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My prospect rankings

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Mr.53

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Here are my rankings for our top 20 prospects. I've been trying to work on my writing so I thought I would make a top 20 list of our prospects. This is my first blog entry so bare with me. (If anyone ever see's this. lol) This is my opinion based off what I've seen, so take it for what it's worth…. In other words, not much. Word of notice: Both Frank Corrado and Linden Vey have been omitted from this list as I believe their spots in the lineup are pretty much guaranteed. Now just to clarify, these are just my opinion. (Or in other words, it is the most official list in the world and I am 99% sure all the players are clammering to see where I put them… Duh.)

Let us begin

#20____________________________________________________________________Joseph Labate

Joseph Labate ©: Joseph Labate is a center with good size as well as good two-way skills. But that's all he is, good. If you convert him to the NHL level, he seems like he could be a decent third line center, but that's it. He doesn’t really show many signs of being able to achieve more than third line status, but he definitely has the skills to be a bottom six center. If not third line, maybe 4th line. I see him playing the role of a Brad Richardson minus the PK killing, which again he's just 'good' at. He needs to up his offensive game if he wants to better his chances, but as of right now, he would be a good depth center. Maybe in Utica he will stand out in some way. Next year, Labate will get a bigger role and we will see how he does. Do not count him out yet though, next year will be the defining year for him. Chances are, we won't be an NHL regular, but if he does, 4th line center is what should be expected.

AGE = 21

Height: 6’4

Weight: 201 lbs

League: NCAA

Team: U of Wisconson

Games Played: 37

Goals: 11

Assists: 11

Points: 22

ETA: 2-3 years

#19__________________________________________________________________Gustav Forsling

Gustav Forsling (D): The Swedish PMD definitely has offensive upside. He is exceptionally good on the Power play. Forsling’s problems mainly come from his smaller size, especially being a defenseman. If he can work on being responsible on his own side and well as upping his offense a tiny bit, he could push for a job with the club in the future. For the round he was selected in, he is a great talent, just small. I could see him at max being a top 4 guy, but that's really stretching it. Him turning into a third paring who gets power-play minutes, if not on the first team, then most likely on the second team, seems more suitable. But who knows, he could surprise me.

AGE = 18

Height: 5’11

Weight: 176 lbs

League: SuperElit

Team: Linkoping

Games Played: 44

Goals: 6

Assists: 12

Points: 18

ETA: 3-5 years

#18___________________________________________________________________Ronalds Kenins

Ronalds Kenins (LW/RW): Signed last season, Kenins could make a push for the big club this year. He has all the tools to be a decent fourth liner currently. The thing is, he would probably better served playing another year in Utica so he can develop into a great fourth liner. I actually like this guy. He his really, really fast, and plays with high intensity. You always love guys who have a high compete level, no matter what line they are on. He would fit very well on a third line. I see him still being the type of player who still isn't fantastic, but can hop in and play with good players and mesh. Offesnively, he does have skills, but we just need to see him prove it on the next level. After that, who knows, he could be higher on the rankings. He seems like he could hop into the 4th line spot asap, and at max turn into a third solid sized, speedy, third liner than can score decently in a while.

AGE = 23

Height: 6’0

Weight: 201 lbs

League: NLA

Team: ZSC

Games Played: 39

Goals: 8

Assists: 17

Points: 25

ETA: 1-2 years

#17_______________________________________________________________________Kellan Lain

Kellan Lain (C/LW): The big man! Kellan Lain, is 6’6, 230+ pounds. He can potentially be a fourth line center or winger in case of injury, making him a solid 13th forward choice. He also still, has possibly the hardest shot out of all our possible callups, but I don’t think he would be expected for much scoring. 4th line has Kellan's name calling it. I say keep him in Utica for a year and try to develop his skills so when he does step into that 4th line role, he's not a pilon. If you can get him to play average defense, and almost average offense, he would be able to unleash his big man size to it's potential. 6'6, 230+ pounds ain't nothing to mess with. Especially when you know he can drop the gloves.

AGE = 24

Height: 6’6

Weight: 223 lbs

League: AHL

Team: Utica

Games Played: 63

Goals: 7

Assists: 12

Points: 19

ETA: 1-2 years

#16______________________________________________________________Darren Archibald

Darren Archibald (LW/RW): I believe Darren has a big chance at getting called up next year. He is everything you want a fourth liner to be. He plays a hard working, two way game, and is not afraid to lay out hits. He’s one of the older more experienced prospects, which is exactly why he can beat out the rest of the prospects for a depth spot. Not really skilled, but can play a rugged style needed in our division. Have you seen his crazy hit where he completely flips some poor guy? Man, he should have got arrested for that. It was awesome. And to top it all off, he's a workhorse. Only if he had more upside, but still, a solid 4th liner none the less.

AGE = 24

Height: 6’3

Weight: 209 lbs

League: AHL

Team: Utica

Games Played: 59

Goals: 10

Assists: 12

Points: 22

ETA: 1-2 years

#15________________________________________________________________Joaccim Eriksson

Joaccim Eriksson (G): The Canucks have a lot of Swedish goalies in their system. Eriksson right now will manage the starting goaltender role on the Comets. He could push for a backup role in 2 years or so, if not he will be an AHLer for life adding a third goaltending option in case there are serious goaltending injuries. Still though, at the AHL level he has some skill. There really isn't that much to say about him other than he can maybe be a backup. I hope I'm wrong and he turns into more of an Eddie Lack, that would be pushing it.

AGE = 24

Height: 6’2

Weight: 196 lbs

League: AHL

Team: Utica

Games Played: 52

GAA: 2.61

SVS %: .911

ETA: 3-6 years

#14___________________________________________________________________Anton Cederholm

Anton Cederholm (D): Possibly the best shut down defenseman in the Canucks system. In my opinion, he certainly is, but I'm sure Tryamkin has something to say about that. He has potential to be able to shut down top 6 players, but doesn’t show much offensive upside. Although, while saying that, he is showing more upside than originally expected, but still not that much. So in all you should be happy about the sign he's showing, and maybe he can develop the upside a little more. Already has NHL size at 6'2 210+ pounds, and very solid skating to back it up. Cederholm can potentially make an impact to be a top 4 defensman if he develops the right way. A straight up defensive piller is never bad to have. And if you pair him up with someone like a Jordan Subban, you could see real good results.

AGE = 19

Height: 6’2

Weight: 214

League: WHL

Team: Portland

Games Played: 71

Goals: 4

Assists: 12

Points: 16

ETA: 3-4 years

#13____________________________________________________________________Alex Grenier

Alex Grenier (RW): Grenier has NHL size, and one of the hardest shots in the AHL. In fact, he would have one of the harder shots on the NHL club if he were to make it. Grenier, being a late bloomer, and a breakout season last year. He needs one more season to see if he can replicate, or better yet improve upon that success, and possibly push for a fourth line job. The reason I rank him so high is because I think he is very close to being NHL ready. And he's showing he has more upside than originally expected, as well as plays better defense then originally expected. As of right now, he can turn into a fourth liner quick, but who knows, he could be better than that.

AGE = 22

Height: 6’4

Weight: 196

League: AHL

Team: Utica

Games Played: 68

Goals: 17

Assists: 22

Points: 39

ETA: 1-2 years

#12___________________________________________________________________Jordan Subban

Jordan Subban (D): The most skilled PMD in the Canucks system by far. Brother of PK, even he thinks Jordan is the more skilled of the two at that age. Much like many other prospects, his biggest concern comes with his size. While his brother PK stands 6’0, 210 pounds, Jordan comes in at 5’9, 180 pounds. His size makes defending against larger players very difficult, so if he could grow an inch or 2, and put on 10-15 pounds or so, it could only help him, but you can’t really teach size. His kill however, is undeniable. Drafted in the fourth round, I honestly think he has first round talent. If it wasnt for the size factor, I really couldn't see him falling as far as he did. If his size proves to be too much of an impediment to being a defenseman, he has the skills to be a skilled undersized forward in the top 9. All he can do is keep working on his game, and maybe be a little more defensive zone conscious and try to battle through the height and try to be the next Ryan Ellis/Torey Krug. (Ellis however was a first round talent) I'm sure PK can help work with him on that so I'm not too worried. I see Jordan Subban jumping up the rankings in the near future. Jordan Subban is the prospect that I say, do not count out for sure. This kid grew a full inch last year, and apparently it runs in the family as both PK and Malcom did the same. He is already incredibly strong, squatting 300+ too. If he hits 5'11, I see him jumping into the top 10. But you can't teach height, and 2 inches is still a long way to go. Still though, I see him overcoming that and moving up these rankings soon.

AGE = 19

Height: 5’9

Weight: 180

League: OHL

Team: Belleville

Games Played: 66

Goals: 12

Assists: 30

Points: 42

ETA: 3-4 years

#11_________________________________________________________________Nikita Tryamkin

Nikita Tryamkin (D): The big Russian monster. Skates surprisingly well for his size, as well as you can guess, is a great physical force. He has a cannon of a shot but needs to work greatly on his accuracy. Sounds a lot like Jason Garrison right? But at least he's still young, he has time to develop the accuracy. Currently, he still has 2 years left on his KHL contract. After that he could potentially make a push for a top 6, max top 4 spot on the team, and be a huge defensive pillar. A defensman of his skill set has not been on the Canucks roster in possibly ever. I'm really excited to see the physical edge he can bring. He is truly able to play in our division, but only if he works o his overall game to make it a little better. The KHL is a good league, he's not playing with scrubs. Grown men with good skill. I expect him to fully develop there.

AGE = 19

Height: 6’7

Weight: 229

League: KHL

Team: Avto

Games Played: 45

Goals: 1

Assists: 6

Points: 7

ETA: 2-3 years

#10_____________________________________________________________________Dane Fox

Dane Fox (C/LW): The curious case of Dane Fox. Had an outstanding campaign last season with the Eirie Otters. However, he was still an over-ager. Could he be a late bloomer, or will he turn out to be a player more of the Sean Avery type? As of right now, it looks as if he will be closer to a potential third line scorer, but we will have to see. A great signing for the Canucks, worth I would say, I high 2nd round, low third round pick. So getting that value from free signing is a just a solid bonus. Dane Fox truly can be a career AHLer, but he could also go the opposite way and potentially be a top 6 player. Linden Vey, who I omitted from this list purely because I feel like he's a lock, had similar results in the CHL. He was good his CHL career, but exploded in his final year. If Dane Fox could do say Vey did and play in the AHL for 2 years or so, you can see a top prospect on your hands with real top 6 potential. But it won't be easy, so don't expect too much from this kid or you can be disappointed. But it will be interesting to see how he develops. The good thing is, he will be playing with some solid prospects in Utica. Whether it be a Hunter Shinkaruk, or a Nickals Jensen, or his former teammate: Brendan Gaunce. He will have help along the road, which is nothing but good for him.

AGE = 20

Height: 6’0

Weight: 185

League: OHL

Team: Erie

Games Played: 67

Goals: 64

Assists: 43

Points: 107

ETA: 2-3 years

#9____________________________________________________________________Cole Cassels

Cole Cassels ©: Cole Cassels is a solid two-way player. He is responsible in his own end and has shown he has a little more offensive upside than people thought before. He plays a good all around game. He doesn’t stand out in many areas, but he doesn’t fall short in many as well. I like to think of him is as Bo Horvat Lite. He currently projects to be a good third line center give or take a little, but I honestly think he has a chance at cracking 2C. He has the skill and the work ethic to get there, it's just a ways to go. Cole is a hard working two center, and this year if he goes back to juniors, he will likely play another year with Michael Dal Colle. It would really help his offensive development even further as well as teach him how to play with more skilled players, that way he can hop in and play with a Shinkaruk or a Virtanen and not lose a step. It also could only help his chances at developing into a potential 2nd line center. It's always good to have versatile players that can play with guys more skilled than themselves. If developed right, he can be a really solid center prospect.

AGE = 19

Height: 6’0

Weight: 181 lbs

League: OHL

Team: Oshawa

Games Played: 61

Goals: 24

Assists: 49

Points: 73

ETA: 2-4 years

#8____________________________________________________________________Ben Hutton

Ben Hutton (D): 1 word, 'UNDERRATED'!!! Well at least by the league. It seems most Canucks fans are starting to catch on. Ben Hutton is interesting, as he was a forward converted into a defenseman. After transitioning to Defense, he really spread his wings. He had a break out season and broke records at the Univesity of Maine, for most goals by a defenseman (15). Also has good size at 6’4 200+ pounds and plays responsible defense. I think he is massively underrated and has definite top 4 potential in the NHL and can put up a solid amount of points while he’s at it. Also, an interesting tidbit, since he was converted to a defenseman in the first place, he is a potential candidate to be converted into a forward if necessary. See Brent Burns or Dustin Byflugion as an example. I, for one am very excited to see how he does next year. If he makes half the leaps he made this year, you will see people start to catch on.

AGE = 21

Height: 6’3

Weight: 201

League: NCAA

Team: U of Maine

Games Played: 35

Goals: 15

Assists: 14

Points: 29

ETA: 1-3 years

#7________________________________________________________________Brendan Gaunce

Brendan Gaunce ©: Gaunce has NHL size, and NHL smarts. With that good combination alone, he can be a solid third line pivot. He is a two way forward, and always takes care of his own end. He is a natural leader. He has a very quick release on his shot and good playmaking skills. He must however, work on his skating, after that, he can make the jump. Can also play left wing, although it is not his natural position. Still Though, some people think he would be better off at Wing because of his rather mediocre foot speed, however, he is still a natural center. His skating is definitely getting better, but it will need more improvement if he wants to play center. Still, he is a natural born leader, and penalty killer. He can also play with many different types of players and not lose a step because of his positioning and smarts. If Brendan Gaunce is going to succeed, it's going to be as a two way power forward.

AGE = 20

Height: 6’2

Weight: 216 lbs

League: OHL

Team: Erie

Games Played: 65

Goals: 31

Assists: 41

Points: 72

ETA: 1-3 years

#6_______________________________________________________________Thatcher Demko

Thatcher Demko (G):Thatcher Demko, to some, can be seen as the second coming of Cory Schneider.=. Like Schneider, also went to Boston College, and like Schneider, also very skilled and athletic. Definite potential to be a starter, and still has the possibility of being elite; however, goalies take much longer to develop. Don’t expect Demko to actually make an impact for 6-10 years, but hey, if you’re going that time to a goalie, might as well invest in one with the elite skills of Demko. Best bet you can get as he does show elite goaltender potential, but again, goalies are an enigma, and you really don't know what you have in a goalie until they're minimum 23-24 years old, and sometimes not even that soon. But I have trust in the Boston College development system.

AGE = 18

Height: 6’3

Weight: 192

League: NCAA

Team: Boston College

Games Played: 24

GAA: 2.24

Save %: .919

ETA: 5-8 years

#5________________________________________________________________Hunter Shinkaruk

Hunter Shinkaruk (LW/RW): Speed and skill. Shinkaruk has top six speed and top six skill; however, his progress has been slowed due to a couple injury problems. In Utica, he will get a chance to adapt to the pro game and ease into it. After a successful campaign or 2, he can make the jump possibly straight into our top 6. Overall, Shinkaruk has the highest offensive ceiling, although he offers the highest risk. His hip injuries have really healed and apparently, and it seems like he hasn't lost a step. Thank you modern day medicine. I think the best way to go with Shinkaruk is to 'Gutav Nyquist' him. What I mean by that is give him at least another full season in the AHL, maybe 2 or 3. Then when he arrives, you will see him take over games. He still needs to improve on his defensive play, but he's the kind of player that you really use for his offensive upside rather than his defensive upside. Still, it never hurts for your players to be reliable defensively. But one thing he really needs to watch out for is getting injured. Injury problems could seriously hamper his chances, at least more than others, and he just naturally plays a high octane, high compete level game. If he has to, he will charge straight into corners and battle on the boards. He will need to bulk up if he doesn't wants to play that way and not get injured.

AGE = 19

Height: 5’11

Weight: 180 lbs

League: WHL

Team: Medicine Hat

Games Played: 18

Goals: 5

Assists: 11

Points: 16

ETA: 1-3 years

#4___________________________________________________________________Jared McCann

Jared McCann ©: Plays very responsible defense, while boasting a very impressive offensive skillset. He has a lethal shot, and great playmaking ability. In juniors he will find his way and his skills will come together so he can be a more consistent offensive threat. McCann is interesting in that he seems to be like Cody Hodgson 2.0. He has the same IQ and shot, but has better speed and boasts far better defense. For everyone that is still upset for the Cody Hodgson trade, I think this kid is the answer to your prayers. Jared McCann will probably play in junior next year, and if he could have a 80-90+ point season, you will see the league go crazy about how much of a steal he was. And the thing is, with his current, already possessed skill set, that is not really that far of a stretch. I honestly think, similar to how Anthony Mantha was the steal of the 2013 draft's first round, McCann will be the steal the 2014 draft's first round.

AGE = 18

Height: 6’0

Weight: 180

League: OHL

Team: Sault Ste.

Games Played: 64

Goals: 27

Assists: 35

Points: 62

ETA: 2-3 years

#3___________________________________________________________________Nicklas Jensen

Nicklas Jensen (RW/LW): Nicklas Jensen showed us last year that he has talents. Rare talents. He has good size at 6’3 200+ pounds, and is still a very smooth skater for his size. On top he has a snipers shot capable of picking corners. Jensen has all the tools to explode into a top 9, if not top 6 sniper. It would be best for him to start out in Utica and hopefully get called up soon. Jensen and Shinkaruk can be linemates and build chemistry. (Just think of that line. Speed and playmaking by Shinkaruk and speed and sniping on the other. Throw a McCann, Gaunce, or Horvat in there to play center and see what happens.) All he has to do is work on his consistency, and not just offensive consistency but also defensive. The kid can play solid defense as his natural athletic speed and size give him a good edge. Still however, sometimes he seems to get lost and not play effectively. He has probably the best current offensive upside, and still currently has better than average defensive, but he really needs to learn how to perform that efficiently every night. If he does, watch out. Jensen could still hop into the lineup immediately, now that he won't be hampered by injury and can make a push, but still, a full season in the AHL would be great.

AGE = 21

Height: 6’3

Weight: 203 lbs

League: AHL

Team: Utica

Games Played: 54

Goals: 15

Assists: 6

Points: 21

ETA: 1-2 years

#2_____________________________________________________________________Jake Virtanen

Jake Virtanen (RW/LW): At the age of 17, Virtanen boasts NHL size and NHL speed. Virtanen was the fastest skater to come out of the draft, as well as being ranked number 1 for overall physical play. Not only are his physical gives astounding, but he also had the best shot coming out of the draft. He is a true goal scorer in that he can play the speed game, or the physical game, and score in the meantime. JB said he wants a team that can play an up tempo, high speed game, but still can play a bang it out physical game when they have to. Well that sums up Jakes game perfectly, except he doesn't just play physical when he has too, he loves it. And on top of that, he picks corners with a rocket of a shot. With a couple years of fine-tuning, he can be a great top 6 forward. I see a lot of Evander Kane in him, which would be GREAT if you ask me. A lot of people give him flack about his Hockey IQ level, but keep in mind he is still 17 years old. He's still a student of the game and can be taught. Ask any NHL player, you constantly learn the game, even when you're 30. It’s not unreasonable to think that a 17 year old kid can improve his hockey smarts, and if he does, Virtanen can really turn into a homerun player. Virtanen is at worst a third line winger that can put up 15 goals a season. But at best he can be a top 6 forward, the likes of a Evander Kane putting up 30-40 goals a season. He's a low risk, high reward prospect. He can play the speed and finesse game one second, and then play the physical strength game the next.

AGE = 17

Height: 6’0

Weight: 207 lbs

League: WHL

Team: Calgary

Games Played: 71

Goals: 45

Assists: 26

Points: 71

ETA: 1-3 years

#1_______________________________________________________________________Bo Horvat

Bo Horvat ©: I would argue, the number 1 prospect in the system, is none other than 'The Ox', Bo Horvat. Man, let me tell you, I Bo-lieve….. Yes, I just said that… Anyway, Horvat is a rare gem. When it comes to almost every aspect of his game, he is grade A. From Defense, to compete level, leadership qualities etc. Even overall skating and physical play are probably A-s. The only part of his game that needs work is his offensive game. Overall his offensive game is like a B compared to the rest. If he can show up to camp in good shape, he can make a strong consideration to make the big club, but if not, he can go back to the Knights and work on those offensive skills to make him a truly deadly all around prospect. Bo is future captain material. At worst he will be a third line center, but he could definitely push for second line, and possibly, if he really works hard push for first line. He already had a massive improvement last year, if he gets one last season in London, puts up 90+ points, and then comes to the NHL is a true offensive repertoire, he could make a big impact. Still however, if he makes the team, I'm sure Desjardins will give him solid minutes, and solid linemates. With the right care, Horvat could turn into a Ryan O'Reiily type player, but that is why it is so critical that we get this right and make the right choice in his development. Still though, assume 2nd line center if you ask me, and a good one at that. Get ready to hear the announcers talking about "that Bo drag", because it's coming… and it's going to be awesome.

AGE = 19

Height: 6’0

Weight: 203 lbs

League: OHL

Team: London

Games Played: 54

Goals: 30

Assists: 44

Points: 74

ETA: 1-2 years

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But that's just my opinion. Overall not too bad of a group. I would say the biggest need is for us to add a right handed defensman. The only one we have in our entire top 20 is Jordan Subban, who although skilled, is undersized. My idea would be to make a package around Jacob Markstrom if he's not enough to to it himself, and acquire recently drafted Jack Glover, who I would rank between Tryamkin and Grenier, from the WPG jets. We would have prospect depth at every position and should help ease this 'rebuild'. We would look strong going into the future. Other right handed shots I would be interested in looking into would be Madison Bowey in Washington, as well as Jack Dougherty in Nashville. Both would be much harder to get though.

Other than that, we could use a little help on the right side with some either RW forwards or at least a right handed center. I would personally try and go after someone like Nick Baptiste from Buffalo. He's a third round pick who has really spread his wings. I would rank him in-between Ben Hutton and Cole Cassels at the 8th spot. Buffalo has so many quality prospects up front, it's only a matter of time before they had to start shipping guys out. Baptiste would be a great addition and not cost the farm.

Other than those two areas, we are fairly solid pretty much everywhere. By solid, I mean good, but lacking a true number 1 center or defensman, but those don't really come around every day, and when they do, they are usually for a team picking in the top 5 or so. Overall, not bad Canucks, not bad at all.

Quick Recap

1: Bo Horvat

2: Jake Virtanen

3: Nicklas Jensen

4: Jared McCann

5: Hunter Shinkaruk

6: Thatcher Demko

7: Brendan Gaunce

8: Ben Hutton

9: Cole Cassels

10: Dane Fox

11: Nikita Tryamkin

12: Jordan Subban

13: Alex Grenier

14: Anton Cederholm

15: Joaccim Eriksson

16: Darren Archibald

17: Kellan Lain

18: Ronlads Kenins

19: Gustav Forsling

20: Joseph Labate

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Good job. You forgot Corrado though!

I left out Vey and Corrado because I think they're almost certainly locks. I would probably rank them at 3 and 4 if I were to include them though

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