The Canucks wrapped up their 2018 NHL draft by selecting winger Artyom Manukyan with the No. 186 pick and goaltender Matthew Thiessen with the No. 192 pick.
The team had the No. 161 pick to Washington for the No. 186 pick which they used on Manukyan and Washington’s sixth-round pick in 2019. They currently have eight picks for the 2019 draft.
Manukyan had a prolific season in the MHL, but was passed over twice in the NHL draft due to his small stature.
Manukyan (VAN) is only player to ever score 100 points in the MHL.
— Corey Pronman (@coreypronman) June 23, 2018
Vancouver Canucks select Russian RW Artyom Manukyan
in round 6 (186th overall) of 2018 NHL draft.
Manukyan is listed at 5'7" 139 pounds. pic.twitter.com/O6nV9vwd4d
— TSN Radio Vancouver (@TSN1040) June 23, 2018
Manukyan can SCORE! He set a scoring record in the JHL in '16.17. pic.twitter.com/R4p58PlMCh
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) June 23, 2018
Canucks take Russian double-overage playmaker Artyom Manukyan. Small but dynamic puck skills
— Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) June 23, 2018
We don’t have a profile on Manukyan in our pre-draft top-100. Some other profiles…
Playing for Omskie Yastreby, Manukyan is the youngest player in the top five and leads the league in scoring by 12 points. He has 96 points, 36 of those goals with 60 assists, in only 52 games played. He will be 19 in June and could potentially be a top player for Russia in the upcoming World Junior Championship. Now you (the reader) may be wondering why you have not heard of Maukyan, at least I was, but then I read why. Manukyan is 5’7 and only 139 pounds, making him a very small player. Now he does have the skill, speed, IQ, and elusiveness that NHL teams covet, but he also has the size that many shy away from (and the birth country). If he were to gain some mass to his frame it would be wise of an NHL team to take a chance on this player late in the 2017 draft. He has set the record for point seasons in the MHL with 96, the previous being 94, so there is a ton of skill there. The points separating third place in scoring from 31st are 19 points, now the points separating Manukyan from third place is 37 TOTAL POINTS, if this kid could grow he could be very sought after asset.
“[Manukyan’s] biggest asset is his skill,” says Artyom Batrak, Kharlamov Cup champion and KHL-TV commentator. “It’s plain to see if you just follow Junior Hockey League on Twitter. Almost every week they tweet Manukyan’s masterpieces. I’ve seen a lot of his goals. I’ve seen him undressed have of the team to score a goal. He also has a great hockey IQ but you have to keep in mind that he plays in the Junior Hockey League. It’s one thing to deliver in JHL and it gets much harder in the KHL. However, Artyom has a head on his shoulders – he understands how to play the puck under pressure. As for his shot, it’s very good by JHL standards. Artyom scored a lot of goals because he knows how to shoot the puck.
“Why didn’t Valery Bragin invite Manukyan for the World Juniors camp? In recent years only players with professional hockey experience get a place on his team – at the very least, you need to have VHL experience. Manukyan didn’t have that experience. He played this season only for Omskie Yastreby, which isn’t enough for Bragin. It’s hard to say why Avangard coaching staff didn’t call him up for the final games of the regular season. Manukyan lacks size, he has a very mediocre frame. Although, a lot of people with his size do well on both sides of the pond. Besides, he’s in the system of one of the top KHL teams. Avangard have a great team and it’s difficult to crack the roster.
“I think, Manukyan is ready to play in a professional league next season. He’s too good for the JHL. His numbers in the JHL are fantastic. But unless Artyom will improve physically, it’s not likely we’re going to see him in KHL next season. Perhaps, he will train with Avangard in the pre-season and then go on to play in the VHL.”
With their final pick in the draft, the Canucks selected Matthew Thiessen who is committed to play for the University of Maine next season.
With the 7th round pick, the #Canucks select Matthew Thiessen from the MJHL (Manitoba Junior Hockey League) with the 192nd overall pick
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) June 23, 2018
Jared Moe goes to the #NHLJets with pick #184. Another USHL talent goes ahead of Keegan Karki. Honestly reminds me of a full-right version of Matthew Thiessen (who is also still undrafted). Big dude who loves his conservative depth. #NHLDraft
— Gregory Balloch (@GregBalloch) June 23, 2018
CSS North American Goalie Rankings:
1. Olivier Rodrigue ??
2. Kevin Mandolese ??
3. Alexis Gravel ??
4. Matthew Thiessen ??
5. Keegan Karki ??
6. Zachary Bouthillier ??
7. Joel Hofer ??
8. David Tendeck ??
9. Roman Durny ??
10. Jared Moe ?? pic.twitter.com/9Uw7YsuYHZ
— SiriusXM NHL Network (@SiriusXMNHL) June 20, 2018
As a league, the MJHL is generally inferior year over year when stacked up against other junior A leagues in regards to its ability to churn out NHLA quality prospects. That was not the case this year with the young Altona native who backstopped his Steinbach Pistons to a league championship and berth in the RBC Cup. Thiessen is a classic butterfly goalie who is a by the book technician that has perfected his form at a young age. Although he doesn’t deviate from this style much, his athletic ability is a definite asset as his motor functions and foot speed allow him to be more than just a typical angle savvy blocking type goaltender. The biggest issue I saw here was spatial awareness with the puck outside of his crease, something that can definitely be improved with time. He’s off to attend the University of Maine on a scholarship and is one of the more intriguing mysteries in the goaltending category this season.