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The Presence of Recent Top Draft Picks on Cup Winners - and the Canucks lack thereof


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There has been a striking correlation since the lockout of 2005 between Cup Winning teams and having a top 5 pick on their roster (from a max. of 5 drafts before their eventual Cup Winning year). The presence of a young, high end player has been proven to help in the cup runs of these teams, and is an element that the Canucks have been missing since the days of the Sedins and their presence in the West Coast Express era.

Cup Winners since the season-long Lockout:

2012: LA Kings (Drew Doughty)

2011: Boston Bruins (Tyler Seguin)

2010: Chicago Blackhawks (Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews)

2009: Pittsburgh Penguins (Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin)

2008: Detroit Red Wings (None)

2007: Anaheim Ducks (Bobby Ryan)

2006: Carolina Hurricanes (Eric Staal)

* Only team to win without a top 5 pick on their roster since the lockout was Detroit. However, they had a once in a lifetime type player in Nik Lidstrom.

The saying that you "have to get worse before you get great" does apply to the majority of these teams, but I see the Bruins as being the one outlier, and a team that the Canucks can look to and see what they did in order to add that young piece to their roster. They traded a player in Kessel in return for some picks which, as we know, turned into two great young players in Seguin and Hamilton. The presence of a young player of this ilk is something that can re-energize the team, and potentially add that spark come playoff time. The bold moves that Gillis talked about in his opening presser will need to take place this coming summer, as changes will be coming regardless of their playoff finish.

Looking at this year's draft, this would be the year to make such a move, especially with many changes coming due to the cap coming down this summer. I think that if Mike Gillis is still around (and I think he will be), he needs to explore the option of moving into the top 5 of this year's draft, paying the price of either Luongo or Schneider for a package involving that top 5 pick. On the other hand, if possible, trading for a package including a young player like Couturier out of Philadelphia will be just as effective. However, sometimes taking the risk of drafting the player reaps its own rewards, as trading for a player like Couturier from the Flyers would be more difficult because he has established himself in the league.

Regardless of what happens the rest of these playoffs, it is easy to see that there is no young talent that will be pushing the core we have now and proving that secondary punch behind the Sedins and Kesler. Many will say that Cody Hodgson was that player, but it is quite obvious that he needs great players around him (Vanek, Pominville) to be effective, and because of his sub-par skating, is useless unless in a scoring role. We have seen the players in the list above create some offense on their own, something that the Canucks lack behind the Sedins and Kesler. The team is filled with some great role players in Higgins, Hansen, Lapierre, and a potential Power Forward in Zack Kassian. Prospects such as Gaunce, Corrado, and Jensen will eventually make this team, but will not be the high end talent that will be needed to replace the ability of the Sedins if and when they hit their downwards slope (some will argue they are on that downward slope now).

Will some major changes coming this off-season, regardless of playoff success, the Canucks need to address this issue. I think the proof is in the pudding, with the last handful of Cup Champs having a top end young talent on their roster.

I would love to hear your guys' thoughts on this, and get away a little bit from all this negativity surrounding the Sharks series (by the way, I think the Canucks come back and win this, but that's a discussion for another time).

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One top-5 draft pick does not a great team make. Boston was able to trade Kessel to Toronto for a pick which turned out to be Sequin. Although he did contribute, he wasn't the game breaker. You can have players with all kinds of skill, but without the supporting players that comprise the other 3 lines you're still in the same place. Edmonton is the most glaring example of this right now. Hall, Eberle, RNH, and now the Russian guy. They lack defense, decent goal tending and a solid two way play. You may differ in opinion, but you really need the rest of the team.

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Rebuilding is not an option.

Maybe a "retooling" like the Flyers. They moved Richards and Carter for

Simmonds, B. Schenn, 2nd rounder

Voracek, 6th overall pick (Couturier), 2nd rounder

Unfortunately, we do not have assets like that to move. Plus all our core players have NTC

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He wasn't playing like a top 5 prospect, look at this list and look at Cody, there are major differences (one being all of those immediately made huge impacts), also I could name 5 prospects easily from his draft year I would rather have.

And that would be all fine and dandy if he wanted to be here. He would have been a nice offensive option, it just sucks he decided to go elsewhere.

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As boring as it'd be to watch, I'd love us to go thorough a full-on rebuild during the mid 2020s, just to build a dynasty like a modern day Penguins or Hawks

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Yeah, if we get eliminated by the Sharks I hope we can get a top 3 pick somehow.

Lu, Jensen and our first maybe? Jensen will probably be good, but I would rather have a player like Drouin or Mackinnon.

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