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NHL Draft: An Interesting Time of Year (Gillis Drafts)



So as you guys have probably heard by now, we are less than 2 weeks away from my favorite time of year and more importantly the only time of year where you can aquire a Franchise player for the price of a draft pick.

In the past our prospect pool has gone from being the worst to one of the deepest prospect pools in the NHL. Much of this can be attributed to Gillis, yes Mike Gillis had a positive impact on this team. Say what you want about how he handled draft picks, trading them away for pending UFA's who never turned out. Gillis's body of work over his last 3 drafts is pretty impressive for someone who may have "set the team back a couple of years" with his drafting ablility

Here are his picks from 2011


You may be saying "well this draft was a write off" but if you look at some of those names and a couple of them are on the break of making the time next year.

Grenier has really impressed Benning and Co over the course of Utica's Calder Cup run and will get a long look next year in Trainning Camp.

Labate has just signed a contract with Utica and will be there next year. The book is still open on him but some people believe that he could be a very good prospect if he has a strong year next year.

Blomstrand absolutely light up he ECHL his year, scoring almost a goal a game. He may never become an NHLer but his production in the ECHL will get him a long look in Utica next year and we all know how good Travis Green has been in developing talent over the last 2 years

Corrado will be on a NHL roster next year as he is Waivers Eligible. Some question what his true upside is, but this Canucks fan can see him becoming a solid 4-5 for the Canucks.

Jensen: His shot is at an NHL level already, but his inconsistence has cost him a spot as one of the Canucks top prospects. He could very well still become a 2/3 Tweener (Higgins/Hansen type player) but with only a year left before he is Waivers eligible the clock is ticking and he will need a strong summer and training camp to get a extended look next year.


Brendan Gaunce Alexandre Mallet Ben Hutton Wesley Myron Matthew Beattie
It's weird that after are 2011 cup run that we had basically no draft picks, but Gillies did a decent job in getting some players with NHL upside

Gaunce has been the poster boy for how hard work can get you places. He may not be the most skilled player in the world but his improvement thoughout his first AHL season are impressive non the less. Gaunce seems to have bottom 6 forward written all over him and IMO if his offensive starts to come around he could be another 2/3 Tweener, but many have him pegged as a 3/4th line centre who can produce 25-35 points a year while being defensively responsible. I would except him to get into a few Pre-season games next year and may steal a spot on the roster, but thats being optimistic.

Hutton, not many have heard of Hutton before he was signed his year. Hutton was a converted forward who has excellence offensive instincts. Hutton could very well become the crown of the Canucks defence prospects next year as he already has played against older competition at the University of Maine and was dominent in what is considered the toughest conference in Collage hockey (Hockey-East) which feature powerhouse programs such as Boston Collage, Boston University, and Notre Dame.

1 Bo Horvat Hunter Shinkaruk Cole Cassels Jordan Subban Anton Cederholm Mike Williamson

2013 was a benchmark year for the Canucks maked by the Luongo saga coming to a surpising end, which show Cory Schneider being traded for BO HORVAT.

Horvat, well I don't need to example this pick, everyone is raving about his maturity, work ethic, and the steep learning curve that cames from making the jump for Major Junior to the NHL

Hunter Shinkaruk I was a big fan of his pick because of Hunters potential to be a dynamic top 6 forward, sometime this team really lacks in it's farm system. The jury is still out on whether his first season in the AHL was a success or not, but he is still at last 1 season away from making an impact on the Canucks

Cassels was the Canucks most intriguing prospects his year. He dominated the OHL and ultimately won Major Juniors hockeys ultimate prize, the Memorial Cup. His defensive game is what makes him so intriguing, Cassels plays a very solid defensive game which some believe is almost NHL ready. Excepted to report to Utica next year, Cassels will get a chance to prove that he maybe one the of steals in the 2013 draft.

Subban, having a Norris Trophy winning brother makes him the already most talked about 4th rounders in the draft class. There is no doubt that he processes Elite offensive instincts, evident by his 25 goals as a defence man on one of the worst teams in the OHL but the questions about his defensive are what made him a 4th round pick. Subban will be in Utica next year and it will be interesting to see if he can translate his offensive success to the AHL.

UDFA (undrafted free agents)
Joakim Eriksson


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This sums up the Gillis era 2nd worst with an average 140th selection. Look at Boston it does not fare better. What does it say about Benning?


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