Report: Canucks Prospect Rodrigo Abols Signs with Orebro of the SHL

According to a tweet from SHL franchise Orebro’s team account, Rodrigo Abols signed with them in the wee hours of the night (morning over there, I suppose) to a two-year contract.

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The Canucks drafted Abols as an overage player in the seventh round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft after years spent observing the Latvian at their prospect camps, tournaments and abroad. Though drafted from the Portland Winterhawks organization, Abols’ status as an overage player and an import meant he counted against the club’s limits for both and they didn’t see him as being worth the trouble.

After weeks in limbo, Abols found himself a member of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan of the QMJHL. With his new club, Abols flourished (all things being relative) scoring 50 points in 52 games. In the playoffs, Abols added another 11 points in as many games.

Even with Abols relative success, as an overage player scoring at an okay clip in the QMJHL, it doesn’t appear as though the odds are in his favour of developing into a full-time NHL’er. Among the 55 players in Abols’ pGPS (Prospect Graduation Probabilities System) cohort, only one had a successful NHL career. That player? Jody Shelley.

  • Pat Quinn Way

    Another Benning bust from the so-called ‘draft guru’ – and let’s not make excuses by forgetting former (and current) Canucks late round draft picks of note include the likes of Kevin Bieksa (5th rd), Jannik Hansen (9th rd), Brent Sopel (6th rd), Ben Hutton (5th rd) and some HoF Russian kid called Pavel Bure, picked in the sixth round!!

    In fact JD heading into his fourth draft, isn’t it about time you guys did a piece on ‘draft king’ Jim Benning’s track record here… I’ll give you a starter for ten… out of 20 JB draftees, only ONE (Brock Boeser) is currently on the Canucks roster, and even if say Juolevi, Demko and Briesbois take the ‘next step’, that amounts to a pitiful 20 per cent success rate for the Vancouver Canucks under Benning’s drafting heading into year four…. JD (or preferably Vanessa Jang) – DISCUSS!

    • apr

      See all those ex Canucks first round picks Gillis drafted available in the expansion draft? If you missed other Gillis picks available in the expansion draft list, that’s because he’s predominantly drafted no one making the NHL. I’m assuming that matters given your harsh critique on a 7th round pick.

      • Pat Quinn Way

        There you go guys… another Bud Poille sock account (apr) easily exposed along with the already confirmed pheenster. No one else even commented on this thread and then along comes the only poster obsessed with a former GM (of the year) who is of no relevance to this post whatsoever!

        Who the hell mentioned Mike Gillis ffs you silly little man apr aka BUD? – we are talking about Jim Benning in the here and now and and his numerous draft busts including the subject of this piece, not revisionist history about a five time Division champion, 2 time Presidents trophy winner, Stanley Cup finalist and NHL GM of the year. Get a life!

        Jim Benning – ONE current Canucks draft pick out of TWENTY… completely unacceptable. JD?

        • pheenster

          JD JD come save me from all these nasty sock accounts who are being mean to me and calling me out for spouting BS on these boards on an hourly basis! JD pleeeeeeese my delicate sensibilities are being damaged!

          Give your balls a tug you fukcing pu$$y.

          • pheenster

            PQW isn’t here to discuss anything. Quite the opposite, he’s here to loudly broadcast his own opinions and stifle any discussion or disagreement with insults. Only one way to deal with a guy like that and that’s to give him some of his own medicine and see how he likes it (he clearly doesn’t).

    • Dan B

      It’s funny… 20% is a pretty good rate for draft picks to become NHL regulars.


      The best team over that time frame was Montreal with 22%.

      If a draftee gets traded, that doesn’t mean that you’re bad at drafting. If a draftee gets homesick and wants to return, that doesn’t mean that you’re bad at drafting.

      The first Benning draft was 2014, and it looks like it could produce 5 NHL regulars (200 career games), which is phenomenal. 4 have already played in the NHL, and Demko looks like he will eventually.

      What are the results that other teams have had with 2014 picks playing in the NHL?

      • Bud Poile

        Exactly.Thank you for stating the obvious.
        I have 280 NHL gp in my notes and those picks will become or have been used to form a young core.
        Montreal is the NHL’s best at 20%.
        Benning hit 70% in his frst draft as our GM:
        Benning’s 1st draft picks are 20-22 years of age.
        3 have played 65+ NHL games apiece.
        Forsling has played 38 as a 20 year old.
        Demko is slated to have an NHL career.
        That is 5 of 7 picks that have had or should have NHL careers.
        70% sucess rate.

    • Dan B

      So let’s have a look at the Gilles record. I count 37 players drafted between 08 and 13. Only two of them have passed 200 games, CoHo and BoHo. Only 7 have passed 60 games, 19%. So far, 3 of Benning’s 20 picks have passed 60 games, 15%. The thing is, the average Gilles pick has had 7 years to make 60 games, while the average Benning pick has had 2 years. To be within 4% against a 4 year head start shows that Benning is probably going to beat Gilles here.

      Or, lets look at things and make some wild assumptions. Lets say that all the picks that have played an NHL game are a success. Gilles has 14 out of 37 which is 38%. Now lets see how close Benning is. He has 5 of 20, which is 25%. Are there 3 more players in the pipeline likely to get an NHL game in? Probably. Demko and Juolevi get to you to 35%. So if those guys and one other play a single game, then Benning has Gilles beat there. Lockwood, Gaudette, and Breisbois are the most likely candidates.

      Hutton was a late round gem, the only one that Gilles found in 6 drafts, but it wasn’t until D+4 that he was an NHL regular. Bieksa and Hansen were D+5, and Sopel D+6. Finding guys that late is rare, and they usually take a while to become regulars. Benning has only had 3 drafts and there’s only been 3 seasons since his first draft.

      And let’s remember that Bure was only picked in the 6th because they were the only team that knew he was eligible to be drafted. That had nothing to do with scouting, every team knew he was a fantastic player and would have gone in the first round the following year.

      Benning might not be a master scout, but his early results indicate that he’s going to end up with a far better record than Gilles.

  • Carl Jung

    For how long do the Canucks retain Abols’ rights?

    If by any chance Abols ever is good enough to play pro hockey in North America, it would probably take a couple of years anyway.

  • Sandpaper

    This is actually good news. He can develop in a eagle without ya Ving to be signed to play in the AHL, which would use up a valuable contract spot.
    Those player was/is a project, just like many 7th round overagers.