WDYTT: Your favourite Canuck, past and present

Photo credit:© Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Stephan Roget
2 years ago
Welcome back to WDYTT, the only hockey column on the internet to sometimes have its intros edited in mildly awkward fashion.
We’re gonna level with you. We’re running out of ideas. It’s already been a long offseason, and it hasn’t even officially begun. These, the days between the end of the playoffs and the restorative cycle of drafts and free agency, are truly the dog days of Canucks hockey.
And we’re not talking about Phoebe Stecher.
With nothing actually happening other than the super-boring reveal of the Abbotsford Canucks (any name submitted to the WDYTT from a few weeks ago would have been better), there just isn’t much to talk about.
So, we could beat our heads against the wall and ask another entirely speculative question, or we could do what any good team does to break out of doldrums, and get back to the basics.
The following sounds like a couple of simple questions, but we’re pretty sure they’re ones we haven’t asked — at least, not since the dawning of the Roget era.
But just to ensure we’re keeping up with our intellectual standard here, we’ll also throw in an optional twist to really make you think and ponder.
This week, we’re asking:

Who is your favourite current Vancouver Canuck, and who is your favourite of the past?

Brain Bonus: What trait or attribute do those two players share, and what does that say about you?

Chew on that!
Last week, we asked:

How would you use the Canucks’ 9th overall pick? 

Your gameplans are below!
If I was Benning, I would play to my strengths and keep the 9th pick, especially as the prospect pipeline is depleted with the loss of two picks last year and one the year before that.
Here is my order of preference for the 9th pick, showing only the players I think have a realistic chance of being available. I’m only showing Edvinsson because he seems to have fallen on some ranking lists. I’m also having trouble choosing between Lysell and McTavish, as Lysell seems to have more skill, but his stats are less impressive than McTavish’s.
Here goes: 1. Edvinsson 2. Johnson 3. Lysell/McTavish
This is tough. If I break it down, there’s three categories of players we should consider.
Players who will mostly likely be drafted by #9:
Owen Power
Matthew Beniers
Brandt Clarke
Luke Hughes
Simon Edvinsson
Players 50/50 to be gone:
William Eklund
Kent Johnson
Dylan Guenther
Mason McTavish
Players who will mostly likely be there:
Fabian Lysell
Fedor Svechkov
Cole Sillinger
Assuming the first five are gone, we would be able to get the left over of Eklund, Johnson, and McTavish. Ranking them, McTavish is the best for sure, then I’d go Guenther, with Eklund/Johnson — though ranked higher by Central Scouting — interchangeable for me with the next group on the list. So, the preference would be McTavish or Guenther. That being said, watching Lysell, while he has a little more “bust” factor to him, wow, is he skilled. He’s super exciting to watch and I’d lean more towards seeing him as a star player than a bust, but that risk factor is there. He’s probably the player I’m most interested in seeing develop over a few years. I think he’ll be the guy who teams will regret not picking. With Svechkov, the guy just plays every level of the game well and while he may not be a superstar type player, I think he’s a lock to be at least a great second line center or good first liner player. He seems destined to be a captain for a team at some point. He and Sillinger would fit roles for us that we need for sure, and I have little doubt they will be solid NHLers. I just think Svechkov has the higher ceiling.
This draft, like the 2017 draft, is thought to be a weaker draft with no real franchise players. Benning and team killed it at that draft. If Benning has some real insights to the players that differs from the consensus, it might be really valuable to trade down a few spots and get some additional picks. For example, if Benning has someone like Fedor Svechkov in his top-nine, he may still be available at 13.
Defenceman Factory:
It is not a sound strategy to lock in right now on what to do with the 9th overall pick. The pick is in play and stays that way right up until it is time to make the selection. There are teams who will have cap issues which remain unsolved by the Expansion Draft. The Canucks’ greatest need is a solid NHL-proven RHD. The right player should be no older than 26, preferably an RFA. It would be perfect if it was announced on the draft floor the Canucks had traded the pick for Cernak.
The Canucks should buy out Holtby and Virtanen the first day the buyout period opens up (24 hours after the finals end). They must have the cap room to make the right move. A player like Ryan Pulock could be re-signed and traded by the Islanders, which at the right AAV would be a shrewd move.
All that said, the objective isn’t to trade the pick, it is to use the asset to obtain the most valuable addition to the organization. That could most certainly be a draft selection. I just don’t know enough about prospects likely to be available to decide if the wingers are good enough to warrant not taking a centre. That should be McTavish. If as projected, he gives the Canucks’ great leverage with Horvat on his next contract. If contract demands are too high (I doubt they will be), Horvat is tradable. Ideally McTavish, earns the 3LC spot in a year and, over the next few years, Horvat moves down and McTavish centres the second line.
I’m going to be somewhat controversial here and say you trade the 9th pick for the best player available already playing as an NHL regular who can help the team positionally, such as a top RHD, where help is sorely needed. Even first rounders are not NHL sure-things, and in the wake of both JV and OJ not living up to their 6th and 5th overall draft positions, we simply can’t afford another first round “miss.” The competitive window opens in 2022/2023, and there’s a much better chance that a proven player will help the team versus the 9th pick who may not work out, need time in the AHL first, or only “half-hit” in living up to being a top-ten pick. My comments are as much a condemnation of management as anything, as there is no excuse after seven years for not having a stronger pipeline at certain key lineup positions.
Hockey Bunker:
Being an Expansion Draft year, the circumstances are unique.
If Canucks can pry a young defenseman from a team pre-draft, that’s great.
Among the Canucks most tradeable assets, the ninth pick is probably the most valuable.
So, it may come down to a trade where the pick is 2021 or ‘22 with some other conditions, so that if another vital piece was available Canucks could still get them at nine.
That’s a deal I’d consider for sure.
Keep the pick and take McTavish or Clarke if available. Enough of trading picks. See if you can sign Larsson or Savard for reasonable money.
I believe that because of the nature of the last one-and-a-half years of starts and stops of different leagues, the draft will be all over the place with at least two out-of-nowhere selections. A pretty good player should drop in the Canucks’ lap. I’m hoping a Quinn scenario happens and Clarke drops, but more likely it’s Kent Johnson.
Killer Marmot:
The Canucks have realistic shots at Clarke (RD) or Johnson (C), both of which fill pressing needs. I’d love for Hughes to fall through to 9th, but it ain’t gonna happen.
El Kabong:
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
I believe building an NHL team is like building a boat. Once you have the main section framed in and boarded, you start by fixing the leaks, then fine tuning it for performance. Right now, Jim is trying to fill in the leaks with out having a complete structure. Keep the pick, finish the frame work, and only then trade any assets to fill the holes.
I would take whomever the team’s scouts and Benning think will be the best player available when the 9th pick comes around. I would not trade down, even if the rankings differ from what Canucks have the player listed as. Trading down does not guarantee that player would be available. It would be my hope that player selected could challenge for a spot at training camp, and if they work hard, they steal the spot.
From what I have read, there could be a couple surprises if a team or two ahead of the Canucks select a goalie.
Canucks will also have the ability to get another good player with their second round pick.
I take BPA. I hope McTavish and Wallstedt are already gone. And hopefully more unexpected picks as well. That would leave us with a good D or Eklund or Guenther. Kent Johnson has great upside as well and is probably the most likely pick, IMO.
They have to keep the pick until the day of the draft. If they are going to trade the pick, it will have the most value if somebody falls that another team is desperate to have. If this happens and a blow-your-socks-off deal falls into their lap, then make the trade. Otherwise, draft the player rated most highly on the Canucks’ draft board.
Option 1: Trade the pick for Cernak and expose Myers to Seattle
Option 2: Clarke
Option 3: Edvinsson
Option 4: McTavish
Option 5: Johnson
Ragnarok Ouroboros:
I think this question is predicated on who is available when Canucks get to draft.
I think the Canucks need to try and draft a defenseman first, and if none are available, then go for a centre. There may be some higher-projected wingers that could be available, but I would definitely go for a defenseman at minimum.
So, in order of availability:
1) Brandt Clarke – Outside chance to be available
2) Matthew Beniers – Very unlikely to be available
3) Luke Hughes – Outside chance to be available
4) Simon Edvinsson – May be available
5) Mason McTavish – Likely available
6) Dylan Guenther – May be available
7) Kent Johnson – Likely available
8) William Eklund – Outside chance to be available
I don’t think the Canucks should trade their 9th overall pick at all. Any player they trade for will come with a big salary, which will be difficult to manage given the Canucks’ salary cap problem. They need to draft a cost-controlled player to help them get through salary cap hell. Benning should not try to make a trade to save his job, and then sink the team further into salary cap hell.
I’m not as high on Kent Johnson as others, mainly because he plays with Owen Power and Beniers. I think he is riding their coattails because 15 of his points were secondary assists. If you were to put me on a line with Gretzky and Lemieux, I would probably get a ton of points because all I would have to do is give one of them the puck and then sit back and wait for them to score. I’m not a talented hockey player in anyway, but I’m sure I could get a bunch of secondary assists to those guys.

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