Every Vancouver Canucks draft lottery scenario and the player they might pick at each spot
22 days ago
Tomorrow afternoon, Vancouver Canucks fans everywhere will grasp onto a 3% chance at Connor Bedard.
A native of North Vancouver, Bedard is a generational talent who grew up rooting for the Canucks and is no doubt part of that group of fans hoping that the lottery balls fall in favour of the Canucks tomorrow.
The NHL Draft Lottery is set for 5 PM tomorrow. Earlier this week, we went over the Canucks’ draft lottery odds in their entirety. In case you missed that, here’s a quick refresher on the Canucks’ chances at each pick.
Canucks 2023 draft lottery odds11th overall: 79.9%
12th overall: 13.4%
2nd overall: 3.2%
1st overall: 3.0%
13th overall: 0.5%
3rd overall: 0.1%
So yes, the Canucks are most likely to draft at 11th overall. But who could they be interested in selecting at each spot? Let’s examine that, in order from the highest to lowest possible pick.
1st overall: Connor Bedard and no one else
It would be the highest amount of luck ever bestowed on this organization. It would be enough to nearly take this team to consistent playoff contender status in the blink of an eye.
Simply put, having Connor Bedard on an entry-level contract for three years is something every single general manager in the league would do unspeakable things to secure if given the chance. In a flat-cap world, Bedard has potential to be the most valuable player in the league both in the short and long term.
Words really don’t do justice to explain just how much of a boost the Canucks — or any team that drafts him, for that matter — are getting to their roster construction by winning the draft lottery.
2nd overall: Adam Fantilli, maybe Leo Carlsson?
Adam Fantilli is a big body who can do it all. He’s a complete player, and to put it simply, he’s te type of player Rick Tocchet dreams of. He’s been pencilled in as the second overall pick for almost as long as Bedard’s name has been written in pen for first overall.
The interesting thing here is Leo Carlsson, a 6’3 centre out of Sweden who just put up 10 goals and 15 assists through 44 SHL games with Orebro, the same club that Canucks defence prospect Elias Pettersson plays on. Carlsson is a fantastic playmaker and certainly has star potential. If anyone other than Fantilli is going to go second overall on draft day, it’s almost certainly going to be Carlsson.
3rd overall: Carlsson or Fantilli
This is simple, really, and of course, the simplest scenario has the lowest odds of happening for the Canucks.
If the lottery balls fall and produce the outcome that has a 0.1% chance of occurring and the Canucks find themselves with the third overall pick, they’ll simply draft either Carlsson or Fantilli — whoever the team selecting ahead of them at second didn’t draft.
11th overall: Matvei Michkov, David Reinbacher, Axel Sandin Pellikka, Dalibor Dvorsky, Andrew Cristall, Eduard Sale, Ryan Leonard, Brayden Yager, Matthew Wood
As you can see, there are a lot of names here. This draft has a somewhat clear top five, then a drop off where the rest of the draft order is a bit of a crapshoot.
At 11th overall, it’s very possible that the Canucks find both of this draft’s top defencemen still on the board. Axel Sandin Pellikka and David Reinbacher are both right shot defencemen who are ranked very closely on nearly every major draft board.
Reinbacher has the size advantage at 6’2 and would be coming to Abbotsford next year if the Canucks manage to draft him. Sandin Pellikka, on the other hand, stands at 5’11 and will likely spend some more seasons in the SHL before coming over to North America. Sandin Pellika put up solid numbers in the Swedish J20 league, while Reinbacher put up better numbers in the highest level of play in Switzerland.
Our resident prospect guru Chris Faber likes Reinbacher more at this spot, and wrote at length about the Austrian defenceman’s game here. Faber even goes as far as saying that he thinks Reinbacher could be Quinn Hughes’ partner by the end of next season, should the Canucks draft him.
If the Canucks don’t want to go with a right shot defenceman in this spot, there are plenty of forwards who will be available, the most interesting of which has to be Matvei Michkov.
Michkov was once considered as a lock for a top three spot in the draft, but after signing a contract with SKA that will keep him in the KHL until 2026, there is some uncertainty of just how many teams will be turned away from drafting the Russian winger, who has pretty undeniable star potential.
It’s unlikely he slips all the way to 11th, but if he’s there, the Canucks likely won’t hesitate in going up to draft him.
Another forward the Canucks could be interested in is Nanaimo-born 6’4 centre Matthew Wood, who was one point shy of a point-per-game pace in his rookie season with the University of Connecticut. Other centres who could be available are the Slovakian-born Dalbibor Dvorsky, who has been playing in Sweden the past two seasons; Brayden Yager of the WHL; and Ryan Leonard out of the US Development Program. Some winger options should be available around this spot as well, including Burnaby-born Andrew Cristall, who put up 39 goals and 56 assists through 54 games played with the Kelowna Rockets this past season.
Eduard Sale could be another name to keep an eye on when it comes to wingers, as most draft rankings have him going toward the back of the top 10. Sale played with Brno Kometa in the top tier Czech league last season, putting up seven goals and seven assists through 43 games.
Unless someone falls drastically, we’d probably most like to see the Canucks go with Reinbacher at 11th overall.
12th and 13th overall: David Reinbacher, Axel Sandin Pellikka, Dalibor Dvorsky, Andrew Cristall, Eduard Sale, Ryan Leonard, Brayden Yager, Matthew Wood
Like we said, outside of the top five of the draft, it’s a bit of an unknown as to who will be available around the 6-15 mark. That being said, we can say with some degree of confidence that Matvei Michkov will be taken by 12th or 13th.
With that in mind, who the Canucks hope to select at 11th may end up being the player they take at 11th or 13th overall.
Everyone knows the real prize is the one the Canucks have a 3% shot at, and Canucks fans everywhere will be watching closely when the 2023 Draft Lottery results are revealed tomorrow at 5 PM.
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