Vancouver Canucks Draft Weekend Recap

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The 2014 NHL Draft in Philadelphia will go down as arguably one of the wildest weekends in Canucks history. Two big name players gone; replaced by four new players and an extra draft pick. Vancouver had seven picks in this year’s draft, including two in the first round which they used to select Jake Virtanen at No.6 and Jared McCann at No.24. Here’s a recap of how the weekend went down.

Pre-Draft Activity

Ryan Kesler traded to ANA: Jim Benning and the Canucks started Day One by dealing away unhappy superstar Ryan Kesler and a 2015 third rounder to the Anaheim Ducks, in exchange for forward Nick Bonino, defensemen Luca Sbisa, and the 85th overall pick (also a third rounder) in this year’s draft. This was Benning’s first ever trade as Canucks’ GM, and it was a winning move for both sides. The Ducks will get a fantastic centre to play behind Ryan Getzlaf on the depth chart, while Vancouver gets two younger players with lots of potential. Believe or not, Bonino was actually the third highest point getter on the Ducks last season behind Getzlaf and Corey Perry, racking up 49 points in 77 games played. They also save a solid amount of cap space which could help Benning go after a UFA goaltender or any other free agent on July 1.

Jason Garrison traded to TBL: Continuing to work towards a free agency splash, the Canucks freed up more cap space by trading defensemen Jason Garrison, the rights to Jeff Costello, and a 7th round pick in 2015 to the Tampa Bay Lightning for the 50th overall pick this year. The trade itself is easily a losing one for the Canucks, but it’ll be worth it if Vancouver can score a decent player in free agency.

Derek Dorsett acquired from NYR: The Canucks quickly flipped the 85th overall pick they got from Anaheim to the New York Rangers, who gave Vancouver forward Derek Dorsett. Dorsett will be brought in to improve the 3rd and 4th lines, and add a physical presence as well.

First Round

Jake Virtanen (RW) – 6th overall – Calgary Hitmen (WHL): For the first time in three decades, the Canucks have taken a BC prospect in the first round of the Draft by taking Virtanen. The Abbotsford native scored 71 points in 71 games for the Hitmen this season, and finished fifth in the WHL in goals scored. He also has a physical side to his play, adding 100 penalty minutes to his totals this year. He’s only 17, so it’ll probably be at least a season before he suits up in the Canucks uniform.

Jared McCann (C) – 24th overall –  Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL): Using the pick they got the Kesler trade, Vancouver chose McCann from the Greyhounds of the OHL. A projected two-way centre, McCann picked up 62 points in 64 games this season. Like Virtanen, McCann will likely have another season or two in the juniors before joining the Canucks, giving him extra time to develop his game.

Second Round

Thatcher Demko (G) – 36th overall – Boston College (H-East): The highest ranked goaltender in Central Scouting, his Boston College background might make Canucks fans initially reminisce about the great Cory Schneider, but not for long. Demko lead Boston College all the way to the NCAA Frozen Four this year, where they lost in the semifinals to eventual champions Union College.

Linden Vey acquired from LA: Jim Benning went back to the trading market early on Day Two, trading the 50th overall pick Vancouver got in the Garrison trade to the Los Angeles Kings for centre Linden Vey. With the absence of Kesler in the Vancouver lineup, there will be a big hole to fill in the centre position. The Canucks are quickly stockpiling centres so they can have a few extra choices in the middle. Vey has spent most of his professional career with the Kings’ AHL affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs. This is because the Kings have had so much depth at centre with players like Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, and Jarrett Stoll.

Third Round

Nikita Tryamkin (D) – 66th overall – Yekaterinburg (Russia): Measuring in at a height of 6-foot-7, this kid is GIANT. The young Russian’s size helps draw in comparisons to other big defensemen like Zdeno Chara. Tryamkin spent the last season playing in the KHL, where he picked up 8 points in 45 games. He also played for Russia at the 2014 World Juniors, adding 3 points in 7 games. He is also the first Russian the Canucks have drafted since before the Mike Gillis era.

Fifth Round

Gustav Forsling (D) – 126th overall – Linkoping Jr. (Sweden-Jr): A member of Team Sweden at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, Forling scored 18 points in 44 games played for Linkoping Jr.

Sixth Round

Kyle Pettit (C) – 156th overall – Erie Otters (OHL): Pettit picked up 10 points in 53 games while playing for Erie of the OHL this season.

Seventh Round

Mackenzie Stewart (D) – 186th overall – Prince Albert Raiders (WHL): Stewart managed just 9 points in 55 games in 2013-14, but earned 69 penalty minutes as well.

 

Lachlan Irvine

Lifelong Canucks fan, goalie on the ice.

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