Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

Monday Mailbag: Adam Gaudette, Elias Pettersson’s Fancystats and Where Are They Now?, 2016 Draft Edition

Well, he hasn’t looked out of place, which means he’s basically come as advertised. The shot-based metrics paint a flattering picture, too. Obviously it’s too small a sample to draw conclusions from; but he’s rocking a 52-and-a-half-percent shot-share, good for second on the team among players with at least five games played. He’s absolutely torched the competition at lower levels, and I was hoping he’d earn a spot on the team come opening night. I’m not convinced he has a lot of offensive upside, but I think he’s good enough to carve out a long career as a two-way bottom-six centre and you need a guy like that on your team if you want to be competitive in a cap world.

Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine are in the process of joining the NHL’s elite; Pierre-Luc Dubois, Matthew Tkachuk, and Clayton Keller have all become key cogs in their respective teams’ offence; while Mikhail Sergachev looks to be on his way to being a dynamic offensive defenseman, even if he’s been the beneficiary of some very favourable deployment. The going hasn’t been quite as easy for Jesse Puljujarvi and Tyson Jost, but they also haven’t exactly been afforded the same opportunities as some of their peers. Jost will be fine. He had a decent season in 2017-18, finishing with 22 points in 65 games, and my best guess is he’ll eventually fit nicely into the second-line centre role behind Nathan MacKinnon. He just needs to develop a bit more and/or get some more opportunities. Puljujarvi’s lack of offence thus far has been puzzling, but I’m convinced he’s been a victim of the Oilers’ mismanagement more than anything else.

Alex Nylander is the only player from the 2016 NHL draft other than Juolevi who’s development thus far could be considered a disappointment. Unlike Juolevi, he’s played a few games in the NHL, but has yet to make a big impact at the pro level. He’s put up decent totals in the AHL, especially given his age, but they don’t exactly scream “top ten pick” – not yet anyway.

In light of how his peers have performed, it’s hard not to view the Juolevi selection as a bit on the disappointing side. It’s still early, and he has plenty of time to catch up, but he’s got a lot of ground to make up before he’ll be mentioned in the same breath as Mikhail Sergachev or Charlie McAvoy. He’ll play in the NHL, and probably for a long time, but I’m not convinced he’ll bring the type of value to his team that Matthew Tkachuk, Clayton Keller, or Mikhail Sergachev have.

As a side note, that 2016 draft class looks mighty ugly. Of the six picks the Canucks made, four are no longer with the organization. Juolevi and Will Lockwood have a chance to salvage things, but the early returns don’t look great. Lockwood’s put up fairly pedestrian totals in the NCAA thus far and struggled with injury while Juolevi’s been one of the lone blemishes on what’s looked like a deep first round so far. If those players disappoint, it could go down as one of the worst drafts by a rebuilding team in the post-lockout era.

It’s definitely possible. He’s been alright when he’s been able to make his way into the lineup, but unfortunately he’ll probably need to be great if he wants to secure a spot. If it were up to me, I’d prefer to see him take a turn alongside Bo Horvat over players like Tim Schaller or Markus Granlund, but when he was on that line he didn’t do enough to prove he belongs there for the long-term. I wouldn’t waive him, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the team did. If his usage is any indication, the team may not see a fit for him on this roster as it’s currently composed.

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That’s a lot of assumptions, but I wouldn’t rule anything out, especially if the Canucks can make him the league’s highest-paid defenseman. I wouldn’t hold your breath, though.

I think we’re a long way off from saying with any certainty that Juolevi can quarterback an NHL power play, even if it’s the second unit. More importantly, they still need someone to play alongside those players at even-strength. Troy Stecher’s a decent start, but Chris Tanev’s body isn’t going to hold up long enough to be a viable option in the Canucks’ top-four for years to come, and I have zero desire to see Quinn Hughes line up alongside Erik Gudbranson. So I guess it depends on your definition of “desperate”. They have needs in a few areas of their prospect pool, and RHD is one of those areas.

He’s been outstanding so far but I think it’s a little early to give him that label. Besides, there can really only be one player at each position per generation to earn that label. To increase the number of players that qualify as “generational” is to define the term out of meaningfulness. If you can’t count the number of generational players on one hand, your definition is probably too broad.

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I wouldn’t say they’re “elite” but they look great for a 19-year-old rookie. He’s producing 2.5 individual shots per game, and is among the Canucks’ best forwards in terms of on-ice shot-generation rate. He’s also ever-so-slightly winning the shot-share battle at even strength, which is no small feat on a team as porous as the Canucks. When looking at his defensive profile, he’s been just okay, but the fact that he’s not notably worse than most of his teammates is an accomplishment in and of itself. When looking at the numbers, Pettersson looks like a good player who’s been masquerading as an elite one. He’ll come back down to earth eventually, but we’re seeing what he can do at the height of his abilities and it’s spectacular. I’d expect his underlying numbers to improve with time as his shooting percentage regresses, and I have no doubt he’ll be one of the league’s top offences centres for a long time. He’s just not quite good enough to keep up a 1.6 points-per-game pace (mostly because no one is).

Next year’s a long way off, so it’s tough to say. Whether or not Jonathan Dahlen can take a step forward and make the team will significantly alter the lineup, for example, but assuming the roster composition at forwards stays relatively static, I’d like to see Brendan Leispic get one last extended look there. I’m not entirely convinced of Virtanen’s offensive upside, but he’s got all the tools and has looked good this season so I’m amenable to idea of giving him a shot there. I’d also really like to see Loui Eriksson get a look on that line, just as an experiment. The Canucks could really use to get out from under that contract, but they’ll need to boost his trade value if that’s going to happen, and he’s not going score many goals playing alongside Brandon Sutter. Getting one last 20-goal season out of Eriksson seems like a longshot at this point, but I’d like to say he’s been given every opportunity before I give up forever and I can’t say for sure that’s been the case yet.

  • The fact that Pettersson can break even in possession as a 19-year-old facing some of the league’s best players night after night suggests to me he’s going to be an elite player. If he can do that at 19, what can he do at 22, with a few more years experience and a few more pounds on his frame? Obviously his goal-scoring is going to come back down to earth but he looks like a guy who is going to win the puck battles and be a PPG+ player for years to come.

    • Cageyvet

      Anybody else think that Elias has turned the change in ice size to his advantage?

      He has made lots of moves on players in close, that’s no different, so it’s usually the lack of open space that slows a European’s development in the NHL.

      Petterson is so damn smart at anticipating the play and knocking down pucks he creates open ice off the turnover. I have to think that ability is watered down on the big ice and shining over here. If he can stay away from the bruising checks on the boards, he’s a lot harder to stop when he’s shoving the play back down your throat in an eyeblink with a forced turnover.

  • Holmes

    Too fanboy on Leipsic and too dramatic on Juolevi. Juolevi is only 20 for cripes sake. I think the Canucks showing patience with his development is great. And for me, Benning bought himself a tonne of goodwill on the Peterson pick. Ie, he absolutely gets the benefit of the doubt on Juolevi.

    As for Leipsic, he’s 24 and on his third team. I’d like to be wrong but he’s looking like a prolific AHL scorer that can’t translate those skills to the show.

    • TD

      I agree on the Juolevi comments. He’s a 20 year old that was the best player on his Liiga team in the playoffs last spring after improving all year. He’s done a good job as the PP QB in Utica so far, and yet Jackson states “I think we’re a long way off from saying with any certainty that Juolevi can quarterback an NHL power play, even if it’s the second unit.” He’s not incorrect in that lots of players have done well at the AHL and weren’t able to translate it to the NHL. At the same time the NCAA is way inferior to the AHL and Jackson has already inaugurated Hughes. I think Hughes will be great and his dynamic puck skills will likely translate to being a great PP QB. At the same time, so will the calmness and vision of Juolevi.

      • Ken Priestlay Fan

        I thought the same RE: Juolevi vs Hughes. There are some pretty reasonable parallels between them in that they’ve both stepped up a level of competition, have both put up points at an encouraging rate but have both made some poor decisions in their own end. And yet Juolevi is shrouded in doubt and Hughes is a #1 NHL defenseman in waiting. Hughes is definitely the better prospect and it’s not that the selection of Juolevi has aged particularly well compared to his peers, but he is tracking to be an NHL defenseman in the next couple of years and the scorn some pour on him is unjustified in my opinion. It’s not his fault he was picked where he was picked

    • apr

      A top 4 pairing defenseman will have more value Tkachuk and Keller. Sergachev and McAvoy are off to nice starts being sheltered by Chara, Hedman, et all. Its way too early to say that OJ is a disappointment. Puljiarrvi though really looks terrible, and not enough grief is given to the Oilers for making that pick, when they clearly needed a D or some grit. If Oilers pick Tkachuk, keep Hall instead of signing Lucic – they could be on their way to annual first place finishes, opposed to annual first pick losers.

      • Matty T

        Yah, in the minors. McAvoy is doing it in the NHL and scoring points! Meanwhile Matt Tkachuk is a top ten scorer in the NHL – he went below Juolevi! C’mon blowhards, smell the coffee ffs.

        • Gino's 3rd Cousin

          Matty T, PQW, Chuck key…etc etc. I feel sad for your life sometimes. I appreciate the odd troll comment here and there, but you lack any inventiveness, humour, wit and the ability to not repeat yourself every single time.

  • Killer Marmot

    I’m hoping Gaudette will progress in the Horvat mold. Start off solid but not spectacular, and then improve year over year until you can’t imagine the team without him. His college career and over-all demeanor suggests he’s capable of it.

  • Matty T

    Outstanding, level-headed mailbag Jackson and I agree with all you say about the Juolevi draft. The 2016 class looks truly terrible with Lockwood nowhere and a top six pick *still* unable to crack an injury ravaged, underwhelming D corp that has been ranked as one of the worst in the NHL since he was chosen. I’m afraid in todays NHL there are no excuses, you are either ready or not – Sergy, McAvoy, Keller and superstar Matt Tkachuk are, Juolevi is not and will never be that top 2 D as promised by Jim Benning.

    It’s also worth mentioning that the 2014 draft is also a disaster. Only Virtanen and Demko remain and they are both massive disappointments for a long suffering fanbase who pay damn good money just too live on false hopes and lies. Sad times for a once great team – Trevor knew the score.

    • Killer Marmot

      The 2014 was not a disaster. It produced two bona fide NHLer’s — Virtanen and McCann — and two possible ones — Demko and Tryamkin. The fact that the Canucks traded McCann does not affect the assessment of the draft.

      WIth two first-round picks, the Canucks could definitely have done better, but anytime you produce at least two NHL careers in a draft you did okay.

      • You forgot Gustav Forsling, who has played a full season in the NHL as well.

        I think the only fair way to describe 2014 is as a mixed bag. The team managed to land five (!) NHLers in the draft, which is amazing, but they whiffed majorly on the highest pick the organization had since the Sedins, and did a terribly job of managing their players post-draft.

        • Confused Canuck

          I’m confused, how can players who are not even playing for the team they were drafted for (Tryamkin, Forsling, Mccann) be deemed as a Vancouver Canucks success!? Ridiculous and insulting.

          By that skewed ‘logic’ Cam Neely’s HoF career was a Canucks success and his number should be retired at the Rog!

          • There’s a difference between judging the success of the draft, and judging the management of those drafted players after the draft. Hence, giving them credit for drafting four or five NHLers, and criticizing them for mismanaging those players post-draft.

            Cam Neely was a fantastic draft pick. The way Canucks management handled Neely after the draft was terrible. This isn’t a difficult concept.

          • Killer Marmot

            how can players who are not even playing for the team they were drafted for (Tryamkin, Forsling, Mccann) be deemed as a Vancouver Canucks success!?

            Because we are assessing the quality of the draft, independent of the decisions that came later.

            As an example, Pittsburgh selecting Markus Naslund in 1991 was a great pick regardless of the fact that they traded him for a slug called Stojanov before Naslund had a sizable impact for them.

          • TD

            Neely was traded in his early 20’s because he had not yet developed into the impact player he would later become. I guess by some of the people that post, Neely was a bust as he wasn’t great by 20.

          • Defenceman Factory

            Killer, Goon, TD what are you guys doing? You must of course realize you are responding to our resident multi headed troll.

            You are accurately pointing out the errors of his logic but to paraphrase Chris Rock “It’s like playing basketball with a mentally challenged kid and calling him for double dribble”. This same idiot declared Pettersson a “Benning Bust” on numerous occasions. The only appropriate resonse is to ignore him.

          • Benning sold high on Forsling. I wouldn’t write him off just yet but his stint as a regular last year was more due to Bowman’s failure to manage the cap and build depth, rather than Forsling’s readiness. Too bad Benning gave up on Clendenning, I was looking forward to seeing him get a shot as a regular. His metrics were pretty good with NYR.

          • Killer Marmot

            Forsling’s problem is Chicago has gotten hold of some excellent defensive prospects, dropping him in the depth chart. He may have to be traded to the right team before he sees more NHL ice time. He’s only 22 years old. Could happen.

    • Beer Can Boyd

      Massive disappointments? Jake is on pace for 25 goals playing 3rd line minutes. Demko was outstanding last year, but I guess its his fault he has a concussion? But tell me again about Ehlers who has 2g, 3a, and is a -7, and Nylander, who is sucking on his bottle in Sweden because he can’t get a 5 year deal for 8 million.

      • Fred-65

        Interesting to note that JB on Sports650 stated today that he believes JV will be a 15-20 goal scorer. When you consider the options JB had at the 6th O/A no one should consider JV as a star player. He’s had a good start this year and I like that but I’m not going to convinced that he is a strategic player for the Canucks roster. I have to believe that at 6th O/A you should be picking a difference maker for your roster. You have to understand that’s it’s not every year Vcr gets a 6th O/A selection. Prior to Jakes selection it was 1999 when we picked in the top 6 ….1999 that’s a long time. You can’t expect greatness if you pick 3rd liners with that selection. JV is 22 now, he has good speed and throws the odd heavy hit but IMO I’m looking more at that selection. In much the same manner OJ should be in the league. He’s not and the constant chatter of he’s only 20 … he’s 21 before the end of the season … just doesn’t wash with me. Again there were so many alternates no one can tell me he was the best option at the 5th O/A pick. Much like JV the bench mark will be set when he ends his ELC and signs a new contract. JV signed for $1.2 with little hesitation guided by himself, his agent ( likely the NHLPA) and Orca Bay. That’s basically how the Hockey World sees JV a third liner. How serious was this mistake, well the good news is maybe we wouldn’t have Pettersson …. but that’s a backhanded compliment

        • TD

          I agree that JV was probably the wrong pick and most of the prospect lists would back that up. Juolevi is a different situation. JB may have taken him a bit early, but the prospect lists were all over the place with Juolevi being the top D on a number of lists. He has not developed as hoped, but it is way too early to make any decisions. By the same logic, Pettersson was the wrong pick in 2017 because most experts had Glass, Middlestadt, Vilardi and Tippet ahead of him.

          • Holmes

            On Virtannen, I’ve read/heard over the years that it takes power forwards longer to develop. Bertuzzi had four mediocre seasons before things clicked. Then there is Neely, who scored at a relatively OK pace the first three seasons before becoming the archetype for power forwards.

            Virtannen though….tough to say which direction he goes with his career. If he ends up being good to great, I am ecstatic. Found money almost.

            But two things about the player stick out for me in terms of downside: one, Tom Wilson challenged him to drop the mitts last season. JV would not engage. Do I blame JV? Gawd no. Wilson is terrifying. But JV still looked soft.

            Second, Craig Button, who has decent cache as a player evaluator – commeted after the Canucks drafted JV that he thought JV’s upside was a Rafi Torres-type player.

            But Raffi broke the 20 goal barrier a few times and wreaked havoc when he was on the ice.

        • Beer Can Boyd

          Hindsight is 20-20 though, and the consensus best player taken after Jake is David Pasternak at 25. Which means almost every GM missed him. Yes, Nylander and Ehlers are both very good players, and both have a ton of NHL points, but Nylander has been playing on a line with one of the 5 best players in the league, and Ehlers has been on a very good Winnipeg team, yet is struggling this year. Jake is improving every game and is fun to watch. I’m fine with the pick. Besides, we can discuss it till the cows come home, but it ain’t changing now.

          • Confused Canuck

            I’m confused. Sure, Pastranak is a superstar but there were still many better players available below 6 to the Pastranak steal at 25. For example Larkin, Tuch, Schmaltz, Nick Ritchie, Leafs first liner Kapanen and Stanley Cup winner Vrana are all proving to be better picks chosen after Virtanen. Any one of them would’ve been a better choice for us than Jake in what was a very strong draft.

            I’m still confused, why can’t fans just be honest and admit that Virtanen, McCann and Juolevi were not good picks for the Canucks, the evidence is already in place to prove it’s true… or are we supposed to wait another 15 years to admit it! Not me, thanks.

          • North Van Halen

            Exactly, cherry picking draft picks is a mindless venture. You have to judge the full body of the work. Is Benning perfect, hell no. Is he better than what we’ve witnessed here (just talking drafting here) in 50 years. Hell yes.
            I rally don’t think the Benning haters do themselves any favours arguing draft picks. Maximizing the draft picks, pro evaluation, they got points, not drafting.

          • Matty T

            There is no excuse whatsoever for Benning not picking Pastrnak over McCann! He would’ve scouted the guy for Boston and known how good the kid was and that the Bruins wanted him with the very next pick. Unbelievable how the apologists here can’t hold this so called draft guru to account for that draft table disaster!

            Still, no surprise as these are the same yappers who can’t acknowledge that Kesler, Bonino, Forsling, McCann and Kassian all moved on to greener pastures lol.

    • ben49

      From the same a-clown who said Pettersen was a bust, saying Casey Mittelstadt was the pick. Using your own logic of first to have success is the better pick you have to now admit Mittelstadt is a bust and your armchair rearview 20/20 vision is no better than any amateur GMs

      Ive asked you before a-clown, tell us who you would of picked in 2018 and let the rest of us see your genius

      • Matty T

        WTF!!!??? No idea who you are a$$wipe or what you are babbling on about… feel free to post a link to your fairytales though, then tell us who else you are, because i have never seen a ‘ben49’ posting here before… a$$wipe. lol

  • North Van Halen

    Although the 2016 draft likely won’t be a high point in the rebuild, calling it ‘one of the worst drafts by a rebuilding team in the post-lockout era.’ Is quite an over reaction.
    It’s definitely looking like Juolevi isn’t living up to 5th overall billing and Lockwood may or may not be a an NHLer but do we need to make such sweeping and clearly wrong over drantizations.
    Took me 2 seconds to google 2010 Toronto Maple Leafs draft Was it worse than this?:

    Round Pick Player Position Nationality Team (League)
    2 43 (from Calgary via Chicago) Bradley Ross LW Canada Portland Winterhawks
    3 62 Greg McKegg C Canada Erie Otters (OHL)
    3 79 (from Los Angeles) Sondre Olden LW/RW Norway Modo Jr.
    4 116 (from Washington) Petter Granberg D Sweden Skelleftea Jr.
    5 144 (from New Jersey) Sam Carrick C Canada Brampton Battalion (OHL)
    5 146 (from Washington) Daniel Brodin LW Sweden Djurgardens IF (SEL)
    7 182 Josh Nicholls RW Canada Saskatoon Blades (WHL)

    Took me one try.

    • There are also several Edmonton drafts where they managed to hit on only their 1st round pick and whiffed on every other pick.

      You’ll have a hard time arguing that 2016 was “the worst”, but is it in the top 10? Probably – if Lockwood doesn’t pan out and Juolevi ends up being a #4/#5 guy, which is a very possible outcome, it definitely deserves to be in the conversation with those other drafts.

      • North Van Halen

        You mean worse than this draft, where the #1 overall pick is playing in Russia and they had all their picks plus an extra 3rd?

        1 1 Nail Yakupov (RW) Russia Sarnia Sting (OHL)
        2 32 Mitchell Moroz (LW) Canada Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL)
        3 63 Jujhar Khaira (LW) Canada Prince George Spruce Kings (BCHL)
        3 91 (from Los Angeles) Daniil Zharkov (LW Russia Belleville Bulls (OHL)
        4 93 Erik Gustafsson (D) Sweden Djurgardens IF (SEL)
        5 123 Joey LaLeggia (D) Canada Denver (WCHA)
        6 153 John McCarron (RW) United States Cornell (ECAC)

        Sorry man, the draft wasn’t great, worst all time?! Hardly

          • North Van Halen

            And this isn’t intended at you it’s just the lazy narratives with no research.

            The mailbag is the lazy way to write a weekly article, can’t come up with a topic, let the readers do it for me and I can just give an opinion. That’s fine, it’s clearly popular enough to warrant the article. But if you can’t spend the time doing a well researched article don’t give massive over reaches based on zero research.
            I took less than 2 minutes and googled (just guessed a random year) 2010 Maple Leafs draft, followed by you pointing out Edm. and me googling Nail Yakupov draft. With less than 5 minutes research I found 3 TO drafts and 1 Edm draft (I only looked at 1) that were worse.
            If he had said, this is a disappointing draft, or this wasn’t one of Benning’s better drafts, I can agree with that. But calling it ‘one of the worst drafts by a rebuilding team in the post-lockout era.’ is nothing but lazy hyperbole.

          • “One of the worst” is not the same as “the worst”.

            If you make a list of the ten worst drafts by rebuilding teams over the past decade, and this draft is on it, which it probably is, it’s one of the worst. The fact that it’s not the very worst doesn’t change that fact. This is very, very basic reading comprehension here.

          • Matty T

            That maybe so but Nonis also drafted Schneids, Edler, Brown and Jannick Hansen (in the 9th round) in 2004, which rates as one of thee best draft days in Canucks history and he also traded for Luongo. But do carry on throwing good people under your empty bus.

          • North Van Halen

            No, it’s not. Just from that draft, if you want to use the wonderfully narrow opinion of ‘if he’s not exelling at 20 he’s a bust’ you could say the same about Edmonton, Carolina & the Islanders for ‘rebuilding’ teams and again that was with me googling all of 5 teams.

    • Killer Marmot

      I presume “post lockout” refers to the lockout of 2004/5, not 2012/13.

      The Canucks draft of 2007 looks worse than 2016, with not a single NHL game played by a draftee. 2010 produced only one game played by Alex Friesen, but the Canucks did not have a pick in the first three rounds so that’s forgivable.

    • Confused Canuck

      I’m confused. How does bringing up other teams poor drafting excuse the Canucks – what you are basically saying is, well the Leafs and Oilers *also* sucked so it’s ok for us to have [email protected] drafting!

      Personally it’s not OK, and it’s not OK to draft players then trade or lose them to others teams, especially when your GM was hired for his supposed drafting prowess.

      • TD

        Drafting 18 year olds is difficult because very few have the ability at 18 to play in the NHL. The scouts are left with trying to predict how they will develop going forward. They are generally pretty good at it, but lots of players fail to develop as predicted. In 2014, I was hoping Dal Colle would fall one more spot as he was supposed to be a sure fire sniper and there was supposed to be a drop off after Dal Colle. Virtanen is on pace for 25 goals while Dal Colle has failed to meet everyone’s expectations. Is that Garth Snow’s fault? Everyone had Dal Colle ranked in his spot. Other picks would likely have benefitted the Canucks more than Virtanen, but if he can score 20-30 while being one of the few Canucks that can actually hit someone, then I can live with the pick.

        • Matty T

          Aren’t you the same muppet who told us Eriksson was a genius move, that he was worth 8 mill a year and that he would pot 40 goals per?

          Yah, credibility about ten below zero there guy…

          • Canuck4Life20

            Aren’t you the same tool who told us that Glass or Vilardi would be a better pick than Pettersson, then changed your mind a year later to Middlestadt? Your credibility is northern Alberta cold there chief.

            Keep whining about the players that the Canucks don’t have. The rest of us will just be over here shotgunning and cheering for the players that are on the team and having a much better time.

      • Fred-65

        Frankly that’s what I was thinking why would the Toronto failure be to be a pass for the Vcr failure …how about … say .. Florida or Carolina what the heck has TO failure any thing to do with the price of apples, That fails to apply common sense

        • North Van Halen

          Please follow the discussion. No one is forgiving anybody of anything, we are arguing the hyperbole used to describe the draft. Disappointing, perhaps, not one of his best, sure, one of the worst of the lockout era? It’s almost like JD hasn’t left at all.

          • Fred-65

            Here’s a good article about the importance of first round picks


            an extract from the article

            pick. Game recognize game.)
            Spoilers aside, though, here’s a more in-depth analysis of the results. (Note: Stats through games played as of Nov. 2.)
            Top 50 NHL scorers (13+ points)
            1st round: 40
            2nd round: 4
            3rd round: 2
            4th round: 1
            5th round: 0
            6th round: 0
            7th round: 0
            Undrafted: 3
            Notable: If this doesn’t illustrate the importance of the first round of the NHL draft, nothing does. Entering Friday night’s games, 50 players had scored at least 13 points this season — and 40 of those 50 players were first-round picks”

            Pretty well say it all if you don’t hit home runs consistently with yout 1st round pick, best go home LOL

  • Beer Can Boyd

    “If it were up to me, I’d prefer to see him take a turn alongside Bo Horvat over players like Tim Schaller or Markus Granlund.” Good thing its not up to you. Leipsic is now on his 4th team, and he’s been terrible when he has dressed this year. He’s definitely next up on the waiver wire.

    • Beer Can Boyd

      Someone the other day assorted that Motte was the new Megna, but Leipsic is far closer to the truth. I see Motte as more like Kris Draper, who was a very useful player on all those great Detroit teams.

      • Cageyvet

        Leipsic, Biega and Stecher are all similar in that they go at high gear, get the puck up ice and into the zone, then don’t really know what to do next.

        Liepsic’s problem is that he’s a forward, it’s far more forgivable in a defenseman. He has some potential if he can learn to think the game a little better, but he is high-end AHL right now.

      • TheMoustacheofDaveBabych

        I agree that he won’t be a goal per game scorer over the length of his career, but if what he has accomplished at the age of 19 doesn’t scream “elite” then what does? What I really dislike is the use of the word “masquerade”, as if he hasn’t proven his bonafides at every level he has competed at.

    • Bud Poile

      “When looking at the numbers, Pettersson looks like a good player who’s been masquerading as an elite one. He’ll come back down to earth eventually, but we’re seeing what he can do at the height of his abilities…..”Jackson
      It’s worse than FFS,this is a ‘WTF rolls around Jackson’s brain’ moment.
      The kid suffered a concussion five games into his career and is still far and away the most cerebraly talented forward the Canucks have seen since Gradin.
      The “height of his abilities” nine games into his career,eh,Jackson?

      • Chris the Curmudgeon

        I think the point is that while EP’s present production is probably unsustainable, the ceiling we can expect as he gains experience is extraordinarily high. It might not have been phrased that well, but I think it was clear what was meant and there wasn’t much to disagree with in it.

          • Matty T

            … and i completely reject and am actually repulsed that you decided Petterssens career was over with a “permanent brain injury” tht is managements fault one minute, and then you are fawning over the teenager like a lovesick puppy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            Sort yourself out man, next you’ll be telling us you were discharged from hospital whilst having a stroke! Vile and disgusting lies all of it…

          • Matty T

            How does it go again…

            “Bud has generally served to make the comment section an unwelcoming place not just for the authors but also for a lot of the commenters as well. ” – Jackson McDonald

            ”the least I could do is occasionally remind Bud that CA’s readership is constantly growing and if all he is going to do is be rude to other readers he doesn’t need to come back especially because this isn’t Tim Hortons and I don’t get brownie points for smiling and being polite while someone makes the work area a nuisance to be in for staff + customers. ” – Jackson McDonald

            Amen Jackson – read it and weep Dud

            *footnote* 140 comments in the mailbag for the win!

          • crofton

            Oooppsss, he forgot to change aliases again, if there was ever any doubt, those are PQW’s quotes….his favorite quotes too (if they really are legitimate ones)

  • bobdaley44

    Calling a kid that played in the WJC last year a bust is ridiculous. The kid’s playing minutes in the AHL putting up numbers, running the PP and killing penalties.

  • myshkin

    if benning was picking 4th in the 2017 draft would he have taken makar or pettersson? and if took pettersson, would he have been crucified in the local press?

    • Chris the Curmudgeon

      I think that’s extremely unlikely. CA was a lot higher on EP than most pundits were back then, though I think most people around here thought they should take Cody Glass (I think a lot of other GMs would have too). I don’t understand why commenters who disagree with CA writers’ opinions on a certain topic like to retroactively ascribe invented disagreeable stances to them as a sort of strawman to argue with, when there is no evidence for it. Nearest I can remember, the only time CA was vehemently against a Benning first rounder was when they picked Jake Virtanen, and as much as JV is off to a decent start to the year, they were correct about it, say what you will about Nylander’s holdout (and I do think he’s being a little b***h), he’s a much much better player than Jake.

      • Beer Can Boyd

        Thats probably true that he’s a better player, but if he’d spent his first 3 years playing on a crappy Canucks team, he’d have had half as many points, and would be signing for 4 mil per, if that. His contract demands are preposterous, if indeed he is asking for 8 million per for 5 years. Question. Would you trade Horvat even up for Nylander? Or Boeser? Or Pettersson? I know I wouldn’t do any of those deals.

        • North Van Halen

          They were high on Petey though. I’m as critical as anyone of the negative tone of several of the authors here, but with the Pettersson pick it wasn’t the writers here that lost it’s collective mind it was the board.
          Though a couple of guys woulda thrown a bit of shade cuz thats what they do.

  • Puck Viking

    Huge no to Karlson.

    He is already taking a step back and putting 11 million towards him for the next 7 is not a good way to manage the cap. You can look to fill holes when this team gets in to the playoffs so you can look to see where the holes are and fill them. Who is to say we dont end up with a couple of good RHD in the next 2 drafts which would then make Karlson a Loui Erikson type signing.

    Draft and develop so that the team can dictate who and what parts are needed when they are the verge are being cup contenders. You dont do this when you just hope to make the playoffs.

    • I would actually say yes to Karlsson, even at 7 x market value. The reason is because we have no Top 2 RHD in the pipeline. Woo is likely Top 4 at best. Next year’s draft is weak on RHD in the first round. I only see one mid-round RHD (Soderstrom) and a few at the end of the round (Seider, Honka, Thomson) according to HockeyProspect.com on Eliteprospects. So it would be several years before we would have a legit Top 2 RHD in place via draft-and-develop. No guarantee that Tanev will resign after his contact expires either. Karlsson has a way better resume than Eriksson.

      • Puck Viking

        I dont want Tanev to resign. I want to deal him now while he has any value. The only way to build is through the draft. The hawks got Jokihariju at the end of the 1st. Who is to say that selling off Edler and Tanev this year cant bring a similar player.

        Karlson is an offense first dman. We just drafted on of those in Hughes. I am willing to bet Hughes will have more points than Karlson with in a season or 2.

        If we need to acquire a RHD then do so via trade. Over paying for free agents on the down side of their career is not the way to do it.

        If we didnt have sammy g, LE, Rousel and Beagle on the book then perhaps we could have taken a chance on Karlson at this point there is no chance in hell with all those terrible contracts.

        We have several great players in place keep building for the future. I dont know why fans think this is make of break it season. We want good young player so that we are a contender for 10 years, not being handcuffed by a horrible contract for the next 7.

        This again all goes back to all blown trades for 2nd rounders benning made. Our depth would be much better.

        With the play of Rathbone and Hughes wouldnt it make more sense to trade Joulevi for a RHD of similar age than to sign Karlson to a terrible contract?

        Trade vets for picks or RHD prospects this season. Draft heavy for RHD with every pick other than our 1st rounder.

        Plus the 2020 draft has a decent amount of RHD in the 1st round.

        • Oh, no doubt, Jokiharju was a steal by the Blackhawks. I was actually hoping that the Canucks would be able to draft him since he was projected to be a mid-round selection and kept getting passed by other teams. The Canucks only drafted 4 spots later and just missed him.

          I’d rather keep Juolevi, I still think he’ll be a Top 4 defender. We don’t have any desirable vets to trade. Even if we loaded up and got a Top 2 RHD in 2020, chances are that player will still need several years of development. It’s rare to find a Top 2 defender that is ready right out of the draft. If we assume for the moment that it would take 3-4 years for a bluechip prospect to assume the role of #1 D-man, a 2020 draft pick still wouldn’t be ready for 5-6 years. Hughes will be an exception if he’s ready for a Top 2 assignment next year. Boqvist, Bouchard, Dobson…even recent highly touted defensive prospects still needed seasoning.

          I don’t see Karlsson as a make-or-break type of deal but a way of addressing a serious gap in the roster and prospect pipeline, in a position that traditionally takes many years of development.

        • Defenceman Factory

          I agree a big no on signing Karlsson. Market value could be $10 mil a year. This will only serve to drive up the contract demands of the younger players as they watch Karlsson decline while cashing the biggest cheques on the team. I also don’t think signing Myers is the right answer to the gap in quality RHD players and prospects unless he signs for under 4 years and the canucks immediately part ways with Gudbranson.

          Focus on trades for picks and prospects to build depth and find that top pairing guy. Always keep an eye on free agents coming from the NCAA. That is where Tanev and Stecher came from. With Pettersson, Boeser and Hughes here Vancouver is becoming a more attractive destination for becoming part of a promising future.

          The few times I have seen Juolevi play he has amazing skills, cool as can be under pressure, amazing knack at getting point shots through. He is also just magic at drawing in fore checkers and creating space for his D partner. There are some problems however. He can lose focus at times and his effort level falls off. He also has some troubles with gap control and making the turn on a rushing forward. He seldom looks hungry but when he does he can make amazing end to end rushes with the puck. He is behind on his training this fall because of back surgery but the AHL schedule is perfect to get him the training, practice, video coaching and playing minutes to plug those few holes in his game not yet at NHL calibre. His ceiling has not dropped one bit. If the canucks had given up on every defencemen who didn’t crack the league by 20 who would be left, Gudbranson, Pouliot?

          All that said the Canucks are 1-3 years away from needing to fill a gap in the top 4D or top 6 forwards with an expensive UFA. If that time comes it should be with a 2 year contract for someone in their 30’s not with a retirement contract for a superstar just entering the downside of their career.

      • Beer Can Boyd

        Karlsson is going to want Doughty money (10 mil for 5-6 years) to sign. Right now he has 7 points in 14 games and is -9 on a good Sharks team. He’s already on the downside of his career, mostly due to injuries, and would be a catastrophic signing for the way this franchise is developing. Teams need one offensive superstar defensemen, wether left or right, and it appears that we may already have drafted that guy. Plenty of time and depth for Benning to use to pick up RHD. Right now we have Tanev, Gudbranson, Stecher, and Biega with Hatfield, Woo and Brassard also developing in the system.

    • It’s ironic that John Stevens was one of the GM candidates that the Canucks were considering, except that Stevens stayed on with LA after winning the Cup. Now he’s getting replaced by the guy that the Canucks eventually hired.

      But I think the Desjardins signing is going to be worse for LA. Desjardins has proven that he can’t coach at the NHL level. Worst, he promotes a high-tempo forecheck that doesn’t work with an aging, stale core. Sound familiar?

      • “Sound familiar”, sure does.
        Good point.

        Here is what happened with Willie in Van. He got painted into a corner, having to serve several masters. The direction from the top down wasn’t clear. Mixed messages, not on the same page, and being pulled in different directions. So, he muddled through it the best he could, with questionable deployment, and bizarre decision making at times. That’s what happens when we don’t pull together as a team.

        • Desjardins made bad decisions, he would have made the same mistakes even with a better roster. In addition to the questionable deployment (play the AHL vets, bench the kids), he had no structure to his game. Where was the puck support? Guys like Horvat scored only because of individual effort, after deploying the forecheck and forcing a turnover, you wouldn’t see players rushing to positions as outlets to the puck carrier. The power play was a joke and the stats only reflected it. It was all about Henrik setting up a backdoor pass or point shot with zero variation. Worse of all, it was BORING. I went to a few games in the Desjardins era and I spent half the game wondering why the heck I came in the first place.

  • Kanuckhotep

    No GM in NHL history has ever succeeded with every single draft pick they ever made. Jake and Ben had to be shown some very “tough love” before they started getting it and Virtanen was like a Special Project who is now evolving nicely. Juolevi and Demko in particular as much as anyone I’d like to see on the big club. These guys are the present Special Projects and if you rush them into the line up you may ruin them, or worse still, go elsewhere and blossom. Analyzing old drafts is a pointless 20-20 hindsight ordeal at best. After all, four teams passed on Petey and Benning could have take Cody Glass instead. See the point?

    • Bornonice

      After all, four teams passed on Petey and Benning could have take Cody Glass instead. See the point?

      Actually, LV was able to save an asset because Benning made it very clear that he was drafting Pettersson. My first inkling that we had gotten something special was that it was the first time I’d ever sensed that Benning wanted to bust a dance move….the second time was when he drafted Hughes although he had the decency to look like Q fell in his lap as well.

  • argoleas

    Eriksson will never be a 20 goal guy again, and there is no point wasting a good slot for that to happen. Moreover, we must banish the fantasy that he is in any way tradeable, unless there is a GM out there that thinks that his young team would be benefit from his veteran leadership and needs to reach the cap floor.

    The only realistic ways that Eriksson leaves the Canucks is either when his contract is up, he retires, or is demoted to the minors (which may prompt him to retire). Likeliest scenario is that he grabs his bonus on July 1st, then retires to return to Sweden.

    He may be a good defensive player, but very quickly others may be ready for those assignments who are younger and faster. Already he is not in Green’s PK planning.

  • argoleas

    Again, many caveats on that 2016 draft. Benning did not have a 2nd and 4th round pick, and both very high picks for those rounds (on a separate note Benning does deserve to get bashed for the reason he did not have those picks).

    Too early to properly judge Juolevi. He is taking his time, no doubt about it, but the question is still what the ceiling is and will he reach it. Happy for Thackuk and Sergachev, but lets compare them all in 3 years. And would make the same caveats for any draft, like comparing where Patrick, Heiskanen, Makar, Glass, and Mittelstadt will be in 3-4 years.

    What will Lockwood amount to? I dunno. He still looks to me like a Hansen type of player. Could be a fine depth player for an emerging SC window.

    The rest of the 4 picks were 5th rounders or lower. Most of those are failures anyways.

    And, IIRC, Canucks really had their eyes on DeBrincat for that 2nd rounder if they kept it. Now, that would have made that draft look a helluva better if they did. And it is THAT that makes me want to cry.

    • Chris the Curmudgeon

      Don’t you think we’re giving the “Jannik Hansen” label to a few too many guys though? Like, I’ve seen people compare Motte and Leipsic to him already, and I don’t think there are that many guys who can grow into Hansen’s calibre just by being given a long enough shot.

      • DJ_44

        Leipsic is nothing like Hansen; the exact opposite. I fully expect Leipsic to be waived before Christmas, barring a even more disastrous injury blight than currently exists. He zigs when his teammates zag. Almost as bad as Burmistrov. That and he is not good enough offensively to justify his weaker defense.

  • TheRealPB

    As many others have said, it is WAY too early to be writing off a draft two years ago (as has been amply demonstrated you can simply look at any number of other teams and see no games played yet — teams like the Oilers, Leafs, Panthers, Sabres and many other perennial bottom-feeders have much lengthier records of draft sucking; or even us in the 80s were way worse than this).

    I can only imagine if we’d thrown in the towel on Ohlund who didn’t come over till his draft + 2 year (and didn’t exactly light the SEL on fire) or Sami Salo who didn’t earn a regular gig until age 26 or Bieksa who didn’t become an NHL player till 25.

    Juolevi is making good and solid progress at the AHL level. You have 2 certified superstars from the 2016 draft in Laine and Matthews (albeit the latter with some serious shoulder injury issues). You have an excellent douchebag in Tkachuk. You have another strong player in McAvoy (with other health problems). You have overlooked gems like DeBrincat. But other than that you have some young players making their way — 1/3 of the first round have played a decent number of games and less than fifteen percent of draft picks from that year overall. You are making it seem as though everyone EXCEPT the Canucks have hit a home run in that draft.

    Also, watch Pulujarvi play. The Oilers player development is crap but he is hot garbage.

    • Dirk22

      They audited this draft the other day over at the Athletic and only the NYR had a worse grade than the Canucks – and they did this audit without considering draft position and just going with talent chosen.

      To recap, they finished 28th in the league that year and had the 5th overall. Their next pick was #64. Already a massive failure for a rebuilding team. They went in with only 6 picks, and without a 2nd for the second year in a row. They haven’t resigned 4 of those and their top-5 pick has seen his projections go from a #1 to a #2 to a ‘second pair’, to a #4. Everyone’s arguing he’s too young to make a final judgment, which is true, but his projection for what they’re worth has gone down despite him having a decent year last season in Finland.

      Canucks would kill to have a player like Tkachuk. He’s already an assistant captain, currently in the top-10 for scoring and an irritant cut front the same cloth as Kesler, Burrows. Of course we hate him but he would be the perfect addition. Debris at was also a Benning fav and gee wouldn’t it have been nice to have at least one 2nd rounder.

      Pointing out other teams shoddy draft records doesn’t make this draft any better for the Canucks unless you want to argue that getting a 2nd pairing defencemen after finishing in 28th is ‘successful’.

      • North Van Halen

        This was done by Pronman, the guy that barely had Pettersson elite preseason. He himself said he loved Juolevi at the time but is very down on him now.
        I just hate these judgements before facts are in. I couldn’t understand the Pettersson hatred on draft day when colletively most of us had seen him a total of 0 times. I can’t understand the rush to call Juolevi a bust, a #2, 3 or 4. And what of Lockwood? What if he ends up Gallagher lite? Judging this draft now and calling it historically bad is just rushing judgements again
        People are so obsessed with instant history. Judging things that can’t be judged yet. Why can’t we actually wait and see before we label things busts or wins?

        • Dirk22

          Who hated Pettersson when he was drafted? Wasn’t on this site unless I’m missing something. I can remember a lot of people not liking Hughes but Pettersson didn’t get that treatment. The CA writers certainly liked him.

          Agree it’s obviously too early to make final judgements but if you WERE to judge today it doesn’t look good. Just like if you WERE to judge today the 2017 draft looks very good. We don’t know for certain but that’s what it looks like so far.

          • North Van Halen

            I apologized already, look above. I was wrong, no problem admitting it.

            I just wanna see it. Thats all. I hate how there’s always a rush to judge before facts are in. People just won’t give things the time they need to breath sometimes. If Juolevi busts and Lockwood busts I’m down with calling a spade a spade right now we’re calling an sapling a fallen oak.

  • Chris the Curmudgeon

    I am firmly in the camp that there the term generational can only apply to one player every 10-15 years or so, and that player also needs to be the best in the league until the next person deserving of the label comes around. To me, it should really only be given to Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky, Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid. There needs to be another term for guys who are beyond elite, but who are on a tier just a tiny bit below “generational”, ie: Ovechkin, Matthews, Karlsson, Tavares, Kane, Niedermayer, Sundin, etc. No disrespect to those guys, but I just think the air should be that rarefied.

    • North Van Halen

      I even have troubles putting Crosby and McDavid there. Gretzky, Lemiuex, Orr. Those guys are generational. Players that put up numbers that so far exceed what everyone else is doing they change the game. Orr winning the scoring race as a dman. Gretzky winning scoring races with just his assists – do you guys remember in hockey pools you had to draft either Wayner’s assists or goals because whoever got Wayne woulda won the title. And Mario was almost as good as Wayne, what a treat having those guys at the same time. (87 Canada Cup still the best hockey ever)
      None of the current ‘great’ players wins scoring races by double digits year after year.
      Crosby is awesome and likely the best player of the last 20 years and McDavid is amazing too. I guess I’m just a cranky old guy remembering the good old days but I’m waiting for that guy that wins scoring races every year by 20 points to name him ‘generational’.

      • North Van Halen

        To clarify, Wayne won i think 7 straight scoring titles by at least 70 points…let that sink in..won by 70 points some by 80 or more. Til Mario finally beat him and he was 50 ahead of anyone not named Wayne.
        I know the league has changed and no ones going to win a title by 70 points again but I just feel a ‘generational’ player should consistently be better than everyone else by more than a little bit.
        Crosby’s Stanley Cups are nice but he’s never dominated like that.

        • truthseeker

          Yep…I agree with you on this one. I call it the Gretzky “gap”. He gaped the next best players by huge percentages compared to what any of the “modern” players have done. Crosby wins scoring titles by what? 10 to 20 points max?

          If it were just about the “era” then guys like Sakic, Yzerman, Dionne etc…would have been up around 180 or 190 points when 99 was getting over 200. They weren’t.

          Only Mario and that 199 point season ever came close.

          Having said that…I would for sure put Mario in the “generational” category. Guy was insane and clearly light years better than his peers at the time.

          • North Van Halen

            Ya Mario was something but you can’t get into the what ifs….Lemieux coulda been the greatest but Gretz actually did it.
            The question I want answered is how good woulda Lafleur been if he ever worked out and didn’t smoke at least a pack a day.
            The legend was Lafleur would show up for training camp, put on his skates for the first time that summer, put out his smoke and step on the ice.

          • truthseeker

            I agree with that too. I try not to use “what if’s” in any discussion on sports. It simply doesn’t matter. You can’t know what would happen if situations would have been different.

            It sucks that Mario had to go through that but in the end all of that stuff is what separates some players from others.

            A good example (for all those who claim “if Mario had been healthy etc…), would be if I simply said “well what if 99 was never traded and that Oil lineup remained the same?” Gretz “would have” put up more multiple 200+ point seasons. Would have scored hundreds more goals and hundreds more assists etc etc.

    • Bud Poile

      Gordie Howe was a generational talent.Six Art Ross’. Six Hart trophies.
      At 53 years of age Gordie was scoring at more than half a PPG rate.
      He played 32 pro seasons (missed 3 seasons after quitting the NHL) and scored 102 points at 48 years of age and 96 points at age 50.
      Mario has 17 major trophies in his living room,despite losing three full years in the prime of his career and still came out of retirement after beating cancer.His Stanley Cups make 19 major trophies.
      His 85 goals and 199 point year is generationally ‘elite’.
      Mike Bossy ranks 3rd behind Mario and Wayne in many historical,elite offensive records.

      • North Van Halen

        Mike Bossy wasn’t even Guy Lafleur. Great sniper, not much else. 0 scoring titles,1 runner up. Arguably (and I’d say truthfully)the 2nd best player or 3rd on his own team.
        I’m curious what elite stats put him anywhere near Gretz or Mario?

        • Bud Poile

          During Gretzky’s interview with the New York Post in 1993, he praised Bossy as the best right-winger ever to play..

          As of 2018, Bossy holds or shares the following NHL records:

          Most consecutive 50+ goal seasons: 9
          Most 50+ goal seasons (not necessarily consecutive): 9 (tied with Wayne Gretzky)
          Most 60+ goal seasons (not necessarily consecutive): 5 (tied with Wayne Gretzky)
          Highest goals-per-game average, career (minimum 200 total goals): .762 goals per game
          Most power-play goals, one playoff season: 9 (tied with Cam Neely)
          Most consecutive hat tricks: 3 (tied with Joe Malone, who accomplished this twice)
          In January, 2017, Bossy was part of the second group of players to be named one of the ‘100 Greatest NHL Players’ in history.[2]

          Bossy won the following major NHL awards:

          Calder Memorial Trophy (rookie of the year), 1978
          Conn Smythe Trophy (playoff MVP), 1982
          Lady Byng Trophy (player best combining a high skill level with gentlemanly play), three times (1983, 1984, 1986)
          First Team All-Star, five times

          He also led the league in goals twice, in 1978-79 and 1980-81 (both predate the Rocket Richard Trophy). He was a part of all four Stanley Cup-winning New York Islanders teams.

          Here is a selected list of other official NHL record categories where Bossy was once the record-holder and/or is ranked very highly:

          Goals, career: 21st all-time with 573; only Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky reached 500 in fewer games
          Goals, regular season and playoffs combined, one season: seventh all-time with 85 (was a record at the time it was achieved)
          Assists by a right wing, one season: second all-time with 83 (was a record at the time it was achieved)
          Points by a right wing, one season: second all time with 147 (was a record at the time it was achieved)
          Goals by a rookie, one season: second all-time with 53 (was a record at the time it was achieved)
          100+ point seasons, career: fourth all-time with 7
          Goals per game, playoffs, career: Second all-time with .659
          Goals per game, regular season and playoffs combined, career: Second all-time with .747
          Points per game, career: third all-time
          Assists per game, career: eighteenth all-time
          Shooting percentage, career: fourth all-time with 21.18%
          Hat tricks, one season: tied for third all-time with 9 (was a record at the time it was achieved)
          Hat tricks, career: third all-time with 39

          • Killer Marmot

            And when Bossy retired from hockey, he couldn’t even get a job as an assistant coach with an NHL team.

            There’s a bizarre belief that almost anything can be taught in hockey except scoring touch. That is supposedly is some innate talent that is beyond a coach’s reach. Except that it’s nonsense. Everything … everything … can be studied, taught, and improved upon.

          • North Van Halen

            Impressive, I still prefer Lafleur and I’m still not putting Bossy up there. Very consistent, great sniper but still debatable he was even the best player on his team. 0 Hart trophies, 0 scoring titltes.
            Lafleur 2 Harts 3 Scoring Titles 5 Stanley Cups and 2 packs a day.

        • Tedchinook

          Bossy was a great trigger man, but you’re right, I’d definitely rank him behind Trottier and Potvin. They were both better overall players and certainly more integral to the Islanders success in that era.

    • Cageyvet

      I totally agree, Matthews was dubbed generational, and it’s just thrown around too much. There is a word that I use for Elias, and it’s superstar (although I call him a budding superstar). You can have more than one superstar in the league, but I have a hard time wrapping my head around more than one player at a time with the generational tag.

  • Kanuckhotep

    Get this, hockey fans. Now the owners want to add MORE teams in the playoffs! Who in their right mind wants to watch hockey up at the lake in July getting a sunburn? Does anyone really think the 17th to 20th ranked teams even have a shot at the Stanley Cup? Is this parody or is this just more greed on the part of billionaires? Rhetorical questions, mind you, and who gets in the (orifice of choice here)? The fans of course. Simply ridiculous and disgusting.

  • @ Brian Burke

    “Elias Pettersson is so tiny, he needs a car seat on the team bus.”

    Really Brian? You go on national TV, and say stuff like that? Is that why they ran you out of Calgary, for saying that about Gudreau?
    Elias is 6’2 and 176 lbs. (165lbs – 176lbs) That’s not tiny. Yeah, he should gain a few pounds, but to say what you did about a 19 year old is wrong.

    The only thing tiny is your shrinking brain.

    • Defenceman Factory

      I think the only way you can enjoy Burke on TV is if you think Don Cherry has lost a step. Almost the same schtik with rumbled clothes and a bad haircut.

    • If there’s one thing for which you can’t knock Burke, at least he speaks his mind. Doesn’t mean that you’ll agree but at least you can have an honest conversation with him based on what I’ve heard. You should check out when he speaks at conferences, like analytics conferences on Youtube. He can be really interesting to listen to with his NHL experience.

      • Long time Brian Burke fan here, although you wouldn’t know it from reading my comment above. Brian knows hockey and usually gives a great interview, but I feel he said the wrong thing. That is all.

        I also blame him for messing up Young Stars by wanting it moved away from Penticton, but that is for another day.

    • crofton

      Burke may have said that, but he has also said(basically) that Elias is phenomenal, so it was not said in a disparaging way. I’d say it was just an unfortunate choice of expression. And I’m not a big Burke fan, but he is eminently more watchable that the loudmouthed, bigoted, blowhard fop that is on CBC

  • Kanuckhotep

    Personally Brian Burke has always been one of my favourite hockey minds though not a taciturn fellow mind you. He makes many more intelligent observations that most given his experience and thought he was the best GM in Canucks history. People have trouble with his gruff Irish manner but if I was a billionaire with an NHL team I’d hire him instantly. Only his time in Toronto was anomalous in an otherwise impressive career but the guy mostly talks like I think. And he did say that Petey was indeed a very special player.

    • Beer Can Boyd

      Meh. I think for the most part he was a pretty average GM who loved the sound of his own voice too much.Best thing he ever did was making the trade to get both Sedins, so he gets a lifetime pass in Vancouver for that. Which is fair.

      • Matty T

        WTF – Benning has done nothing to put him alongside the others… just THREE draft picks from 34 picks in the last five years playing on the team?! big deal!- Mike Keenan made more franchise defining moves than the draft guru. FACT!

        • Pettersson, Boeser, Hughes, Gaudette, and arguably Demko is enough for me to say that. I scrubbed the EliteProspects database and analyzed every draft pick by GM from 1999 to 2017. I’m assuming that certain players will become NHL regulars based on pedigree, post-draft accolades, or recent performance. However, if Benning pulls at least 1 roster player per draft, that would be fantastic based on past Canuck drafting. If he can pull more than 1 player, that would be exceptional. So I find it highly amusing that people are saying that the 2016 draft is “the worst ever” when if data shows me that if Juolevi and Lockwood become regulars (which is highly plausible given that they were selected to represent their country in international junior play), it would actually be an amazing draft by both Canuck and NHL standards.

          Anyways, so I’ve done data-driven research to support my analysis of Benning’s draft record. What the hell did you do, Matty T?

          • Matty T

            It’s called superior hockey acumen nerd boy. I don’t deal in ifs, buts. maybes and using a moneyball to number crunch ‘possibilities’ because i don’t get out much – i deal in FACTS.

            Three measly draft picks PLAYING in five years and a one and done with someone elses team followed by years of no playoffs equates to a big fat ZERO… sound familiar…

            Iron Mike did more “franchise defining” moves than Benning – the worst five year failure in Canucks GM history. FACT!

          • Bud Poile

            What PQW/Matty T does is insult others,degrade the site and all that visit it.
            Get a moderator ,Jackson.
            This failure of no moderation on CA has gone on for years.
            That is a fact.