It would have been nice if the Hughes brothers could have been a thing in Vancouver, but I think we’ve all accepted that it isn’t happening.
Beyond the obvious reality that Jim Benning won’t be paying what would be an astronomical price to acquire the New Jersey Devils’ No. 1 overall pick, Ben Kuzma of The Province reports that Benning isn’t planning to move up from No. 10 overall in any capacity.
“Coming out of the combine, I felt even better and excited about the player we’re going to get at No. 10. The kids were excellent in the interviews because they can get into a room with adults and sell themselves on what they can do and what they can get better at.
I’m super excited about the pick.
If we have to (in addition to the 10th pick) give up a second-round pick, that’s too much because we feel the draft is deep enough,” added Benning. “And you just don’t know how the draft is going to fall. We could have a player rated in the top six falling to us at 10.” – Jim Benning.
As Stephen Roget explored a few weeks ago, the cost to move up in the draft would be fairly substantial. Even sliding up from No. 10 to one of the other picks in the top-10 would easily cost the Canucks their second-round pick. As Benning said, the draft is deep enough and the quality of players available to the Canucks at No. 10 make it not worthwhile to sell off their quantity at the draft.
Last year, there were some surprises in the draft, as the Montreal Canadiens selected Jesperi Kotkaniemi with the third-overall pick and the Coyotes took Barrett Hayton with the fifth-overall pick. As a result, the Red Wings snagged Filip Zadina, who was widely considered the third best player in the draft at No. 6. That also left the Canucks with a great pick at No. 7, Quinn Hughes.
After the top two prospects, Jack Hughes and Kappo Kakko, the draft is a bit of crapshoot. As Jeremy Davis’ most recent consolidated rankings show, players like Vasali Podkolzin are ranked as high as No. 2 and as low as No. 17 in the draft. Given the expected randomness and the depth of this draft, the Canucks are best just to sit still and let the best player available fall into their lap.
CanucksArmy Prospect profiles of the options at 10: