The draft has come and gone, and wouldn’t you know it, the Canucks came away with quite the haul. Even prolific grumps such as J.D. Burke, Petbugs, and myself seem to be very happy with the way the team’s scouts acquitted themselves this weekend.
The season is winding down, but there’s still free agency to look forward to. It’s unclear whether or not the Canucks will be major players this year, but there’s always a couple of depth signings to keep things interesting, if nothing else. What would you like to see the Canucks do in free agency on July 1st?
Last week I asked: Who should the Canucks pick at 5th overall?
I say stack up on D, even though it’s not necessarily the fun option. If the playoffs taught us anything, it’s that you either need superstar power or a seriously deep defense core to make some noise. Unless Dallas & Colorado go back-to-back on D selections (which isn’t out of the question), we will have either a solid D option in Heiskanen or a home run swing in Makar available. I wasn’t a huge fan of picking Juolevi last year (at least in comparison to the other options available), but he’s part of a solid start down this path, so let’s go all-in.
Anyone of Valardi, Glass, Petterson or Mittelstadt is fine, but i would also like to see Benning stock up on picks by trading down and/or trading Tanev since management is finally giving in to the rebuild.
Chris The Curmudgeon:
This is the year of the center. At least two of, and potentially all four of Glass, Vilardi, Mittelstadt and Petterson will be there at 5. I think Benning should take whichever one he values the highest out of that group in the #5 spot.
For all the talk about “the NHL has changed, it’s a defenceman’s league now, check out Nashville”, the fact is that of their top 4, 3 (and arguably the best 3) were selected after the first round: Josi and Subban were both 2nd rounders, and Ekholm was a 4th rounder. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh had to struggle the whole Final to overcome the loss of their #1 guy, former 3rd rounder Kris Letang. Then take a look at the playoff scoring leaders, and 7 of the top 10 were forwards selected in the first round (Malkin, Crosby, Kessel, Getzlaf, Draisaitl, Forsberg and Ryan), along with surprise super rookie Guentzel (3rd round), once-in-a-lifetime pick Karlsson and the aforementioned Josi. Seems to me the best move is to load up on high-end forwards at the top of the draft, then do your homework on the defencemen for the second and third rounds.
Gabe Vilardi all the way. His puck control is amazing and I’m not concerned with his skating as he can work on that similar to horvat. Hopefully Benning can get us another pick in the top 10 so we can select a Dman as well, but first priority would be future first line centre. Also hope we get Robin Salo somewhere late 2nd or early 3rd.
At #5 – Pettersson if C; Liljegren if D. Both are elite skaters.