Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

Monday Mailbag, Tuesday Edition: Jonathan Dahlen, First Round Targets, and Top-4 Ben Hutton

While we’ve definitely seen enough flashes from Dahlen to indicate there’s something there, he did not look ready to play in the NHL this fall by my eyes. He’s got 11 points in 17 games, which is decent production for a 20-year-old in the AHL, but not exactly the kind that screams “he needs to be in the NHL right now”. My best guess is if he does get a call-up, it would be after the deadline, assuming a trade occurs. If not, he’ll get a chance to make the team out of camp next fall.

It’s still very early, which means not only that all the major draft rankings are going to change approximately 39,000 times between now and June, but also that I’m not yet as familiar with this year’s crop of talent as I’d like to be. Having said that, I’ll try to answer as best I can.

I’ll use Jeremy Davis’ consolidated draft rankings for the month of October as a guideline:

2019 NHL Draft: Consolidated Industry Rankings for October 2018

Based on the names Jeremy has in the 10-20 range, I would say the names that intrigue me the most are Alex Newhook, Cole Caufield, and Ryan Suzuki. Canucks fans also might want to familiarize themselves with Anttoni Honka, who is one of just two right-handed defenders ranked in the first round and could be on the team’s radar.

If it’s a regular season game, I can only assume that the shootout would go on forever until the universe has evolved to a state of no thermodynamic free energy and therefore can no longer sustain processes that increase entropy. My understanding is that at this point the universe would either experience heat death and collapse, or the arrow of time would begin to move backwards.

I would be worried about Simmonds’ health holding up over a long-term contract, so I would probably steer clear of him in free agency. Stone and Skinner are both intriguing options for different reasons. I lean towards Jeff Skinner, but it would depend on the contract situation.

I think a good front office could get this team to the point where they should be in the playoff hunt every season within three years. They would have to be aggressive when it comes to shopping their veterans, and make some good selections, but they’ve got the necessary building blocks in Pettersson, Horvat, and Hughes to start building a more competitive team. That being said, they haven’t exactly positioned themselves well to be able to do that.

If the Leafs and Jets are a 10 (more or less done rebuilding, with a young core that looks to be competitive for many years), and the Sens are a 1 (haven’t quite accepted reality and lack the assets to build around) then I would put the Canucks somewhere in the middle, maybe a 4. They have some really good pieces in place and that makes me want to put them higher but unfortunately I don’t think management has done enough to signal that they have the pro scouting or contract negotiating skill to pull them out of the hole. Not yet, anyway.

I don’t see why not. He could be a good fit on the right team if the Canucks retain salary. They may have to wait a year to get a decent return, though.

The Canucks have controlled 60% of the goals and 73.6% of the scoring chances when Pouliot is on the ice. Both of those marks are last among the team’s defenders who have seen time on the man-advantage. It’s not an especially large sample, but the complaints about Pouliot’s deficiencies on the power play appear to be backed up by the data. I think Pouliot can be a useful player in the right role- that role just isn’t quarterbacking the first unit.

You’d probably get more if you packaged them separately.

As always, it depends on the asking price. In the past, Jim Benning has done a good job of dealing veterans for prospects that are better value than the pick they might have received otherwise. If the Penguins are interested in a veteran I’d be more than happy with Sprong as a piece coming back. If they want another prospect or a pick in return, I would be significantly less open to the idea.

The Canucks have some players on their roster that are genuinely adept at gaining the zone, so I can understand the frustration. The drop pass isn’t inherently bad, but you need not only the right defenseman to execute the play properly but also enough other tricks up your sleeve to keep the opposition guessing. Right now the Canucks have neither.

I never thought Juolevi was a poor defensive player before this season, so I’m inclined to believe it’s an indication he’s adjusting to the North American pro game. That’s assuming it’s an indication of anything to begin with. Plus/minus is such an unreliable statistic that it could just as easily be random variance. Resident Utica Comets expert Cory Hergott has indicated multiple times that he isn’t overly concerned about Juolevi’s defensive game and I’m inclined to believe him.

Del Zotto may not deserve to be in the lineup on most nights, but I rather have him sit in the press box than Ashton Sautner or Guillaume Brisebois or Jalen Chatfield. He’s on the last year of his deal and there’s usually at least a small market for depth defensemen at the deadline, so I think it’s a little early to cut bait in such dramatic fashion.

I think you can expect to basically see a scrambled version of the first quarter of the season over the course of the next 60 or so games. If Pettersson or Horvat can have a monster game, they might pull out a win. If the major players are healthy and everyone is clicking, they may even upset some superior teams once in awhile. On nights where that doesn’t happen, sometimes it’s going to get ugly. I don’t think anyone should be surprised. The Canucks were winning early on not only because Elias Pettersson was playing well, but also because he was getting puck luck, too. That won’t always happen. So it goes.

I do. That’s the role he’s played so far this season and he’s looked as good as one could hope for. There are holes in his game that are unlikely to correct themselves, but I don’t see why he can’t be a #4 guy with the right partner. The fact that he’s done as well as he has playing mainly alongside Erik Gudbranson is enough to make you wonder how he might fare with a partner who’s more comfortable moving the puck.

It’s been awhile since I was in school, but from what I remember, a “C” is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from a failing grade. To attach that rating to Juolevi at this stage, if that is indeed what they did, seems borderline absurd. I don’t think it’s unfair to say he’s been a disappointment so far relative to where he was selected, but I’d estimate he still has a better chance at a long NHL career than at least 95% of NHL-affiliated prospects right now. Unless we’re grading on a curve, I don’t understand how you come up with that.

  • Jamie E

    So, just to make sure I have this straight, players like Dahlen aren’t ready for the NHL yet and should be playing big, meaningful minutes in the AHL AND we should liquidate every player on the team over the age of 26. Hmmm.

    • DogBreath

      It is pretty funny isn’t it. One can’t really point to a Utica prospect who has clearly played their way on to the roster, yet is being held back by older players. Somehow people don’t connect trading all the veterans now with prospects who clearly are not ready to play now. At best this may work at the tdl. Most likely this argument begins to have merit starting September 2019.

      All that anguish during the summer about prospects being held back by ‘the signings’ is nonsense. It’ll be dealt with in time, when the prospects are ready, the new leadership is established and they’re beginning to win with some regularity.

      • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

        True, but the measuring stick of “readiness” and what that means gets muddied when there are less roster spots to these kids to play for due to veteran glut filling out the roster… All of a sudden, the bar for “readiness” becomes unreachable due to roster constraints. Is that fair to them? Is it simply an inevitability? Or is it poor roster/cap management?

        • DogBreath

          I guess that could be the case, though not sure I agree on this case. I don’t see anyone as over-ripened in Utica or even a threat to do so. Juolevi, Dahlen and Demko need to find another gear before they’re legitimately challenging for nhl spots.

          Though Vancouver is said to have the 4th strongest prospect pool under 24, gotta say that I was hoping for more from the aforementioned, plus lind, Gadjovich etc this year.

          • The problem with these “prospect pool” lists is that they exclude players who have already made the NHL. The teams who end up at the top are the teams that acquire the most mid-range talent – players who look good in the AHL at 20 but haven’t cracked the NHL. Teams that are graduating elite talent to the NHL don’t make these lists.

          • Corporate Goontard

            What does this epic theory say about how bad the Canucks pipeline is then?… as you told us NONE of the prospects should be called up for the whole season… because Utica is a ‘winner’

            “All the rookies should remain in Utica for the full season. The Comets are headed for the top of the AHL standings. Isn’t the justification for all these terrible FA signings that the young players need to develop in a “winning environment”? The Comets are that – Goon

            Embarrassing and deluded.

          • Bud Poile

            This year or season is two months old.
            I do have expectations that a rookie or rookies will audition for an NHL gig if/when a vet or three are traded.
            Demko needs to find his game again while he continues to recover.

          • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

            Very true. I wasnt necessarily referring to the state of the current farm, but was more or less generalising as to how a term like “readiness” can be interpreted differently based on availability of roster spots

    • Dissin_Terry

      Umm, Reid Boucher and Zack MacEwen come to mind. Better numbers than Dahlen. How does your dumb, sarcastic ‘ummmm,’ comment sit in an actual, statistical climate? Uh uh, thought so. Don’t quit your day job.

  • speering major

    UFA to look at… Ferland. If the Canucks are in a position to draft a center they think can make in impact by his D +1 season

    Who to draft with the first pick? A center

    Trade Sutter, Tanev, and get what you can for guys like MDZ. Use those picks plus the early second rounder to find D by a volume approach. Hughes, OJ, Hutton, Stetcher, Edler, Chatfield can hold the fort down for a season or two

    IMO if the Team can draft a high end #3 center or better this draft with their first pick and accumulate more high picks with deadline deals, they will be a force in 2 seasons

      • speering major

        Trade Sutter this deadline

        Gaudette can fill in for a season or two. I don’t see the offensive upside to justify him in your long term plans at this point. You can hope but it’s a bit of a long shot he has an offensive impact. I actually see Gaudette being moved to the wing eventually, regardless of what they do with Sutter. Having a ton of depth at Center is a good problem to have.

        Wingers are the easiest asset to acquire through trade and free agency. You can get good quality wingers to fill a gap when you are competitive. As I stated before, I would approach D with a volume approach. Late first rounders and early seconds can build a very strong prospect pool of D

        • Beer Can Boyd

          Gaudette is 22 years old, a Hobey Baker winner who had 56 goals and 112 points in 65 games over the last two years. How is it that you don’t see his offensive upside? I find it astonishing that you are prepared to write him off already after he’s played 22 NHL games, mostly limited 3rd and 4th line minutes.

          • speering major

            I’m not writing him off as an NHL player, I think it’s a very long shot he’s as good as Sutter or better. Reid Boucher also lights it up at lower levels and becomes invisible at the NHL level. Gaudette has a more well rounded game but the point is, he hasn’t shown any offense at the NHL level. I’m not just talking about his numbers, I’m watching him play and he’s just not a scoring threat at this point. Obviously he will get better but I think his ceiling is lower than what people had thought when he won the Hobey Baker.

            The point is, I wouldn’t be penciling in Gaudette as a core piece. Like Lind, Dahlen, Chatfield, etc, you hope they pan out and contribute but you don’t pencil them in to build around like Hughes, Petterson, Horvat, and Boeser. Guadette deserves zero consideration when you are looking at a high first round pick, the latter group does.

          • Beer Can Boyd

            Well, all I can say is that its a good thing you are not the GM. Here is just one example of why your speculative argument is so off base. Markus Naslund, in his first 85 NHL games had 6 goals and 9 assists. There are a ton of other NHL stories just like his, and to presume that you can judge a players offensive ceiling after 22 games is insane.

          • speering major

            You’re getting a bit over your skies here. I’m not saying give up on Gaudette, I specifically said to move Sutter out and give him a shot. I just don’t think he will be a quality #3 center. I could be wrong and he would have a chance to prove it. I think he could be a decent winger.

            The Naslund comparison is where you wandered off in to a weird perspective. Naslund is a 16th overall pick who put up 22 goals in less than a full season at 22 years old. At the same age Gaudette doesn’t look like he can score yet. Zero goals. Not only was Naslund considered a late bloomer and a rare player, he was also way ahead of Guadette at this age. Way ahead

          • Beer Can Boyd

            Ridiculous. Was Naslund considered a late bloomer by the Penguins when they drafted him? Was he considered such a “rare player” that he was traded for Alex Stojanov?Also, he put up 22 goals in his 3rd NHL season, not his 1st. Gaudette has played 22 NHL games total. I also think that Naslunds draft position is irrelevant to this discussion. I just picked him as one example of a player who, had he been written off the way you seem to have done with Gaudette..”Gaudette can fill in for a season or two. I don’t see the offensive upside to justify him in your long term plans at this point.” the Canucks would have been deprived of one of their greatest players. And there are countless more examples of great NHL players who struggled to score in their first couple of years. You posted that, in your opinion, Gaudette was never going to be a quality 3rd line centre, based on the fact that he had yet to score in 22 NHL games. I countered that I felt it was ridiculous to make such an assertion based on such a small sample size. And I gave 1 example of why that was the case. Lets try another one. Heres the guy whom the Canucks are hoping Gaudette can grow into. Ryan Kesler. First 28 NHL games, 2 goals 3 assists. Next season, 82 games, 10 goals 13 assists.Next season, when he was 22 years old and in his 3rd NHL season, 6 goals 10 assists in 48 games. Am I still over my skies? Sorry, but it just bothers me that so many people on here are so quick to judge young players based on such minuscule sample sizes.

          • pheenster01

            22 is actually pretty old for an unproven prospect these days. Why are you using Naslund as an example though, that trade was 22 years ago! In case you missed it the game is completely different now on and off the ice. Nazzy is therefore a poor example. Juolevi’s apparent failure to deliver at the NHL level in his plus three year after going 5th overall would be more relevant to todays game.

  • TD

    Juolevi’s -12 is concerning, but all their regular D, except Brisebois and Sifers, have a poor +/-. Chatfield is at -11 in 13 games, which is worse than Juolevi’s -12 in 18 games.

    • Defenceman Factory

      Not saying Juolevi’s defensive game is where it needs to be yet but he went -6 in the first week of the season posting two -3 performances. Pretty rough start making the +/- stat look worse than his more recent play would indicate. I don’t think Juolevi is the main reason the Comets aren’t up to expectations.

    • DJ_44

      I have watched Utica a fair bit this season. Some of the minuses are on Juolevi for sure. The majority of the minuses are on the goaltending. Kalbakov is either unbelievably lights out are abysmal. I watched one of Backman’s AHL games this season; he was worse than his performance against the Wild. Two of the top three goalies hurt does not do an organization any favours.

  • Kanuckhotep

    Usually at the draft anything taken after the first ten prospects is a bit of a crap shoot and a good GM and his scouting staff have to have real savvy (and a bit of luck) to nail down an impact player. Have always been all in on taking the best athlete available in the mid to late first round regardless of position as opposed to the obvious higher ranked kids who’d not be available later on. But no one knows where the Canucks will finish and the league is tighter than ever. The difference between ending up, say, 28th or 18th more now than ever won’t be that significant IMO. Too early to predict anything at this stage.

  • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

    “unfortunately I don’t think management has done enough to signal that they have the pro scouting or contract negotiating skill to pull them out of the hole. Not yet, anyway.” Couldn’t agree more.

    “a “C” is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from a failing grade. To attach that rating to Juolevi at this stage, if that is indeed what they did, seems borderline absurd. I don’t think it’s unfair to say he’s been a disappointment so far relative to where he was selected, but I’d estimate he still has a better chance at a long NHL career than at least 95% of NHL-affiliated prospects right now. ” Much less agreeable statement to get on board with.

    Hopefully Benning can improve his trading skills by preying on some of the crappier GMs still enployed like Chiarelli and Bergevin to hopefully fleece them on a deal or two this season as Chia is at least in pure desperation mode now that he fired TMac and has no other options before the noose comes calling for his head.

  • Just-One-Cup

    Yes, the Leafs and Jets are a solid ten on the rebuild scale, but Montreal and Calgary are legit proof that with the right moves and pieces in place a non playoff team last season can be turned around in a hurry.

    However, special big-up goes to Buffalo, who are the poster boys for how to rise from the ashes after missing the playoffs by a country mile last season. They have been quickly and outstandingly transformed by their 2nd year GM who has made some smart, gutsy moves to compliment a solid young core in situ. Jeff Skinner has been a beast and apparently will happily re-sign with the Sabres, so forget him coming to Van Jackson.

    In truth, we could only dream of seeing this type of superbly executed plan in Vancouver, but it’s fast becoming a mirror image of the last two seasons isn’t it. Such a drag. Kudos to the Habs, Flames and Sabres though.

  • North Van Halen

    All in all a pretty good mail bag here.
    He’s right about the team likely being a mixed bag all season. Bo, Brock & EP will drag us to wins and some excitement but the Jets just showed how far we need to go to be consistent winners.
    I find it hard to argue the spot he put as a 4 on the rebuild but we are definitely trending up. He’s also right pro scouting and contracts have been a Benning era issue. This next year and a half is crucial since we finally have replacements for the pro assets we could trade and no excuses (Sedins, competing for the playoffs) for not trading for the future. Who stays, who goes and what assets are acquired for the departing players will decide whether we have a new GM in 2 years or not. This year should still be about the rebuild. By next season this team better be knocking on the door and be clearly trending in the right direction or Benning will be toast.
    JM also was bang on about MDZ and instead of piling on OJ actually defended him, nice. I also think he’s right about Ben. He’d likely be just fine as a #4 dman. It’s hard to tell though when he’s asked to do more than he should and with such a, um, challenging partner.

    • I think as a fan, caution is the word of the day here – you can look at Colorado, Carolina, and Buffalo all as teams that looked like they were coming out of a rebuild and trending up a couple of years ago, only to crash and burn and end up being terrible for several more seasons. There’s also the Grade A cautionary tale of Edmonton – having several super-high-end players is great, but if you surround them with overpaid mediocre depth, you’re going to be bad.

      If the Canucks can find a couple more impact players through the draft or through smart trades, and can get out from under the Eriksson, Beagle, and Gudbranson contracts before those deals start really weighing the team down in a couple years, they could be great. But if they can’t fix their pro scouting and build some more depth around their young stars, they could just as easily look like Colorado in 2016 or Buffalo last year or Edmonton this year.

      • speering major

        Oilers have been a demonstration about the virtue of patience. They torched valuable assets to try and compete far too early. They panicked when they saw a weakness on D while having the best offensive player in the world

        Imagine where the team would be if they had Hall and Eberle vs Larson and Spooner. Imagine if they didn’t get robbed blind in those trades while trying to find a D. Then there’s the Lucic contract.

        The Canucks need to suffer through the growing pains of having some soft spots in the line-up while they rebuild. That means selling off vets with trade value and seeing what prospects actually pan out. Deciding you have enough prospects and trying to build around them too early can badly backfire. Wait for the prospects to develop, wait for the right trade opportunity, wait for the right free agency. Don’t try to force any of those things to rush any of those things to work when it’s not right. Oilers have panicked in all 3 of those areas and compounded bad mistakes. Now the team needs scoring wingers when they just gave away two. They are still thin on D. They are against the cap limit and have Lucic on the books for 4 more years. The fact Chia still has a job is amazing.

          • Puck Viking

            I dont know what happened to JP.. watching him in the world jrs he looked like he could be the top pick in the draft.. either confidence or drugs.. im assuming confidence.

        • North Van Halen

          Don’t forget overpaying your stars too. Eberle, RHN & Draisatl were all paid waaaay too much, which was part of the reason for needing to trade Hall & Eberle.
          You’re bang on about most of that. I”m not worried about the bad contracts presently, we don’t have enough guys needing big pay days…yet. I’m sure glad Bo’s contract is there for the Canucks to negotiate from.RNH & Eberle make more and their contracts were signed 5 years ago.
          Imagine the difference in negotiations: Van Bo makes $5.5, he’s as valuable, you get $6mil with inflation max. vs Edm. Leo makes $8.5mil RNH’s5year old contract pays $6mil. With inflation, Brock’s looking for Nylander money.

          But yeah patience and putting the right pieces in place is where we’re at now, no doubt

  • Kootenaydude

    I’m thinking right now might be a good time to give Hutton a contract extension. Hutton, Hughes and Juolevi on left hand D seems like a decent core. He could be bought for cheap. If he keeps playing well and top line minutes. He could be expensive at the end of the season. Of course part of the contract should include that he can’t show up fat and out of shape again ha ha!!

  • Locust

    So, let me get this straight…..
    Yesterdays post gets bombarded by the normal multi-named trolls and a few people go off, and rightfully so, on Canucks Army.
    Then, the next three posts, including this one have ZERO posts from those same trolls.
    Just last week I called out FREUD for only posting when someone criticizes CA, then he starts posting on every story, when I point that out, he stops.
    We are being played……amigos.

  • wojohowitz

    Gudbranson, Del Zotto and Pouliot have limited futures in the NHL. When their contracts run out they will be signed as free agents for 1 year – $1 mill each because that is all they are – fringe players. Benning is in denial if he thinks otherwise. In fact I am appalled that Benning replaced Hamhuis, Bieksa and Garrison with these three incompetents considering his 10(?) years as a NHL defenceman and his 20(?) years in management and last night was a good example of that. Now is the time for Sautner, Chatfield and Brisebois.

        • Puck Viking

          All of those 2nds that got moved is what is killing this team now.. those would be players ready for full time jobs right now.. go back and look at some of the players we missed out on and its terrifying.

      • Garrison had a rough year in Vancouver but Benning sold crazy low on him – he had two very good years in Tampa after the trade before age and injuries caught up to him.

        Defenseman who can anchor the powerplay and play top-4 minutes on both the left and right side signed to a team friendly contract? Ditch him for a 2nd round pick!

  • Puck Viking

    No thanks to Honka. The guy has dreadful numbers in Liiga and is not good in his own end, like horrible and is the size of Hughes. Some have him in the 2nd and 3rd round now.

      • Puck Viking

        Korczak from Kelowna is also a much better player.. although I would just draft best defense available..

        Compare Mikko Kokkonen(20 games and 9 points) to Honka(15 games and 4 points) then factor in MK is a great skater plays defense and is bigger..

        MK is scoring almost at the same rate as Kakko(19 games and 11 points) who is supposed to go 2nd and plays forward.

        MK has the potential to be the next Petterson but on defense.. if someone does a deep dive they will find that no player has ever put up similar numbers to what MK is currently doing.

      • Defenceman Factory

        Once again you have my sympathy you poor sad little man:

        “The Troll relies upon a fragmented unconscious and lives within a fantasy world of being powerful, in control and envied by all others. In reality, they feel completely opposite of what is portrayed to others. From an intra-personal and interpersonal dynamics standpoint, Trolls are plagued by immense feelings of inferiority, isolation, rage, paranoia and jealousy for peers. Instead of getting professional help or support from loved ones, Trolls prefer their insignificant virtual world fuelled by grandiosity fantasies.”

      • Puck Viking

        Actually tard what we want is the exact opposite of edmonton which is the canucks current model. Think peg but since you have the IQ of a box of cat litter you would not be able to comprehend that.

  • Kanuckhotep

    Things could be far worse in Canuckland. Stevens and now Yeo and McLellan have been chopped from their respective clubs. I guess Edmonton will have to start drafting high and begin a rebuild. Oh, wait a minute. Isn’t that what they’ve been already doing? Just check out Oiler Nation to see how THEY feel about their team.

    • pheenster01

      Why on Earth should the state of the Oilers have any bearing on making us feel better about the state of the Canucks, or indeed the franchise as a whole. Both are losing entities!

      Frankly, I see no valid reason why Green *also* isn’t being sent down the road after this awful six game losing streak and the 30th worst goals against in the league! At least the Oil, Kings and Blues are willing to do something about it. After all, this is a results business, not a charity.

        • pheenster01

          I have no idea who PWQ is and i do’t watch the winterhawks. I am here to talk Canucks hockey, if you aren’t, kindly move along and dont waste my time with this childish nonsense thanks.

          • DogBreath

            You’re honestly blaming the coach for this? You thought the team would be better than 500 after two long road trips and these injuries? Most are thrilled with what they’ve been able to achieve thus far given where they’re at in the rebuild.

  • Burnabybob

    Scoring the Canucks a “4” on their rebuild so far seems rather miserly. I would give them at least a 6, or possibly a 7. Their most obvious need, and probably hardest to fill, is a top pairing right-handed defenseman, preferably someone who can shoot the puck. Beyond that, they could use at least one more blue chip defensive prospect, another blue chip forward prospect, and probably another goaltending prospect. But they seem clearly more than half way through their rebuild.

    The Canucks really need a break in the draft lottery for once. It played a big role in helping teams like Buffalo, Toronto, and Winnipeg with their rebuilds. If the Canucks landed someone like Jack Hughes, they would become a playoff contender next season, and possibly a Stanley Cup contender within a few years.

    • pheenster01

      So by that skewed logic Edmonton should be contending every year and deffo winning a cup with McDavid. How is that working out? Buffalo, Carolina, AZ and Florida have also sucked for years with numerous high draft picks. Keep reaching though.

      A ‘four’ is totally fair considering the Canucks have had a 5th, 5th, 6th, 7th and a 23rd, 24th in the first round since 2014. Totally fair.

      • Defenceman Factory

        Rating how well the Canucks have drafted is a different question than how far along they are in their rebuild although one certainly contributes to the other. Will 60% of the players on the roster be different when they next win a couple of playoff rounds? Probably but not if you count players already in the system.

      • Burnabybob

        Whoa!!! I seem to have touched a nerve. I make a relatively mild criticism that they assessment of the Canucks prospect pool is ungenerous, and the guy loses it.

        To answer your question: Edmonton should certainly have performed better over the past few years than they have. Any team that picks first overall FOUR TIMES IN SIX YEARS should ice a contender, pure and simple. The Canucks have done quite well considering where they have picked over the past five years. The Canuck teams of 2011 and 1994 both included players drafted in the top three. Benning has not picked higher than five.

        • pheenster01

          Who is ‘losing it’ man, not me, just replying to your post with facts and a differing opinion. I am not big on excuses personally.

          Yes, Edmonton is an absolute disaster but it proves the point. However, many Canucks fans are saying Petterssen is now a top two pick in a redraft, Boeser is now a top three pick in a redraft, Juolevi was the top defenceman in his draft class and Demko is a top goalie pick in his draft year so that negates your theory. IMO It’s the pick made not the position, unless it’s an undisputed generational talent like Crosby or McDavid..

      • Kootenaydude

        Unfortunately getting a top 3 draft pick is what gives you the best chance at top line nhl players. After the top 3 the 4,5,6 spots only have a 50% chance of being top 6 forwards or top 4 defenceman. Canucks have always lost out on lottery ball luck. While teams like Winnipeg, Carolina and Philadelphia have moved up. Sure would be nice to have Laine in a Canucks jersey

    • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

      The Jets “won” the lottery once (in 2016) moving from 6th to 2nd. EVERY other season since 2011,the highest they have drafted was 7th (2011 Scheifele) and 9th twice (2012 & 2014). The difference is the Jets didnt “miss” on their 1st round picks like Canucks have here and there. They have been fortunate to have almost 2 players develop into NHL talent from each draft. Is that amazing amateur scouting on the part of Cheveldayoff and his scouting team? Is it amateur development on their farm? Or maybe a combo of several things.

      Perhaps if the Canucks had a little (or a lot!) more luck in drafting/developing, we would be further along in this process…. Maybe if McCann had been better quicker, same with Virtanen….same with Juolevi….

      But to suggest that the Jets have been the recipient of luck does a disservice to their orgs hard work over the last 7yrs IMO.