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A Case to Draft Jesperi Kotkaniemi

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11 hours ago, Ghostsof1915 said:

Can I ask why folks seem to think centre is a weak spot on the team?

 

We have:

 

Horvat - 1st/2nd line centre

Sutter - shutdown centre

Gagner

Gaudette - still needs to prove himself; 3/4 centre

Gaunce

Granlund

Dahlen - probably a winger

Pettersson - possibly a winger but if he does play centre needs time to adjust possibly

Laplante

Carcone

And a couple of RFA's possibly.

Not to mention any UFA's available. 

 

We haven't seen where Pettersson and Dahlen will end up. Shouldn't we see what the team has first?

Centre's are always at a premium in this league and many people say you cannot have enough quality centres. The bolded are the only centre's the Canucks will have medium to long term (none of gagner gaunce or ganlund are worth much - middling players at best). You actually included someone like Laplante in your list??? lmao.

 

If Kotka is available at 7 you take him and run but there is no way he will be there anyway. 

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Will probably be picked by the Habs

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5 minutes ago, Xbox said:

Will probably be picked by the Habs

I was almost certainl he was gonna be but then the Habs had a get together with both Svechnikov and Zadina. If Kotkaniemi is there at 7 he could be BPA and I wouldn’t be upset if he’s our pick. Would love it even more if he turns out better than whoever the Canadiens take instead of Kotka.

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2 hours ago, canucklehead80 said:

If Bergevin actually does select JK, I find it very hard to believe Zadina falling all the way to 7th.....but if he does, I hope I don't injure myself during my happy dance.

See, you'd think that but I've been reading mock drafts that think there's a chance Zadina could fall to us based on other teams needs/wants.

 

Ottawa apparently has its sights set on a defenseman so they might reach for Adam Boqvist (Karlsson replacement), Arizona takes Brady Tkachuk (legacy pick because Keith played in Arizona + he is NHL ready + Domi replacement), Detroit takes Quinn Hughes (they want a d man so it's either him or Evan Bouchard), which then means that Zadina ends up at 7th. If that's the case, Canucks take Zadina and worry about defense in the later rounds.

 

So there's a possibility. A real one. Do I think it happens? Maybe because Ottawa is the wildcard here after Montreal (the true wildcard of this year's draft). Id still prefer the Canucks draft a defenseman... Just hope we get the right one at #7.

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1 hour ago, Quantum said:

See, you'd think that but I've been reading mock drafts that think there's a chance Zadina could fall to us based on other teams needs/wants.

 

Ottawa apparently has its sights set on a defenseman so they might reach for Adam Boqvist (Karlsson replacement), Arizona takes Brady Tkachuk (legacy pick because Keith played in Arizona + he is NHL ready + Domi replacement), Detroit takes Quinn Hughes (they want a d man so it's either him or Evan Bouchard), which then means that Zadina ends up at 7th. If that's the case, Canucks take Zadina and worry about defense in the later rounds.

 

So there's a possibility. A real one. Do I think it happens? Maybe because Ottawa is the wildcard here after Montreal (the true wildcard of this year's draft). Id still prefer the Canucks draft a defenseman... Just hope we get the right one at #7.

Didn’t say it couldn’t happen. I’ve heard the discussions, too. Just feel there’s still 4 teams ahead of us that would be passing on BPA for that too happen. Having said that, not every team will have the same list, and if he does begin to drop maybe other teams begin to possibly see “red flags” where there are none. Maybe they begin to wonder what others may know that they don’t, causing Zadina to fall in our lap.

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The only thing that worries me about Jerperi is how rarely he initiates contact or even gets into contact with the opposition.  I'm sure he will turn out to be a good NHLer but it may take a few years for his game to adjust.

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3 hours ago, Psycho_Path said:

I find it amusing that people keep complaining about our D and yet keep wanting us to draft forwards. I'm not saying don't draft forwards if they're clearly better, but we need high end D, which we've basically never had (I'd say best we've had is solid #2 defensemen, predominantly in Salo or Ohlund). We have high end players at those other positions (Boeser, Petterson, Horvat), but not at D (Though Juolevi did have an impressive season in Liiga).

It's just forwards are so much more exciting! All the draft build up and pageantry, you want a guy whose highlights will last the summer.

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Kotkaniemi's season was pretty inconsistent production wise. He started the year off scoring at a similar pace as Laine and then went cold. It was hot and cold all year, ending with a rather mediocre Playoffs. His overall numbers are pretty good though and justify using a top-10 pick on him. I posted this in the draft thread a while back, but here's how Kotkaniemi fared production wise against other Finnish players who played in the same league in their respective draft years:

 

Barkov: 21 goals, 27 assists for 48 points in 53 games (0.91 PPG)

Laine: 17 goals, 16 assists for 33 points in 46 games (0.72 PPG)

Puljujarvi: 13 goals, 15 assists for 28 points in 50 games (0.56 PPG)

Kotkaniemi: 10 goals, 19 assists for 29 points in 57 games (0.51 PPG)

Rantanen: 9 goals, 19 assists for 28 points in 56 games (0.50 PPG)

Teravainen: 11 goals, 7 assists for 18 points in 40 games (0.45 PPG)

Kapanen: 7 goals, 7 assists for 14 points in 47 games (0.30 PPG)

 

As you can see, his production this year was very good even if it was a couple of tiers behind Barkov and Laine. Puljujarvi and Rantanen are his closest comparables and they went 4th and 10th overall respectively as wingers without the defensive prowess of Kotkaniemi. Another thing to consider is Kotkaniemi's age. Most of those players listed above were playing in their second season in Liiga in their draft eligible years, whereas this was Kotkaniemi's first year. His team in the middle of the league standings, he wasn't being propped up or pulled down. As mentioned previously, his international stats are very good as well. Going by the numbers, Kotkaniemi is more than justifiable as a top ten pick. 

 

I've had him in my top 10 since February/March and it wasn't until after the U18's that he became a consensus top 10 pick (here and other places). The Barkov comparisons are probably too much as he almost doubled Kotkaniemi's production and is one of the most skilled players in the league as a Selke level two-way player, but Kotkaniemi could become 70%-80% if what Barkov is. That is a pretty good player, just not a clear #1C. However, when you consider that our top 9 could be centered by Horvat, Kotkaniemi and Gaudette, his value shines through again. Those 3 would be hard working two-way centers with offensive upside and give us a chance to build a fast, responsible, hard working team. 

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4 hours ago, Kanukfanatic said:

If Kotka is available at 7 you take him and run but there is no way he will be there anyway. 

All these players that people are saying won't be there at 7.

 

Guess what, one of them has to be there. :lol:

 

There's a good chance he'll be available. Only question is do we take him over a guy like Hughes, Boqvist, Dobson, or Wahlstrom.

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6 hours ago, NUCKER67 said:

I know one thing, I'm not that impressed with Tkachuk's (8 g in 38 games) and Kotkaniemi's (10 g in 57 games) stats last year. Whereas a player like Wahlstrom (39 g in 57 games) looks more like what the Canucks need. Goal scoring. Wahlstrom has played C as well, pair him with Pettersson and one of them could be the #2C. My guess is they will develop Pettersson as a C.

 

When people start throwing around (possibly unrealistic) comparables, like saying Kot will become a Kopitar etc. I wonder if expectations are too high, for a player that hovered around #20 most of the year. He had a pretty good tournament, but is that enough to select him over Wahlstrom, Boqvist, or Hughes? I won't be upset if we draft Kot, if that's who they've studied and targeted. Who knows, maybe he also had a hellava interview.

2

 

In fairness. Kotkaniemi played in Finland's top pro league. He's playing against men. Wahlstrom played USHL and played alongside Jack Hughes. The difference of competition is pretty significant. Also, genuine question, where/when did Wahlstrom play center this year? I've heard people saying this and that's a plus but from what I recall seeing of him he was always at Wing. Not doubting it, I'm just curious if you have any insight on this.

 

Where players were at earlier in the shouldn't really matter. Mark Schiefele and Bo Horvat come to mind as recent centers that rose throughout the year.

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Posted (edited)

I think if mtl stays put at 3 then they take zadina. The only way they draft kotkaniemi is if they trade down a few spots. 

Edited by captainhorvat

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9 hours ago, Rush17 said:

I like your attitude.  Would you feel that way if we took Ryan Merkley though?

No... but that name doesn't really apply as he is not a realistic consideration for the #7 pick... all the other names are.

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I'd be happy with this pick if he is Benning's guy. This as well as at least 7-10 others all seem like great picks.

 

The talk about Montreal taking this guy imo is just Bergevin posturing to try and get someone to trade up for his pick. I could be wrong, I guess we'll know tomorrow.

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, Where's Wellwood said:

To add to the C vs D dilemma, remember that in 2016, Benning wanted to draft centre Pierre Luc Dubois 5th but CBJ &^@#ed us by taking him 3rd. Then when the choice was between a winger in Tkachuk and a D, Benning chose the D (whether he chose the correct D-man is a different issue)

 

 

We have no luck at drafting D men, take the forward and develop with the later defenseman gems JB can find in the later rounds.

Edited by Hairy Kneel

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On 2018-06-21 at 9:50 AM, timberz21 said:

Has anyone beside Horvat proven to be a legit top 6 center in that group?  

 

If there is one unwritten drafting rule, is that you cannot have too many centerman.   Good/great centerman are usually good winger, while great wingers are often not good centerman.  If we wait to see where everyone end up and realize we need a centerman, we might not be a position anymore to draft one.  Everyone agrees that Kotkaniemi is not NHL ready, there we will have a full year to assess our centermen.  If we end up with 3-4 legit top 6 centermen, then good for us...then we'll be in a position to trade one for a legit top pair D (Johansen/Jones).

 

Anyways, I doubt he's there when we pick.  I'm fine with every scenario, with his record, I trust Benning will make the right decision.

Hell if we want a centerman, trade down, add a second rounder and take Veleno.  Conversely take the most surefire d man, Cough Dobson, Cough, then trade Tanev for a mid round pick plus and take Veleno.  Use the Tanev money to sign De Haan or go big after Carlson. We could even get a sign and trade deal possibly. 

 

 

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