Canucks Director of Scouting Todd Harvey on draft haul: “We had guys rated pretty high that were there for us”

Photo credit:© Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Paterson
12 days ago
The Vancouver Canucks didn’t have many chips to play at the National Hockey League Draft in Las Vegas this weekend. But unlike many who visit Sin City, the hockey club feels it’s leaving town richer than when it arrived.
Canucks Director of Scouting Todd Harvey believes the club maximized its limited draft capital by adding three forwards and a pair of defencemen to the prospect stable.
“We’re really excited how the draft played out for us,” Harvey told Canucks.com.
It was clear the Canucks were shooting for offensive upside with their first three selections in this year’s draft, taking Swedish winger Melvin Fernstrom in the third round and Ontario Hockey Leaguers Riley Patterson and Anthony Romani with subsequent picks. Patterson, a centre from Barrie, went in the fourth round, while Romani, a right winger from North Bay, was taken with the first of two sixth-round picks the Canucks had in this draft.
When you’re an organization that lacks elite prospects in the system due to the volume of draft capital traded away in recent years, it makes sense to aim high in the middle rounds. The Canucks philosophy this weekend – at least with their first few picks – appears to have been to identify players that can produce offensively, even if they have areas of their game that will require attention in order to make the jump to the next level. 
Without a first or second-rounder this year, the Canucks are playing the long game with players drafted today. There’s no pressure on any of these picks to pay immediate dividends. So the Canucks did what they could to find players that had the sorts of offensive profiles they were looking for. 
“Obviously you look where our picks were, but we had guys rated pretty high that were there for us and that made us really excited,” Harvey explained. “I couldn’t be happier with the way it played out here on the draft floor today.”
The Canucks used their final two picks of the draft to add a pair of defencemen: Parker Alcos in the sixth round and Basile Sansonnens in the seventh. Alcos is a right-shot blueliner with the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings, while Sansonnens is a left-hander from the Swiss Junior League.
None of the players selected today will do much to significantly alter the Canucks prospect rankings. At this point, they project as depth pieces. The hope, as always, is that the hockey club can now polish these prospects to help them shine. That process will start on Monday with the team’s annual summer development camp at UBC.
“Our development staff does a fantastic job,” Harvey said. “We’re going to have a camp here, the kids are going to come in and they’re going to learn. And they’re going take from the camp what they need to back to their club teams and it’s going to make them better. And obviously they’re in contact throughout the season all the time and making sure they’re playing the right way and doing the right things to make themselves better.”
Like all NHL teams, the Canucks leave Las Vegas with a sense of optimism about what they were able to accomplish in the draft. They added three pieces with offensive upside and a pair of defensive defencemen. 
Given the limited nature of the picks they had in this draft, the Canucks expectations had to be kept in check. But they feel like they managed to make the most of their five selections. And in a few years, we’ll know whether they made the right decisions. For now, it’s about helping the players they picked become the best players they can be. Difference makers? Probably not. But there’s certainly reason to think that at least a few of these players can one day earn a shot to play in Vancouver.

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