2016 Canucks Draft Review

Meaning of Scores:

A= A steal of a pick. A better player than one could have hoped for at that spot.

B= A good pick. Few if any better players available.

C= A competent pick. Some seemingly better players available, but player is picked at a reasonable spot.

D= A bad pick. Either lots of better players available, or one that is an obvious pick that was snubbed in favour of this one.

F= A terrible pick. A pick with seemingly no NHL future.


1st Round, 5th Overall: Olli Juolevi

Score: B

Some wanted Matthew Tkachuk instead, but Juolevi was definitely the top defenseman available.


3rd Round, 64th Overall: William Lockwood

Score: C

There are a few players picked after Lockwood that were ranked higher, like Cliff Pu and Vitalii Abramov, but Lockwood looks like a good pick with intriguing upside.


5th Round, 140th Overall: Cole Candella

Score: B

Candella is getting some pretty glowing reviews from several scouts, including Corey Pronman, and seems to be great value for a 5th, but probably not quite a “steal.”


6th Round, 154th Overall: Jakob Stukel

Score: A

Stukel’s swift rise after injury troubles makes him a prospect worth taking a gamble on, especially in the 6th round. The fact that he is a local player is icing on the cake. Looks like a textbook diamond in the rough.


7th Round, 184th Overall: Rodrigo Abols

Score: C

Abols obviously impressed the Canucks in prospect camp, so it makes sense to secure his services with a 7th rounder. They must have been worried someone else would snag him.


7th Round, 194th Overall: Brett McKenzie

Score: D

McKenzie doesn’t seem to have a ton of NHL upside, and it’s my personal preference that the team use at least one late draft pick per year on a “boom or bust” prospect with high offensive potential. McKenzie is not that, and seems reminiscent of Kyle Pettit.


Great Canucks Lines You May Have Forgotten

The Vancouver Canucks have had many famous lines in their history, like the West Coast Express, or the Sedins with Alex Burrows. However, line combinations are changed with such frequency that some lines are forgotten amongst the rest. Here are a few that spring to mind for me. Please, share your own!


Pavol Demitra-Mats Sundin-Ryan Kesler

This line was a common one during Sundin’s one year in Vancouver, and it performed to expectations offensively. This line provided the team with some memorable moments, some valuable playoff production, and perhaps most importantly, helped develop Kesler into a legitimate top-6 forward.

Rest in peace, Pavol Demitra.


Daniel Sedin-Henrik Sedin-Magnus Arvedson

Couldn’t find any highlights of Arvedson as a Canuck!

This line existed briefly in 2003-04, and Arvedson was yet another of the many who auditioned for the coveted spot alongside the Sedins. Arvedson actually saw some serious success with the Twins, and his play-style seemed to mesh with theirs very effectively. Unfortunately, a major injury ended Arvedson’s season and career.


Alex Burrows-Ryan Kesler-Jannik Hansen

I wrote about this line before in my Top Ten Alex Burrows Moments article. The 2008-09 season was a coming out party for many Canucks players, and three of the young players to make an impact were Burrows, Kesler, and Hansen. The three played together for awhile on a “kid line” which featured great defensive responsibility, tenacious physicality, and a decent amount of offense. Each of this line’s members went on to bigger and better things with other lines.


Markus Naslund-Brendan Morrison-Matt Cooke

Everyone remembers the Bertuzzi incident, but the aftermath can sometimes be a bit hazy. The incident occurred right before a year-long NHL lockout, and Bertuzzi was still suspended when the league resumed play. Matt Cooke, the former Canuck darling turned league-wide villain, filled in admirably in Bertuzzi’s place for the end of the 2004 season and into the next, and his physicality and flair for the dramatic made him a decent fill-in. It led to his most famous moment as a Canuck, above.


Honourable Mentions:


The Sedins With Trevor Linden

Although this line did provide us with some memorable goals, including a few in the 2007 series against Dallas, I think it is most interesting for the novelty factor of having the franchise’s top three players ever on one line.


The Sedins With Todd Bertuzzi 

One of the most impressive things about Bertuzzi’s dominant period was how he had seemingly boundless energy despite playing a power game. For awhile, when a permanent linemate for the Sedins was proving difficult to find, Bertuzzi played double-duty and flanked the twins while still serving on the West Coast Express.

Common Hockey Misconceptions: Odds and Ends

This is the fourth in a series of short explanations of common misconceptions about hockey and the NHL. Check the blog for the previous editions on offer sheets, one-way vs. two-way contracts, and waiver rules. Please follow for future updates on all sorts of topics.

This one is just a few odds and ends that didn’t fit in the other categories.


Misconception One: Instigator Penalties Include an Optional Misconduct. This is a misconception that I most often hear spouted by play-by-play on television. When a player receives an instigator penalty, I often hear someone say something along the lines of “and the referee has decided to tack on the additional ten-minute misconduct.” No matter how old the instigator rule gets, this mistake continues to be made. The instigator penalty always consists of a two-minute minor and a ten-minute misconduct, in addition to the original five-minute fighting major. That’s what makes it so humourous/frustrating to hear someone on TV suggest that the calling of a misconduct means the player did something especially bad.

Look in the archives of my blog for my thoughts on the instigator rule itself. Spoiler alert: I hate it.


Misconception Two: Too Many Men Minors Need to Be Served By Someone On The Ice at the Time of the Infraction. Admittedly, this is one that I believed in myself, and it took a read through the NHL rule book to find the truth. I think many minor hockey leagues play with this rule, but the NHL doesn’t. According to the rule book, a Too Many Men penalty is just a bench minor, which can be served by anyone (except the goaltenders).


Misconception Three: Players on Long-Term Injury Reserve Don’t Count Against the Cap.  This one is a bit weird and technical, but important. When a player is on LTIR, their team is still responsible for their full cap hit. They are, however, allowed a temporary extension on their cap equal to that player’s cap hit, until they return from LTIR. Same thing, right? Not quite.

This allows teams to replace injured players, but it prevents teams from “accruing” cap while players are injured. It also makes it harder to get an equally-salaried replacement, as the injured player’s cap space needs to be available as soon as they get off LTIR. This is why we’ve seen some teams make questionable moves around the playoffs, where their players seem to linger on LTIR right until the end of the regular season, then return early in the playoffs where there is no cap.


This site: http://www.fearthefin.com/2010/9/18/1697231/hockey-101-long-term-injury

provides a great breakdown of the whole process. It includes this summary:

  • “In order to qualify for the LTIR, a player must be deemed to be unavailable for 24 days and 10 NHL games after the time of injury.
  • A team is allowed to exceed the salary cap Upper Limit by x amount after applying this formula: The cap hit of the injured player on LTIR minusthe amount of salary cap space equals the amount that team can exceed the upper limit by.
  • And most importantly, a player on LTIR does not generate any extra cap room for the team. He does not come off the books, and will be factored into the calculations of the year-end salary cap of the team.”

Common Hockey Misconceptions: Waiver Rules


This is the third in a series of short explanations of common misconceptions about hockey and the NHL. Check the blog for the previous editions on offer sheets and one-way vs. two-way contracts, and follow for future updates on all sorts of topics.

Players are just now starting to hit the waiver wire again, although at this point it is primarily for buyout purposes. Each year, dozens of players pass through waivers, and NHL fans continue to show some pretty serious misunderstandings when it comes to the rules.


What It Is: https://www.capfriendly.com/waivers-faq This link explains things better than I ever could, but in brief, waivers are a system by which players, after accumulating enough experience, have to be exposed to a claim from any team in the league before they can be sent to the minors. This system exists for two reasons. The first is to benefit players that have NHL-level skills but are stuck on a deep team by allowing them a chance to get picked up by another team and earn big-league dollars. The second reason is to aid NHL parity, by preventing the best teams from stashing high-quality players in the minors and allowing the weaker teams to get a crack at this.


Misconception One: There’s Only One Factor Affecting Waiver Eligbility. Fans often think that a player’s waiver eligibility is dependent on just age, or just games played, or just contract status. It’s actually a combination of the first two, and contract status has nothing to do with it (besides players on Entry-Level Contracts being automatically ineligible.) The chart in the link above explains the actual requirements.

Once again, it bears mentioning that whether a contract is one-way or two-way has NO IMPACT on a player’s waiver eligibility, despite many claiming it is the one and only deciding factor.


Misconception Two: Claiming a Player Affects Your Waiver Claim Priority For Future Claims. This is a rule that is common to fantasy leagues, and I think the EA games also used to have it. As most know, teams are offered a chance to pick up a player on waivers in a set order, which is basically the standings in reverse order. This gives the weakest teams the first chance. The misconception comes once a team makes a claim, as many think that doing so bumps a team to the back of the line. This is not true, and waiver claims have zero effect on a team’s waiver position.


Misconception Three: A Player Only Has to Pass Through Waivers Once. Sometimes, this misconception occurs in the opposite direction, too, as fans think that a player has to clear waivers each and every time they are sent down. Actually, once a player clears waivers, they don’t even have to be sent down!

Here’s how it works: when a player clears waivers, their team is free to send them down within the next 10 games or 30 days, whichever happens first. If the team does send the player down, they can recall them at any time, but the same 10 game or 30 day limit remains in effect. This limit is not counting while the player is in the minors, but will begin counting whenever a player is recalled to the NHL roster.


Misconception Four: Re-entry Waivers Exist. They don’t, at least, not anymore. The previous CBA included these waivers that only affected players that had a high enough salary and were already sent to the minors, having been waived the regular way. If these players were ever recalled, they were placed on re-entry waivers and exposed to the entire league at half-price!

It sounds mad now, and it didn’t work then. Teams used this mostly as a way to get out of bad contracts by essentially retaining 50% before retention was a thing, and it made sure that high-salaried players that were in the minors already were likely stuck there for good. The new CBA wisely abolished this silly rule.

Common Hockey Misconceptions: One-way and Two-way Contracts

This is the second in a series of short explanations of common misconceptions about hockey and the NHL. Check the blog for the previous edition on offer sheets, and follow for future updates on all sorts of topics.

Again, the offseason brings constant talk of contracts and with that comes talk of one-way and two-way contracts. As happens every year, NHL fans continue to demonstrate a complete lack of understanding of what these terms mean.


What It Is: The difference between a one-way and two-way contract is that a one-way contract means a player is guaranteed their full salary no matter what league they play in. A two-way contract features one salary at the NHL level and a smaller salary at any minor league level. That’s it, that’s all.


Misconception One: One-way/Two-way Contracts Affect Waiver Eligibility. Again, and hopefully for the last time, one-way and two-way contracts have ZERO effect on waiver eligibility. I believe the EA NHL games are responsible for this fallacy. A player’s waiver eligibility is the result of a set of rules surrounding their years of service and games played. Here’s a link to explain it.


A player on a one-way contract can go on waivers, and so can a player on a two-way.

I’ll make a post later this week about some other waiver-related misconceptions.


Misconception Two: One-way/Two-way Contracts Don’t Affect the Salary Cap. This misconception is mostly true. It’s true that whether a contract is one-way or two-way has no direct effect on the salary cap, but they can affect it indirectly. Teams can only stash up to $925,000 of a contract in the minors, the rest must remain on the salary cap. Two-way contracts are therefore slightly more cap friendly. The non-NHL portion of the salary would almost certainly be under $925,000, but this would only help in the rare case where they feature an NHL salary over $925,000.


Misconception Three: Only Young Players Sign Two-Way Contracts. Some think that two-way contracts are something that only young players sign. It is true that all entry-level contracts are automatically two-way, but that doesn’t mean two-way contracts are limited to the newly-drafted. Veteran players sign two-way contracts all the time, especially if they’re expected to play the majority of the season in the AHL. This can actually give teams with deep pockets an advantage in drawing AHL veterans to their farm clubs, as they can offer decent salaries even on the low-side of a two-way contract. For example, Blair Jones signed a deal with the Vancouver Canucks last year that gave him $575,000 at the NHL level and $250,000 at the AHL level, still a decent chunk of change.

Common Hockey Misconceptions: Offer Sheets

This is the first in a series of short explanations of common misconceptions about hockey and the NHL. Check this blog out tomorrow for the next one, on one-way/two-way contracts.

As the offseason is now upon us, once again the subject of contract offers is being heavily discussed. While the majority of the focus is on pending UFAs, some attention is being paid to potential RFAs and the offer sheets that can be made to them. And once again, many NHL fans are demonstrating their complete lack of understanding when it comes to offer sheets.

What It Is: An offer sheet is a contract agreed to by a restricted free agent and a club other than the one who currently owns his rights. The club owning his rights has the choice of matching the contract or receiving set draft pick compensation from the new team, based on the size of the contract.

Misconception One: Teams Can Steal RFAs From Each Other. This simply isn’t true. The original team always has the right to match the offer sheet as is, with no further negotiation. The player signing an offer sheet has to be comfortable with signing that very same contract with his current team, as that is the most likely outcome. Even if the original team rejects the contract, they will receive set draft pick compensation based on the player’s new salary.

Misconception Two: Players Have No Say. I am constantly seeing fans propose offer sheets to players that would likely have no interest in signing with their franchise. They seem to think that any offer sheet made to a player has to be accepted, but this is definitely not true. We never hear about the actual amount of offer sheets made in an offseason, as they are only made public when the player agrees to them. Unless the player agrees to the offer sheet, nothing happens at all, which is probably by far the most frequent outcome.

Misconception Three: Teams Making Offer Sheets Are Just Interested in Acquiring That Player. Sometimes, there is more to an offer sheet. Teams can structure offer sheets so that they hurt rival teams when they are forced to match them. We saw this in the Shea Weber offer sheet from the Flyers in 2012. The Flyers structured their offer sheet in a front-loaded manner, ensuring that the cash-strapped Predators would be financially crippled by matching the offer. This was considered dirty pool by some.


Current Draft Pick Compensation For Offer Sheets:

2015-16 Averaged Salary Draft Pick Compensation
$1,205,377 and below No compensation
$1,205,377 to $1,826,328 Third-round pick
$1,826,328 to $3,652,659 Second-round pick
$3,652,659 to $5,478,986 First- and third-round pick
$5,478,986 to $7,305,316 First-, second-, and third-round pick
$7,305,316 to $9,131,645 Two first-round picks and a second- and third-round pick
$9,131,645 and above Four first-round picks


Potential 2015-16 Offer Sheet Targets:

Rickard Rakell, ANA

Sami Vatanen, ANA

Tobias Rieder, ARI

Michael Stone, ARI

Torey Krug, BOS

Andrew Shaw, CHI

Tyson Barrie, COL

Seth Jones, CBJ

Val Nichushkin, DAL

Teemu Pulkkinen, DET

Vincent Trocheck, FLA

Matt Dumba, MIN

Kyle Palmieri, NJD

Dylan McIlrath, NYR

Cody Ceci, OTT

Tomas Hertl, SJS

Jaden Schwartz, STL

Vlad Namestnikov, TBL

Sven Baertschi, VAN

Dmitry Orlov, WAS

Tom Wilson, WAS

Thoughts On Potential Canucks UFA Targets

Recently, TSN released their list of the top 30 potential NHL unrestricted free agents. For each, I’ll put whether the Canucks should have any interest, and what the maximum reasonable contract offer should be. Afterwards, I’ll suggest some lesser-known free agents for consideration.




#             PLAYER                TEAM    POS        AGE       GP          G             PTS         15-16

1              Steven Stamkos    TBL         C             26           77           36           64           $7.5 M

Canucks Interest: Obviously, there has to be interest in Steven Stamkos. However, it would not be worth it to bankrupt the future team to pay Stamkos now. The most the Canucks should offer is 7 years at $8.5 million, which won’t be enough.

2              Loui Eriksson     BOS        LW         30           82           30           63           $4.25 M

Canucks Interest: Eriksson has some history with the Sedins, and would likely be a solid fit on their wing. However, at the age of 30, any contract signed now has to include the downside of his career. The Canucks would need to keep term short, and offer nothing more than 4 years at $6 million.

3              Milan Lucic         LAK        LW         28           81           20           55           $6 M

Canucks Interest: Lucic is only really a possibility if he takes a discount to play in his hometown. The Canucks, again could use a break on the term more than the cap hit. If Lucic is willing to sign for as little as 4 years, the Canucks could probably offer up to $7 million per.

4              Kyle Okposo      NYI         RW         28           79           22           64           $2.8 M

Canucks Interest: The Canucks should absolutely be interested in Okposo, but he is probably way out of their price range. Unless he has some unknown desire to play in Vancouver, Okposo will almost certainly demand 7 years, and the Canucks shouldn’t offer him more than $6 million for that term, which won’t be enough.

5              Mikkel Boedker  COL        RW         26           80           17           51           $3.75 M

Canucks Interest: The Canucks’ interest in Boedker is entirely dependent on what Boedker is looking for. If Boedker wants a long-term deal, forget about it. But if Boedker wanted to sign a 2-year deal to play with the Sedins and boost his stature, a la Radim Vrbata, they could offer him $6 million a year.

6              David Backes     STL         C             32           79           21           45           $4.5 M

Canucks Interest: No interest. Backes will cost a huge amount, and the Canucks have multiple players who can play his role.

7              Andrew Ladd     CHI         C             30           78           25           46           $4.4 M

Canucks Interest: As another local option, like Lucic, the Canucks would hope that Ladd would compromise on term for the prospect of playing in his hometown. Something around 4 years at $6 million might work.

8              Keith Yandle      NYR       LD           29           82           5              47           $5.25 M

Canucks Interest: Yandle is due for a payday, and that will probably keep the Canucks away from him. As the most desirable defenseman available, Yandle will cash in on at least a 6×6 deal, which the Canucks cannot afford unless they deal Edler and don’t re-sign Hamhuis.

9              Troy Brouwer    STL         RW         30           82           18           39           $3.66 M

Canucks Interest: I can see the Canucks being interested in Brouwer, especially if he takes a discount. I can see Brouwer taking a low enough salary that term might not matter, something like 5 years at $4.5 million.

10           Jason Demers    DAL        RD          28           62           7              23           $3.4 M

Canucks Interest: The Canucks should absolutely be interested in Demers if they don’t re-sign Hamhuis, but with Gudbranson needing signing soon, it doesn’t make too much sense to lock down Demers for a huge deal. Something around 6 years at $5 million is the most I would go for, and I doubt that buys Demers.

11           James Reimer   SJS          G             28           40           2.31        .922        $2.3 M 

Canucks Interest: Zero need for a goalie. No interest.

12           Frans Nielsen    NYI         C             32           81           20           52           $2.75 M

Canucks Interest: Plays too similar a role as Bo Horvat and Brandon Sutter. No need, and will likely get a hefty raise.

13           Dan Hamhuis     VAN       LD           33           58           3              13           $4.5 M

Canucks Interest: If Hamhuis is willing to take a paycut, the Canucks should welcome him back with open arms. Something near 4 years at $4 million per is perfect.

14           David Perron     ANA       LW         28           71           12           36           $3.81 M

Canucks Interest: I can’t see the Canucks being interested in a fairly soft winger like Perron. There are much better options listed above. Perron would be a last resort sort of signing, and the most I would offer is 4 years at $4 million per.

15           Roman Polak     SJS          RD          30           79           1              16           $2.75 M

Canucks Interest: No interest in Polak unless the Canucks dump a few defenseman and sign him to a 1-year deal, as a potential trade deadline chip.

16           Jiri Hudler           FLA         C             32           72           16           46           $4 M

Canucks Interest: No need for a small, skilled center on the wrong side of 30.

17           Kris Russell         DAL        LD           29           62           4              19           $2.6 M

Canucks Interest: I hope not. Russell is a great candidate to get overpaid, and some team is going to do it.

18           Brian Campbell FLA         LD           37           82           6              31           $7.14 M

Canucks Interest: Any team could use Campbell, but his age doesn’t make him a realistic target for the Canucks. Chances are good he signs with a contender, anyway.

19           Lee Stempniak  BOS        RW         33           82           19           51           $850 K

Canucks Interest: Like Perron, Stempniak is only an option if the team misses out elsewhere. Stempniak will likely get a huge raise from his $850 K salary of last year, but I’d be wary of giving him term. The most I’d offer is 2 years at $3 million each.

20           Alex Goligoski  DAL        LD           30           82           5              37           $4.6 M

Canucks Interest: Goligoski is another D, like Yandle and Demers, that will likely price himself out of Vancouver’s range. Also, not the right age for a long commitment.

21           Eric Staal              NYR       C             31           83           13           39           $8.25 M

Canucks Interest: No way. Stay far away from Eric Staal.

22           Luke Schenn      LAK        RD          26           72           4              16           $3.6 M

Canucks Interest: Like Polak, only as a 1-year rental type guy if they dump some defensemen, like Sbisa.

23           Jamie McGinn   ANA       LW         27           84           22           39           $2.95 M

Canucks Interest: The Canucks have enough grinding wingers without adding one that is in line for a big pay increase. No interest.

24           Radim Vrbata    VAN       RW         35           63           13           27           $5 M

Canucks Interest: Next question.

25           Teddy Purcell    FLA         RW         30           76           14           43           $4.5 M

Canucks Interest: Hopefully no interest in this very soft winger.

26           Kris Versteeg     LAK        RW         30           77           15           38           $4.4 M

Canucks Interest: No interest in Versteeg, who likely has no interest playing in Vancouver.

27           Dale Weise        CHI         RW         27           71           14           27           $1.03 M

Canucks Interest: This ship has long sailed. Weise talked too much smack about Vancouver to ever return there.

28           P.A. Parenteau TOR        LW         33           77           20           41           $1.33 M

Canucks Interest: Perhaps as a low-risk, 1-year deal with the potential to trade him at the deadline. Only if the Canucks fail to sign any other wingers.

29           Kyle Quincey     DET        LD           30           47           4              11           $4.25 M

Canucks Interest: See Polak or Schenn. Only as a 1-year deal.

30           Cam Ward           CAR        G             32           51           2.41        .909        $6.3 M

Canucks Interest: Not in a million years.

Lesser-Known Candidates:

Chris Kelly, David Legwand, Paul Gaustad, Steve Ott:

If Brendan Gaunce remains a winger and Markus Granlund doesn’t progress, the Canucks may look for a veteran 4th-line center. Any of these guys could do the job on a cheap contract, and each brings valuable veteran experience. The most I would offer each is $1.5 million for 2 years.

 Jordie Benn:

A local product, Benn could provide decent defensive depth, especially if we trade a piece like Sbisa. He also helps keep the pipedream of Jamie Benn returning home alive. It would be alright to throw a bit of term at Benn to keep his cap hit down, something like 3 years at $900 K.

Colton Sceviour:

A lesser-known Dallas Stars product, Sceviour has steadily developed into an NHL player and may have hidden potential still at age 27. Offer him a 1-year prove it contract.

Cameron Gaunce:

The Utica Comets will need some veteran defense, and if Brendan Gaunce is playing down there, it would be fun to have his brother along for the ride. Give him a two-way, cheap deal for a year or two.