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2024 midterm Vancouver Canucks prospect rankings: #8 Sawyer Mynio, and #7 Kirill Kudryavtsev

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Photo credit:@ohlhoundpower on IG
Dave Hall
1 month ago
Last week, we launched our 2024 midterm Vancouver Canucks prospect rankings, with Cole McWard and Lucas Forsell coming in at 10th and 9th, respectively.
We’re continuing our rankings with back-to-back defencemen in our number-eight and seven spots this week.

# 8. Sawyer Mynio

Position: Defenceman
Handedness: Left
Height/Weight: 6-foot-1, 192-pounds
Sawyer Mynio, a 6-foot-1 left-shot defenceman for the Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL), has emerged as one of this organization’s most intriguing prospects. Despite ranking eighth on our current prospect list this year, there is a real shot at him improving his standing over the next year or so.
In his draft year, Mynio played in the shadows behind a few prominent defencemen: current Chicago Blackhawks rookie Kevin Korchinski and the Nashville Predators’ Luke Prokop. Mynio showcased strong defensive acumen as a lower-minute defender, finishing the season with an impressive plus-50 rating.
His offensive contributions were limited (5 goals, 26 assists) and did not help his draft stock, which ranked quite low by industry standards. Some outlets did not even have him ranked. Others, like Central Scouting, for example, ranked Mynio 62nd overall among North American skaters.
As a result, some were taken aback to hear his name called with the 85th pick in the third round. While his defensive game and shutdown ability were intriguing, was it enough to warrant such a—by industry expectation—early pick?
Well, he’s now navigating his draft-plus-one season and passing with flying colours, and we are beginning to see what the Canucks scouting team saw in him.
He has shouldered significant responsibilities for the Thunderbirds this season, playing heavy minutes across all situations. Known for his aggressive defensive play, he’s become a key penalty killer and a quarterback for the top power play unit.
Of course, the Seattle Thunderbirds have taken a huge step back this season—and we mean huge. After back-to-back trips to the WHL finals, including a win in one, the team lost most of their heavy hitters. Their entire roster was turned over, leaving Mynio with a huge bag to fill. Six of the Thunderbirds’ top-ten producers in the 2022-23 season moved on to greener pastures in the offseason. Mynio went from the 11th-most points on the 2022-23 team to the second-most points on this current iteration of the T-birds.
With a game built on an aggressive shut-door approach, he’s not afraid to put his body on the line, both in front of pucks and through bodies, playing smart, relatively mistake-free hockey.
While his defensive game was already quite sharp, what’s particularly impressive is his offensive improvement, highlighted by a booming release.
This powerful shot has become vital to the Thunderbirds’ power play. Mynio has been utilized as the triggerman on the team’s top unit, thanks to his heavy one-timer that has produced nine of his 12 goals. On top of a heavy shot, he’s shown an ability to make intelligent reads and quality scans to deliver effective passes.
In 51 games, he has already shattered his previous career high and is now working with 12 goals and 41 points on the season–good for second on the entire Thunderbirds roster. His 12 goals share the sixth spot among all WHL defenders, while his 41 points sit 12th.
With back-to-back WHL Finals appearances, he has experience in big games, and this newfound addition of offensive flair makes him an intriguing prospect to watch moving forward.
At 19 years old, he will likely remain with the Thunderbirds for another season until he is eligible for the AHL ranks. Jeremy Hanzel, the Thunderbirds’ top-producing defender, is set to age out, paving the way for Mynio to take over the team’s blueline.
Ceiling: Bottom four defender. Mynio has surprised us with his smooth skating, booming shot, and aggressive defensive play. Given his natural ability to kill penalties and everything else mentioned, there is solid reason to be intrigued by his upside.
Floor: Top four AHL defender. At the very least, he’s on track for a seamless transition to the professional ranks and should be able to contribute to an AHL defensive corps.
ETA: He will return for another year in the WHL, with the ability to turn pro by next spring (2024-25). We anticipate two years of development after transitioning to pro before competing for a roster spot.

# 7. Kirill Kudryavtsev

Position: Defenceman
Handedness: Left
Height/Weight: 6-foot, 201-pounds
Kirill Kudryavtsev is one of the two seventh-round “gems” on our list, the other being Lucas Forsell, who came in at number nine.
The difference? Kudryavtsev could play pro games as soon as next season.
His shine began last season–his draft-plus-one year–when he jumped out of the gate with an incredible 50-point performance in 67 games, placing him 11th among OHL defencemen scoring. Not bad for an 18-year-old taken 208th overall.
The Greyhounds were not considered a strong team, so he shouldered much of the team’s offence, finishing with over double the points of the second-highest-scoring defender on the team.
Despite a more balanced defensive corps this year, Kudryavtsev finds himself in a familiar role. He continues to anchor the team’s top special team units, playing over 20 minutes every night.
With 42 points, he’s on pace to match his point totals from last year (50).
Although we haven’t seen an increase in production, we have been impressed with his ability to grow the rest of his toolkit, focusing on becoming an all-around, two-way defender.
While there are always elements to work on, he has proven to be a sturdy defenceman with an active stick, capable of playing a shutdown role. He has blossomed into a strong “Swiss Army knife” type of defender, showing strong skating, hockey IQ, and aggressiveness.
He’s transformed his plus/minus rating from a minus-15 last year to a plus-28 through 2023-24. While some of this improvement can be credited to a stronger team around him, it’s an excellent representation of his growth with increased ice time. He currently ranks eighth among all OHL defenders in this category.
Ceiling: Bottom four defender. He has the entire package: good skating, a strong shot, great vision, and strong defensive skills. Additionally, he is a serviceable lead on both special team units. Now, it’s time for him to take that and apply that growth to the professional ranks.
Floor: Top four AHL defender. Our two defenders today find themselves on similar trajectories. Both can play special teams, both have some offensive flair, and both play solid two-way games. With his foundation, Kudryavtsev should blossom into a serviceable top-four AHL’er.
ETA: Technically, he is eligible to make the jump as soon as his 2023-24 season is complete. Unfortunately, with his team already clinched into the playoffs, the timeline may not work. If we don’t see him in Abbotsford during their playoff run this year, we can definitely expect him there next season. We anticipate two years of development in the AHL before competing for an NHL roster spot.

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