With the 184th overall pick, the Canucks selected a familiar face in Rodrigo Abols. Abols was invited to the Canucks’ prospect camp last year, impressing both management and fans along the way. Unfortunately, due to the NHL’s CBA, the Canucks were unable to sign Abols to a contract.
Abols was unranked by both Central Scouting and ISS in the final rankings. However, Abols was ranked 121st out of North American skaters by Central Scouting for the midterm rankings.
- Age: 20
- Birthplace: Riga, Latvia
- Frame: 6’5″, 185 pounds
- Position: C
- Handedness: L
- Draft Year Team: WHL Portland Winter Hawks
As previously mentioned, Abols is no stranger to the Canucks organization. He preformed well enough at the Prospect Camp that the Canucks wanted to sign him, and thought about drafting last year. Abols totals this year were not great for a 20 year-old. Despite a hot start to the year, Abols finished with 20 goals and 49 points in 62 games. While his production seems solid, they are relatively mediocre numbers for a 20 year-old in the CHL. Abols has a pGPS of 2.6% out of 38 comparable players.
Overall, Abols, like most seventh rounders, is a project. In the immediate future, Abols will likely lace it up in Utica this season giving the Comets some needed depth. There is a lot to like about the big Latvian. For his 6’5″ frame, he is an excellent skater. He is also not a pure meat-and-potatoes guy, as he has been able to put up respectable point totals throughout his entire career.
Should Abols overcome the odds and be an NHLer, he will likely be a bottom-six forward. If the Canucks can get that out of him, then it is a great pick. Even if Abols becomes a solid forward for Utica, it is still a solid pick. I think the latter is at least reasonable, given his frame and skill.
With that, here is the highlight of Abols’ season: a beautiful kick pass to send a teammate on a breakaway.