News is fast and furious as we near the final hour in the lead up to the 2016 NHL Entry Draft in Buffalo, New York. The Vancouver Canucks have connected themselves to nearly every marquee name that may or may not be available and that says nothing of the whirlwind rumours swirling around them.
The paradigm is slowly shifting to the draft itself, though, and the players that teams are aiming to select therein. Or even better still, whether teams are willing to retain their picks or jockey position in the hope of landing higher quality or quantity of selections.
According to one of my sources, the Canucks are active in these discussions as well. Though the price to move up to third overall has already been written off as prohibitive, it’s sounding like the Canucks are very seriously considering moving down from fifth overall.
Vancouver covets two players in this draft above anyone else likely to fall to them at fifth. At the top of that list is Pierre-Luc Dubois of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. Not far behind Dubois is Olli Juolevi of the London Knights.
The thinking, according to my source, is that if the Canucks can’t secure the former of those two, they will do everything in their power to maximize their value with fifth overall and secure a selection later in the top ten of the draft. Though the Canucks think Juolevi is the best defenceman in this draft, it is believed that they regard Mikhail Sergachyov of the Windsor Spitfires in a similar light and are willing to draft him should they find themselves without access to the Finnish stud defenceman.
So if Dubois isn’t available to the Canucks at fifth overall, expect them to — at the very least — make a concerted effort to trade down with any of the teams sitting between sixth and tenth overall. From that point, it sounds as though they are likely to select Juolevi. And if Juolevi isn’t available to them, they will be just as happy to select Sergachyov.
As with anything draft related, things are remarkably fluid at this point and subject to change by the time you’ve finished reading this piece. That said, the belief is that the Canucks are going to try to secure, at the very least, a high second-round selection from any team trying to overtake them in the draft for fifth overall.
Under these circumstances, the Canucks would secure value exceeding what they could reasonably expect by retaining fifth overall. Using the draft value data provided by Michael Shuckers, the Canucks will secure a higher expected value from a deal that falls under the auspices.
Fifth Overall Draft Value: 741 Points
Sixth and Thirty-Sixth Overall: 919 Points
Seventh and Thirty-Seventh Overall: 878 Points
Eight and Thirty-Eighth Overall: 840 Points
Ninth and Thirty-Ninth Overall: 805 Points
Tenth and Fortieth Overall: 773 Points
These values are largely generalisations, but provide a rough composite value of what the Canucks can expect by executing a trade similar to the one they’re currently entertaining. Regardless, securing Juolevi or Sergachyov along with an extra pick would be excellent value for fifth overall. Frankly, I wouldn’t consider either of the defenceman a reach at fifth.