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Faber on the clock: Drafting every pick for the Canucks at the 2023 NHL Entry Draft (Vol.1)
By Faber8 months ago
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We are going to kick off a series where we dive into one of these NHL draft simulators and see what we can get for the Canucks at the 2023 NHL Entry Draft.
DraftProspectsHockey is the site we will be using and we moved the randomness factor up to about 60%.
We will do a quick breakdown on each pick and then do a recap of the entire draft and check in on the prospect haul the Canucks could potentially receive from the 2023 draft.
Our approach for today’s simulation is going to be to take the best player available at 11, looking for high-end value with some homerun swings in the third round, and looking for value in the later rounds by going for centres or defencemen.
Let’s fire up the simulation and see what we get!
First Round (11th overall) — David Reinbacher, RD
The draft went a bit wild in this simulation. Connor Bedard went first overall, followed by Matvei Michkov, Adam Fantilli, Zach Benson, Will Smith and Leo Carlsson. We saw the next run of players go, Ryan Leonard, Dalibor Dvorsky, Colby Barlow and a big surprise with Calum Ritchie going at 10.
This meant that for the first time in 40 years, no defenceman went in the top 10 and this made for an easy pick for us at 11.
We went with 6’2″, right-shot defenceman David Reinbacher.
He’s a good puck-moving defenceman with size and good skating ability. He’s an easy pick here for the Canucks and we view him as the partner of the future for Quinn Hughes. After making the selection, we convince Reinbacher to come play in the AHL next season and the Fraser Valley is pumped to get viewings on the Canucks’ new top prospect. The development staff spends a lot of time with Reinbacher and the Canucks add Scott Niedermayer to the development team.
That’s the dream, people.
Third Round (75th overall) — Kalan Lind, C/LW
This one was another layup for the scouting department. Kalan Lind was projected as a late first-round pick before the season and due to some injuries, he slid down to the Canucks at 75th overall, giving the Canucks content team a prime opportunity in their draft video as Patrik Allvin looks over to Todd Harvey and says, “why isn’t anyone taking Kalan Lind?”
Lind is a left-shot centre who did spend some time on the wing this past season. The development staff would work with the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL to make sure that Lind is playing centre next season and we watch as he puts up a ridiculously strong draft plus one season.
He’s one of the grittiest players in the draft and pisses off the opposition more than anyone picked in the first two rounds of the draft.
We’re very happy with Lind at 75th overall and now have knocked off a right-shot defenceman as well as a centre with our first two picks.
Third Round (89th overall) — Gavin McCarthy, RD
We’re back on the clock and we are back with another right-shot defenceman — selecting Gavin McCarthy out of the USHL.
McCarthy is a 6’1″ defenceman who has good hands for a defenceman and is willing to throw down and play tough in any situation.
McCarthy is off to Boston University next season and we will be sure to get Mike Komisarek working with him as he makes the adjustment to NCAA hockey. McCarthy had eight goals and 19 assists in 42 USHL games last year with the Muskegon Lumberjacks.
We hope to see him develop into a physical right-shot defenceman in the NCAA as he takes another step towards pro hockey.
Fourth Round (105th overall) — Dylan MacKinnon, RD
We’re never going to apologize for drafting right-shot defencemen who have size and can skate.
And that’s exactly what we do with our first pick in the fourth round by selecting 6’2″ Dylan 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.
We watch MacKinnon grow into a true number one in the QMJHL and hope to see him use his shot more and score double-digit goals next season.
Fourth Round (107th overall) — Hoyt Stanley, RD
DJ Khalid would be proud because we are taking ANOTHER ONE.
With our second pick in the fourth round, we went with the 6’2″, right-shot defenceman Hoyt Stanley out of the BCHL. Stanley played this past year with the Victoria Grizzlies and scored four goals while adding 34 assists in 53 BCHL games. Stanley is off to Cornell in the NCAA next season and he will need to make an adjustment to the higher level of play in the NCAA.
Stanley is great with the puck on his stick. He moves extremely well with possession at the blue line and has a pro look to his point shot.
We’re very happy to land the West Vancouver-born defenceman with the 107th pick and the prospect pipeline is beginning to fill up with big, right-shot defenceman who can skate and move the puck.
Fourth Round (119th overall) — Zeb Forsfjäll, C
It’s time to take a homerun swing and we will really good about taking that swing on Swedish centre Zeb Forsfjäll.
Forsfjäll is undersized at 5’9″ but he brings a lot of offensive upside and will likely be in the SHL as an 18-year-old next season.
We like Forsfjäll due to his willingness to go to the dirty areas and use his good hand-eye coordination around the net. He’s not going to overpower anyone but he is quick and has a great release on his wrist shot. If he continues to develop as a centre, we like him with a big swing in the fourth round — especially after drafting two solid right-shot defenceman with our first two fourth-round picks.
Sixth Round (171st overall) — Axel Landén, RD
One more for the road.
We pick right-shot defenceman Axel Landén out of Sweden due to his physical nature on the ice and his above-average puck-handling.
We round out the draft by going with another right-shot defenceman with size. Landén is confident with the puck and has a good base to become a Radko Gudas type player once he grows into an adult. This is a kid who is confident in his own game and stepped up his physicality for Sweden at the U18s.
Here’s what we wrote about him a couple of weeks ago.
Axel Landén played 44 games in the J20 Nationell league this past season. He had 10 goals and six assists while playing a physical brand of hockey. He loves protecting his crease, loves banging bodies in the corners and is willing to throw the big hit even though it seems like he lacks overpowering strength. He plays on emotion and if there’s any type of skirmish between the whistles, he is always the guy who is throwing the most punches and never backing down.
He’s a player who probably slides into the sixth or seventh round and we like the motor on this kid. He’s a nice late-round add to the prospect pipeline.
Reviewing the haul
We come out of the 2023 draft with five right-shot defencemen and two centres.
This is a great haul for the prospect pool and though we didn’t have a lot to work with in the first two rounds, we feel like we got a lot of value by drafting Kalan Lind at 75th overall and like that we were able to get on a nice run of right-shot defenceman between the 89th, 105th, and 107th picks.
The riskiest pick of the draft had to be Zeb Forsfjäll but though he lacks size, he is just such a pest in the offensive zone and has a lot of skill to go with his aggressiveness. We took a swing there but at the time of the draft, already had drafted four defencemen.
Overall, we feel really good about this draft. We were able to address the weakest parts of the Canucks’ prospect pool and did it with only one big swing while the other six picks felt pretty easy.
We will do a few more of these types of draft simulations but will take a different approach. If you have any suggestions for a draft approach, let me know in the comments.
If you want to do a draft simulation for yourself, here’s the link to the website.
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