We’re finally there. It’s draft week and the Vancouver Canucks hold the 15th overall selection in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.
The picks leading up to 15 will guide the Canucks to make the best decision with their first-round pick. The use of this first-round pick is crucial for the organization. The Canucks have not selected a prospect in the first round since the 2019 draft when they took Vasily Podkolzin at 10th overall.
We all see how vital Podkolzin is for the Canucks and their future goals of being a competitive team — they need to bring in more of these types of players and the first round of the NHL draft is the easiest way to add young talent.
There are plenty of decisions that will prelude the Canucks’ decision on what to do with their 15th overall pick.
Here’s what we are hearing about what the Canucks are going to do with the 15th pick in the draft.
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Trading down from 15

Readers of this website will not be surprised at all that we are once again bringing up trading down. The Canucks will need a team to be interested in trading up to 15 and the most consistently moved picks in the draft tend to be between 10-20. The overall vibe that we are getting is that the Canucks do not want to trade down unless the return makes it worthwhile.
So what does a worthwhile trade-down look like?
There are two spots that we are keying in on for the Canucks to trade down.
First off, there’s the host team of the NHL draft — the Montreal Canadiens. The Canadiens possess the 26th pick in the first round, and the first pick of the second round (33rd overall). This could be a trade-down option that has the Canucks selecting what they believe are two first-round talents.
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The Canadiens are loaded in this draft and have a ton of options to make move. They have two second-round picks, three third-round picks, and three fourth-round picks. If the Canucks are looking to capitalize on adding quantity to their prospect pool, trading down to 26th in the draft and adding a bevy of picks from the Canadiens could be the way to go. Montreal will be looking to make a big splash as hosts of the draft and after making the first overall pick, they may look to move up to 15 and win day one of the draft.
Another option is the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks have the 22nd pick in the draft and moving down seven spots from 15th overall should bring back at least another second-round pick for the Canucks to fill the hole in their 2022 draft.
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Anaheim has the 10th pick in the draft and may want to come out of the draft with two top-15 talents. They have enough to move from 22 to 15 as they hold the 42nd and 53rd picks in the draft. It begs the question of what is the best for the Canucks’ prospect pipeline. Their prospect group needs both quality and quantity, it will be interesting to see which way they want to go. We know that there will be options for them when the 15th pick is set to be made.
It sounds like the team is looking more towards the quality route. There are a lot of exciting defencemen in the 20-28 range of the draft but if they are going purely for the best prospect available, expect the 15th pick to be used instead of dealt.
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Prospects who the Canucks have been linked to

Our projection is a 70-30 chance that the Canucks make the pick at 15th overall. There is so much that can change those odds with how the first 14 picks go in the draft but if things fall relatively in the order that many believe it will go, there are some players that the Canucks have been connected to for a while.
One name that we continue to hear is that of Swedish winger Liam Öhgren. We profiled Öhgren in the last week and there’s a lot to like about him. The weird thing is that we are hearing Öhgren’s name associated with the Canucks so often that it makes us believe it could be a smokescreen. His name shouldn’t be leaked this much.
We can see why the Canucks could like Öhgren, he is a scoring threat from anywhere on the ice, goes to the net hard, and doesn’t rely on the power play to put up points. Like we said, his name is coming up so much with the Canucks that it’s border lining on being a bluff.
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Marco Kasper looks like he won’t be there for the Canucks at 15th overall but if he somehow slides due to teams picking for a position, this is a name who we love for the Canucks at 15. His tape from the SHL playoffs took him to another level and he should be performing at an even higher level next year in the SHL. It’s unlikely that Kasper is there at 15 but you’d have to believe the Canucks would be all over him if he’s there at 15.
Aside from both of these two wingers are the two defencemen who we have heard rumoured with the Canucks over the past few weeks.
Both of the defencemen we are hearing the Canucks have interest in are from the OHL. Pavel Mintyukov is the 6’1″, 190 lb left-shot defenceman who moves the puck at such a high level and did it on one of the worst teams in the OHL. He led his squad in points and projects to be a top-four defenceman from the way he moves the puck.
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Denton Mateychuk is the more likely option that the Canucks will be able to draft. Mintyukov seems like he will be gone by the time the Canucks take the podium. Mateychuk is a bit smaller but is sturdy in his own zone and is a high-quality puck-mover.
We are also keeping our eye on Owen Pickering as an option. At 6’5″, he moves so well and has one of the highest ceilings for a defenceman in this draft.

Late-round options we like

The Canucks didn’t draft a goalie in 2020 but did draft Aku Koskenvuo in 2021, if they want to go with a late-round goalie in this draft, keep an eye on Karlis Mezsargs. He’s a 6’2″ goalie with length and good movement.
We did a lot of viewings into the Finnish juniors leagues and really like defenceman Elmeri Laakso. He is a great skater who should be available in the 3rd-5th round. Another Finnish prospect we like is Joonas Lohisalo, his shot is very strong and consistent. Miko Matikka is a monster winger who is coming over to the NCAA this year. His development should be interesting to watch, he played a strong game in Finland and should be a power forward in the NCAA next season with Denver.
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Elias Pettersson has been talked about as a defensive defenceman for the Canucks to target in the third round. Not only because of his name.
William Proos is a 6’3″ winger out of the Allsvenskan who has a big year as an 18-year-old and could be worth a 5th-7th round pick.
It’s going to be a fun couple of days on Thursday and Friday. We expect it to be a busy day for Patrik Allvin and his group as they manage through the regime’s first NHL draft.
Round one begins on Thursday at 4 PM PST and rounds two to seven will take place Friday beginning at 8 am.
We broke down the Canucks’ draft day plan and much more in the video below!