AM
It can understandably be easy to sometimes lose sight of it given how long he has been on the radar now and the type of stoic demeanor he exudes, but Frank(ie) Corrado is still just a 21-year old kid who only recently completed his first season as a pro.
Ever since the team took him 150th overall back in the 2011 draft - which is looking like a rather successful class at this point with the likes of Corrado, Jensen, Grenier, LaBate, and Tommernes all having been added to the system - his star has been rapidly rising as he has moved up the ranks.
After mastering the Major Junior circuit by the time his 4 years on the scene were up, Corrado expectedly hit the occasional divot in the road this past season as he made the transition to a full-time gig in the pros. His situation, which we'll get to shortly, assuredly didn't help smoothen out the process for him, either.
Still, we evidently collectively remain quite high on him seeing as we've ranked him as the top defense prospect in the team's system for the second straight summer.