— Edward (@eddya52) March 27, 2017
I’ve been fairly consistent for the last few weeks about Owen Tippett as the third best prospect in this draft, by my estimation. I’m starting to waiver from that position, though.
The player who’s catching my eye lately (and apparently the Canucks’ eye, according to last night’s edition of The Provies) is Casey Mittelstadt. I have to admit, I was not a fan of Mittelstadt even a few months ago, but his return to the USHL from high school and his torrid pace since are starting to win me over.
We’re at a point where Mittelstadt and Tippett might be comparable as players to the point where one could reasonably posit the former is better value based on his playing a premium position, and in this particular instance, filling a position the Canucks so desperately need to fill.
For whatever it’s worth, there are a lot of players tightly grouped after Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier. It would be hard for the Canucks’ to screw this up. We’re really talking a matter of preference — there’s a case for at least three or four players going third overall.
@JDylanBurke who is underrated in scouting lists for this upcoming draft?
— Miles Hoaken (@SmokinHoaken) March 27, 2017
This is a tough question because there are so many different scouting services ranking players so vastly different from each other. Here’s my list of underrated players, based on what I’ve seen thus far in the process.
Alexander Polunin, Ivan Lodnia, Josh Brook, Mason Shaw, Aleksei Heponiemi, Jason Robertson and Kailer Yamamoto. I’m sure I’m missing a few skaters, but this is what I’ve got so far.
— Eric Southward (@EricSouthward) March 27, 2017
First of all, we’re way too early in the process to even say with any level of certainty that Rasmus Dahlin is going to be the consensus first overall pick. There’s Quinton Hughes, Andrei Svechnikov and perhaps a few others to consider, too.
We’ll know far more about the Canucks’ long-term direction by the end of the draft than we do now. I still find it hard to believe that Canucks general manager Jim Benning has it in him to tank for a season. It just runs so completely counter to almost everything he’s said (before the trade deadline) each year he’s run the show.
— Kevin Doughty (@no_doughty) March 27, 2017
I’m not terribly keen on the idea of trading Ben Hutton. He’s young, locked up on the cheap and relatively effective, though he’s not played his best hockey for much of this season. I just don’t see what’s accomplished in a Hutton trade.
As for Virtanen, that’s another story completely. We all know for a fact at this stage that pedigree matters, and we’re talking about a player who, rightly or wrongly, went sixth overall in his draft class. Some of that shine has worn off in his first two professional seasons, but I imagine his market value is higher than his actual value based on where he went in the draft.
Maybe there’s a way for the Canucks to pull off a trade similar to the one the New York Islanders made when they dealt Griffin Reinhart for two picks that eventually became Matthew Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier. Wouldn’t you settle for just one high calibre prospect for Virtanen at this stage?
— Jordan (@JVAR_12) March 27, 2017
I’m honestly skeptical of any player other than Patrick being NHL-ready as soon as next season. I could see Nico Hischier and Timothy Liljegren as players who have that potential, but beyond that, I’m not seeing a lot in the way of NHL ready talent.
— John Puck (@JohnPuck1992) March 27, 2017
I honestly fancy Edmonton Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli as one of the worst general managers in the entire NHL. Whenever you think of a horrible, completely unjustifiable trade to justify an idea that at first glance seems insane, you reference a trade Chiarelli’s architected, and there are so many examples.
— BJ Peters (@BJPeters02) March 27, 2017
I don’t mean to be rude, but two of those players are right-shot defencemen, so they aren’t exactly what you’d call roadblocks to Olli Juolevi’s first NHL season. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t consider trading Chris Tanev or Erik Gudbranson especially, but that won’t change the outlook for Juolevi.
The fact that Hutton’s name came up in trade talks often this season doesn’t bode well for the young blue liners future in Vancouver. I’m a firm believer that where there’s smoke there’s fire, and there’ve been plumes coming from his locker stall all season.
You know who the Canucks should consider trading other than Gudbranson? Alex Edler. That’s one quickly depreciating asset. Probably a player whose market value is greater than his actual value. This is a trade the Canucks should consider if they’re genuine about rebuilding. That will clear space for Juolevi and bring in another few assets to boot.
— Bryce Fountain (@TheGajic) March 27, 2017
Yes, the Canucks have to expose Reid Boucher in the Expansion Draft. I highly doubt the Vegas Golden Knights take him, though.
— Elliot 🌲 (@Moosekayak) March 27, 2017
Why not all three? Throw in a Calder Trophy too, because it’s happening next season. Just you wait and see. I’m a believer.
— sedinitronic (@sedinitronic) March 27, 2017
They ran out of Stanley Cup Champions 2011 t-shirts to shoot at the fans.