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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin / USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jackets opt to send 2017 pick to Canucks for Tortorella

The staff compensation rule was one of the single worst nuances introduced to the National Hockey League over the past few years unless you were the benefactor. The Vancouver Canucks certainly were when the Columbus Blue Jackets hired John Tortorella to be their head coach in October 2015. While they had long fired the polarizing bench boss, they were still entitled to a draft pick in return.

Today, it was confirmed that the pick that Vancouver will receive is Columbus’ second-round pick this season, which lands at 55th overall. The Blue Jackets had the choice of sending the pick last year, this year, or next; they proved wise to skip last year’s, which was 21 spots higher, and given how they closed off this season, it would be foolish to bet on themselves to go deep enough into next year’s postseason to get significantly closer to a worst-case 62nd overall pick.

Recent 55th overall picks include Filip Gustavsson (Pittsburgh), Yakov Trenin (Nashville), Brandon Montour (Anaheim), Artturi Lehkonen (Montreal), and Chris Tierney (San Jose). It’s been a particularly lucky spot to select from over the past few years; Canucks management will surely hope that spills over into their moment on the draft floor next month.

For reference, here are the players we have ranked in the 55-60 spots in our 2017 Prospect Profiles:

  • Steamer

    Thanks Jeff! Nice idea to post relevant prospects & reference past picks at this spot. Busy time for CA writers – greatly appreciate all the effort everyone puts in to the prospect evaluations, etc. Great job all!

  • TheRealPB

    I’m impressed that you didn’t mention that 55th for Gustavsson was the one we traded (with Clendening, Bonino and Mallet) to get Sutter, Lockwood and Pedan.

    Getting this compensatory pick is one of the only times I think it actually makes sense given the brutalizing of the players and fanbase brought to us by Torts. And next year when he’s fired about 20 games into the season, the CBJ will also feel the full love and effect of the Torts-syndrome.

  • Realistically, anyone outside of the Top 20 could fall to the Canucks at #55. The most recent example for me is Oliver Kylington, who was projected to go in the mid-1st round and got drafted by Calgary at #60.

  • Roy

    Good things to happen to the Canucks in 2017: Dorsett/Gudbranson on LIR, Boeser looks promising, Columbus relinquishes a 2nd round pick this year instead of next year, and there’s what, a 20% chance we see this pick make it to the NHL in 4-6 years? Let alone be a decent player *shrug*

    p.s. the team is still terrible and broken and we are now on the second of two coaches with zero track record in the NHL. But you have to save money somewhere when you are paying a pylon like Sbisa the same as Edler and Tanev LOL

    • Bud Poile

      1 in 3 chance :

      No. 51-55
      Average Rating: 2.71
      Best: Patrik Elias, Duncan Keith, Jason Pominville
      Ranked 7 or better: 9.5%
      Ranked 5 or worse: 82.9%
      At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 33.3%

      SBISA $3.6m 82 gp
      TANEV $4.45m 53 gp
      EDLER $5.0m 68 gp
      2017-18 salaries/2016-17 gp

      • Roy

        LOL, k let’s split hairs then. Team: second last in conference and NHL overall. Tied for 3rd worst in goal differential. 69 points. Top three worst, at least, goals for, goals against and PP/PK percentages, or close enough. Keep hoping though, this rebuild on the fly seems to be going great.

        I should note, I am a fan, but not of this administration. I think many young players have promise and I think Horvat and Boeser are the breakout stars in the next fiver years. Granlund and Baertschi stand to be stalwart second/third liners, and Tanev, Stecher and possibly Hutton and Pedan could be our next top two D-lines. But the GM has to go. He has ruined the team for the present. We need a smarter, less guts/grit/fairweather theme-of-the-day GM to build the defence properly and restock, and properly hire a good coach.

        • Bud Poile

          Everybody wants to win.
          Nobody wants to rebuild.
          Two bouts of tanking from February into April and some of you think the team should have been rebuilt,already.
          I am not a fan of your unrealistic expectations.

        • Neil B

          Sorry to burst your bubble, but Pedan is a 6-7 guy, Stecher & Hutton, unless they show incredibly rapid growth, are 3-4 guys on a good team. Bo is a 2C–possibly an elite 2C–but definitely not a 1C on a contending team. By the time this team is ready to ride Boeser, et al, into the playoffs, Tanev will be 30, and a year or two (on the optimistic side) into his decline.

          For the next generation of this team, we currently have middle-6 wing prospects sewn up, and potentially a pair of top-line wingers. We have an excellent shut-down C, who might get taken in the draft. We also have a Sutter. On D, we have a potential 1LD, a middle-pairing that looks good at moving the puck but is a bit undersized, and a few good prospects for 5-6-7 (McEneny, Pedan, Brisebois). I feel pretty good about our position in goal.

          We do not have anyone remotely resembling a top-end 1C. We do not have a top-pair RD, and we most certainly do not have a true PP QB. If we can move an asset, like Hutton, who is expansion draft exempt, for a non-exempt 1C prospect (like Strome), or can move another asset to pick up a another first rounder this year, we could potentially address most of our shortcomings by July 1.

          That said, the likeliest path is spending another 2-3 years in the cellar, acquiring more top-5 picks.

    • Neil B

      According to Scott Cullen’s numbers, it’s roughly 1 in 3 that play at least 100 NHL games; it’s about a 10% chance to land a Jason Pominville or Sergei Zholtok. Hell, I’d be pleased with an Orlov or Scandella at 55.

    • TheRealPB

      How so? They got a #31 in Markstrom who has played 60+ games in the NHL, which is a lot more than many 2nd round picks have played. Whether or not he’s an actual NHL starting goaltender remains an open question and he certainly was not worth a franchise goalie like Luongo, but then that was never a hockey trade.

      • Bud Poile

        They got a #3 for McCann and a 2nd who has played 352 NHL games at 25 years of age.
        Most CA staff/posters seem to hate Guddy but adore a B grade goalie.
        The Luongo /Schneider debacle certainly accelerated the demise of Gillis.When Torts was hired it sealed his fate.Two NHL starters tragically mishandled/lost and then MG hires a psychopath.
        I am hoping this pick can be as good as Tryamkin and Brisebois @ #66 or Gaudette @ #149.
        Gillis left this franchise in a 5-7 year uphill battle.
        Drafting a gem @ # 55 will help this franchise recover from the Torts and especially the GMMG era all the sooner.

        • truthseeker

          Come on. We all know Torts wasn’t Gillis’ hire.

          And Gillis did what he had to do to keep the team at the top of the NHL through most of his run. He did it very well.

          Yes, his draft record was pretty awful, and he bungled the goalie thing, but show me a perfect GM who’s never been fired and never made some mistakes.

          • Bud Poile

            Show me a Gillis quote saying he wasn’t responsible as I have never seen one.
            Maybe his gig was done but if he adamantly rejected the hire surely he would have resigned.
            $20m Sundin,Roy baby,Pahlsson,Ballard,Booth,Kassian the headcase for his only young asset,ostracizing Luongo and being forced into losing two #1 goalies in succession.
            Telling Ehrhoff he had to accept Bieksa’s contract and then losing him for a fourth.
            Kesler wanted out for an entire season and he failed to trade him.
            It was the Sedins best years coupled with the core that were built long before Gillis arrived that were the heart of the Canucks run.
            Atrocious trading/drafting and bungling those assets brought us the hole Benning was tasked to rectify.
            Five of six woeful drafts suggests it will take another two more drafts to achieve the depth to contend again one day.
            Many fans want everything now but that’s not a remote reality given the task at hand.

          • truthseeker

            Believe what you want then.
            He’s a person with a job. Managing a bloody sports team. One of the most unimportant things in society. You don’t “resign” out of some stupid sense of protest because your owner wants you to hire a certain coach. lol.

            Yeah yeah…you can cherry pick the bad players and ignore the good ones. Whoopty doo.

            Hodgson a young asset? Give me a break. The kid was garbage. A self entitled locker room cancer who proved Gillis right after his trade. Guy was a slug. Moronic vancouver fans and their stupid love affair with Cody. Career highlight, one goal against boston.

            And don’t be stupid. His handling of contracts was what kept the team at the top without having to sacrifice depth.

            Ehrhoff wanted the money. Buffalo offered him DOUBLE. He was NOT worth that much. More power to him for taking it but, giving him more than Hamhuis and Bieksa and Edler? No way. He did not deserve double those guys. You’re a fool if you think letting Ehrhoff walk was a mistake.

            Yep goalie thing is on him for the most part. Torts didn’t help though.

            F……Kesler. Gillis was under no obligation to accommodate him.

            Nonsense. That “core” was kept there because of his contract work. Stop lying.

            Yep…his draft record was terrible. That sucks.

            I don’t want everything now. I UNDERSTAND that the cost of those years at the top were having to give players NTC’s so we could sign them at lower money so we could keep an excellent team together. Also that we had to trade some young talent to gain some of those veteran pieces for that team.

            They were the RIGHT moves. And yeah…it’s costing us now. I don’t care. I can live with it. It was worth it.

            The problem with all you “fans” is that you seem to think you need to “take a side”. You argue with those other Benning haters, and you all think you’re right. But ALL of you are wrong.

            It’s about circumstances. Gillis had different job objectives than Benning. You’re as guilty of using hindsight as those Benning haters.

            For f…k sakes…can’t anyone apply a little logic and see past their bloody conformation biases?

            What’s wrong with you people?

        • Dirk22

          5-7 years now Bud? Thought they were competing next year and the year after in years 4-5 of Benning’s grand plan? That’s what you said before. What changed….reality?

          • Bud Poile

            Your lack of tabulation skills.
            Year one-101 point contend.
            Two years of stealth tanking in the books.
            Another two years of draft buiding should provide a decent base of prospects to draw upon against injuries and for trade purposes.
            That begins year 5.

        • Braindead Benning

          Ok their Brian Benning… it’s so obvious you are related to to Dim Jim because I have never whitnessed on the internet or in person such a Pom Pom waving, jock sniffing idiot such as you their “Dud” lol

  • LTFan

    The topic for discussion is that the Canucks will get the Blue Jackets Round #2 pick this year for signing Torts. That will be pick #55. Many on here are all for picking as many prospects as possible at the draft in order to rebuild the team. Jeff has given a list of 5 players who have been ranked in the 55 to 50 range. There will several more lists of prospects ranked over the next 2 weeks. I liked the article because 1. it was short and to the point 2. no graphs and all the analytics that many CA bloggers like to take up space with and 3. did not trash management present and past over mistakes they may have made in drafting players. Actually have made in drafting players. It is probably a long shot that a player drafted at #55 will be a regular in the NHL but, remember Luc Robitaille was drafted in the 9th Round at #171 overall, so there is always a chance we could get a good player that will be a late bloomer and be a regular on the team for the next 10 to 15 years.