WWYDW: With the Fifth Overall Pick…


The draft has come and passed and wouldn’t you know it, the Vancouver Canucks took home six new prospects. At the top of the order, Olli Juolevi, taken fifth overall.

There’s the answer to a question that’s been on the minds of Canucks fans since April 29th. Of course, it just as easily could have gone any number of different ways. The thing about that pick was that it was definitely open to scout’s interpretation. That is, you could justify any number of players with the fifth overall selection.

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So, I’m asking you, knowing full well how the first four selections shook out — Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Jesse Puljujarvi — how you would’ve handled the fifth overall selection. Get creative. You can trade down, or even trade the pick. Or you can use it on any other player you prefer.

Last week I asked: Sweet nothing. I totally forgot about What Would You Do Wednesday.

  • LTFan

    I know this is hard for CA bloggers to handle, but Benning did the right thing. The franchise needs top D talent and that only comes from the draft. He saw OJ as the best and took his shot.

    Speaking of which, if you guys are ever looking to put a positive spin on the Canucks, how about an article explaining why OJ is such a good fit and how it may have actually been a stroke of GOOD luck that he fell to us rather than Dubois?

    It’s easy to write, let me start a few points.

    1) Dubois may not pan out at centre. If he’s a winger, we’re better off with a top D-man.

    2) OJ (like Dubois) was one of the youngest at the draft. He played at the U20s and was arguable the best D-man there in spite of most of his competition being 2 years older. Unlike Dubois, he’s a D, which normally takes longer to develop. If that’s the case, his trajectory could carry him to be one of the top in the league.

    3) Interesting note, at the combine, OJ said he was intimidated by the bench press because it’s not a normal part of his training. Possible implication, he hasn’t had a really strict strength training regimen in his life and if that’s so he made it as #1 D in the draft in spite of being nearly the youngest AND not maximizing his physical abilities. Wait ’till Roger Takahashi gets a hold of him, he could be something really special when he puts on on some muscle.

  • Riley Miner

    Benning was smart to be early to acquire a right D Gudbranson, and in such a favourable trade. Seeing what Edmonton had to give up for Adam Larsson. Now, if his is right that OJ is far and away the best D in the 2016 draft, Higher potential value than Tkachuk. Vancouver’s future on defence is looking very good. Building for the future.

  • Riley Miner

    Tidbit about the bench press; apparently it doesn’t translate to ice hockey, thus a lot of players don’t do it.
    I wanted Dubois, as did most people, but seeing how high he went, it’s obvious that perhaps we were hoping for a guy that wasn’t going to fall to us anyway.
    Juolevi was the right pick if he becomes a top pairing defenseman, heck, even if he becomes a bonafide #3 defenseman. In terms of the trade market, there’s simply better value for a top-3 defenseman than a top-6 forward like Tkachuk. I’m happy with it, I would have done the same thing as Benning. If you see a top-2 dman, why in the world would you trade down, risking losing him?

    • pheenster

      Yes and no. I’m still not happy with the Gudbranson trade, and sure, some people are saying “that’s the market for top 4 RHD.” But this market was partially made by two top execs who thought trading Seguin was a good idea.

      But ya, at least Benning didn’t trade Horvat or Boeser. It’s hard to believe that Chiarelli couldn’t do better with Taylor Hall. Heck, Ryan Johansen netted Seth Jones.

      And I can’t help but wonder why the Canadiens and the Oilers didn’t connect on a Hall for Subban deal. Probably better than what either one got.

  • detox

    if larsson = hall

    then juolevi = pulljojarvi

    so i would trade our fifth pick with chiarelli straight across for their fourth.

    also, if subban = weber then i trade burrows and higgins for two dudes 4 years younger and better who make less dough.

    • detox

      Yep, I just traded an elite top-5 NHL Forward, for an underproducing defenceman with some potential.

      Did you have any doubts as to how Jim Benning learned to do trades?

      • Peachy

        Just because Chiarelli made another insanely stupid trade doesn’t mean that Benning can be excused for his trades. In the context of today’s trades, yes, it appears that Benning managed to get ahead of the pack and get Gudbranson for less then than he would have now. But, looking at that trade on its own merits, I still question whether Gudbranson was worth McCann and the draft picks, especially since we didn’t draft a first line prospect in Dubois or Tkachuk. (I project McCann to be the next Patrice Bergeron.)

  • detox


    I’d still run the #5 pick in the draft just as it fell out, but now I’d like to add something.

    In light of the Hall –> NJ for a #2/3 defender which severely depletes NJ’s defensive core, may I suggest Sbisa –> NJ for McLeod? That way they get a solid addition to a weak defense and can compete next year, we get a future centreman who might be good enough to replace Henrik one day, or may just be a solid bottom 6 guy, depending on the next few years. That sure would take a lot of the sting of missing out on Dubois away.

  • Rolland

    I don’t know why I’m bothering with this, bbq is almost done so I’ll be brief. At the time My pick was Tkachuk and I had no interest of trading down and screwing up.
    Now after seeing what even average D-men are going for I would do what JB did, because he is now a genius compared to what other GMs are doing.

    • LTFan

      I agree 100%. I watched the News Conference with Marc Bergevin about the trade. He was asked about the timeline at the draft and said that “someone” from Nashville asked him about Subban. It proceeded from there until today when the deal was finalized. I simply do not believe him. All GM’s should watch this guy – he is not credible.

  • TrueBlue

    Well I would have drafted Tkachuk, but I might also be stupid. Looking at the cost of defensemen on the market right now, this is a clear win if Juolevi develops into a legitimate top pairing, #2 defenseman.

    Juolevi isn’t the hero we wanted, but he’s probably the hero we need.

    Honestly, if I was actually part of this mgmt team, I would have given serious consideration to taking Tkachuk just to deflect some of the negative press and feedback over the last few months.

    So no matter what, props to those guys for doing what they believe is the best move for the franchise.

  • LTFan

    Is the question what would I do in the real (albeit hypothetical) world or in an EA fantasy one where I have the AI switched to dumbest? Because all the assumptions inherent in the idea that we could have had blah blah blah prospects other picks bad contracts etc is all fine except none of it actually happened or was even close to happening. Given the world we actually live in I’d take whoever came to me at 5 of Juolevi or Tkachuk as I don’t think we can go wrong with either.

    All the brilliant plans of all the great rebuilds are looking fantastic today huh? What happened to Stamkos of course joining the good ship Stanley in Toronto? Seth Jones OBVIOUSLY won’t get resigned by CBJ. And the Oilers are finally on the right track – oh…right…

    What would I do at 5? I’d draft the best player available instead of trying to think I could be cute and get all kinds of fantasy extras. Oh sorry, I’d trade down, take on forty terrible contracts and get every single pick from 5-10.

  • Shakenbakes

    I think that it was a good decision to choose a d-man with the fifth pick.

    It makes sense when you think about be a use unless we luck out, the Canucks are going to be trash again this season.

    This means we have a chance at another high pick again next season, and since d-man tend to take longer to develop, next year’s draft we might be able to draft an impact forward, who may be able to hit his peak around the same time as Olli.

    We have no choice but to wait and see.

  • Riley Miner

    5-7 years from now Olli Juolevi is going to control the game in a way Canucks fans have never seen before.

    The franchise has never had such a smart cerebral player on the back-end. The way he reads the play, breaks up plays, and transitions the puck up ice will be unparalleled by any defenceman in this teams history.

    He will be a “quiet star”. The kind of player you will need to watch to truly appreciate. He may not be in the nightly highlight reels, but anyone who watched the full 60 will know the impact he had.

    Drafting Olli Juolevi at #5 and taking the first defenceman off the board is the correct play every time.

  • Riley Miner

    Solid work by Benning at the draft. He traded for a right-hand D early. Took the best course on buy-outs (Higgins, but not Burrows). And now all RFA’s are signed or have QO’s so he is better positioned than most all other GM’s for hunting UFA’s.

  • pheenster


    UFAs sorted by goals

    Canucks don’t want to buy anything outside the top 15 there if we want to improve GF. Also prefer younger players to allow growth and future resigning instead of decline and a future hole to fill.

    I’m surprised there’s been little talk around Joe Colborne. I’d be happy if he was our only FA signing, a 2way 26yo 19G/73GP that’s a lot cheaper than Ladd, Backes, Lucic and Okposo