Vote on the Canucks Best Prospects For the Midterm Rankings

As we’ve done for the past several seasons, we’ll be publishing a list of the Vancouver Canucks prospects, from best to worst, to go with a series of write ups on how the players are progressing and projecting. This year (as was also done a few years ago), we’re looking for your input to help with the rankings.

If you’re interested, fill out the survey accompanying this article, and rank all 28 eligible prospects. The lists acquired from our readers will be compiled and consolidated, and added to the lists from each of our writers in creating the final rankings. It should also be pretty interesting to see how the fanbase (or at least the segment of the fanbase that reads Canucks Army) perceives the Canucks current prospect pool.

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In terms of the players that are eligible for the list, we’ve kept the same criteria that we’ve been using for previous years: the player has to be 25 years old or younger, and must be eligible for the Calder trophy next season. That means that the following players are not eligible:

  • Jake Virtanen
  • Troy Stecher
  • Brendan Gaunce
  • Nikita Tryamkin
  • Anton Rodin

Additionally, to be eligible, the player has to be Canucks property – either under contract, or on the Reserve List (eg, unsigned draft choices). That means players on American League contracts, Curtis Valk, are not eligible. Believe me, I’m as upset as you are about this.

In addition to ranking the prospects, I have also provided three more questions about the state of the Canucks prospect pool and their preparedness for the future.

Without further ado, you can find the survey here (because the website wouldn’t let me embed it).

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  • Riley Miner

    I was ranking the 4-12 range and I thought to myself, ‘This is all one ginormous blob of potential depth-3rd liners.’ We really need more depth picks.

  • dtriemstra

    Man that was tough. Top 5 and bottom 5 are easy, but from 9-16 it gets really tough to differentiate between potential fringe players. I put Pedan ahead of Subban because of his potential to claim a bottom-pair position for next season and because Subban was recently passed on the depth chart by Troy Stetcher, which made him very appealing to trade (along with Tanev, Gudbranson and Edler for some top-end left wing talent).

  • Burnabybob

    After the top three I felt like I was guessing randomly for most of them. As others have said, lots of potential depth players, not much star potential.

    Virtanen is really still a prospect, as he hasn’t yet established himself in the NHL. I would probably place him 4th in the Canucks organization. No higher than that. Possibly lower.

    On a related note, I suspect Benning would take Tkachuk if he had the chance to redo the 2016 draft. Not that Juolevi was a bad pick, but Tkachuk is already playing on the top line and scoring regularly in Calgary, and Benning probably assumed Virtanen would be in the lineup and producing by now, so could afford to draft a defenseman.

    Not to put undue pressure on Juolevi, but Benning needs him to be successful, especially with players like Tkachuk and Alexandre Nylander (whom Benning passed on) already looking so promising. Nylander leads the World Juniors in scoring.

    • Burnabybob

      Not a great pool. But I like that the Canucks have one top prospect each at goal, defense and forward positions.

      Benning should explore trading Tanev for a winger or center. He’s probably their most tradable commodity, and there would be many teams interested in him. It would be tough to see him go, but they have many defensive d-man prospects in their system. Assuming one or more of them becomes reliable and steady, they should be fine. Look at Troy Stecher.

      As they say, you have to give something up to get something. Tanev may be the best trade bait the Canucks have.

      • Dirk22

        He probably would be the best trade bait but I’d rather they kept him and tried to trade all of: Hansen, Edler, Burrows, Miller, Gudbranson. Get some prospects/picks and hopefully hit on at least a couple of good ones. Y’know like a rebuilding team.

        • Burnabybob

          Trading Tanev wouldn’t prevent the Canucks from trading the others you mentioned. I had assumed they would trade Burrows and Hansen. Not sure about Gudbranson. Edler has a no trade clause, which will make negotiations difficult.

          And Tanev isn’t even that young any more. He’s 27, and will be past his prime when the Canucks are ready to compete again.

          • Dirk22

            One would assume they’d trade Burrows and Hansen but that would probably require a management change or at least a change in philosophy.

            Edler will be tough. Miller should be looking at going to a contender in need of a goalie. Gudbranson prob depends on if you deal any other defencemen.

            If Benning can trade Tanev for a Larsson/Hall type return then that would be a must do.

  • dtriemstra

    For those not convinced on trading Gudbranson, just look at how Tryamkin has progressed. Nikita’s progression and potential make Gudbranson expendable. Plus Gudbranson is a pending RFA after this season.

    • TheRealPB

      I would be in favor of trading Gudbranson but you’d basically be selling extremely low. Between the injury and a pretty meh season here there’s no way you recoup a top prospect, 2nd rounder and 4th rounder. For those reasons I see it as unlikely that Benning would make that move and be (even more) highly criticized for it. I’m mostly worried that we throw good money after bad and resign him to a big contract.

      And Dirk22, could you be more of a drama queen? We have a middle-of-the-pack prospect pool, with a couple of good and one great forward prospects. This is a pretty good turnaround from one of the bottom three prospect pools when Benning took over. This is why Pronman ranked our prospect pool 13th. High end but a precipitous drop-off as doing the survey shows. Also this: ” Get some prospects/picks and hopefully hit on at least a couple of good ones.” is a terrible way of planning a rebuild. Maybe we should go out and buy as many lottery tickets as possible and then one day we can Oiler into a franchise player. Now that’s a plan…

      • Dirk22

        The same rankings that had one Canuck forward prospect in the top 120 prospects overall (at #40)? That’s actually in part what I based my ‘dramatic’ statement on. Every team on there has better young forwards than the Canucks – whether shown in those rankings, farm system or currently on their roster. That’s not dramatic – it’s factual.

        Also, I’m not sure if you know this but apart from the blue chippers, most prospects don’t work out. Therefore, to increase your chances of getting impact NHL players you would want to have a plethora of prospects. Your plan to get as many lottery tickets as possible is actually exactly what they should be doing – save for the part where there’s a McDavid at the end.