Saturday, June 25, 2011


Well this draft was really fun for me. I had various things in my mind about this draft and most of them panned out pretty well. Three things I looked for were:

1) How would the first 5 picks be distributed?
2) Who did the Canucks pick and what moves did they make?
3) How did my prospects I've collected hockey card wise get drafted?

Let's deal with the first thing first. The top five. To not so many peoples surprise Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was selected as the first overall pick in this years draft.

Edmonton had him pretty much prepped as Taylor Hall's new line buddy right from the start. As a Canucks fan I'm going to have to get use to hating this guy for the year's to come. That's too bad too considering he was born in the same city as I was.

After N-H got picked I was torn as to who would go next. Adam Larsson was my next favorite and I'm happy New Jersey picked him up at 5th because they're hurting on the back-end and needed a lift in Larsson. Good Swede d-man that will be solid to possibly build around in the future.

As for how the Canucks did I was very content at times, and at others a little disappointed. Let's start with their first round choice in Nicklas Jensen. He's a 6'3'', 186 lbs left winger that's ranked the best prospect out of Denmark in this year's draft. Reports say that he could make history as the best Dane to ever play the game and hopefully he could use a fellow Dane in Jannik Hanson to help him develop. Although he is a different player than Hanson is, he uses his body to his advantage. Despite his size, he has excellent speed and great hands. He's said to "take little to no room, and create a scoring chance" and "give him an inch he'll take it a mile". Some more pros to consider is his ability to finish, in his first season in the OHL he racked up 58 points in 61 games. Of the 29 goals he scored in the OHL a few of them could be considered highlight reel goals. Probably most impressive was his 15 points (13 goals, 2 assists) in 5 games in the WJC-18 Div1 tourny. The cons to this power forward is his inconsistency. At times he's reported to "take shifts off" but near the end of the season and into the play-offs he proved critics wrong scoring 5 points in 5 games during the play-offs and consistently putting up points in his last 20 games. Also, although he uses his size to his advantage, scouts say he can put on some extra muscle to really elevate his strength on the puck. Overall, I'm 
very happy with the pick.

After trading away the second round pick to Minnesota for their 3rd and 4th rounders, the Canucks selected goalie David Honzik. I was very surprised they added to our already strong goalie depth chart and confused why they picked Honzik over the third ranked North American goalie Jordan Binnington.

This card I pulled from my box of 2010-11 BTP, was originally exciting for two reasons. The two color swatch and that it's the silver version numbered to only 30 copies. After doing research on the actual player I became even more excited. Jordan has great potential to one day crack an NHL line-up and is highly regarded by NHL scouts. Saying this, I thought he might go in the top 5 or so goalies selected. So if the Canucks wanted a goalie and Jordan was still on the table why didn't they pick him? David Honzik obviously caught the organizations eye. His stats are nothing fantastic, in fact they're a little icky with a GAA of 3.54 and a SP 0.884%. I guess it just would have been cool for us to pick Binnington over Honzik for the mere fact that I pulled his card before the draft and it would have been cool to see him in Canucks gear. Maybe, I'm a little biased. Jordan ended up getting picked in the 3rd round by the St. Louis Blues 88th overall. He was the 6th goalie selected.

Next the Canucks selected right winger Alexandre Grenier. I don't know a whole lot about Grenier but his numbers say a bit about him. He played only 31 games for the Quebec Remparts in the QMJHL in his first year. In those 31 games he put up 24 points (9 goals and 15 assists). In the play-offs though he put up 16 points in 15 games. That leads me to believe he thrives in high intensity situations without taking penalties also. He only had 10 PIM in both the regular and post seasons in 46 games. Oh ya he's also 6'5'' and 200 lbs, no big deal.

In the first of the two 4th round selections of the Canucks we picked Joseph Labate 101st overall. Here's what "" has to say about the 6'4'', 180 lb centreman:
"LaBate held steady in our rankings this season and has definitely put his name on the map this season. He’s got the frame that will definitely interest NHL teams and his skating ability and willingness to play in front of the net will surely entice NHL teams as well. The Wisconsin commit will benefit from playing in the NCAA, where he’ll have an opportunity to add some much needed strength to his frame while playing against older players over the next 3-4 seasons."
What I like most about the statement above is his "willingness to play in front of the net". As a big body maybe he could turn out to be the next Todd Bertuzzi pre-Moore incident type player. I like what I've read so far about him.

For the 120th selection the Canucks chose Swede left-winger Ludwig Blomstrand. According to "" he has "potential to become an excellent role player. Has great size and wheels and works really hard. Gets involved in the rough stuff. Somewhat limited offensive upside." So it looks like he's not gonna turn out to be a Sidney Crosby but I do appreciate the value of a role player.

Next is Frank Corrado the lone 5th round pick of the Nucks. Frank has his own blog fan site which leads me to believe he has good character and the fans love him. If you want to learn more about him, check out his blog at "". He was considered a dark horse defenseman. 

Our 6th round choice was a guy I really got excited about - Pathrik Westerholm (has a ring to it, doesn't it?). You'll know what I mean once you read his bio. Try to think who he reminds you of: "A skilled offensive player. Has great chemistry with his twin-brother Ponthus. Good hockey sense and is the more noticeable goal scorer of the the two. Passing and shooting game is good and so is his puckhandling. Cycles the puck often with his brother. The question has been raised if he can be a productive player without his twin." Holy s*** did we just pick up 1 out of the 2 next Sedins. He's one of the two Swedish twins, who likes to work the cycle game and works best with his twin brother. He could be considered the Daniel Sedin because he is the scorer. What puzzles me is that his twin brother Ponthus wasn't even drafted! Why didn't we pick him up as a late 7th rounder? Doesn't make sense to me Gillis. I mean I know this is a long shot but if you take it you might just score. They have the best role models in the world to help them play their game already on the team. I hope Mike can swing a deal with Ponthus come free agency to pick up another pair of Swedish twins.

Instead, the Canucks picked Henrik Tommernes as the second to last pick in the draft. He's an offensively skilled d-man. He's a very good skater and has a goof first pass. Another Swede d-man, who would have thunk it?

So that was it for the Canucks, hopefully we can develop all these players to attain their personal best and hey maybe we have a diamond in the rough somewhere. As for how my hockey card prospects panned out, we already know where Binnington landed. The only other card I have is this one:

To nobody's surprise Piche was undrafted, if anybody is looking to have this card for whatever reason we can make a deal. With that being said, if you have any cards of the Canucks draftees, I would love to trade for them especially if they're GU cards. Also, if you have any info that might be interesting to myself let me know.


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