I'll dial this down to the last 5 years of drafting. I know how some are doing but know nothing about most of their picks. So I'm not only looking, I'm also sharing with you, the fine Canucks fans on this great planet. Let's start with the 2011 Canucks draft class with Mike Gillis at the helm. Gilly traded the Canucks' second round pick to Minnesota for their 3rd and 4th round picks, FYI.
Round 1 (29th): Nicklas Jensen (RW)
The other Dane was a goal-scoring machine as a kid in Denmark, scoring 43 goals and 72 points in 66 games. He scored 54 goals and 116 points in 118 games with the Oshawa Generals of the OHL upon arrival in North America. But he has not generated much sustained success in the AHL or NHL. 3 goals and 3 assists in 24 NHL games. In 176 AHL games he has scored 43 goals and 73 points. On January 8, 2016, Jensen (and a 6th round pick) was traded to the New York Rangers in exchange for Emerson Etem. Jensen is now playing for the Rangers' affiliate Hartford Wolfpack. He has 3 goals and 1 assist in 10 games so far (included in his above AHL total). You know that Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault had some say in this trade.
Round 3 (71st): David Honzik (G)
A 6'3" goalie from the Czech Republic. Despite unimpressive-looking stats in the QMJHL (and you know what I think of those goalie stats), Honzik was selected to play in the CHL Top Prospects Game in 2011, then drafted by the Canucks. He was never signed by the Canucks and returned to the Czech Republic. His stats tell the story. He is currently putting up good numbers:
Gone baby gone. Although he was mentioned to have good speed for a bigger goalie he was rated a "D" to succeed in the NHL by Hockey's Future.
Round 3 (90th) Alexandre Grenier (RW)
The big 6'4" Lavel, Quebec native is still in the Canucks' system, in the final year of his 2-way contract. He was a point-per-game player in the QMJHL from 2009-2012. He signed with the Austrian Salzburg team in the summer of 2012 but left them to sign in North America that same season with the Canucks' then AHL affiliate Chicago Wolves. The Canucks signed Grenier to an entry level deal in April, 2013. After a brief 31 points in 37 games with the ECHL Kalamazoo Wings that season Grenier has since stuck with the new Canucks affiliate Utica Comets, recording 82 points in 135 regular season games and a 6-goal and 15 point playoff performance last season. Back in November of this season Grenier was called up to the bigs and played one game for the Canucks, playing 8:52, playing an even plus/minus and registering 1 hit before being sent back down to Utica. Grenier has 6 goals and 19 points in 40 games with the Comets this season. Time will tell if the 24 year-old is re-signed by the Canucks organization. From Hockey's Future:
Perhaps if Grenier can solidify his defensive game he may have a chance at the NHL as a useful third or fourth line grinder, but if not then he may remain in Utica indefinitely.
Round 4 (101st) Joseph Labate (C)
At 6'4" and 210 pounds with limited creativity and skill, Labate was drafted to be a checking center. Hockey's Future has this to say about his development:
Labate is in his rookie season with the Utica Comets and the big forward is slowly coming along with his development. He hasn’t produced any big offensive numbers but his sound defensive awareness makes him a useful bottom six forward for Utica. Labate can line up at wing or center which adds to his overall usefulness and if he can become somewhat of a defensive specialist then he may see NHL time in his future but likely not for another year or two at best.
Seems like we have too many of these kind of players in our system, no? Labate currently has 3 goals and 4 assists in 33 games with the Comets this season (and 39 penalty minutes.) Here are his career stats:
Labate has 1 more year left on his Canucks contract.
Round 4 (120th) Ludwig Blomstrand
Should be a roster player based on his name alone. Or maybe he could compose a new 10-part symphonic masterpiece?
No seriously, this 6'1" 200 pound Swede was hailed as a consistent 2-way player. Here are his career stats:
His production looks good in Kalamazoo. In Kalamazoo. Look at that -18 this season though..oh boy, what the hell is going on in Kalamazoo? Ah. Well, at least he's 2nd in team scoring behind that huge enigma Dane Fox. Tick tock tick tock, I guess.
Round 5 (150th) Frankie Corrado
Just a Zanstorm eye test/rant here, but Corrado never looked like a big player, he didn't play like a big player, but I thought there was some potential with him in his smart game, much like Chris Tanev. I liked this guy and thought he'd become the 6th or 7th defenceman. Nope. Let's cut to his career stats:
Even his career stats never pointed to him becoming the next Brian Leetch. But that's not why he was drafted.
In 2013 the Canucks ate the first year of Corrado's entry-level contract by keeping him on the roster in the playoffs against the San Jose Sharks. A 4-game sweep by the Sharks, and from there a lot of movement for Frankie, as the stats above show. Played a pivotal role in the Comets' 2015 playoff run. But Frankie was not going to make the Canucks team this season. He was placed on waivers by the Canucks in October and claimed by the Maple Leafs. That didn't make life so much better for Corrado, as wiki puts it:
Corrado would however remain a healthy scratch for 10 weeks, finally making his Toronto debut on December 15, 2015, in a 5–4 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning (Corrado had spent two weeks with the Marlies as part of a conditioning stint during this near 3 month span). This prolonged wait is likely attributed to the Maple Leafs' desire for Corrado to improve his strength in the gym, as well as an overabundance of defencemen on the roster.
This season, Corrado has 1 assist in 6 games for the Leafs and 3 assists in 7 games for the Marlies. He is still currently on the Leafs' roster, playing about 13:00 per game. Play this one out, Frankie:
I like this dude. Good luck, Frankie.
Round 6 (180th) Pathrik Westerholm (LW)
Westerholm has never left Sweden. The 24 year-old, 5'11, 180 pounder currently plays with Brynas, which is in the top tier Swedish Hockey League. This guy, ironically, or not, has a twin brother named Ponthus. Here's a mind-boggler of an assessment from eliteprospects:
A skilled offensive player. Has great chemistry with his twin-brother Ponthus. Good hockey sense and is the more noticeable goal scorer of the the two. Passing and shooting game is good and so is his puckhandling. Cycles the puck often with his brother. The question has been raised if he can be a productive player without his twin.
Gillis and Gradin getting some deja-vu there. Me too, actually.
What can be said? Not an NHL player. Probably got separation anxiety when his brother was not drafted (kidding).
Round 7 (210th): Henrik Tommernes (D)
The 25 year-old Karlstad, Sweden native agreed to a 3-year entry level with the Canucks in 2013. He attended Canucks' training camp, but didn't make the big club where he was then assigned to the Utica Comets. The 6'1", 180 pound defenceman registered 7 goals and 29 points in about 1.5 seasons with the Comets. In January 2015 the placed him on unconditional waivers in order for mutual termination of his NHL contract and back to Europe he went. Tommernes was listed as an offensive defenceman with solid vision and great skating ability, but also tended to over-complicate things and cause turnovers.
I am not going to rate the success of this draft year, besides assuming. It sucked. Corrado looked good. Jensen looked good. Labate may get a longer look, what's happening with the big Grenier? The others are gone. Jensen was traded to the Rangers and we got Emerson Etem in return. Is this considered a win? Too soon to tell.