In just over 24 hours, the Vancouver Canucks will have most likely added their highest draft pick since Grabbing the Sedins in 1999. I wondered what the expert consensus on who they would pick at number 5.
First, the SB Nation mock draft from our own crack team of contributors had the Canucks taking Olli Juolevi.. Recall, Edmonton snagged Pierre-Luc Dubois at 4, leaving the Canucks to choose between Juolevi or Tkachuk..
Here's how the experts say the Canucks will pick:
Adam Kimmelman, NHL.com -- Matthew Tkachuk
General manager Jim Benning said he was looking for a top-line forward with the fifth pick, and Tkachuk has the skill to fill that role. Scouts have said the 6-1, 202-pound forward might be the best player in the 2016 draft class from the faceoff dots down in the offensive zone.
Mike G. Morreale, NHL.com -- Pierre-Luc Dubois
Dubois (6-2, 201) plays with an edge, has good vision and showcases good hands in tight spaces. He led Cape Breton with 57 assists, 99 points and a plus-40 rating in 62 games. He finished in the top 12 in six of the testing categories at the NHL Scouting Combine.
Craig Button, TSN -- Pierre-Luc Dubois
The Vancouver Canucks are up next at No. 5 and are poised to take power forward Pierre-Luc Dubois, whose power/skill combination reminds me of Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn.
Bob McKenzie, TSN -- Pierre-Luc Dubois is TSN's fifth ranked player.
Sam Cosentino, Sportsnet -- Jesse Puljujarvi (he anticipates Montreal will move up to three or four and take Dubois)
He’s a big right shot winger who competes at both ends of the ice. Slight slippage due to thoughts about his hockey IQ.
Jeff Marek, Sportsnet -- Mikhail Sergachev
Not exactly a secret the Canucks need help on the back end and picking up Sergachev goes a long way in addressing that. Only question is if he starts next season in the NHL or goes back to the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL.
Damian Cox, Sportsnet -- Pierre-Luc Dubois
This youngster has added 40 pounds of muscle and two inches in height over two years. Very complete player.
Gare Joyce, Sportsnet -- Olli Juolevi
I don’t think there’s much that separates Juolevi and Sergachev, but most scouts lean to Juolevi. Juolevi plays a game that’s more heady than showy—because he makes the right read almost instantly, he gets out of jams and makes it look almost too easy. Great ability to make the first pass.
Allan Muir, Sports Illustrated -- Pierre-Luc Dubois
What if Montreal so covets Dubois, they are willing to trade P.K. Subban as part of an effort to move up? That's the rumor du jour
Jim Benning himself later confirmed the interest in an interview with TSN 1040:
Benning on PK Subban: Yeah, we've been one of the teams that have talked to them. It's a high price, he's a true #1 defenseman— TSN Radio Vancouver (@TSN1040) June 23, 2016
The rumor I heard -- but cannot find a corroborating Tweet -- is the Montreal asked Edmonton for Leon Draisaitl and the 4th overall pick for Subban.* Imagine, then, a comparable package from Vancouver -- Bo Horvat and the 5th overall pick? Personally, I'd be willing to give up plenty if the Canucks could finally add Norris Trophy caliber defender. But I worry the price would blow a huge hole in the organization's ability to compete.
While some -- notably Iain MacIntyre -- have heard chatter that the Canucks might look to move down and grab Logan Brown, Benning seems satisfied with the number five pick, citing his opinion that there are 20 players in the draft who have a chance to be top-six forwards or top-four defensemen.
As expected, the Canucks will be making pitches to Steven Stamkos and to Milan Lucic. Benning seemed very bullish on Lucic during the radio interview.
In other new, details on the Young Stars Tournament in Penticton were announced today. It'll be held Friday, September 16 - Monday, September 19. I was lucky enough to go to this event a couple years ago. Penticton is a wonderful place, the facilities are top-notch, and it's well-worth a long weekend trip if you can at all make it.
* Not ten seconds after I published this, Irfaan Gaffar retweeted this:
Someone around the Oilers organization just confirmed to me that the Canadiens asked for Draisaitl and the 4 pick for Subban!— Georges Laraque (@GeorgesLaraque) June 23, 2016