As this year’s NHL Entry Draft nears, our fellow SBN sites gather as we have in past years and conduct a mock draft. And while there has been a lot of talk about the possibility of Canucks GM Jim Benning trading away that pick for some immediate help, we chose instead to live in a world where Daniel and Henrik Sedin slap the phone out of his hands as he tries to make a deal.
There were some interesting choices left on the board after the Winging it In Motown made the Detroit Red Wings pick Mason MacTavish in the number six slot. Two defencemen, and a home grown center that address needs the Canucks have.
To be fair, If there’s a position the Canucks seem to have some depth is, it’s in the middle of the ice. But for a team that is looking to repair a fractured relationship with its fan base, a highly touted prospect who was born and raised in the Vancouver area couldn’t hurt this effort. Sadly, Fear The Fin chose Kent Johnson for the San Jose Sharks seventh overall pick.
So that leaves two pretty good defensive prospects, and if you don’t think the Canucks need to continue drafting on defence in this round, you probably haven’t been paying attention. Simon Edvinsson is a Swedish kid who’s drawing a lot of Victor Hedman comparisons, and not just because of their nationality. He’s a solid defender with size and skill, and so naturally Jewels From The Crown snapped Edvinsson up for the Los Angeles Kings at number eight.
That brings us to the Canucks pick at ninth overall, and if they should be fortunate enough that Brandt Clarke of the OHL’s Barrie Colts is still available at that stage, we could be looking at an absolute steal.
The 6’2” 185 lb rearguard was one of a number of OHL players to head to Europe with the cancellation of the season in Ontario. Clarke ended up playing for Nove Zamky in Slovakia’s top league. He was able to play a few games with his brother Graeme, before the New Jersey Devils assigned Graeme to their AHL affiliate in Binghamton.
Clarke is considered an elite offensive defenceman, but one that is more than competent in his own end and not one to shy away from physical play at all. With the Canucks looking to retool the back end around Quinn Hughes and Jack Rathbone, Clarke seems to be a no-brainer if he’s still available.
Brandt Clarke has not spoken with the Vancouver Canucks but does have a call planned for next week.— Faber (@ChrisFaber39) July 6, 2021
Clarke is honoured to be known as the top-ranked RD and is aware of how important RD's are. He went on to say he wants to work as hard as he can to become an elite NHL defenceman.
Kinda love Brandt Clarke. The Nate Schmidt is strong in this one.— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) July 6, 2021
He also said he'd love to play for his hometown Ottawa Senators who draft at No. 10 but "I expect to go higher than that."
1. D Brandt Clarke— Josh Erickson (@JoshLwoh) July 4, 2021
He's just the most complete player in the draft, best offensive potential of any defender. Fought through a lot this year, still had a great season playing professionally in Slovakia, put his incredible IQ in all areas of the rink on display. Right-shot helps
Curious why I think Brandt Clarke, and not Owen Power, should go first overall in the draft?— Byron Bader (@ByronMBader) July 8, 2021
Clarke's chances of becoming a Star are seven times greater than Power. And Clarke had immediate and substantial success in a Euro men's league in his draft year (which is very rare). https://t.co/CjC3YtGcEx pic.twitter.com/01x2JLLd6A
We’ll see what goes down on July 23rd. Maybe he’s available, maybe New Jersey snags him at number four. We could always settle for Luke Hughes, I suppose.
The Ottawa Senators and Pierre McGuiahahahahahaha... wheeeeee! Ahem. Sorry. The Senators and Silver Seven Sens are on the clock.