If you’re reading this right now you’re probably a Canucks fan, which means that you’re also probably still pretty angry about the Cory Schneider trade. And you should be. I am.
But lets look at the bright side. The Canucks have prospects again! The cupboard is no longer completely bare. Unfortunately they aren’t likely to challenge for the Stanley Cup for a couple of years at least.
But first off, lets examine the 2013 draft. The 2013 draft has been touted as one of the deepest drafts in years. It’s even being compared to the 2003 draft, largely lauded as the best and deepest draft in NHL history. To refresh your memory, here was the first round of the 2003 draft:
Pretty impressive. The Canucks passed over Mike Richards and Corey Perry at #23, but still got Ryan Kesler!
Now, counting on the 2013 draft to equal the best draft in NHL history is probably looking through rose coloured glasses if you’re a Canucks fan, but the 2013 draft is likely to be deeper than most drafts.
The Canucks had two first round picks (courtesy the Schneider trade of course), no second round pick (thanks Derek Roy) and one pick in round 3-7. That’s quite a departure from the 2010 draft when they didn’t have a pick until the 4th round, to which they’re paying for today.
So who are these players they drafted? Lets take a look at their draft picks in round 1-4:
Drafted: 1st round, 9th overall
Team: London (OHL)
Size: 6’0″, 206 lbs
Stats: 61 pts in 67 games
Rob Says: From everything I have heard, Horvat is a good all around centre. If he lives up to his potential, he should be a #1 centre in a few years. He led his team to a Memorial Cup championship this past season and should be a lock to make the Canadian World Junior team in December. Horvat looks like a safe pick, and in a deep draft one would hope that he fulfills his potential at #9. They could have had the enigmatic Russian winger (I’m going to assume that all Russian wingers are enigmatic) who went #10 or the undersized Max Domi at #12. Time will tell if they made the right decision, but it appears like they have a blue chip prospect for the first time in a long time.
Drafted: 1st round, 24th overall
Team: Medicine Hat (WHL)
Position: Left Wing
Size: 5’10″, 181 lbs
Stats: 86 pts in 64 games
Rob Says: Perhaps no other player in the first round was drafted lower than his pre-draft ranking than Hunter Shinkaruk. He was ranked 6th among North American skaters, but fell well below that. Bob McKenzie had him ranked 14th. His last two seasons in Medicine Hat were spectacular (at least stats-wise, I didn’t watch any Medicine Hat Tigers games I’ll admit). Shinkaruk has been described as a quick skater with good offensive instincts. I think he has the potential to become a real star, even as the 24th overall pick.
Drafted: 3rd round, 85th overall
Team: Oshawa (OHL)
Size: 6’0″, 178 lbs
Stats: 43 points in 64 games
Rob Says: Cole is the son of former Canuck Andrew Cassels but apparently has more edge to his game than his dad did. He projects to be a third line centre.
Drafted: 4th round, 115th overall
Team: Belleville (OHL)
Size: 5’9″, 175 lbs
Stats: 51 points in 68 games
Rob Says: The third Subban brother was selected well below most scouting rankings. Bob McKenzie ranked him #75, while Craig Button ranked him #41. He is clearly an offensive defenceman and had sparkling numbers in junior. I imagine that he dropped to #115 in the draft because of his size, but that’s just fine by me. I think it’s a great gamble for a 4th round pick. Oh, and hey, he’s also a much needed right handed shot d-man.
I like the mix of players that might be a bit of a gamble like Shinkaruk and Subban, with safer picks like Horvat and Cassels. I also like the fact that they were stayed away from goalies and used their first pick on a centre. All four players are North American from Canadian major junior programs, and call me old fashioned, but that gives me more confidence. After drafting Patrick White from the USHL, I’m a little gun shy with players from lesser leagues.