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Photo Credit: Carl Sandin / GP.se

Canucks prospect Kristoffer Gunnarsson signs in Allsvenskan, time with Canucks likely done

Kristoffer Gunnarsson was selected in the 5th round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft and there wasn’t much to be expected from him.

If he was able to pan out as a professional in North America, it was going to be as a depth defensive defenceman with a physical edge to his game. Since he was selected as a 20-year-old, the Canucks had his rights for two years rather than the four years of an 18 year old European player, which is outlined in Article 8.6 (d) (ii)

Everyone was under the impression that the Canucks weren’t going to sign him by the end of the month but that was all but confirmed as he signed with Mora IK in the Allsvenskan earlier today:

    • tyhee

      Fifth round picks fall to the 5th round for a reason, almost always that they need considerable development to ever make the NHL. Two years after the draft a number of players drafted after Gunnarsson are still prospects and it is too early to say which of them might become NHL players, but it is certainly fair to say that anyone taken in the 5th round or later is a longshot to ever make the NHL.

      But certainly any player taken in the 5th round is a longshot.

    • Just ran a pivot table on the EP draft database and here are the raw results since 2014 for non-1st round draft picks:

      Prospects to Play – Vancouver is #6-10 with 6 players. Best team is New Jersey with 9. Worst had 8 teams (Dallas, Edmonton, Minnesota, Montreal, NYI, NYR, Phoenix and Pittsburgh) with 2.

      Games Played – Vancouver is #7 with 281 games played between all prospects to have logged an NHL game. Best team is Boston with 7 players with 560 combined games. Worst was NYR with 2 players combining for 5 games.

      Total Points – Vancouver is #17 with 50 combined points. Best team is Tampa Bay with 275 points. Worst was NYR with 2 players combining for 0 points.

      Note that the results don’t take into account which teams the players ultimately played for (e.g. Forsling logged all of his games with Chicago) and combined games/points are skewed by rare home runs (i.e. Point, Arvidsson, Aho, Labanc). However, the limitations are the same for all teams so it’s a decent metric for judging draft prowess.

      TL;DRGotta be one of the worst drafting teams outside the 1st round in the league. brutal lol. Categorically untrue. Vancouver (i.e. Benning) has for the most part drafted in the Top 10 in the league since 2014. Benning has outdrafted “model rebuilds” like Calgary and Toronto in all 3 categories.

      Carolina and Boston were the only teams to be Top 5 in all 3 categories. Neither team tanked for the #1. GO FIGURE.

        • Thanks jaybird43. What I can add, in fairness to the anti-Benning crowd, is that the top performers (Carolina and Boston) ranked highly because of their 2nd and 3rd round picks. Same with the Canucks. Carolina had Aho (#35), Wallmark (#97) and Foegele (#67) and Boston had Carlo (#37), Heinen (#116), Donato (#56), and Bjork (#146) – all of these players currently have at least 50 games under their belt.

          The data says late round successes like Gaudette (#149) and Forsling (#126) are the exception when it comes to non-1st round draft success for the Canucks. I anticipate the Canucks will rise in the rankings if I do this again after Demko (#36), DiPietro (#64), and possibly Brisebois (#66) start logging more games…and if Tryamkin (#66) comes back.

          While I will always defend Benning’s decision to trade picks in his first few years in an attempt to ice a competitive team (rather than rip off paying fans by icing a bargain bin garbage team for an 80% chance to not get the #1 overall pick), the data strongly suggests that Benning’s scouting team could have significantly augmented the prospect pipeline if we kept the following picks:

          2014 2nd round pick (Vey)
          2014 3rd round pick (Dorsett)
          2015 2nd round pick (Baertschi)
          2016 2nd round pick (Sutter)
          2016 2nd round pick (Gudbranson)
          2016 3rd round pick (Pedan)

          The 5 Canucks prospects who are in the “no games played” category all rank as high prospects: Lockwood (#64), Lind (#33), Gadjovich (#55), Woo (#37), and Madden (#68). We have had zero official busts with our 2nd and 3rd rounds picks since 2014. Even Tryamkin is still a viable prospect. I don’t have sufficient knowledge of other teams to comment about them so I can’t say who we rank but the 0% failure rate so far is telling.

          TL;DR – The Canucks scouting department has been positively lethal with a 2nd or 3rd round pick. They have yet to draft a bust since 2014. If circumstances had not forced Benning to trade picks to “retool on the fly”, we likely would have an additional 6 legit prospects with NHL roster potential if we used our 2014-2016 2nd round (x4) and 3rd round (x2) draft picks.

          • Dirk22

            Forever – paragraph 3 – I had to read that three times just to understand. You’re happy he traded picks in an ‘attempt’ to ice a competitive team….because if he didn’t they would have finished dead last…..but that would only give them a 20% chance at first overall…no offence but that’s Hall of Fame caliber dumb.

            And btw they have yet to draft an impact player outside of the first round so you can shelve the ‘positively lethal’ comment until Gaudette scores more than 12 points or Demko plays more than 10 games.

          • Green Bastard

            Too much time on your hands bro and more full of holes than swiss cheese lol. If players like Forsling count as a Canucks success, maybe we should put Cam Neely’s number up in the rafters at the Rog lol.

            I see the Bruins are in their third final since the 2011 in after tearing it down like us. How are the canucks doing in comparison to that. Now, that’s what i would call ‘positively lethal’ lmao.

          • Dirk22: “And btw they have yet to draft an impact player outside of the first round so you can shelve the ‘positively lethal’ comment until Gaudette scores more than 12 points or Demko plays more than 10 games.”

            Ok, I’ll play ball with you again, Dirk22. First, I never used the term “impact player”, only you did. This is called the strawman fallacy. You’re setting up a false argument which still doesn’t work. You’re attempting to associate “positively lethal” with “impact player” when my argument was “no draft busts since 2014”. Don’t attribute stuff to me that I never wrote, please.

            So let’s expand on “no draft busts since 2014”. If we look at rounds 4-7, we already have confirmed busts: Pettit, Stewart, Neill, Olson, McKenzie, Abols, Stukel, Candella, Gunnarsson, Brassard. Let’s add Zhukenov although he’s not officially a bust, we still have rights and the Canucks haven’t officially cut him loose. Palmu leaving is still too early and we still have his rights. So that’s 11 (57%) of 19 draft picks that are failures.

            So let’s recap Benning’s drafting of rounds #2-3 vs. #4-7 for the same timeframe:

            Rounds 2-3: 0 of 9 failures. (0%)
            Rounds 4-7: 11 of 19 (57%)

            Now let’s contrast with Gillis, since I have the data and I know the backstory behind every prospect as a Canucks fan. I’ll be using Cullen’s 200 game benchmark from his value of a draft pick article:

            Rounds 2-3: 6 of 7 failures (86%)
            Rounds 4-7: 23 of 24 failures (96%)

            Let’s keep in mind that players outside of the 1st round (arguably Top 10) are require something called “development time”? You know, it’s the thing that humans that aren’t “impact players” need? Even Gillis’s only 2 non-1st round successes (Hutton 2012 and Connauton 2009) both did not contribute any NHL games until 5 years after they were drafted? Demko is going to be our back-up as per the development plan that has been public for years. Gaudette is a regular after only 3 years. Benning has had 5 draft picks play meaningful games (Tryamkin, Forsling, Gaudette, Demko, Brisebois) – I’m not counting DiPietro’s emergency call-up. To expect only “impact players” from rounds 2-7 is absurd. There is no evidence to support this level of expectation.

            TL;DR – When you look at the data, Benning’s draft history for the 2nd and 3rd round are exceptional vs. even his own 4-7 round drafting and all of Gillis’s drafting for contrast. Benning has a 0% failure rate on his 2-3 round picks. In contrast, Benning has a 57% failure rate on his 4-7 round picks. Gillis has 86% and 96% failure rates respectively. So when you objectively look at the data, the term “positively lethal” is absolutely valid in the context of both Benning and Gillis’s draft histories to date.

      • FinkFast

        Great work. Expectations are always so high for freshly drafted prospects that it is easy to feel like your team has failed when most of them don’t pan out. That is just how it goes with prospects. Good to see that we are hanging strong in the top third of the league statistically.

      • Bud Poile

        Gillis inherited the central core of the Canucks team for the years he was GM:
        Henrik Sedin
        Daniel Sedin
        Ryan Kesler
        Alex Burrows
        Jannick Hansen
        Kevin Bieksa
        Alex Edler
        Roberto Luongo
        Cory Schneider

        Coversely,Horvat (at the expense and loss of Schneider) and Hutton are the two Gillis draft picks Benning has after five years as Canucks GM.
        Benning was hired for his drafting strengths but he also had to ice a competitive team with the re-signing of the twins.
        Since Gillis left a drafting legacy at a near zero success rate,draft picks were used to fill the gaping holes.
        When it was clear the twins were done there was no supporting infrastructure from the Gillis regime in the way of prospects.
        Benning had to find prospects all over the globe to fill the Utica and Canucks rosters.
        It was a complete gong show.But keep the hate going ,Dirk.It’s what you do.

          • Bud Poile

            Freud,I see you ,Dirk and PQW are all gathering here for your annual draft party honoring Gillis AKA an obnoxious show about nothing.
            An unemployed lawyer and the morons that still support him in spite of legacy being the worst draft record in Canucks history.
            You nutjobs are still licking – and it ain’t boots.