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Old 06-14-2004, 08:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Draft Day

Can someone make this a sticky? Thanks in advance....
  • Canucks Top 10 Prospects
    1. Alexander Auld
    2. Ryan Kesler
    3. Kirill Koltsov
    4. Ilya Krikunov
    5. Brandon Reid
    6. Evgeny Gladskikh
    7. Marc-Andre Bernier
    8. Dennis Grot
    9. Brett Skinner
    10. Brandon Nolan
    Team Needs
    With another opening round playoff loss and a large number of players available, the Vancouver Canucks have a number of holes to fill immediately. With the addition of two forwards, the Canucks would be able to create three solid scoring lines. A hardworking, physical right winger with a scoring touch would be a nice addition to play with the Sedins and make them a threat all season long. If they could find a physical two-way center that could chip in the odd goal, they would have the option to move Brendan Morrison off the top line, which would help form another scoring line.

    A big, mean, physical defenseman who can clear the net is something the Canucks, as well as most other teams, could have used in the playoffs. While they may have found their backup goalie for next year, speculation continues whether management will acquire a new No. 1 goaltender to replace Dan Cloutier. The Canucks, already without a second or third round draft pick, could use their first round draft pick to help them acquire someone to fill any of these needs.
    Organizational Strengths
    The Canucks have an abundance of gritty, hard working forwards. These players, including Brandon Nolan, Justin Morrison, and Jesse Schultz, have the speed and grit to be effective third or fourth line players down the road. Prospects like Ryan Kesler, Evgeny Gladskikh, and Marc-Andre Bernier do have the offensive upside to eventually play as a top six forward. They also have a healthy quantity of two-way defensemen that are solid in their own zone and have offensive upside, with Tomas Mojsiz in Manitoba, and Brett Skinner and Kevin Bieksa in the college ranks. Denis Grot and Markus Kankaanpera are two additional two-way defensemen playing in Europe, who may be arriving in North America next year.

    The Canucks enjoy a good depth of prospects down the middle and on the right side of their forward lines. Manitoba leading scorer Brandon Reid, Francois-Pierre Guenette, and Nathan Smith join the likes of Kesler and Nolan to form a solid future down the middle for the Canucks. If all their right wingers in their system reach their potential, the Canucks would have a set of four (Krikunov, Bernier, Morrison, and Schultz) that would be envy of many in the league. Even with Lukas Mensator returning to his native Czech Republic to develop, the Canucks goalie situation has never been better with Alex Auld ready to step in as a backup and Rob McVicar competing for the starting spot in Manitoba.
    Organizational Weaknesses
    The Canucks system is in dire need of an infusion of players with a good combination of skill and size, as the players with skill are smallish and the players with size are lacking a finishing touch. Three of the prospects that potentially possess those ‘special’ skills and two of them, Ilya Krikunov and Brandon Reid, are on the smaller side and the other, Fedor Fedorov, has character issues with the organization. Drafting Travis Zajac would be risky, considering he has only proven himself at the BCHL level, but it would bring in a prospect that would potentially have that skill in a large frame. Of the two power forward prospects the Canucks have in the system, Marc-Andre Bernier is not a strong skater and it is debatable whether Ryan Kesler will ever be able to develop his touch around the net. Bruce Graham out of the Quebec League or Adam Pineault from the college ranks could be options to fill that void in the system.

    Kirill Koltsov is the only legitimate offensive defenseman in the system. The Canucks big, mean, physical defenseman cupboard is completely bare, as their biggest d-men are in the six foot range and have yet to develop any physical presence in the defensive zone. Only two left wingers in the system, Evgeny Gladskikh and Fedor Fedorov, are considered legitimate prospects for the NHL.
    Draft Tendencies
    While the Canucks claim to draft the best player available every year, they have established some tendencies and have favorites among the many sources of talent. Of the past ten selections in the first round, five have been centermen, including the last four (Kesler, RJ Umberger, Nathan Smith, and Henrik Sedin). The other picks include four defensemen (Bryan Allen, Brad Ference, Mike Wilson, and Mattias Ohlund), and Daniel Sedin at left wing. These first round selections tend to be ‘safe’ picks, as they are prospects who are solid in most aspects of the game but not the upside or potential to develop into top players.

    During Brian Burke’s six year tenure as GM, he worked with two chief scouts. Mike Penny ran the draft table for the 1998 to 2000 drafts and Ron Delorme, after being the head scout in the west, has been the chief scout for the 2001 to 2003 drafts. With Delorme taking over, there seemed to be a significant change in policy on where the Canucks would draft their future players from. Prospects from US college were drafted at a 27 percent rate during the Delorme’s first three years, which was a significant increase from the 19 percent that were drafted during the Burke/Penny regime. The past three years has also seen an increase of Russian-born players being drafted by the Canucks rose to 23 percent, compared to 7 percent being drafted in the previous three years.

    The biggest decrease has occurred with 26 percent of players from the WHL drafted by the Canucks during the 1998-2000 drafts, compared to 12 percent during the 2001-2003 drafts. Even with Thomas Gardin as a scout, prospects drafted from the Scandinavian countries of Sweden and Finland have also decreased as 19 percent of the players drafted under Penny/Burke were from those two countries and only 4 percent have been drafted by Delorme/Burke. Time will tell if there is another policy shift with Dave Nonis now taking over as General Manager and Ron Delorme continuing his role as Head Scout.

    The Canuck scouts have had a fair amount of success in drafting skill players in the later rounds of the draft. Evgeny Gladskikh (fourth round), Ilya Krikunov (seventh), and Brandon Reid (seventh) are just a few examples of the organization finding diamonds in the rough. Reid is also an example of the ability of their scouts to find prospects from the QMJHL in the late rounds. This year’s top rookie, Jason King, was drafted in the seventh round, and just last year the Canucks may have hit lucky sevens again as they selected Francois-Pierre Guenette in the same round.

    Interestingly, the organization hasn’t drafted a player out of the Czech Republic in the past six years, Lukas Mensator having been drafted out of the OHL, despite the Czechs being one of the stronger hockey nations in the world. The Canucks have also never drafted a goalie in the first round, with Troy Gamble, in 1985, being the highest at 25th overall. In the past six years they have only drafted four goalies with three of those four selections occurring in the 2002 draft.

    Player most likely to be taken with first selection (Hockey’s Future staff mock draft result): Travis Zajac, C out of Salmon Arm (BCHL)


17. Dave Bolland, C/RW, London Knights (OHL) -- 5-11.5, 171 R (65 GP, 37-30-67, 58 PIM)
Increased his scoring total by 50 points in his second OHL season in 2003-04, and became one of the best players on one of the league's top teams--the Knights. Outplayed fellow 2004 first-round draft prospect and teammate Robbie Schremp in the OHL playoffs. Can line up both at center and right wing, though his NHL future probably lies up the middle on the second or third line. Is not big but isn't shy about sticking his nose into high-traffic areas. Always works the corners well. Hails from the same hometown (Mimico, Ontario) as current NHLer Brendan Shanahan.

18. Mike Green, D, Saskatoon Blades (WHL) -- 6-1.5, 198 R (59 GP, 14-25-39, 92 PIM)
Led all Saskatoon defensemen in scoring in 2003-04, but was one of several Blades to sport an ugly plus/minus rating (-29). Has played 169 regular-season games in the WHL since 2000-01--all with Saskatoon. Was a member of Canada's 2003 World under-18 squad that captured the gold medal. Is a tremendous skater. Uses his solid frame effectively, especially in front of his own net. Projects to play as a top-six NHL defenseman, and may even wind up on the first pairing down the road. His calling will probably be as a stay-at-home defender, though he has untapped scoring potential.

19. Ladislav Smid, D, HC Liberec (Czech Republic) -- 6-3, 202 L (45 GP, 1-1-2, 51 PIM)
Was one of the Czech Republic's best defensemen at the 2004 WJC tournament, displaying plenty of intelligence and poise with and without the puck. Has the size scouts like in any prospective NHL defenseman, but needs to show more consistency in terms of physical toughness. With time, he should put up solid offensive numbers but isn't power-play quarterback material. Can do a number of things on the ice well, but doesn't own a dominant quality. May need to be pushed at times, since he can take some shifts off from time to time. Should eventually play several years at the NHL level as a No. 3-4 defenseman.

20. Enver Lisin, RW, Dynamo Moscow 2 (Russia 2) -- 6-2, 190 L (30 GP, 9-5-14, 20 PIM)
Is similar in style to Alexander Radulov but, in sharp contrast to his Russian teammate, has seen his draft stock plummet recently. While Radulov shone brightly at the 2004 World under-18 tournament as Russia won gold, Lisin was virtually invisible (6 GP, 1-0-1, -1, 12 PIM). Possesses an excellent frame and should eventually bulk up. Can score goals and is a strong player in one-on-one confrontations but needs to make better use of his teammates. Is not a great player without the puck and must make adjustments if he is to ever shine in the NHL. He's another draft-day wild card from Russia.

21. Jakub Sindel, RW, Sparta Praha (Czech Republic) -- 6-0, 172 R (34 GP, 5-1-6, 14 PIM)
Was a first-time regular with HC Sparta Praha, a power in the Czech Republic Extraliga, in 2003-04 and saw ice time in 13 playoff games--to go along with 34 games in the regular season. Also performed very well for his country at the 2004 World under-18 tournament in Minsk, Belarus (7 GP, 3-3-6, +6, 6 PIM). Owns excellent hands and an accurate shot. Knows where to go in order to score goals. Lacks ideal size and may have trouble on smaller ice surfaces in North America. Plays a style similar to countrymen and current NHLers Milan Hejduk and Radim Vrbata.

22. Jeff Schultz, D, Calgary Hitmen (WHL) -- 6-6, 212 L (72 GP, 11-24-35, 33 PIM)
Is one of the tallest players eligible for selection in the 2004 draft. Moves the puck well up the ice and is usually a sound positional defender. Doesn't use his 6-6 frame enough to punish opponents, and will need to step up his physical play going forward. Led the Hitmen defensemen in points in 2003-04, and projects as a solid point producer at the NHL level. Played for Canada at the 2004 World under-18 tournament in Minsk but was held pointless in seven games. However, he was among the team leaders with a plus-5 rating.

23. Bruce Graham, C, Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL) -- 6-6, 220 L (68 GP, 24-33-57, 89 PIM)
Impressed scouts at the 2004 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in January. Finished fourth on the Wildcats in scoring in 2003-04, and was second on the club with 11 power-play goals. However, he failed to score a goal in 18 playoff games (14 assists) during Moncton's QMJHL championship run--which fell just short in the finals. Is somewhat limited in terms of scoring potential. Owns a hulking frame for the pivot position and projects to be a quality checking-line center in the Keith Primeau mold at the NHL level. May develop later than many of his peers due to his imposing size.

24. Wes O'Neill, D, University of Notre Dame (CCHA) -- 6-4, 200 L (38 GP, 2-10-12, 28 PIM)
Is another draft-day wild card, mainly because there isn't a consensus among scouts with regards to his upside potential. Enjoyed a solid freshman campaign with the Fighting Irish in 2003-04, and also played for Canada at the World under-18 tournament in Minsk (7 GP, 1-1-2, +4, 2 PIM). However, he struggled against some of the smaller, shiftier forwards in the tournament and needs more work on his lateral mobility. He may improve once he turns pro and gains more experience against top competition. Projects as a top-six defenseman at the NHL level, but his potential may range from No. 2 rearguard to career minor-leaguer.

25. Andrej Meszaros, D, Dukla Trencin (Slovakia) -- 6-0, 198 R (44 GP, 3-3-6, 8 PIM)
Has improved his draft stock, following strong performances for Slovakia at the 2004 WJC tournament in Finland, and 2004 World hockey championships in the Czech Republic (7 GP, 0-1-1, even, 2 PIM). In fact, he was one of the very few draft-eligible players in the senior championships. Plays a very heady game and is mature beyond his 18 years of age. Is not a very physical blueliner but projects to be a top-four defenseman at the NHL level--mainly because of his sound hockey sense and ability to lead the transition game. Should be the first Slovakian-trained player drafted in 2004.

THose are some of the players who could be in our range of picking, the list from http://www.forecaster.ca/hockeynews/...-Profiles1to25

Who do you think we need to go after though, A Centre, Winger (LW/RW?) ,D-Man or Goalie?

#21 on that list looks like a good choice, but he is probably too soft and wasn't the whole idea of learning from our mistakes from the Calgary series to get tougher? #23 looks about the right bill, but we could take a softer player and bulk up through free agents....

And if you go to the site and continue looking through the list and look at #26 and #32 those players could be very interesting. Would you take a gamble on a high school player?

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Old 06-15-2004, 01:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I followed toddzilla's request to make this a sticky. If any one has an issue with this pm me.
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Old 06-15-2004, 08:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Enver Lisin.. get that guy. Had a bad year apparently, but from what i've read.. he's good. I think he has surprise written all over him.
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Old 06-15-2004, 02:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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#17 i believe is Bolland..good player..watched him play a few times here in London.

He would be a great addition to the team, and he still has a lot of time to grow too.

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Old 06-15-2004, 02:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If LW Alexander Radulov or hulking D Boris Valabik are still available, they'd be my picks at where the Canucks are at. But considering that they are likely to be gone by the 24th pick, I think Jeff Schultz will be their guy.
Or they could do something they've never done before and take a goalie in the first round. How about Corey Schneider?
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Old 06-15-2004, 04:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Although this isn't a first rounder I would like to see the Canucks draft Mark Fistric who plays for the Giants. He is big and just as tough as his Father(Boris) who played for the NW Bruins in the late 70s. We need a tough crease clearing defenseman(what team couldn't use one) and he fits the bill and on top of that he's a local lad. He's projected to go late 2nd or early 3rd round. I like to see the Canucks pick him. A couple of years down the road he could be a gooder.
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Old 06-15-2004, 11:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Roman Tesliuk - WHL - Kamloops - 6' 1" - 195 - D - R - 70GP - 5G - 9A - 14P - 118PIM

Mark Fistric - WHL - Vancouver - 6'3" - 232 - D - L - 72GP - 1G - 11A - 12P - 192PIM

Andy Rogers - WHL - Calgary - 6"5 - 206 - D - L - 64GP - 1G - 3A - 4P - 89PIM

Brett Carson - WHL - Calgary - 6"5 - 220 - D - R - 72GP - 5G - 27A - 32P


All WHL products, all defensemen.

Tesliuk is small, but makes up for it with his physical play. Been known to even drop the gloves from time to time.

Fistric is tough as nails. Big, strong stay-at-home blueliner.

Rogers has good size, can see the ice well and is able to log alot of minutes.

You can compare Brett Carson to Pronger offensively and Weinrich defensively.

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Old 06-16-2004, 01:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Another WHL Defenceman the Canucks should look at is Mike Card of the Kelowna Rockets. I've seen a lot of him this season and I think he has NHL potential. He is solid in his own end but can get it done on the offensive side as well. He will probably be taken somewhere between the 3rd and 5th round, hopefully by Vancouver.
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Old 06-16-2004, 01:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I say we just pick the best guy available at the time, regardless of position. We can always flip him later for someone else if necessary.
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Old 06-16-2004, 02:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Well according to the new article I posted above I was right in thinking about the guy at #32 because that is the predicted pick for us. Of course the article is pure speculation but here is the stats anyways:

32. Travis Zajac, C, Salmon Arm (BCHL) -- 6-2, 205 R (59 GP, 43-69-112, 110 PIM)
Was ranked No. 1 by Central Scouting among North American skaters outside of the CHL and NCAA ranks. Has great size for the pivot position, but is also a capable point producer. Will even mix it up whenever tempers start to flare. Should attend the University of North Dakota in 2004-05, and is expected to be one of the top freshmen in the country. Must prove he can elevate his game against a higher brand of competition. May need more time to develop but projects to be a top-six forward at the NHL level.

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