Btw. Raymond has bulked up a lot since breaking into the league. I remember in his rookie season and even last season, he would lose the puck all the time because he was getting knocked around. He was known for handling the puck well in juniors, but his size was a concern on playing in the NHL.
I do believe there has been a change of thinking by the Canucks with respect to young player development. The salary cap has had a lot to do with new thinking and stratagies in that respect. The old days of drafting a good player and sending him to the farm team for long periods of time to develop is no longer the philosophy of most teams. Teams are now paying fortunes to main stream their draftees into the system much quicker, pending of course the length of time it takes for a player to develop. Years ago it was unheard of to provide players with special training needs like skating, weight training, eating habits etc. Players had to demonstrate their attributes on the ice during the hockey season and that was it.
New and progressive managers have replaced a lot of the old dinosaurs that plagued the league with their old time philosophies, one being the neglect of young player development. I shudder to think how much great talent was left in the minors to rot because in those days, money being no object, allowed wealthy teams to buy all the proven talent they needed to be a contender. Nowadays, more focus is placed on development because the lower salaries of young players make it much more affordable to build and field a team.
I am really glad that Gillis is a member of that new wave of managers who is now starting to load up on prospects knowing full well the youth in the farm system hold the key of success for the team's future.