Faber on the clock: Drafting our favourite prospects with every Canucks pick at the 2023 NHL Entry Draft (Vol.4)

Photo credit:NHL.com
By Faber
9 months ago
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We are now just one day away from round one of the NHL Entry Draft.
Over the past few weeks, we have run through FCHockey’s draft simulator. We’ve gone heavy on defence, taken some swings, and focused on size and skill.
Today, we will be doing the best possible haul that we can get from the simulator. We’re doing one final take on the simulator and plan to get the best possible haul that we can to bolster the Canucks’ prospect pool.
You know the drill by now, and if you don’t, be sure to check out our first three volumes of this exercise.
Vol. 1: Defence Heavy
Vol. 2: Homerun Swings
Vol. 3: Size & Skill
We will lean on what we’ve done in the past draft simulators as well as our work scouting prospects throughout the year.
It’s time for the ultimate draft haul.
Let’s get it!
First Round (11th overall) — Dalibor Dvorsky, C
It’s very possible that Dalibor Dvorsky is the player who slides out of the top-10 and is sitting there primed for the picking from the Vancouver Canucks.
Our draft was pretty expected through the first five, with Connor Bedard, Adam Fantilli, Leo Carlsson, Matvei Michkov, and Will Smith being the high five of the 2023 draft. After that, Zach Benson went sixth and then we saw a pair of right-shot defencemen go back to back with David Reinbacher at seven and Axel Sandin Pellikka at eight. Otto Stenberg went to the Red Wings at nine and Eduard Sale rounded out the top-10.
This left us with our top options being Colby Barlow, Ryan Leonard, Oliver Moore, Dmitri Simashev and Dalibor Dvorsky.
As much as we like Barlow and Leonard, we are really looking for a player type of need and both of those wingers will be solid NHLers but we like the left-shot centre to be able to become a top-six centre one day very soon.
Dvorsky is a 6’1″, left-shot centre who plays a power forward role and scores a ton of goals by way of his willingness to go to the net hard on top of his high-end finishing ability.
Dvorsky has signed a contract to play in the SHL next season after putting up six goals in 38 Allsvenskan games while also being a goal-per-game player in the top Swedish junior league.
We can see Dvorsky being ready for the NHL after one more season in Sweden. He will be challenged in the SHL as the highest league he has played in is the Allsvenskan League. You’re getting your answer for the 3C of the future and if Dvorsky hits as many of us project, you could easily see J.T. Miller sliding to the wing or keeping him at centre and loading up three lines with goal-scoring centremen.
We love the scoring but also like the defensive smarts in Dvorsky’s game. He is a possession hound in the neutral zone and explodes with the puck when he gains possession. The best part of his game has to be the aggressive physicality that he plays with. He is a bull in the corners and uses his strength in the defensive zone as well. Dvorsky can fit in on multiple places on the power play and showcased how dominant he can be at the U18s.
We love this addition to the prospect pool and it’s about time the Canucks drafted a centre or a defenceman in the first round. Dvorsky would be far and above every other prospect in the Canucks’ pipeline and isn’t far away from making his NHL debut.
Third Round (75th overall) — Dylan MacKinnon, RD
To be honest, we are picking for position here. Dylan MacKinnon was the best available right-shot defenceman remaining in the draft for us. We had a chance to draft Cam Allen, who was looked at as a top defenceman in this draft before the season began.
Instead of going with the smaller Allen, we decided to go with the big and tough MacKinnon out of the QMJHL.
MacKinnon had six goals and 17 assists in 61 games with the Halifax Mooseheads last season and was a big part of the Mooseheads’ run to the QMJHL finals, where they lost to the Memorial Cup-winning Quebec Ramparts. The hope is that MacKinnon can grow into a true number-one defenceman in the QMJHL next season and will continue to dominate the opposition in the corners.
His profile is exactly what we want in the Canucks’ pipeline and MacKinnon still has a lot of room to grow his game. He plays a tough and physical game but the question will be if he is able to translate his skill to the pro level. We are pretty sure he will be able to immediately make the jump into the AHL after his CHL career concludes and once he gets into an AHL organization, that’s where we want to groom his game into the type of defenceman who can provide solid work on the penalty kill and physically dominate at even-strength.
Another feather in MacKinnon’s hat is his mobility. The big defenceman glides around the ice and the combination of his physicality along with his pace is what gets us excited about this player. We don’t see him becoming a scoring threat in the NHL but he projects as a solid support defenceman who could have some top-four upside if he gets partnered up on the right type of defence duo.
There are a lot of similarities to the Canucks’ last third-round pick with Elias Pettersson. The raw skills are there and if MacKinnon takes a jump in his draft plus one year like D-Petey did, we’d be very excited about his arrival to the AHL.
Third Round (89th overall) — Andrew Gibson, RD
Let’s take another swing on a right-shot defenceman with size. Andrew Gibson is another physical right-shot defenceman in this class and we like that he might be playing alongside Canucks prospect Kirill Kudryavtsev in the OHL with the Soo Greyhounds.
My thoughts on Gibson in a previous article:
Even though Canada had a poor performance at the U18s, Gibson showed decently well as he was given more and more ice time as the tournament went on. His first four games at the U18s saw him average 14:37 of ice time and his final four games saw him average 20:43 of ice time per game, including his final game of the U18s seeing him get 25:05 of ice time in a 4-3 win over Slovakia. He’s a staple on the penalty kill for his OHL team as well as Canada’s U18 team back in April.
Gibson’s profile is something to get excited about but he’s not likely to be the player that shows up on many highlight reels. We’re looking at a lunchpail kind of defenceman who works hard, plays his position well and uses his size and strength to dominate in the corners. If he can figure out how to evolve his game well from the OHL into pro hockey and just improve on his pace a bit, we will be looking at a nice third-round pick-up for the Canucks.
This pick helps address the Canucks’ biggest need in their prospect pool. We will be picking more right-shot defencemen as this draft goes on.
Fourth Round (105th overall) — Hoyt Stanley, RD
Let’s go get another one. Hoyt Stanley is a 6’3″, right-shot defenceman out of the BCHL who is on his way to Cornell next season.
Stanley grew up playing minor hockey with the likes of Connor Bedard, Zach Benson, Andrew Cristall, and the rest of the top British Columbia-born players in this draft. Stanley plays a physical game and has above-average skating, especially for a player his size. He recently went through a huge growth spurt and is starting to learn how to play even more physical with his 6’3″ size. He had to learn the skill parts of being a defenceman when he was only 5’7″ and now takes those skills into his new and improved frame — in a similar way to a basketball player who grew up as a guard but transitioned to forward when they grew a bunch in their later teen years.
We had a great chat and wrote a whole profile on Stanley last week. I highly recommend checking that out if you like this player.
He grew up a Canucks fan and it would be a dream come true to be selected by the Canucks. I say make it happen. We’d be ecstatic if Stanley falls out of the top-100 of this draft and can see it happening as BCHLers who aren’t in the elite tier typically slide on day two of the draft.


Fourth Round (107th overall) — Rodwin Dionicio, LD
Let’s go get the best coverage player available in the 2023 draft.
Dionicio is a big and strong, two-way, left-shot defenceman who leans a bit more to the offensive side of things after showcasing himself with 11 goals and 32 assists in 33 OHL games this past season. One big worry in his game is his defence of the rush. He doesn’t move well when he’s skating backwards but does have a good stick when the attacker comes within his reach. He will need to re-invent his skating technique to one day become an NHL player. For now, he has a floor of being a tough guy in the AHL and valuable defence prospect depth. We expect to see Dionicio go somewhere in the 80-120 range of the draft. His profile is certainly something that teams will be looking for.
We will take him here at 107 and see him in the AHL at the end of the season. It’s a fast track for the re-entry into the draft.
His offence took off this past season, Dionicio put up 15 goals and 35 assists to be a point-per-game player in his 50 OHL games.
He’s also a certified DAWG for this celebration at the World Junior Championships.
Expect him to be a massive part of Switzerland’s WJC team this December.
Fourth Round (119th overall) — Dominik Petr, C
Oh man, we really wanted to go with Aydar Suniev here but decided to go with the centre instead of the winger.
Dominik Petr is a 6’2″ centre who has a lot of room to grow. He’s raw but he skates hard, forecheck like a demon and is capable of throwing some big hits even if he is still only 165 pounds. Once he fills out, he has the intelligence and finishing skills to be something special.
Petr struggled in the Finnish U20 league this past season but showed extremely well during his international play.
Here’s what we said about Petr in a recent article:
Petr moves decently well once he is up to speed but his stride makes you believe that the right skating coach can find another gear in his game or perhaps he just needs to add strength to his lower body before he can find that next gear. He’s lanky and is listed at just 165 pounds but his best trait is keeping his stick on the ice around the crease and being quick enough to win battles for the puck in high-danger areas.
We look at him as a candidate to join an AHL team as a teenager and this would give an AHL development team a challenge to get the best out of this raw talent. He’s more of a fourth-round option for us and we see him going in the 95-140 range of the draft. Petr showed well in the U18s, with two goals and two assists in four games. He’s got good instincts but just needs a lot of development over the next couple of seasons. The size and willingness to go to the dirty areas are nice and you hope that he continues to develop as a centre.
There may be a fit for him to develop in the AHL and we like that. Maybe one more season in Europe or two if he makes the jump to Liiga or the SHL.
Sixth Round (171st overall) — Terrell Goldsmith, LD
A lot of scouting sites don’t really have anything on Terrell Goldsmith but he is a beast of a left-shot defenceman out of the WHL. He stands at 6’4″ and comes in at over 220 pounds.
The kid is tough. Maybe the toughest in the 2023 draft.

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This may be one of the diamonds in the rough of the 2023 draft and no matter the case, you’re getting some toughness and size on the backend of your prospect pool. Goldsmith isn’t going to be flashy but he swallows up opposing forwards in the corners and has good reach with his stick. He takes away passing lanes as he closes in to deliver massive hits on the boards.
He was one of the top performers at the draft combine and feels like a solid pick this late in the draft.
We could have gone with some offensively gifted wingers in this spot but we believe the prospect pool is full of those long-shot skill guys like Lucas Forsell, Danila Klimovich, Aidan McDonough, Linus Karlsson, etc.
Looking back at our haul, we drafted two skilled centres with size out of Europe, two left-shot defencemen with different profiles out of the CHL, and three right-shot defencemen, playing in Canada, who are 6’2″ or taller.
This would bolster the prospect pool with size, skill, and toughness. The thing we like about all of our picks is that there isn’t really a player, aside from Goldsmith, with questions about his skating. All of our drafted players are 6’2″ or taller aside from our first-rounder and we filled a lot of the holes in the prospect pool with some big bodies.
Looking back at our other three runs through the draft simulator, this is by far our favourite.
This would be a tremendous haul for the Canucks and this type of haul is possible if the scouting staff is able to stick to drafting centres and defencemen while keeping size and skating on the top of their minds.
Day one (round one) of the NHL Entry Draft begins on Wednesday at 4:00 pm Pacific Time with day two (rounds 2-7) kicking off at 8:00 am Pacific Time on Thursday.
See you there!

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