image via Mast Images
The Canucks, having already picked Bo Horvat with the ninth overall pick in the 2013 NHL entry draft, selected Medicine Hat Tigers winger Hunter Shinkaruk with their original late first round pick.
Shinkaruk is Vancouver’s first pick from the WHL since 2008, though in other ways he fits Mike Gillis’s usual "highly rated player who slides on draft day" M.O..
Read on past the jump.
Hunter Shinkaruk has been absurdly productive in the WHL over the past two seasons, and shows extremely well in "age adjusted" offensive production. A year ago he was second only to Mackinnon, and he was fourth overall among draft eligibles.Corey Pronman ranked Shinkaruk 10th on his draft board, explaining:
Despite being a little on the smaller side, he deserves a top 10 ranking, as he possesses an immense amount of unique offensive talent. He moves effortlessly as a skater, showing the ability to gain power from each stride. That allows him to divert more energy to playmaking. His agility makes him tough to check in open ice. He turns his hips a lot, and his wide skating stance makes it difficult to predict where he will move. That said, his speed only ranks as good, not top end. Shinkaruk has rapid hands, and he can be very dangerous due to his creativity and coordination. Shinkaruk’s physical game is his main issue. He is a small player, but he does work hard. He shows the ability to grind for the puck, but he will need to become stronger to keep it at the next level.
Shinkaruk slipped a bit on draft day, but was extremely and visibly excited to be picked. He grew up in the Calgary area and hails from a family of Flames fans, though he explained that "we’re all Canucks fans now." Shinkaruk mentioned that he has a personal relationship with, and employs the same agency as, Vancouver’s other first round pick Bo Horvat. Shinkaruk also expressed the standard desire to play in the NHL next season, though he realizes he needs to get stronger first. He also mentioned that he comes out of the draft with a chip on his shoulder, and a desire to to prove the teams that passed on him wrong…
Where the Horvat pick left me underwhelmed, I love the Shinkaruk pick. His major junior production at the age of seventeen and eighteen is pretty spell-binding and suggests that Shinkaruk is a special talent (an impression which matches up well with the eye test).
Here are some Shinkaruk highlights for your viewing pleasure: