We’re at that point of the draft where the selections are being announced in a fast and furious manner, and a large majority of the names don’t totally ring a bell. All we can really do is scrounge together as much information on the guys of interest from people that follow these sorts of things year round and not for just a few weeks in June.
We’ll do just that after the jump, with some news and notes on Nikita Tryamkin and Gustav Forsling, the two newest members of the Vancouver Canucks organization.
Tryamkin is quite the physical specimen. He’s listed at 6’7”, 229 lbs. To put that into context: amongst the guys listed on the Canucks roster right now only Top Sixtito and Shawn Matthias are even in his stratosphere based on both measurements.
But can he play? Here’s Corey Pronman’s write-up on him in advance of the draft, where he had him ranked as the 92nd prospect in his top-100:
“Tryamkin had a breakout season as a 19-year-old, following a somewhat typical delayed development path. Tryamkin’s size is his clear best asset — he’s 6-7, 228 pounds, and skates and handles the puck well for a big man. Tryamkin doesn’t have fantastic puck skills, but he did fine on Russia’s second PP unit at the World Junior Championship, and has solid projection offensively.”
An intriguing set of “tools”, no doubt. Tryamkin’s selection by the Canucks also marks the first time a Russian-born player has been taken by the time since Ilya Kabulkov back in the 5th round of the ’07 draft. It’s a massive understatement to say that the Canucks haven’t been able to find a way to benefit from the extensive well of Russian talent to come into the NHL in recent history, which has been a point of contention.
One potential concern: Tryamkin looks like a man, and it’s because he sort of technically is. His birth year is 1994, and he’ll have turned 20 years old by September 1st. That means that he’s further ahead in the development process than nearly all of his other peers selected in this year’s entry draft either either a ’95 or a ’96.
The player the Canucks took with their next pick – all the way down at 126th overall in the 5th round, because they dealt away with 4th rounder in the Zac Dalpe trade last fall – is, aside from playing the same position, basically the exact opposite of Tryamkin. He’s listed at 5’11”, 180 lbs, and appears to be a far more polished offensive player that slipped solely because of his diminutive frame. I’m always pro-capitalizing on the draft’s market inefficiency created by those hard-to-shake size fetishes.
Pronman seemed to like him a lot more than those aforementioned GMs did, apparently, as he had him ranked 78th overall. Here’s what he had to say on Forsling’s profile:
“Forsling is a toolsy offensive defenseman who impressed in league play during the second half of the season. He excels controlling the flow on the power play. He’s a smart and creative player, but also knows how to make the safe plays. His defense has improved notably, however he can still be turned or beaten by better forwards.”
The man said “toolsy”, so take a drink. Even though someone like Spencer Watson may’ve been a more compelling gamble, there’s a lot to like about the things people are saying about Forslund and it’ll be interesting to see how he develops and fills out over time. Keep in mind that he’s roughly 23 months younger than someone like Tryamkin, which is an enormous gap at that point of a player’s career.
Even if hockey doesn’t work out for Gustav Forsling, he’ll likely still be able to fall back on joining a boy band and touring the world.