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Photo Credit: Vancouver Canucks / Twitter

Vote on the Canucks Best Prospects (and Other Canucks Related Items) For the 2018 Midterm Rankings

It’s almost that wonderful time of year where we count down Vancouver’s best prospects. In recent seasons, this has been one of the few bright spots: looking ahead at the future while the world burns around us. This year, Brock Boeser has made the present considerably more enjoyable, but looking ahead hasn’t lost its appeal, what with the likes of Elias Pettersson, Jonathan Dahlen, Thatcher Demko and more waiting in the wings.

While I’m sure it’s fun enough for you, the reader, to be able to take in this totally free content, it’s even more fun to get involved. That’s why, for the second straight year, the readers are will be added their voices to ours as we determine the order of the rankings.

A note on eligibility: as in the preseason, we are using a 25/25 rule: the player must be under the age of 25 and have played fewer than 25 NHL games. These two stipulations eliminate Philip Holm and Nikolay Goldobin respectively, two players in the American League that the Canucks still hope can be part of their future. But if we don’t have rules, then what do we have? Anarchy, that’s what. Also not included are players like Reid Boucher and Nikita Tryamkin, or players on AHL contracts like Alexis D’Aoust and Michael Garteig, since the Canucks do not technically exclusively own their contract rights. Also not eligible is Ludwig Blomstrand, so Jackson can’t rank him first this year.

If you’re interested, jump into the survey below and rank all 31 Canucks prospects. There are a handful of other questions on a couple of specific players, the quality of the prospect pool as a whole, as well as the performance of Vancouver’s management group. Some of the questions are the same as those in last year’s survey, so we can see how the responses compare from one year to the next.

You can find the survey by following this link here.

Thanks for participating!



  • Bure Fan

    I’m afraid Im not buying into the Canucks prospect hype train at all.

    I personally don’t see a Jarrey in goal, a Lilegren or Rasmus Dahlin on D or a Middlestadt, Zadina or Brady Tkachuk level talent anywhere in the Canucks system, it’s all plugs and not enough spark… shame the deluded saddos on here cant see the truth past their pitchers of koolaid and pom poms really.

    • Beer Can Boyd

      Perhaps you should watch some highlight film of Elias Petterssen? Also, thanks for coming here and enlightening us “deluded saddos”. Great you could spare the time.

    • TheRealPB

      I am sure all of the scouting sites and programs that have the Canucks system ranked somewhere between 5-10 in the league are scrambling to revise their ratings in view of your enlightened response. They hope not to be “deluded saddos” too. It is good that you personally don’t see it, and hopefully professional scouts and prognosticators will too, what with the exceptional evidence you provide.

    • Green Bastard

      @ fake Bure fan… your flapping looks deludedly familiar, like a saddo “Wise” fake fan. So, how many Rasmus Dahlins do you see out there in others systems? And how many Pettersens?

  • Don’t know about anyone else but after about 10-12 blue-chip / grade-A prospects, I had a small pool of AHL depth prospects and a large pool of busts that I really didn’t care to rank. I ranked them but to say that my #13 was really that much better than my #18 isn’t accurate. I wouldn’t have even counted any of my bottom 10 as prospects.

      • Naslund

        In order to judge whether that is a good or bad record, you must look at where the Canucks were drafting in comparison to other teams in the league, and also what the success rate of other teams was in drafting from the same position. For example, it’s easy to say that the team drafting number one overall picked a better player than the team drafting 30’th, but whether the 30’th pick was a good one or not is more difficult to know.
        Plus, is the goal of drafting simply to get full-time NHL’ers? It may seem like it should, but if you’re taking safe picks that will turn into steady third or fourth liners instead of taking a chance on a higher risk guy who could be a star, are you really drafting better? With free agency, it’s not particularly difficult to get third or fourth line players. It is difficult to find a Datsyuk or Luc Robitaille in the later rounds, but it may be more prudent to try.

    • Picking a timeframe like 2000-2010 is misleading because we had 3 GM’s in that timeframe. To be more accurate, you have to consider each GM’s overall draft record with the Canucks.

      Using Eliteprospect’s Draft History, I looked at all picks for Burke, Nonis and Gillis and identified players who played 82 games or more, designated them as a “Roster”. I labeled players with 0-81 GP as “Bust” and players with no NHL games as “DNP”.

      I calculated the total and average games played and points per “Roster” for each GM.

      Brian Burke (1998-2003)
      6 drafts, 54 draft picks
      Roster = 8 (15%)
      Total = 6,635 GP, 3,625 pts
      Average = 829 GP, 453 pts
      Average without Sedins = 679 GP, 260 pts

      Roster: Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, Ryan Kesler, Kevin Bieksa, RJ Umberger, Bryan Allen, Artyom Chubarov, Jarkko Ruutu

      Dave Nonis (2004-2007)
      4 drafts, 24 draft picks
      Roster = 6 (25%)
      Total = 3,161 GP, 1,083 pts
      Average = 527 GP, 217 pts (adjusted for Schneider)

      Roster: Cory Schneider, Alex Edler, Jannik Hansen, Michael Grabner, Mason Raymond, Mike Brown

      * Note that Luc Bourdon is tagged as a “Bust” but likely would have been a Success.

      Mike Gillis (2007-2013)
      6 drafts, 37 draft picks
      Roster = 6 (16%)
      Total = 1,268 GP, 432 pts
      Average = 211 GP, 72 pts

      Roster: Bo Horvat, Ben Hutton, Cody Hodgson, Brendan Gaunce, Kevin Connauton, Jordan Schroeder

      When you take out the Sedins, Burke and Nonis drafted players with similar GP and point averages. Gillis was clearly the inferior draftist based on averages. Using the 2011 roster as a basis for identifying “core” players, Burke (Sedin, Sedin, Kesler, Bieksa) and Nonis (Schneider, Edler, Hansen, Raymond) are equal. For Gillis, it’s not unreasonable to project only one legitimate future “core” player (Horvat).

      Although it’s early, Benning clearly is the superior draftist. If you take his two “roster” players (Virtanen, McCann) and assume other certain players from 2014-2015 to hit 82 career games (Demko, Tryamkin if he comes back, Forsling, Boeser, Gaudette), he’ll have drafted as many “roster” players in his first 2 drafts as Burke, Nonis or Gillis in their entire spans as Canucks GM’s.

      • NeverWas

        Solid data and analysis. Well done. Icing on the cake would be now comparing that with the league average in those respective categories. Histogram in excel would probably do the trick… I would suggest 3 games played categories though…. 0-98, 99-199 and 200+ and you could give a weighted score to those bins… combined with the accumulation of points from the players… you might be on to something!!!

        • truthseeker

          When confronted by logic the self loathers pretend like they didn’t read it. lol.

          I would say though, I think going with a 200 game level is a more accurate judge of a player being an “NHL regular”. But then it’s all a bit arbitrary. Kudos on the great post.

          • The reason I chose 82 games (equivalent to 1 season) rather than 200 games is because that threshold is biased against Gillis. As much as I don’t like Gillis, that would mean excluding Gaunce and Hutton. Both players are clearly NHL roster players so I needed to find a games threshold that struck a balance. But the shocking finding was that even with that low threshold of 82 games, only 20 players between 3 GM’s managed to hit that threshold. And a good portion did it for other teams. Schroeder, Hodgson and Connaughton didn’t even play 82 games for the Canucks even though they made my cut. In contrast, Benning’s 2014 draft has 2 players with more than 82 games (Virtanen and McCann), 2 players in the high 70’s (Tryamkin and Forsling) and Demko (likely going to make 82 games in his career). So in Benning’s first draft, he pulled 25% of Vancouver’s total draft “successes” in the last 20 years. Shocking.

          • truthseeker

            ahh…good point. I would also probably say it’s fair to say at this point that Hutton and Gaunce will both become 200 game players.

            What would also be interesting to know (not suggesting you should do this…lol) is how it averages out for GM’s around the league.

      • Moderated Post

        What exactly are you trying to prove with this “analysis”? That the higher your pick is in the first round the higher the likelihood of the guy playing 100 games in the NHL? Cullen on TSN has a breakdown on player’s likelihood to play 100 games based on draft position. Spot 28 historically sees guys having a 50% chance of playing 100 games, and then it really drops off. Guys picked before tend to have close to a 66% chance of hitting 100 games (except spot 25).

        Burke – picked in spots 2,3,4,16, 23 (twice), and only one pick missed.
        Nonis – picked in spots 10,14,21,25 and one miss (White) although picked Schneider at 21 and not counting Bourdon.
        Gillis – picked in spots 9,10,22,24,26,29 and one miss (24 Shinkaruk) (29 Jensen too but only had a 38% historic probability anyway

        • Moderated Post

          And to go on, Cullen’s data shows that after pick 100 guys have much less than a 20% chance to play 100 games. Burke hit with one, Nonis 2, and Gillis 1.

          • Bud Poile

            #126 Gustav Forsling -78 NHL games/21 y.o.
            #149 Adam Gaudette-projected top-6 center NHL’er
            Gillis had six drafts,Burke had six drafts while Nonis had four.
            We can’t look back as Benning’s picks are 18-21 years old but Forsling and Gaudette will tie/beat the previous GM’s.
            One of Palmu,Brassard or Candella puts Benning way out on top-in his first four draft years.
            What ‘exactly’ are you trying to prove with your analysis?

        • Bud Poile

          The only Gillis first rounders to play 100 games for the Canucks are Gaunce and Horvat.
          Gillis missed entirely on two of his six first rounders,traded five first-rounders away (including Hodgson and Connauton) and released/lost Schroeder for nothing.Gillis missed draftin/squandered/lost 8 Canucks first rounders.
          #29-Jensen-miss
          #26-Shinkaruk-miss
          Gillis lost the Canucks 2010 first round pick(traded for Ballard)and lost the Canucks 2004 first round pick(Schneider)and then lost the Canucks 2006 first round pick (Grabner).
          Schroeder (Gillis’ 2009 first-round pick)scored six goals for the Canucks before Gillis released him.
          The .org retains two 100 game NHL players out of ten Canucks first rounders that Gillis inherited/squandered/lost.
          Two of ten.20%.
          What exactly are you trying to prove with this “analysis”?

        • Well, if you read my post, you’d know that I felt that saying that “the Canucks” were bad at drafting was misleading because there were 3 different individuals acting as GM. So I looked at the drafting records on a GM by GM basis for a more accurate picture. Considering that this analysis was done in 15 minutes during my lunch break, I wasn’t in a position to scrub Eliteprospects for more data. When I looked at the data, I noticed 2 GM’s had a tendency to draft players who played more games and got more points. I’m not trying to “prove” anything as it seems like this was done with some sort of preconception. No, rather this was a very quick and superficial analysis that was more detailed than the Bleacher Report’s analysis. Heck, they didn’t even define what a “career player” was or who the other 4 players. I wasn’t even thinking about percentages by draft round, you’re injecting that into the conversation, not me.

          And truthseeker, I may do more analysis in the same vein and see if JD would want to turn it into a standalone article, just to satisfy a collective curiosity.

  • TheRealPB

    Loved the survey and the follow-up questions. In my mind there are maybe 3 blue chip prospects (Pettersson, Juolevi and Demko), 3-4 really strong prospects (Gaudette, Lind, Gadjovich, Dahlen, maybe DiPietro), some solid bets, and the rest the same kind of long shots you have every year.

      • Me

        Yeah, I think Gaudette really catapulted himself into “blue chip” status this year. We have two prospects at the top of their respective leagues for scoring (at least per-game in Pettersson’s case, can’t fault him for going to the WJs) an apparently solid puck-moving defenseman in Juolevi, some great goaltending potential and a couple of solid mid-six bets at forward who might surprise (they could underperform too, but that’s the game).

        Potentially we could have 3-4 rookies out of training camp next year who would each significantly improve the team. I’d call that reason for some excitement.

  • Holly Wood

    I am really hopeful that Adam Gaudette is the real deal ,but some research on some sites show that Hockey East is the third ranked division in NCAA men’s hockey. North Eastern is currently ranked 16th. The scoring points he is racking up may be against weaker opponents. I guess we won’t know for sure until he’s signed and playing either in Utica or Vancouver.

    • TheRealPB

      I would look closer. The Big Ten has the best group of NCAA Division I men’s hockey teams, but Hockey East is at least as good as the ECAC. Northeastern isn’t a powerhouse, but some of the other Hockey East teams are. Boston University has an absolutely stacked team and has had for a while (two years ago they iced a team with Charlie McCoy, Clayton Keller, Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, Jordan Greenway, Dante Fabbro, Brandon Hickey, Kieffer Bellows, Chad Krys and Jake Oettinger). Both Cory Schneider and Thatcher Demko came out of Boston College. So while I do think we should temper expectations about Gaudette, but I would actually think his accomplishments are pretty impressive given his opposition (Hutton also came out of Hockey East).