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Report: Canucks will not sign 2016 6th round pick Jakub Stukel

The CHL playoffs kick off later this week with the majority of teams getting ready to make a quest for the Memorial Cup. One of the teams that failed to qualify for the post season, the Calgary Hitmen, had a Canucks prospect on their roster and thus decisions had to be made.

2016 6th round pick Jakub Stukel was on the first line for the Hitmen, setting career highs in goals (37) and points (64), but has reportedly been informed that the organization will not sign him to an entry-level contract:

This move is not surprising in the slightest as Stukel wasn’t going to be a player that was going to be effective at higher levels. He has the speed to play professional hockey but skates too fast for his hands, lacks physicality and was mediocre in the defensive zone. Based on his production, his pGPS showed a success rate under 2%, which just affirms the thought that his NHL aspirations were a long shot.

Since the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, it has been mentioned that the organization wanted to target players that had an elite skill (at the junior level) and then work to round out their game. Hoping that since the prospect had a step up in one area, if they can hone other skills, they could extract value. That fits perfectly with Stukel. His speed was noticeable in the WHL but nothing really else stood out.

The organization does retain his rights until June 1st, he will then re-enter the 2018 NHL Entry draft, and if unselected, becomes an unrestricted free agent. Which is likely why he wants to find a spot in professional hockey, to show that he can play at that level before being available for the draft again.

The 2016 Entry Draft is quickly eroding for the Canucks – Olli Juolevi will be an NHL player while William Lockwood is recovering from another shoulder injury and could be an NHL player. After that, there isn’t much value.

Cole Candella struggled mightily this year and likely won’t be signed to an ELC, the organization has chosen to not sign Stukel and lost the rights to Rodrigo Abols last summer. That leaves Brett McKenzie, who has been good in Owen Sound but lacks any NHL upside.

At this moment, the Canucks have 30 contracts on the books for the 2018-19 season but have a handful of restricted free agents and other prospects to sign. Decisions had to be made and it’s clear that it was decided that Stukel wasn’t someone that they saw having a future in the organization.



  • apr

    Its too bad; but the wings are really starting to fill up – and the Nucks already have Carcone and Molino who profiles similar to Stukel. There is a high probability that the Nucks may only walk away with Juolevi from the draft, and this market has no patience for prospects to develop (Sedins, Kesler, Horvat, Burrows, Ohlund) unless the kid comes in right away and blows the doors off like Trevor, Gino, Bure, or Brock.

  • Ser Jaime Lannister

    Do you think theyll sign Brassard? Hes putting up decent numbers and our D is god awful right now, i have no idea what JB is going to do in the off season. Theres no way he can come back with this D group, at least four guys need to be moved, hope you get creative JB we are counting on you!

    • tyhee

      They are unlikely to extend Wiercioch and almost certainly will not extend MacKenzie Stewart or Anton Cederholm, so they will have room to sign Brassard if they want. They have his NHL rights until June 1, 2019 and he’s too old for his elc to slide, so they may well choose to wait even if they intend to eventually sign him, keeping the contract slots for other players.

      If they sign Brassard, it won’t be to compete for an NHL job in 2018-19. He’d play in the AHL, ECHL, junior as an overage player or in Europe. That being the case they might choose to put off signing him and use their contract slots on undrafted college or junior players, other free agents or perhaps Dylan Blujus who is currently on an AHL contract with Utica.

      If they sign Brassard, it won’t be to compete for an NHL job in 2018-19. He’d play in the AHL, ECHL, junior as an overage player or in Europe.

  • TD

    We need better D, but better forwards will improve the D. Look at Sbisa, he was not great for the Canucks, but he is playing top 4 minutes effectively on a better team. If our forwards own the play in the opposite end, then our D doesn’t have to do as much heavy lifting. I

    I would like to see productive moves on the D, not change for the sake of change. I would rather stick with Hutton and Pouliot than pick up another free agent like Del Zotto (who I would be happy to see gone).

    • Smyl and Snepsts

      You must be drinking the Canucks Army koolaid if you want Hutton back and Pouliot is borderline as well. Unless he is in open ice with the puck Hutton is a terrible defenseman. Does not defend the rush well and loses most board battles to get the puck back. Agree that Del Zotto should go though. Hoping for Juolevi and two other defensemen for next year to take thei places.

      • argoleas

        I too would rather go with Hutton and Pouliot than MDZ, but agree that neither projects as top 4. Just not sure about Hutton at all, and Pouliot looks to be a bottom pair guy for now, and he will need a good defensive partner.

        At this point, from their prospects/young players, they only have Joulevi and Stecher that can potentially be called top-4, and Stecher would be the 4th of 4, so you still need 2 more top 3 guys. Maybe Joulevi develops into a top 2, or we get lucky and that spot goes to Dahlin. But whether they end up with Dahlin or Boqvist/Hughes/Bouchard, they will still need one more top 4 D prospect in their system. That’s where Benning should go with Canucks 2nd rd pick, assuming no Tanev trade that involves someone else’s 1st rounder.

  • Any year that Benning extracts at least 1 player from a draft is outstanding when you look at the Canucks draft history. If he can regularly pull 2 players per year, that’s exceptional for the Canucks and generally for the league.

    • argoleas

      Well, in 2014, we have Virtanen, McCann, Demko, Tryamkin, and Frosling. Sure, 2 have been traded, and retain rights to a 3rd, but in terms of drafting, 5 look like legit NHLers. That’s very good, but any standards. In fact, it may be remarkable. And that’s WITH botching the Virtanen pick.

      In 2015, absolute jackpot with Boeser, and possibly another one with Gaudette. Brisebois looks like he may be an NHLer. Not sure at all about Jasek or Zhukenov. So say 2 sure NHLers, and one possible, 2 unlikely and 2 no. Still a good draft.

      Then the dreaded 2016 draft. The much maligned Joulevi definitely projects as an NHLer. IMO he still has a top-2 ceiling, but it looks like he needs to find his inner Horvat to reach it. Lockwood is a possible. The rest are either very marginal or no. So, it’s an okay draft (by Benning standards).

      2017: Too early, but most range from Gunnarsson to promising to very good to whatever you want to call Pettersson.

      • Dirk22

        You’re being too generous to 2016. They finished 28th that year. Look at the other teams around them and see what they pulled from the same draft. Arizona got Keller and Chychrun. Calgary got Tkachuk, Dube, Parsons and Adam Fox (one of the top defensive prospects outside the NHL). Montreal got two NHL defencemen – Sergachev and Mete. This was a disaster of a year for the Canuck franchise, dating back to a botched trade deadline, a brutal trade, and then a sub par draft considering where they finished. Complete waste of a year for a team supposedly ‘rebuilding.’

        • LAKID

          And Linden and Benning still have their jobs? Where in the heck is Juolevi? These two jokers have the team at the cap limit and watch them resign the Olsen twins to a 4-6 Million dollar contracts. The problem is management , old players and over paid players lets not forget no goaltending.