Screencap via canucks.com
Saturday afternoon the deadline for NHL teams to ink unsigned 2011 draft picks to entry-level contracts passed.
The Canucks confirmed to the Sporting News early on Saturday that the club had no intention of signing third round pick David Honzik, or sixth round pick Pathrik Westerholm. Not much of a surprise.
Read past the jump for more analysis.
David Honzik was selected very probably on the strength of his raw tools – Honzik is enormous, and exceedingly athletic – in addition to his lights out performance over a small sample of games in the 2011 QMJHL postseason. From the 2011 Young Stars tournament in Penticton through to the past two seasons in the Q, Honzik has struggled enormously since.
Everyone wants to hop on the "criticize Canucks scouting and drafting" bandwagon of late, and Honzik would appear to be ground zero for such complaints (seeing as how he was the team’s second pick after Nicklas Jensen in 2011). The Honzik pick was a bust, there’s no doubt about that, but four players selected ahead of Honzik will also be re-entering the 2013 draft, and two of those players are also goaltenders. Whiffs happen, especially when you’re evaluating 17 or 18 year old netminders…
As for Pathrik Westerholm, the undersized forward was drafted on the strength of a strong season in the Allsvenkan in 2010-11. He’s a skilled player and a Swede with a twin brother, so it would appear the Canucks went for upside late in the draft. Westerholm’s Allsvenkan scoring rate has atrophied mightily since his draft year and it would’ve been a surprise if the team had extended him an entry-level deal.
The Canucks selected eight players at the 2011 entry draft and have signed five of those players to entry-level contracts, including NIcklas Jensen and Frank Corrado who have already made their National Hockey League debuts. A sixth player, Wisconsin Badgers forward Joseph LaBate, has gone the NCAA route so the Canucks have a couple more years to make a decision before tendering him an an entry-level deal.