6 excellent options for the Canucks and their 41st overall pick in the NHL Draft
By Faber1 year ago
The second round of the draft is set to begin at 8 AM PST on Saturday morning.
There are plenty of exciting options for the Canucks, who will have the ninth pick of day two at the draft. There’s a lot of pressure on the Canucks to snag a top-tier prospect with their second-round pick after they traded away their 2021 first-round pick and 2022 second-round pick for Conor Garland and Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
So let’s get into who fell out of the first round and who looks to be a top target for the Canucks and their second-round pick.
1. Logan Stankoven
His size is likely the reason he fell out of the first round and that’s a shame. Logan Stankoven is a play driving centre/winger who looks like he is shot out of a cannon as soon as he jumps off the bench. He has the high-level scoring ability teams are looking for and plays much bigger than his 5’8″ height.
Stankoven is a local WHL kid out of Kamloops and makes so much sense for the Canucks if they want to add a scoring threat to their prospect pipeline. He was ranked in the first round of every single major outlets’ rankings except for Craig Button of TSN, who has him at #46.
Anyone who is from Kamloops, or follows the WHL knows how much of an impact this kid can have on a game. He goes to the net hard, has excellent hands and doesn’t shy away from contact. I saw him at a Vancouver Giants game back in 2019 as a 16-year-old when he buried a goal in a game at the LEC and had me making sure to circle back as the 2021 NHL Entry Draft approached. You could tell in warmup that this kid was special in how he moved around with the puck.
I was told by many scouts that he wouldn’t make it out of the first round but knew that his size made him a possible faller to the Canucks at #41.
We will have to wait and see if he gets to the Canucks at #41 and if the Canucks can find something to move around, they should even consider moving up in the draft to select him.
2. Olen Zellweger
Another impressive WHL kid, Olen Zellweger is a left-shot defenceman who skates at an elite level compared to every player selected in the first round. He is 5’10” and is a left-shot defenceman but is likely the best defenceman still available after day one of the draft.
He’s got a couple of years to develop in the WHL before likely coming to the AHL for a season or two of development. He will be a player who you are excited to call up from your farm team in three years.
3. Simon Robertsson
The Swedish winger makes a lot of sense for the Canucks with his thick frame, strong effort level and wicked wrist shot.
EliteProspect’s director of film scouting, Cam Robinson, has Simon Robertsson as his top-ranked player available after day one of the draft. Cam had him ranked 16th coming into the draft.
Robertsson has a strong and accurate wrist shot that helped him put up nine goals in 15 J20 Nationell games this past season before the league shut down and he was called up to the SHL for 22 games. He didn’t have great numbers in the SHL with only two points in said 22 games but he had a lot of that Nils Höglander motor to him. He is all over the ice on the forecheck and uses his stick well when attacking a puck carrier.
If he continues to develop his already excellent shot, he’s got a really good chance of being an NHL player.
He can really score from anywhere on the ice.
4. Aatu Raty
After being the consensus number one pick just 18 months ago, Finnish winger Aatu Raty has officially dropped out of the first round. His fall from number one has come from a lacklustre 2019-20 season that was followed by a weak second season in the Finnish Liiga.
He’s got talent but it seems like there may be some major pieces to iron out in his game to believe that he can be an NHL player. His size and skating are impressive but the offensive outburst that he showed as a 16-year-old in a U20 league has gone missing.
He’s going to take some work but could be a nice value scoop for the Canucks at #41.
It’s a big swing for a Canucks team that needs to get some value out of their top pick at the 2021 draft.
5. Scotty Morrow
We’ve been talking about him for a while now. Scotty Morrow is the 6’3″ right-shot defenceman who will take a couple of years in the NCAA to develop his game after playing high school hockey at Shattuck.
Morrow is expected to be there for the Canucks to take at #41. He is an offensive defenceman with a big body and a bright future. Morrow skates well but told CanucksArmy that he wants his skating ability to be the area he improves on the most this offseason.
He has a chance to develop his defensive game next season as he faces a massive test when he makes the jump to NCAA hockey. If you’re looking for the top defenceman with size still available, Morrow is your guy.
6. Samu Tuomaala
One of the best scorers in the 2021 NHL entry draft is Finnish right-winger Samu Tuomaala.
This clip was the one that made me take notice of him. He outworks everyone on the ice for 30 seconds before getting a scoring chance off from the point.
He skates at a great pace but his shot and love of driving the net is the exciting part of his game. He’s another great option for the Canucks if they are drafting for the best player available.
3 Extra Names
Cole Jordan: 6’2″ left-shot defenceman from the WHL who is an excellent skater that happens to have size as well.
Francesco Pinelli: A playmaking centre who showed well at the U18s, he is an above-average skater whose strength is his brain and passing ability
Sasha Pastujov: The USNTDP leading scorer with 65 points in 41 games. He is ranked 36th by Bob McKenzie and a scout told me it’s a shame he is a below-average skater because every other part of his game projects into the NHL.
So, here we go. Day two of the NHL draft kicks off at 8 AM PST.
Let’s see what the Canucks can do.
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