With the first round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft in the rear view mirror, Canucks general manager Jim Benning made himself available to the media. In the interview, he mentioned that the Canucks would likely be leaning towards a forward with the 33rd overall pick. He followed that up with mentioning that there were a couple of players that they had pegged in the first round that were still on the board.
Armed with that information, we can try to speculate who the Canucks might have their eye on for the 33rd overall pick in the draft. These will just be quick blurbs on each player, and all of their profiles from our prospect series will be linked for a deeper look at each one.
A personal favourite prospect of mine, who has seen his stock rise dramatically over the latter parts of the season. That rise in the rankings coincides with his increased ice time and responsibilities in the second half of the 2016-17 season.
In our Nation Network prospect profiles, we had him ranked as the 47th best prospect in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, which in hindsight feels very low.
Statistically, Boqvist checks out very well with 77.0% of comparable players going onto being NHL regulars. Boqvist did play some games with Timra of the Allsvenskan league with Canucks prospects Elias Pettersson (that’s nice to add) and Jonathan Dahlen. He also spent some time with Brynas IF in the SHL.
They were dynamite together, and if the Canucks were scouting Pettersson and Dahlen, it’s safe to assume they have the book on this young Swede.
He is a slight, skilled winger in the same vein as Elias Pettersson, but at this point in the draft, you are best to take the BPA and the argument can easily be made that Boqvist is the best player left.
Coming in as the 25th best prospect in our draft rankings, Jaret Anderson-Dolan is an intriguing player that could provide some serious value at 33rd overall.
If the Canucks are looking for a reliable player with all kinds of character, Anderson-Dolan may be the player they have their eye on. He and Kailer Yamamoto were dynamite together throughout the entire season.
Anderson-Dolan’s pGPS shows that 46.2% of comparable players went onto becoming NHL regulars.
That is some serious value at 33rd overall.
Canucks GM Jim Benning mentioned that there were a couple players they had pegged as first round picks, and it’s fair to believe Anderson-Dolan.
Another WHL forward that they may have their eye on is Kelowna Rockets forward Kole Lind. A really smart hockey player who seems to just be in the right spot.
We had him ranked as the 37th best prospect in this draft class, but he has been pegged as a possible first round pick by a few services leading up to the event. He has the ability to generate offence in a variety of ways while playing the game with some pace.
When using pGPS to look the right winger, an impressive 46.1% of comparable players went onto becoming NHL regulars.
If the Canucks are looking for a smart winger to compliment their current forward group, Lind would be a very good addition.
Our highest ranked forward still on the board, is Swift Current Broncos forward Aleksi Heponiemi.
Like Pettersson, the young WHL forward is slight and will need to add weight to make it at the next level, but there is no denying the talent he possesses.
The most impressive part of Heponiemi’s production it that only 6 of his 50 5v5 points were secondary assists. He was a driver of the offence for the Broncos.
Compared to the two WHL forwards, his pGPS is a bit lower with 31.1% of comparable players going onto becoming NHL regulars. The Canucks may not have him in their crosshairs at 33rd, but whoever does will get a great player.
If the Canucks look to the OHL, Jason Robertson could be a very good value bet at 33rd. We had him ranked as the 20th best prospect in this draft. He plays with a bit of snarl, willing to go to the dirty areas to create offence.
Measuring in at 6’2″ and 195 lbs, Robertson has a good frame, using it to create offence for himself and his teammates. He will need to work on his skating to succeed at the next level.
Using pGPS to evaluate him, a extremely impressive 76.3% of comparable players went onto becoming NHL regulars. That is the highest of any CHL player still available (of players will reasonable matches).
There is a lot to like about Robertson, and he would be another good compliment to who the Canucks currently have.
Obviously things could change between now and the 2nd round of the draft. There may be trades or the Canucks may change their opinion on certain players.
But any of the player listed above are great additions to the Canucks prospect pool that continues to take shape.
The second round of the NHL Entry Draft begins at 7am PT.