Monday, July 25, 2005

Canucks Draft Speculation

Friday was a great day for the Vancouver Canucks as they were one of the big winners in the Draft Lottery. Instead of picking in the bottom five of the first round, the Canucks have jumped up to the number 10 slot and could be in a position to move up further via trade.

The top end draft pool basically contains three levels. The first is obviously Sydney Crosby. The second consists of Benoit Pouliot(LW), Jack Johnson(D), Bobby Ryan(RW), Gilbert Brule(C) and Anze Kopitar(C). In the next level you have guys like Mark Stall(D), Carey Price(G), Ryan O'Marra(C) Marek Zagrapan (C), Jack Skille(RW) amoung others. For more on info check out TSN's Top 30

While the Canucks pick 10th, their is a significant difference between the top 6 and the rest of the 1st round. Dave Nonis has said that they are within striking distance of moving up in the draft...

However it may be difficult to do so with such a good crop of players available in the top 6. It's highly unlikely that the Ducks or Hurricanes would move their picks. Minnesota does not have much of a reason to move the 4th pick, especially to their rival. Montreal needs some players with size and Ryan or Kopitar fit that description should they be available; they would also snap up Pouliot in the unlikely event he slips down to #5. Columbus may be looking for a defenseman(Marc Stall perhaps?) or a future #1 center(Kopitar) so it's unlikely they would trade down, but you never know. With the top 6 out of the way the Canucks may find a potential trading partner in the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blackhawks may be looking for a big forward, of which there are plenty available at the #10 slot. It has been rumoured that the Hawks have been interested in uniting the Ruutu brothers. Could Jarkko Ruutu entice them into moving down 3 slots? Would the Canucks "guy" be available at #7?

It's fun to speculate, but it's impossible to predict what the Canucks will do. They probably have 2 or 3 guys that they hope will fall down a few spots. Head scout Ron Delorme is said to be high on Kopitar, and of course there is hometown boy Gilber Brule. Personally I'd love to see them get Pouliot, but that's highly unlikely. I'll make a prediction and say that Vancouver will draft Jack Skille at the number 10 slot.

For more info on the draft check out Hockey's Future's preview of the Canucks situation and Ellito Pap's article on the Canucks reaction to the lottery.

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