The Vancouver Canucks made 4 more picks in rounds 5, 6, and 7 to close out their 2015 NHL draft, picking up a variety of different types of players.
Join us after the jump as we unpack what the Canucks picked up with their late round draft picks.
A big two-way defender who played for the Sherbrooke Phoenix of the QMJHL. Saw his goal scoring spike this season after managing a very solid 2.44 shots on goal per game. Was a re-entry player after going undrafted in 2013-14, but also on the young end of his draft class.
PCS numbers are pretty solid for a 5th rounder at 16% this season, with comparables including Sheldon Souray, Mark Fistric, Simon Despres, Dan Girardi, Mike Rathje, Robyn Regehr, Brent Seabrook, and Adam Foote. Very solid at 16 as well, but had a bit of a down draft year.
Needs to work on skating and decision making can be questionable, but has potential bottom-pair upside. Not a home run or even safest pick at this point considering who was on the board, but a reasonable selection.
Slight USHL pivot who tallied 30 points in 50 games this past season. From Jeff Cox of SB Nation`s College Hockey blog:
He was active in the offensive zone, won a lot of battles for loose pucks and had a quick, hard release. Mark Carlson, his coach in Cedar Rapids, believes Gaudette will become even more of a threat once he bulks up.
“His upside is very high. Once he adds more muscle to his frame, he’ll be able to get to the net more and win more puck battles,” explained Carlson.
Gaudette, who finished the season with 13 goals and 17 assists in 50 USHL games for Mark Carlson’s team, made a sharp climb from the midterm to final rankings. He was ranked 187 by NHL Central Scouting at the midterm before soaring to 108 in the final listing.
Perhaps most impressive was his +23 plus/minus, a remarkable number for a rookie in the USHL. Gaudette was a player that Carlson felt comfortable rolling out onto the ice in all situations.
“His +/- was exceptional. He was dependable. His hockey sense is very good at both ends of the rink,” said Carlson, who also raved about his exceptional work ethic. “He just gets after it.”
Not a lot of information on style of play. PCS numbers are pretty awful with a 1.4% comparable success rate. Craig Smith is the only statistically similar guy to make the NHL. Will have to show significant growth in the next couple of seasons to be considered a legitimately solid prospect.
In terms of value, easily Vancouver`s best bang-for-your-buck pick of the draft. Jasek was on our top-45 radar, so great value in the 6th round. Corey Pronman rated Jasek 76th, writing:
A very good skater, he has a quick first few steps and consistently shows the ability to push defensemen back on his zone entries. He’s not the best in terms of physical play, but he darts around the rink with good energy. His off-puck work needs improvement, but there are enough raw tools here to make him a very intriguing prospect.
Jasek was also rated 23rd in Europe by NHL CSS, 128th by ISS, and 151st by HockeyProspect.com.
Played in Czech league this past year as a very young 17 year old, scoring two points in 27 games. Strong Czech U-20 league numbers, and had a dynamite Ivan Hlinka tournament. PCS likes him, comparing him to both Sedins and Peter Stastny, but this likely overstates Jasek`s abilities. Carl Hagelin, Gustav Nyquist, Martin Erat, Jan Hlavac, and Loui Eriksson also compare to Jasek`s Czech junior league production this season.
Good prospect, and looking forward to seeing how he develops next season.
Toolsy but raw WHL D from Prince George Cougars. Didn`t play on a great team and didn`t stand out in my viewings (I saw a lot of the Cougars this season), but decent enough PCS numbers for the second last pick of the draft (8.5% PCS%, 20.6 PCS Pts per 82 GP).
Tate Olson is a large and toolsy blueliner for the Prince George Cougars…features a fairly decent skating stride overall…doesn’t seem to be an overly powerful skater but does possess quite good speed in open nice…skates quite well backwards which helps him cover a lot of ground against the rush…footwork in tight space will need to be improved during his development before playing at the next level…balance will be an area that needs to be strengthened as he gets heavier and stronger…can handle making plays on the outlet in a consistent fashion…isn’t a very flashy player when it comes to his puck moving game but makes the plays which are expected of him…owns a very good shot with his one-timer being a noted strength for this level…could stand to shoot the puck more rather than over-thinking here and there…his hands overall don’t always seem to be consistently “on” but they’re definitely above-average for a player of his size and age…is an extremely tall, long and skinny player…that excellent reach really helps him on the defensive side of the puck…does tend to rely too much on that reach at times…has been guilty in a bit of reaching and flailing defensively during my viewings…would be better suited to stand up tall, square up and play some good old fashioned chest to chest defence at times rather than attempting to play the puck…physical play is a noted strength and will get better with more weight and strength…plays a fairly aggressive and in-your-face style of defence that projects well to the next level given his frame and reach…could stand to pick his spots better regarding when exactly to be physical, though…have noticed some bizarre decisions at times both with and without the puck, leading me to question his overall hockey sense…that perceived weakness in decision making would be the one major thing keeping him lower on my list than where others might have him rated…is an every-situation type of player at this level, seeing time on both the powerplay and penalty kill in many of my viewings…was usually a bottom 4 type of defender this year, playing quite regularly alongside Joe Carvalho with the Cougars…his lack of offence down the stretch was a bit of concern for me as he had 17 points in his first 36 games but only 7 in his next 32…was a 2nd round pick, 24th overall, by the Prince George Cougars at the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft…overall I see a bucket full of tools in his game but still do wonder at times about how well he processes the game…without that concern, there is no doubt he has the skillset and frame to be a top-90 type of selection…I think he projects as a solid two-way defender at the NHL level, given that he develops almost perfectly…while I rate him only as a borderline draftable player in 2015, I wouldn’t be shocked if some teams had him rated a round or two higher with him possibly going as high as the 4th round come draft day
If Olson makes it, it will most likely be as a journeyman type.
Overall, I`d say that the Canucks did alright on the second day of the draft, although the Zhukenov and Gaudette picks were questionable, especially given which other players were on the board at any one time. We would have liked to see Vancouver grab a guy like Ryan Pilon, Veeti Vainio, Cooper Marody, Sebastian Aho (SWE), Dante Salituro, or Nikita Korostelev when they were available, but Jasek in particular is definitely a nice grab.