Canucks won’t be trading the 6th overall pick [Report]

Jim Benning with Thomas Vanek at the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. This picture is delightful.

There was a lot of fuss made last week over rumours the Canucks would be trying to trade up in the upcoming draft. Some of that fuss was made by us.

Most of the rumours surrounded the idea that the Canucks could package their first round pick at 6th overall with a roster player or prospect to trade with the Florida Panthers for their pick at first overall. Since the Panthers are reportedly looking for a top-four defenceman, Jason Garrison, Alex Edler, and Chris Tanev were quickly tossed into the rumour mill. Ben Kuzma decided, for some reason, that it made sense to package Bo Horvat with the pick. It doesn’t, for the record.

In any case, the entire speculative discussion is now a moot point, as Jim Benning apparently has no intention of trading the 6th overall pick.

The Canucks’ brain trust is currently in Whistler, beginning their scouting meetings in preparation for the draft. Sportsnet’s Mark Spector talked to Benning there about the rumours surrounding the 6th overall pick.

 

If it seems like there’s a lot of wiggle room in that quote — “using that pick” could mean using it to trade up or down in the draft — it was apparently clear in context, according to Spector, that Benning meant using the pick for its intended purpose: selecting a player.

Things could certainly change in the three weeks that remain before the draft, but it looks like the Canucks will be, at the very least, selecting a player at 6th overall. That doesn’t preclude them from going after Florida’s pick with a package that doesn’t include their own first round pick, but it makes it less likely to succeed. They may, of course, also aim to acquire more picks in a potential Ryan Kesler trade.

I’ve previously looked at eight different players that the Canucks may select with the 6th overall pick; what’s frightening is that barely scratches the surface. Benning himself has said that the quality of players available from picks 5-through-30 is fairly even. The one thing that reassures me is that the one time the Buffalo Sabres had a pick as high as this when Benning was director of amateur scouting, they went with skill over size, selecting Thomas Vanek.

I am hopeful that if the first five picks play out as expected — Aaron Ekblad, Sam Bennett, Sam Reinhart, Leon Draisaitl, and Michael Dal Colle — that Benning will go with a skilled player like William Nylander, Nikolaj Ehlers, or Kasperi Kapanen over a power forward type like Nick Ritchie or Brendan Perlini. That’s not to say that Ritchie or Perlini won’t pan out in the NHL, but I would prefer the Canucks to prioritize skill with a first round pick.

While we can hope that one of the teams picking from one to five goes slightly off the board with Ritchie or Nylander, dropping someone like Draisaitl or Dal Colle down to the Canucks, it doesn’t seem overly likely.

13 comments

  1. agepay
    June 9, 2014

    This is good news. No way do they package Horvat or give up two prospects just to move up. If they could swing a deal with Anaheim for Kesler that included the 10th overall, they could snap up Nylander at six and then take a flyer on a power forward or D-man at 10. Nylander + Perlini or Nylander + Fleury would be a superb pair of additions to the prospect pool. And nobody is talking much about the second round, but there should be a player at 36 as well. Obviously any number of scenarios could unfold. I think it’s going to be an exciting last half of the month for Canuck fans.

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  2. Kenji
    June 9, 2014

    I’m concerned about MDC dropping to us because I think we would feel obliged to take him but then what? He’s tall but lanky, you have to project that he will fill out. He’s productive but non-physical, you have to project that he can impose his will.

    There’s a reason someone might go off “the board” and take Ritchie and it’s not because Ritchie lacks skill.

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    • Chris the Curmudgeon
      June 10, 2014

      It’s a lot easier for a tall and lanky guy to fill out then for a power forward without much skill to learn how to play high level hockey.

      It’s easy to get size and toughness in trade and the lower rounds. Guys with 30 goal potential in the NHL either need to be drafted high or paid big time in free agency. Benning, if he’s what he’s cracked up to be, will certainly hunt for the latter while making the former an afterthought.

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  3. PD
    June 9, 2014

    I’m feeling good about this Benning fellow, I like what I’m hearing. Then again, I remember feeling pretty good about that Tortorella felllow, liking what I was hearing. Fingers crossed!

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  4. Doop
    June 9, 2014

    This is a relief tbh

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  5. akidd
    June 9, 2014

    get the no. 1 or 2 pick too? not sure how to do this but reinhart and nylander could be pretty sweet. throw in horvat, shinkaruk, jensen, fox, corrado, and the future might not look too bad.

    and a bidding war for kesler. yup, there could be lots of goodies under tree if the cards are played right.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      June 9, 2014

      Getting the no. 1 or 2 pick would require trading away likely a high-end roster player (Edler, Kesler) and a prospect (Gaunce, Jensen) and, perhaps, a later round pick as well. It would be a hefty cost, I think, but it’s an outside possibility.

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      • akidd
        June 9, 2014

        saw a blurb on sportsnet and benning says he’s talked to tallon and the pick is in play and he’ll see what happens. if they can get it for edler and gaunce they should go for it(it’s gonna take a bit more than that i guessing.)i think benning is going to make a big old heap of hay this draft. he’s got basically double the manpower this year. he’s got all of boston’s work to cross-reference against the canuck’s work. plus he says he spent a lot of time on the road and at games himself. i’m guessing he’s got a pretty good idea of this year’s draft. he’s going to town, i imagine. exciting really.

        if he can trade for #1 and keep #6 he should. corrado? tanev? kassian? jensen? shinkaruk? these are the kind of guys it will probably take, unfortunately. the ntc’s most likely won’t short-list florida… but you never know. you could probably twist edler’s arm. strikes as the kind of guy who might not say no to the good life. there’s hurricane relief work and the like for hamhuis too if he wants it:) and i wonder if padding his stats in a warm(good for healing injuries) climate while waiting to strike it rich(er) in two years might not be the worst decision kesler could make, short of being traded to the kings or hawks. outside of playing for those two team it’s all relative…unless he really feels like almost winning the cup again.

        stock that cupboard.

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      • Lemming
        June 10, 2014

        A 3-way trade between Vancouver, Anaheim, and Florida involving Kesler, an Anaheim roster defenseman, and the Florida 1st seems to be the most logical way this would happen.

        I would be a little disappointed if they shipped Horvat out with the 6th for Florida’s 1st…

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  6. BBoone
    June 10, 2014

    I think it is lazy and unprofessional for sports ” journalists” like Kuzma to make up something.
    spin as “news” and then turn around and report it as ” news ” . Next , should be one of the other Vancouver sports ” journalists” doing a podcast interview of Kuzma regarding his investigative journalism uncovering the impending trade by the Canucks to move up to number 1. 1984 lite ( well ,OK ,extremely lite ) has arrived in the Vancouver sports world

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    • BMo
      June 10, 2014

      Trying not to exaggerate too much here – but it seems like every time I read a Kuzma article, it includes something blatantly made-up or other equally puzzling errors.

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  7. Andy
    June 10, 2014

    In hindsight, I think 6th pick is a pretty nice spot. If the 3-5 picks (Dal Colle, Draisaiti & Ehlers) fall to us, we get a high projecting player.

    If not, we get our pick of ‘flashy’ players like Nylander and Kapanen.

    If Kesler does have to get traded, I think a first round pick (10-20) and a solid prospect (over performing prospect) looks to be both plausible and beneficial to the club.

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  8. Kreayshawn
    June 11, 2014

    I would trade tanev garrison and horvat to Florida for the 1st overall and nick Bjugstad. Take Aaron Ekblad withe the 1st overall. Draft Virtanen 6overall.

    Dan henk kassian
    Virtanen Bjugstad Jensen
    Higgins Gaunce Hansen

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