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Can the Canucks draft with success this year?

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Not that I am overtly cynical but one has to wonder if Mike Gillis and Co. will get off on the right foot in a few weeks at the draft. Here is what the last 15 years of Vancouver first round picks looks like (shield your eyes):

1993 - Mike Wilson (336 NHL games, 16G, 41A)
1994 - Mattias Ohlund (688 NHL games, 87G, 213A)
1995 - none
1996 - Josh Holden (60 NHL games, 5G, 9A)
1997 - Brad Ference (250 NHL games, 4G, 30A) **
1998 - Bryan Allen (371 NHL games, 20G, 53A)
1999 - Daniel Sedin (560 NHL games, 148G, 232A)
1999 - Henrik Sedin (564 NHL games, 87G, 291A)
2000 - Nathan Smith (4 NHL games, 0G, 0A)...but damn proud of his baby arm holding the apple
2001 - RJ Umberger (228 NHL games, 49G, 67A) **
2002 - none
2003 - Ryan Kesler (238 NHL games, 39G, 42A)
2004 - Cory Schneider (0 NHL games)
2005 - Luc Bourdon (36 NHL games, 2G, 0A)
2006 - Michael Grabner (0 NHL games, 0G, 0A)
2007 - Patrick White (0 NHL games, 0G, 0A)

** Never played a game with Vancouver


...I wrote the words "Josh Holden" and have to go punch myself. Let's ignore how nice it would be to have had Sedin/Umberger/Kesler/Morrison down the middle last year and just accept that '94 and '99 were nice, '98 was helpful in netting a goalie, '03 is finally paying off and we sincerely hope Grabner can be NHL worthy soon. Outside of that, there isn't much to write home about.

There's the idea that maybe they'll just give up and move the pick for a proven player. It would certainly help Gillis to have a proven piece of the puzzle that can help now but what the offers are and what degree it would make an immediate impact is something far different. Gillis has to work from behind both the newbie GM angle and the fact the 29 other suits know he has to make moves now.

So let's then assume they hold tight and are left staring blindly at the 10th spot. The current ISS rankings:

Name Pos Birthdate S/C Ht. Wt. Team League
1 Stamkos, Steven C 2/7/1990 R 5.11.7 176 Sarnia OHL
2 Bogosian, Zach RD 7/15/1990 R 6.02 197 Peterborough OHL
3 Filatov, Nikita LW 5/25/1990 R 6.00 172 Moscow CSKA-2 RusDi
4 Doughty, Drew RD 12/8/1989 R 6.00.5 219 Guelph OHL
5 Pietrangelo, Alex RD 1/18/1990 R 6.03.2 206 Niagara OHL
6 Schenn, Luke RD 11/2/1989 R 6.02.2 216 Kelowna WHL
7 Boedker, Mikkel LW 12/16/1989 L 5.11.2 195 Kitchener OHL
8 Wilson, Colin (Fr.) C 10/20/1989 L 6.01 215 Boston Univ H.E.
9 Hodgson, Cody C 2/18/1990 R 5.11.5 185 Brampton OHL
10 Bailey, Joshua C 10/2/1989 L 6.00.5 188 Windsor OHL
11 Sbisa, Luca LD 1/30/1990 L 6.01.7 190 Lethbridge WHL
12 Boychuk, Zac C 10/4/1989 L 5.09.5 175 Lethbridge WHL
13 Beach, Kyle C 1/13/1990 R 6.03 203 Everett WHL
14 Tedenby, Mattias LW 2/21/1990 L 5.10 176 HV71 SweJE
15 Myers, Tyler RD 2/1/1990 R 6.07.2 204 Kelowna WHL
16 Colborne, Joe LW 1/30/1990 L 6.05 190 Camrose AJHL
17 Petrov, Kirill LW 4/13/1990 L 6.03 198 Kazan RusDi
18 Teubert, Colten RD 3/8/1990 R 6.03.5 185 Regina WHL
19 Robak, Colby LD 4/24/1990 L 6.03 194 Brandon WHL
20 Dalpe, Zac C 11/1/1989 R 6.00.5 170 Penticton BCHL
21 Carlson, John RD 1/10/1990 R 6.02.2 212 Indiana USHL
22 Karlsson, Erik RD 5/31/1990 R 5.11 165 V. Frolunda SweJE
23 Del Zotto, Michael LD 6/24/1990 L 5.11.7 211 Oshawa OHL
24 Grachev, Evgeny C 2/21/1990 R 6.03 202 Yaroslavl RusDi
25 Deschamps, Nicolas C 1/6/1990 L 6.00.2 173 Chicoutimi QMJHL
26 Trivino, Corey C 1/12/1990 L 6.01 170 Stouffville OPJHL
27 Toews, David LW 6/7/1990 R 5.10 175 Shattuck-St. MN-HS
28 Nemisz, Greg C 6/5/1990 R 6.03 197 Windsor OHL
29 Ness, Aaron LD 5/18/1990 L 5.09.5 157 Roseau MN-HS
30 Eberle, Jordan C 5/15/1990 R 5.10 174 Regina WHL

Not a chance in hell that Stamkos drops to 10th and we know Russians don't last long in B.C. so that rules out Filatov. Farhan Devji took a longer look at Wilson, Boedker and Hodgson that's worth a read. I'll piggyback on his work and take a brief look at three more:

Luca Sbisa, D, Height: 6'1'', Weight: 176, Shoots: L
- A big puck-moving defenseman from Switzerland, Sbisa isn't shy of a fight and was one of the brighter spots at the World Juniors for the Swiss team. Forecasted to be a strong puck moving defenseman, he has some flavor of Ohlund in reports and had a strong year considering he wasn't in the top 20 when the year started. Could help fill Bourdon's slot as well (too soon to mention that?).

Joshua Bailey, C, Height: 6'1'', Weight: 190, Shoots: L
- Hockey's Future just this week praised Bailey's strong season including scoring 96 points and finishing with a strong +/-; Bob McKenzie labeled Bailey as a "smart, creative and skilled" offensive forward. He likely won't transform into Zetterberg anytime soon, but a young, dependable centerman would certainly help alleviate what has long been one of the team's most shallow areas up front.

Zac Boychuk, C, Height: 5'10'', Weight: 184, Shoots: L
- Smaller then some of his peers, Boychuk is labeled as a "proven scorer" and one that'll likely go quickly before the middle of the first round. Boychuk had a good post season this spring, ironically at the same time as Vancouver was missing theirs. Whether or not the Canucks want another smallish player to join their ranks is doubtful, but if he has more Brian Gionta in him then Kyle Wellwood then I'd prefer to have him rather then do this list again in three years and be just as pissed we missed him.

All things considered, I'd prefer the Canucks hang on to #10 and see what falls their way. I'm sure Gillis, with his cap room and willingness to move anything not named Luongo, will make his mark in other ways. Because it's only fair that a day after we saw Ovie rule the awards and several others get their time in the sun, we look fondly once again at what the Vancouver Canucks currently look like:

Canucks Offseason 2008