There are a ton of options for the Vancouver Canucks to pursue in the later rounds of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft that will take place on Saturday, July 24th.
We explored seven names a few days ago and decided to dive back into the film room to find six more prospects who are expected to go late in the draft but have a few strong traits or skills that make them exciting prospects.
You know the drill, so, let’s get right into it!
Daniil Lazutin, C, 6’2″, 174 lbs
Quick Hits: The first thing that I love about Daniil Lazutin’s game is his faceoff ability. He played last season in the MHL and won a large majority of his faceoffs in the Russian junior league. He has a knack for finding loose pucks around the opposition’s goaltender and makes the most of his opportunities in close.
He’s got a big body that picks up pace in lieu of his unorthodox skating stride. He is a part of the SKA organization and there is potential to his offensive game. I expect to see him getting some of the best coaching in the world on his skating. He has a lot of raw offensive talent but lacks hockey sense and can get lost in his own zone at times.
Special Traits: Excellent in the faceoff circle, a big and strong body with lots of room to grow his game as his hockey sense is weak.
Ranks: #247 by FCHockey and #46 by NHL Central Scouting (EU Skaters)
Arvid Sundin, LW, 5’11”, 179 lbs
Quick Hits: He is one of the youngest players in the 2021 draft and while his statline may not pop off the page, his tape sure does.
Arvid Sundin does an excellent job of finding open ice through the neutral zone and is constantly moving his feet to find the same space in the offensive zone. He makes strong cuts to the net like a basketball player darting to the rim and then circles around for the next opportunity.
He possesses some breakaway speed but the more impressive trait to me is how fast he can get up to full speed and how quick he is during his turns.
Special Traits: Skates with good pace and is an annoying forechecker who often gets under the opposition’s skin.
Ranks: #94 by McKeen’s Hockey, #180 by FCHockey and #40 by NHL Central Scouting (EU Skaters)
Samuel Helenius, C, 6’6″, 201 lbs
Quick Hits: Coming in at 6’6″, Samuel Helenius is a monster of a man who skates well for his size. He gains momentum and is confident when he attacks the crease in the offensive zone. He played 54 games in Liiga last season while totalling seven goals and seven assists.
I doubt he makes it to the fifth round for the Canucks to take a late-round swing but if he falls into the second half of the fourth round, the Canucks may look to trade up for the hulking centre.
He’s not overly physical but he doesn’t shy away from contact either. When you’re that big, it’s hard to push him around but he doesn’t go out of his way to initiate contact nor does he shy away from it.
Special Traits: He’s 6’6″ and skates with pace after a slow first three steps.
Ranks: #43 by Bob McKenzie (TSN), #70 by McKeen’s Hockey, #102 by EliteProspects and #118 by FCHockey
Yaroslav Busygin, LHD (Plays RD), 6’3″, 172 lbs
Quick Hits: He is a left-shot defenceman who plays the right side. His stride is quick and smooth while also showcasing his strength as he delivered massive hits this past season in the MHL. He boasts good hand-eye coordination and played on both special teams units.
I struggled with how to evaluate his hockey IQ, so, I’ll start with the positives. There are some moves that he pulls off in the offensive zone that make you think he’s an offensive defenceman as he will chip a puck around a player and get deep before dishing to a forward around the crease. You have to like a lot of what you see from him in his own end as he does a great job of closing in on shooters and blocking a ton of shots.
Then there are the negatives. There were too many times where he was in his own zone and sent pucks right through the slot with some bad passes that found the opposition for scoring chances. He also struggles to get a good shot off in the offensive zone. He gets shots on net, but nothing felt dangerous off of his blade. He has a decent snap shot, a muffin for a wrist shot and I didn’t see enough of a full slap shot to have an opinion on it.
I liked the way he moves around in the offensive zone but he’s a little too much of a perimeter player for me which is weird because that’s not typically what you call a defenceman in the offensive zone. He just seems to struggle to get to high danger areas with the puck and that worries me. I think he’s more focused on being a defensive defenceman and his above-average skating and great physicality will help him in the defensive zone.
Special Traits: He’s big, skates well, has some elusiveness during his offensive zone time and can play both sides on defence.
Ranks: #125 by FCHockey and #34 by NHL Central Scouting (EU Skaters)
Lucas Forsell, LW, 6’0″, 165 lbs
Quick Hits: When it comes to passing, Lucas Forsell may be the best I’ve seen in this series of late-round options. He is a confident passer who makes saucer passes look easy. On top of his good passing, he has quick hands in tight and consistently fires a one-timer from the left side of his team’s power play. Forsell was one of the Swedish players who saw their J20 Nationell season be cancelled due to COVID-19 so he doesn’t have a lot of tape from this past season.
He did get to practice with the SHL team after his J20 season ended and he made it into one game where he had five shifts. He didn’t look out of place at all in those five shifts even though he was out of place over on the right wing. Forsell’s effort level in the SHL was a night and day different from his time in J20. That could have come from not playing a hockey game for over 100 days or the excitement from his SHL debut. Either way, he looked impressive in his SHL game after looking like his skating may have question marks surrounding it throughout his time in the J20 league.
Forsell plays a physical game and looks like he has a lot of room to add weight to his current 165-pound frame. Scouts will hope that he is a full-time SHL player next season and will continue to bring the high effort level. He isn’t the fastest skater but he is very agile and can maintain or gain puck possession in traffic while moving around defenders.
Special Traits: An excellent passer with good hands. He is agile but not flat-out fast.
Ranks: #143 by FCHockey and #168 by McKeen’s Hockey
Gustavs Ozolins, LD, 5’10”, 181 lbs
Quick Hits: He may not be six feet tall but he plays physical on every shift. The Latvian defenceman was a horse at the U18s and showed how good he is at making quick decisions with the puck and even sprung some 100-foot passes that had me going back for a replay.
He reminds me of the type of player that the Canucks have been targeting over the past two seasons. He makes a lot of good decisions and doesn’t make many mistakes. He’s engaged in the play at all times and has good enough hands to work a puck around a forechecker.
From what I have heard, he’s a very confident kid who also enjoys playing goaltender in his spare time on the ice.
Special Traits: A smart player who makes limited bad decisions with a motor that fans will love.
Ranks: #200 by FCHockey