Who might be available to the Canucks at the 26th pick in the NHL draft?

Crazy as it may seem, the 2012 NHL Draft is just one week away. On June 22nd in Pittsburgh, the league’s GMs will gather at the Consol Energy Center and attempt to shape the future of their franchises. For teams at the bottom of the standings, the excitement level is high, as names like Nail Yakupov, Mikhail Grigorenko, and Ryan Murray have been on everyone’s lips for months now.

For a team like the Canucks, it’s a little bit harder to get excited, as they won’t be picking until 26th overall in the first round, where the names and faces are little less familiar to the average hockey fan. In order to combat that insouciance, I want to introduce you to a few of the prospects that are expected to be available for the 26th pick by looking at the various rankings and mock drafts that have been produced by those in the know.

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With the 29th overall pick in the 2011 entry draft, the Canucks selected Danish winger Nicklas Jensen from the Oshawa Generals. Like many Canucks fans, we responded to the pick with complete bewilderment. Where’s Oshawa? Do they mean Ottawa? Is Jensen a soft or a hard J? Does Google have the answers I’m looking for? Of course it does. As a wise man once said, “If it’s not on Google, it doesn’t exist.”

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Barring some unforeseen bad luck in the lottery the Toronto Raptors will have one of the top five choices in the upcoming NBA draft.  As such the NCAA tournament is a tremendous opportunity for the organization to check out how the top prospects fare playing the other top prospects.  And occasionally a good player elevates [...]

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