The Vancouver Canucks used the second of their two seventh-round selections on overage winger Brett McKenzie of the North Bay Battalion in the OHL. Though McKenzie was unranked by most scouting organizations, the Canucks felt comfortable using the 194th overall pick on the defensive forward with size.
— Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) June 25, 2016
- Age: 19
- Birthplace: Vars, Ontario, CAN
- Frame: 6′ 2″, 190 lbs
- Position: C/LW
- Handedness: Left
- Draft Year Team: North Bay Battalion
As a 19-year-old, McKenzie is a draft+1 player and as such carries an inherent risk relative to some of his younger peers. All the same, McKenzie’s age, production and stature make for a 16.7% pGPS rating, which suggests he carries a sizeable probabilistic advantage of developing into a full-time NHL player, relative to your average seventh-round selection.
McKenzie is praised, primarily, for his contributions to the defensive zone. The Battalion used McKenzie primarily as a shutdown centre, too, which suggests that’s an accurate assessment of his strengths. He can skate well, particularly for a player of his size at 6’2″, and is considered one of the better players in the OHL in the faceoff circle.
One area McKenzie will need to improve upon is his willingness to impose his massive frame upon the opposition. McKenzie isn’t considered an overly physical player, though, one might suggest that he’d need to add some poundage to truly improve upon that. He’s a lanky 6’2″ at just 190 lbs.
Though one might reasonably quibble with some of the talent the Canucks passed over for McKenzie, they still extracted positive value with this selection in a vacuum. If you told me before the draft that the Canucks would use their final selection on a player with a roughly 17% chance of developing into a full-time NHL player, I’d have been very satisfied with the news.