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New behind-the-scenes video shows Canucks explored trading down at 2023 NHL Draft
By Mike Gould7 months ago
In an unusual twist, exactly zero trades occurred during the first round of the 2023 NHL Draft in Nashville last month. But a new video posted by the Vancouver Canucks shows that they at least considered making a move back on June 28.
The Canucks shared a 2023 NHL Draft edition of their “All Access” video series to Twitter on Thursday. At approximately the 2:45 mark of the video below, Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin is seen asking Todd Harvey, Vancouver’s director of amateur scouting, for his opinion on moving down from pick No. 11.
“Let’s just see what this pick is,” Allvin is seen saying, as NHL commissioner Gary Bettman calls the St. Louis Blues up to the podium to make pick No. 10. St. Louis snagged Slovak center Dalibor Dvorsky with their selection.
Shortly thereafter, Canucks assistant general manager Derek Clancy is heard telling Allvin and Co.: “I mean, you go two more back I hope he’s there. I don’t think that he’s there.” (The Buffalo Sabres possessed pick No. 13).
Clancy was clearly referring to Swedish defenceman Tom Willander, who was the Canucks’ main target all along leading up to the draft. They ended up remaining at No. 11 and getting their guy.
The video also shows part of the Canucks’ interview process with Willander, a six-foot-one, right-handed defenceman out of the Rögle BK in Sweden. Willander is seen answering a question from Harvey about switching to playing defence after being a winger in his youth days.
Shortly after Willander leaves the interview, Canucks assistant general manager Cammi Granato is seen smiling and surreptitiously telling one of her colleagues: “He’s a beauty.”
With the benefit of hindsight, it’s unclear whether the two teams slotted immediately after the Canucks in the first round would’ve taken Willander had they traded down. At No. 12, the Arizona Coyotes selected Loko Yaroslavl winger Daniil But; Buffalo nabbed Winnipeg Ice forward Zach Benson at No. 13.
In additition to Willander, the Canucks selected defenseman Hunter Brzustewicz, defenseman Sawyer Mynio, centre Ty Mueller, winger Vilmer Alriksson, centre Matthew Perkins, and defenseman Aiden Celebrini at the 2023 NHL Draft.
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