With their 95th overall selection, the Canucks went a little off the board and grabbed Jack Rathbone, a defencemen playing prep hockey for the Cape Cod Whalers in Massachusetts.
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) June 24, 2017
Rathbone was ranked in a variety of spots, including 78th by Bob McKenzie, 80th by Future Considerations, 105th by McKeen’s Hockey, and 128th by HockeyProspects.com. The HockeyProspect Black Book says this about Rathbone:
Rathbone stands under the 6-foot mark although moves well on his skates with acceleration, lateral movement, pivots, and agility. He handles the puck well showing poise and will outlet the puck up the ice with good decisions. Rathbone has the ability to escape pressure very well. He shows good offensive awareness as he will rush pucks or jump in the play. His shot is adequate and he will find shooting lanes with his mobility from the blue line. Rathbone has good potential to grow his game and is set to enter Harvard for the 2018-19 season.
After selecting three forwards and a goalie with their first four selections, the Canucks were clearly looking to go for a defencemen. They talked a lot about looking for a power play quarterback, and evidently didn’t like what they saw early on. Rathbone, while not a high end power play guy, is still built in the offensive mold. Based on the scouting reports that we have, he seems to have a similar profile to Troy Stecher – a little undersized, but overcomes it with good skating and excellent decision making.
Rathbone is committed to Harvard for the 2018-19 season. In the interim, he will probably head to the USHL for the 2017-18 season. His rights there are held by the Youngstown Phantoms. Alternatively, he was also drafted by the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads, but he won’t be able to play there without losing his NCAA eligibility.
We don’t have much of any statistical data to go on for Rathbone at this point, other than the 12 goals and 30 points he had in 37 high school games, and the single assist he produced in four USHL games. Both have sample size issues (and high school has such a high volatility) that it’s difficult to read much into that at this point. Based on what we’ve gleaned from other sources, this is a relatively good looking selection at this point, and we’ll keep a close eye on him in the future as he advances to better leagues with higher levels of competition.