Canucks Finish Draft, Pick Up 4 More Players

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.

Carl Neill

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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.

Adam Gaudette

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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.

Lukas Jasek

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

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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.

Tate Olson

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).

Here is WHL scout Cody Nickolet`s analysis of Olson:

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.

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Closing Thoughts

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.

  • Dirty30

    Thank Lord Benning that the team now has depth at the Zamboni driver.

    Still thinking wasting a 2nd pick on Vey’s lawn mowing skills was a portend of how bad this team was going to be under Benning.

    Just didn’t think it would be this bad.

  • wojohowitz

    I like the later round picks. Jimbo shows himself to be a pretty good scout. Unfortunately the roster moves and non-moves were really weak in comparison to the other teams in the division. We`ve still got ten players over the age of thirty and now they have poisoned the relationship with Bieksa.

  • wojohowitz

    We all need to lighten up on Vey. 2nd round picks are hardly guarantees. We got a guy who can play in the NHL and still has upside.

    I’m willing to trust Benning on the draft. He came in with a reputation for scouting. That reputation presumes that he has the ability to see things in a player that is not expressed in the numbers or that might be missed by others (particularly the casual or even rabid fan).

  • Top6take

    IMO the Canucks’ management laid an egg this weekend. While the Alberta teams, Ducks and Kings made moves to improve their teams immediately, the Canucks embraced the status quo. We are still an old and slow team with too many players hanging on at the end of their careers. If SJ wanted Bieksa for a late round pick we should have moved him to gain some cap relief and open up a roster spot for Clendening or Corrado but the Canucks asked for too much in return and killed the deal. However, another year of slower Bieksa, Hamhuis and Burrows along with an ineffective Higgins and a goalie tandem of Millsr and Markstrom should guarantee the Canucks a top 10 pick this time next year.

    When we picked Carl Neill in the 5th round, Ryan Pilon, rated by McKenzie and Button, to go in the 2nd round was still available. The fancy stats show it’s rare that a 5th round pick plays n the NHL so why not throw the dice and pick Pilon? He must have something to get him rated so high. Benning didn’t pick anyone from the WHL or the OHL.

    When the pundits do the Draft day winners and losers, the Canucks and the Bruins will head the list of losers.

    • wojohowitz

      Well said. Also, does anyone know if Benning tried to move other assets like Vrbata, Hamhuis, Higgins and so on? I am sure we could’ve added a pick or two by dealing 1 or 2 of these guys. I didn’t hear a single rumor on any of these guys.

  • Top6take

    I see the bed pissers are out in full force. Here’s the deal. We aren’t going to make the playoffs next year in the West – not unless a couple of teams SERIOUSLY play under expectations or we play over them. And that’s a good thing. As usual most of the posters here have multiple personality disorder – “Tank! Tank! Argh Bennig sucks!” “Oh my god! Everyone in the Pacific got better and we didn’t! Argh Benning sucks!”

    A) If Benning had consummated a trade for Bieksa with the only return being a second round pick next year most people here would have Lacked all over him. But here’s the good news. Now that Bieksa knows he isn’t wanted he’ll probably waive for just about any team who wants him. When he goes – and he will – cap problem solved.

    B) Lack returned a third round draft pick because that’s what he was worth. Sellers don’t set prices, buyers do. Markstrom would have returned. Sweaty jock strap. As Drance pointed out the Canucks turned an undrafted player into a third round pick.

    C) On Benning’s draft picks yesterday and today, who the hell knows. Certainly not anyone here.

    So, to summarize. Calm down. We all know we’re going to suck next season and that’s just fine. Benning will sell like a crazy man at the deadline next year and stockpile a bunch of picks in what is anticipated to be a darn good draft.

    • wojohowitz

      Yeah, we will suck. No doubt. So why not move an asset or two and get something back now? I don’t mind a rebuild. Canucks are nuts if they think we’ll be competitive with this group. So, why not deal 1 or 2 of Vrbata, Hamhuis, Higgins and maybe even Burrows?! What’s the point in keeping them? So we can JUST miss the playoffs?

      I take no issues with the draft picks or the trade for Lack. None at all. I am thinking Bieksa will get dealt.

      Honestly, I think we really could’ve dealt some of those pieces for higher draft picks. That’s all done now so let’s see if Benning can make some good moves between now and July 1.

      • wojohowitz

        I think there are two things in play here:

        1) Benning will get more in return at the trade deadline.

        2) I think Benning knows the score and wants veterans around for at least one more (partial) season to break in the first string of kids. Last year was the first time in a long time that the Canucks had youth in their line-up. I think Benning came in with a 3 to 4 year plan in his mind…ride out the Sedins and be ready with then next generation. I think the questionable Sbisa and Dorsett contracts are a reflection of this.

        There are a lot of things going on behind the scenes that the fans do not see and moves that seem stupid today can look great in later years if the overall plan is implemented properly.

  • wojohowitz

    Again some of the cap issues here stem from that unfathomable 6 mil. per yr for an aging and diminishing Miller.
    The plan is not to tank and miss the playoffs in order to fully rebuild,its about getting into the 8th spot for some playoff revenues for the Aquilinis.
    Certainly by not moving or attempting to move Hamhuis,Higgins,Hansen,Burr we are not in a rebuild mode at all.
    If Benning has any hopes of team improvement this yr he needs to allow Virtanen/Cassels and or MCcann to make this team. The american league guys will not do. Benning talks very slowly and it seems Linden over estimated his gm. Afterall he was always an assistant and now he looks like Gillis all over again. Then again Gillis tried to improve us with Sundin.He tried to make us tougher with Hordichuk,Ripper,Stestito. We are going to look pitiful and get physically manhandled and outscored on most nights this comming yr.

  • Top6take

    I think that the perfect time to get plus value for assets is when teams are motivated to make sure that a rival doesn’t beat them to the punch. The trade deadline and the couple of weeks leading up to it always seem to be a time where contenders overpay for assets. Although they almost never give up their most prized prospect their second and third are usually available.
    If the Canucks are not within five points of a playoff spot even the most stubborn playoffs-or-bust mentality might be all over a full-scale auction. I really do hope they aim at prospects for two reasons: a) they are further along in their development and b) assuming they’re ready for the pros, the Sedins are great role models for any young players but they won’t be around for next year’s picks.