Rasmus Dahlin. He is the prize here. The one that, with the kind of luck that this god-forsaken franchise has never, ever seen, could start to turn things around. A genuine sure thing superstar defenceman. Something this team needs badly. And it’s all but a dream, because the odds are against the Canucks getting him.
Here’s how it breaks down: The Canucks can move into the top 3, or they can pick between 6th and 9th. The odds are as follows:
1st- 7.5, 2nd- 7.8, 3rd- 8.0, 6th- 16.3, 7th- 38.9, 8th- 19.4, 9th- 2.1.
Obviously 9th would be a disaster, yet one we’d all just shrug and go “well, what did you think would happen. It’s very likely that it’s the 7th pick, but it feels like it’s either 7th or 1st. It’s either status quo, or a sign from the hockey gods that the Canucks have been punished enough. So, let’s take a look at some of the potential picks should they end up anywhere else than first.
If you can’t get Dahlin, the need for a top pairing D man still exists, so who’s out there that could potentially fill this role? Quinn Hughes was the youngest player in the NCAA this season, but has ranked highly for his speed and skill. He’s very adept on the PP, and at 5’10” and 170lbs may not be the biggest dman out there, but is an intriguing possibility.
Another Swede high on many lists is Adam Boqvist. Scouting reports talk about a player who appears to have everything: speed, skill, vision, hockey smarts and a heavy shot from the point, another thing that the Canucks sorely need. The debate has raged amongst scouts over these two, and it would seem either would be a good fit on a Dcore that needs an overhaul.
Should these two not be available, the QMJHL’s Noah Dobson is worth checking out. Standing 6’3” and 180 lbs, Dobson put up some good numbers for Acadie-Bathurst (17-52-69) this season, and is currently awaiting the Titan’s opponent in the league finals, having lost just 2 of the 14 games they’ve played. He’s scored a goal and added 8 assists so far.
Spokane’s Ty Smith put up 73 pts in 69 games played in the WHL this season, with a ton of potential and a reputation for always making the smart play in addition to precision passing. With D men being at a premium this draft, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him go early as well. This is another pick I would be fine with should the Canucks not land the top pick.
There are a couple players that, despite the obvious needs the Canucks have on D, might be too good to pass up on. They do need a C more than a winger, but a guy like Andrei Svechnikov could be on this roster in October. Big, a little mean, with great speed and hands, the Barrie Colts winger could give the Canucks another goal scoring threat.
Filip Zadina of the Halifax Mooseheads is another RW with a ton of potential and goal scoring abuility. Cam Robinson of Dobber Prospects said this about Zadina “Uses his size and strength to create space and then delivers electric moves and finishing ability. He’s absolutely lethal from the circles down. A tireless worker who loves the big stage”.
A Center that sounds like the kind of player the Canucks are lacking down the middle is Oliver Wahlstrom. This US National Development Team prospect lives in front of the net, isn’t afraid to get dirty and has stellar puck handling skills. Good size and skating ability, this could open up an option to have Bo Horvat on a 2nd line while Wahlstrom centers Brock Boeser. Maybe not a replacement for Henrik Sedin (who could be?) but a decent pick with a high ceiling.
We don’t need no stinkin’ goalies.