Today is a day of optimism in the NHL. Every team will get “the guy they wanted” and willl have “picked the best player available”. Every player is going to be the next [insert Hall of Famer]. So before you believe whatever spews out of the mouths of GMs today, remember that the fact of the matter is that outside of the top three picks this year, it’s a bit of a crap shoot.
This year the Canucks pick 22nd. Mike Gillis will continue to try to prove to Canucks fans everywhere that the Canucks draft day woes are behind them. While most of you are no doubt already having flashbacks of Libor Polasek, Josh Holden and Nathan Smith right now, remember that this is a new era under Mike Gillis. Last year he chose the smaller but smarter Cody Hodgson (92 points in junior last year) ahead of the bigger and more enigmatic Kyle Beach (63 points in junior last year).
To get an idea of what diamonds in the rough you can find at #22, here’s a look back at some of the better players picked at #22 since 1990:
Claude Giroux (2006)
Simon Gagne (1998)
Brian Boucher (1995)
Anders Eriksson (1993)
Dean McAmmond (1991)
Not getting you excited? I don’t blame you. I could show examples of bad picks with the #22 pick (Maxim Ouellet), but you get the point. It’s a crap shoot.
Got to love the positive spin on this pick!