Losing all three draft lotteries was a massive disappointment. All of Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine, and Jesse Puljujarvi are said to be potential franchise players. However, with the loss of a sure-thing, the Canucks have gained in mystery and speculation, the bounty of bloggers. The path to who the team might pick is no longer set in stone. Here are five scenarios that might happen, in order of most to least desirable.
1) Jesse Puljujarvi Drops
Matthews and Laine absolutely will not drop in the draft, and Puljujarvi is unlikely to, but if any of the three do, it will be him. Columbus currently sits in 3rd, and with their Finnish GM Jarmo Kekalainen, one has to think that they would just draft Puljujarvi. However, if they trade the pick, a team could conceivably value Pierre-Luc Dubois or Matthew Tkachuk higher. Puljujarvi would be a coup for the Canucks at #5.
2) The Oiler Draft a D-Man, Leave A Choice of Dubois/Tkachuk
This is the scenario that many Canucks fans are hoping for. While Dubois and Tkachuk are consistently ranked higher than any defensemen, the Oilers are stacked at forward and undoubtedly need help on defense. If the Oilers really like any of the big three D-men, they will likely take them here. The Canucks could have their choice of the talented wingers, and my preference would be Dubois.
3) The Oilers (Or Their Trade Partner) Draft Tkachuk, Canucks Get Dubois
The Oilers could easily trade the pick, leaving a forward pick to whoever they traded with, or they could even draft Tkachuk themselves. This would make the Canucks’ choice for them, and could be fortunate if the team does not take the Canucks’ preferred player.
4) The Oilers (Or Their Trade Partner) Draft Dubois, Canucks Get Tkachuk
The same scenario as above, but this time the Canucks have to settle for Tkachuk as the team above them makes the wiser choice. Still, not a bad pick at all.
5) The Canucks Don’t Like Tkachuk, Select a Defenseman
This could be seen as unfortunate, because it is hard to believe that this would be a “Best-Player-Available” pick and more of a positional-needs pick, which often don’t work out. However, the Canucks would have their pick of the big three defensemen, Jakob Chychrun, Olli Juolevi, or Mikhail Sergachev, which doesn’t sound too terrible at all.