With the NHL draft going down in a week, I wanted to take a look at the No. 7 overall picks from the past decade to get an idea of what player we can expect (hope for?) the Canucks to end up with. Obviously, it isn’t as simple as this because each draft is different, but based on recent history, the Canucks should be able to add a very effective player with the No. 7 pick.
2017: Lias Andersson (C) – New York Rangers
“Lias Andersson is a versatile forward. He has a mature frame, can play a variety of forward positions in a variety of situations. Andersson uses his size and strength to protect the puck and win puck battles at both ends of the ice. He brings energy and compete to every shift and has above average offensive upside as well. He has dominated offensively against his age group, produced offensively at international tournaments and is scoring about half a point per game pace against men in pro hockey in the SHL in his draft year.
Andersson may lack the offensive ceiling as many other first round picks, but his NHL certainty is very high, and his contribution in multi-cat leagues will be higher.”
2017-18 season: NHL: 7 GP, 1 G, 1 A. AHL: 25 GP, 5 G, 9 A. SHL: 22 GP, 7 G, 7 A.
2016: Clayton Keller (C) – Arizona Coyotes
“Clayton Keller is an offense first forward who uses his high end skating and excellent puck control to be a dangerous player in the offensive zone. With exceptional on-ice vision, Keller has the ability to make defenders look foolish on a nightly basis with shifty dangles, a lethal wrist shot, and deadly accurate passing. He has excellent situational awareness which enables him to also play a sound two-way game and be used in all situations, including on the penalty kill. Diminutive in stature but not shy in traffic, Keller will need to grow into his body and show that he can withstand a long season against larger forwards before he can cement a job in the NHL.”
2017-18 season: NHL: 82 GP, 23 G, 42 A.
2015: Ivan Provorov (D) – Philadelphia Flyers
“Russian defenseman Ivan Provorov has been honing his skills in North America for a handful of seasons now as he pursues his lifelong goal of playing in the NHL. As a result, Provorov doesn’t come with the risk of fleeing back to the motherland that many Russian prospects do. An offensively gifted defenseman with elite hockey sense, Provorov offers some tantalizing upside but he’s far from a one-dimensional blueliner. Great mobility, keen on-ice awareness and timely anticipation abilities are just a few of his high-end qualities that prove beneficial in both the offensive and defensive zones. As good as he is offensively, Provorov is arguably better in the defensive zone, despite lacking ideal size. His ability to read the play and stifle attacks with suffocating gap control are truly amazing. Offensively, he operates well as a puck mover where he quickly identifies soft spots in coverage and exploits them in a timely fashion. Teams searching for a two-way defensive stalwart will be targeting Provorov very early.”
2017-18 season: NHL: 82 GP, 17 G, 24 A.
2014: Haydn Fleury (D) – Carolina Hurricanes
“Fleury is a physical, good skating defenseman who received more and more ice time as the season went along, and eventually was out on the ice to play against the opponent’s top lines on a nightly basis. Fleury’s game at both ends is quite impressive for his age, and is well on his way to be a top defenseman in the WHL. Fleury definitely has all the tools to become an NHL player one day. He still has improvements to make in his game, but much of that comes from more experience. He projects as a top 4 shut down defenseman as his offensive game is not exceptional, but he could certainly fill in some PP time when necessary. He will be counted on to play even more minutes next season, and Fleury will have an excellent opportunity to further raise his draft stock for 2014.”
2017-18 season: NHL: 67 GP, 0 G, 8 A. AHL: 3 GP, 1 G, 1 A.
2013: Darnell Nurse (D) – Edmonton Oilers
“Nurse entered his draft season as a player with immense pro potential and scouts were eager to see him tap some of that underlying talent. Fortunately, Nurse has done exactly that. The large smooth skating mobile defenseman has progressed with every shift this season. The biggest question mark in Nurse’s game was always his offensive potential and he displayed quickly that he does indeed have the offensive skills to become a threat in all 60-feet of the rink. His ability to play the game calmly under pressure makes him easy to project as a reliable responsible two-way defender. Large, mobile, physical defensemen with the ability to provide offense are highly coveted and, as a result, Nurse will be the target of many NHL teams.”
2017-18 NHL season: 82 GP, 6 G, 20 A.
2012: Matt Dumba (D) – Minnesota Wild
“The Red Deer Rebels Mathew Dumba has become well-known for his ability to line up opposing forwards and send them soaring with a thunderous bodycheck. Don’t overlook his impressive offensive game though as he has a knack for stepping up into the play, catching opposing defenders off guard. Has a special skill-set that permits him to make a breakout pass, deliver a bone-jarring hit and score a goal all during the same shift.”
2017-18 season: 82 GP, 14 G, 36 A.
2011: Mark Scheifele (C) – Winnipeg Jets
“An interesting story to say the least. A player who was a star in Jr B., then gets his rights traded to Barrie and ends up in a Colts jersey before the season starts. Mark is a player with NHL size and has the tools to become a very good NHL’er. Scheifele is a playmaker but contains a good scoring touch. Has good speed to his game. Scheifele is a smart two-way player who in the future will be a power forward in the NHL. To make the next step, Scheifele will need to add on some muscle to his frame. His currently 6’3 175, to make the jump watch for him to be in around the 190-195 range. NHL teams could consider him as a project with only playing one year in the Ontario Hockey League but in a few years, he could become one of the better steals of the draft.”
2017-18 season: NHL: 60 GP, 23 G, 37 A.
2010: Jeff Skinner (LW) – Carolina Hurricanes
“With a wicked wrist shot, and quick release Skinner is able to deceive opposing goaltenders, and make them pay for leaving even an inch open. His determination and competitiveness level are two attributes that really offset his size disadvantage. He never appears to back away from physical play and is willing to compete for every inch of ice. Playing with a team that was not supposed to make a large post-season run, Skinner brought his play to another level, finishing the playoffs with 33-points only behind Taylor Hall. 20 of his 33-points were in the goal column, tying Adam Henrique for the OHL playoff goal scoring race. This speaks for his character and the fact that he does not crack under pressure. If his playoff performance isn’t enough, scoring his 50th goal of the season against the Owen Sound attack with only 11-seconds left in the 3rd, to clinch a 5-4 win in regulation is what can be expected. Skinner has a knack for scoring timely goals, and it is a great quality to have. Every prospect has their flaws, no prospect is perfect. Skinner is a player who could excel at the next level and make the General Manager who selects him look like a genius. Size and strength are his major flaws, but overall, his offensive ability is gaudy, and is worth all the rave at 18th on TSR’s Final NHL Draft Rankings.”
2017-18 season: NHL: 82 GP, 24 G, 25 A.
2009: Nazem Kadri (C) – Toronto Maple Leafs
“This is a guy who improved by leaps and bounds last year and has continued on that trajectory this season. After a 22-point rookie campaign and then 25 goals and 65 points in 68 games last season, he has continued to soar even higher, with 8 goals and 17 points in his first 12 games for his hometown Knights. Centring the second line with the Memorial Cup finalist Kitchener Rangers last season, Kadri showed some highlight reel moves and has great stick skills and dekeing ability with the puck. Has great speed, which he uses quite effectively to get to an open spot. He possesses a great shot and has been shooting more than in the past this season, with great success so far. He has the ability to read the play around him quite well and react quickly. We predicted he would be far better offensively this season and we were right on the money. First line ice and bursting confidence with do that for a player. Now one of the most dangerous offensive players in the OHL, 90 points and a high NHL selection are in the cards for this well rounded player.”
2017-18 season: NHL: 80 GP, 32 G, 23 A.
2008: Colin Wilson (C) – Nashville Predators
“Is the son of ex-NHLer Carey Wilson. Played this past season at Boston University where he scored 12 goals, added 23 assists in 37 games. A solid two-way player that keeps the game simple. An excellent passer with good hands. Has a good hockey IQ, anticipation, and doesn’t get cute with the puck.”
2017-18 season: NHL: 56 GP, 6 G, 12 A.
What does it all mean?
History suggests that you should be able to hit with the No. 7 overall pick. We can’t speak yet about Lias Andersson, but he appears to have a bright NHL career in front of him. Otherwise? This list is loaded with solid NHL players. The only questionable ones are Haydn Fleury, who doesn’t look like much more than a bottom-pairing defenseman, and Colin Wilson, who never became much more than a middle six centre for the Predators.
Guys like Mark Scheifele and Matt Dumba, though it took them some time, are rounding into very good NHL players, Nazem Kadri over time morphed himself from a one-dimensional offensive player into a damn good two-way centre, Jeff Skinner immediately burst onto the scene as a high-quality scorer, and recent picks Clayton Keller and Ivan Provorov look like future stars.
it’s anyone’s guess how things pan out after the first three picks of the draft (Rasmus Dahlin, Andrei Svechnikov, and Filip Zadina), but, based on who’s going to be available at No. 7, the Canucks are looking good, and history backs that up.
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