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Little bit of an analysis on the picks in our range.


Tom Sestito

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Honka is a risky pick, but he certainly has skills in demand around here.

Can anyone chime in on speed, explosiveness, dexterity of moves? Becoming an Erik Karlsson might be a stretch, but Honka needs to at least move like him to survive at his size...

His teammate Martin Brycen might make a solid 2knd round pick.

Surfer says that Honka is a "risky pick". Surfer knows who the "safe" picks are, right?

"Honka is a small offensive-minded blueliner who skates very well with strong lateral movements and agility. He's extremely elusive and hard to contain or catch. He possesses good recovery speed and quick on the transition from defense to offense."

Eliteprospects.

He also just turned 18 yrs old and is a mere 5lbs smaller than Karlsson. He possesses more grit than his frame would suggest. I personally don't like those kinds of comparables/expectations of fairly different players, but Honka is certainly no second rate talent. Read the comments of his coach (posted them elsewhere). His production in the Dub is also really not far off of what Poulliot has done, and Poulliot, it goes without saying, has put up his numbers playing on the Portland Winterhawks, who had 3 100+ point players last year, about 8 guys in the ppg range, Seth Jones on that blueline as well, and again this year, another couple 100+ pt players, and another half dozen ppgers - and Dumba, Cederholm and a whack of guys who played in the WJC on that roster.

Aside - I'm actually really looking forward to the playoff series coming up here - I'm going to get to see this club a couple times at least.

I'm not going to make any ridiculous claims like Honka will be the next Karlsson, or that he's a younger, better or equivalent version of Poulliot, but I do really like him, have a "hunch", am very impressed with his demeanor, and not least of all, I would love to add a Finnish blueliner who wears the number 6.

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It's too late to tank anymore tbh. 3 weeks ago we had the opportunity to lose enough to get a top 6 pick and end up with a tier 1 prospect, but now we'll just draft 7-10 WHILE losing and end up with a tier 2 prospect anyways. Tanking would only be worth it if we were trying to use that pick to move up in the draft and convince one of the teams in the top 5 to trade down if they have interest in Fleury but don't wanna take him that high.

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Surfer says that Honka is a "risky pick". Surfer knows who the "safe" picks are, right?

"Honka is a small offensive-minded blueliner who skates very well with strong lateral movements and agility. He's extremely elusive and hard to contain or catch. He possesses good recovery speed and quick on the transition from defense to offense."

Eliteprospects.

He also just turned 18 yrs old and is a mere 5lbs smaller than Karlsson. He possesses more grit than his frame would suggest. I personally don't like those kinds of comparables/expectations of fairly different players, but Honka is certainly no second rate talent. Read the comments of his coach (posted them elsewhere). His production in the Dub is also really not far off of what Poulliot has done, and Poulliot, it goes without saying, has put up his numbers playing on the Portland Winterhawks, who had 3 100+ point players last year, about 8 guys in the ppg range, Seth Jones on that blueline as well, and again this year, another couple 100+ pt players, and another half dozen ppgers - and Dumba, Cederholm and a whack of guys who played in the WJC on that roster.

Aside - I'm actually really looking forward to the playoff series coming up here - I'm going to get to see this club a couple times at least.

I'm not going to make any ridiculous claims like Honka will be the next Karlsson, or that he's a younger, better or equivalent version of Poulliot, but I do really like him, have a "hunch", am very impressed with his demeanor, and not least of all, I would love to add a Finnish blueliner who wears the number 6.

Surfer has a very good idea what risk looks like. Its why I asked a specific question designed to assess.

Used to be a coach; was well practiced at tactics to interrupt the time, space and ability of a competing player to move around and be effective.

I like, really like in fact, the balance of your response. The more explosive, elusive Honka is, especially laterally the harder he would be to tag, or use his size against him. Warhippy was extremely high on Honka earlier this year. When it looked like we might draft 22knd ish wanted to move up, to say 17, for a chance to get young Julius. And as you know, I'm heavily invested in wanting a player with Honka's advertised skill set.

LOL, sporting the flying Orca in blue and white, a Finnish #6, Juuuuuuuulius, can we call him Jules?, Hoooooonnnnkkka... Goes top shelf where Momma keeps the peanut butter! I could get into that!

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Surfer has a very good idea what risk looks like. Its why I asked a specific question designed to assess.

Used to be a coach; was well practiced at tactics to interrupt the time, space and ability of a competing player to move around and be effective.

I like, really like in fact, the balance of your response. The more explosive, elusive Honka is, especially laterally the harder he would be to tag, or use his size against him. Warhippy was extremely high on Honka earlier this year. When it looked like we might draft 22knd ish wanted to move up, to say 17, for a chance to get young Julius. And as you know, I'm heavily invested in wanting a player with Honka's advertised skill set.

LOL, sporting the flying Orca in blue and white, a Finnish #6, Juuuuuuuulius, can we call him Jules?, Hoooooonnnnkkka... Goes top shelf where Momma keeps the peanut butter! I could get into that!

Honka came out of the blocks extremely quickly this season.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=685045

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Surfer has a very good idea what risk looks like. Its why I asked a specific question designed to assess.

Used to be a coach; was well practiced at tactics to interrupt the time, space and ability of a competing player to move around and be effective.

I like, really like in fact, the balance of your response. The more explosive, elusive Honka is, especially laterally the harder he would be to tag, or use his size against him. Warhippy was extremely high on Honka earlier this year. When it looked like we might draft 22knd ish wanted to move up, to say 17, for a chance to get young Julius. And as you know, I'm heavily invested in wanting a player with Honka's advertised skill set.

LOL, sporting the flying Orca in blue and white, a Finnish #6, Juuuuuuuulius, can we call him Jules?, Hoooooonnnnkkka... Goes top shelf where Momma keeps the peanut butter! I could get into that!

I am still high on him as a matter of fact. People still have massive hopes with Subban, well Honka has Subbans skill plus more size a shade more grit and speed to burn

He is that player we do not have in our system and size regardless is something we do need in our system. What shocks me to the core is how people are hands in their pants over Ehlers yet still think Honka is not worth a sniff based on his size.

If there is indeed a trade with Pitts and somehow Pouliot and that 1st are part of it in a Kesler trade, I would STILL take Honka as people seem to forget that moving the puck north to south is what wins games.

And having a prospect pool with Pouliot, Honka AND Subban in it gives us a minimum of a 33.3% chance that we have a star caliber puck moving D man in our mix. Possibly 2 or even 3 and that is an asset we can cash in on every damned day of the week.

Honka might slip to the high 20's in the draft and would be worth a look if we pick up another 1st or even early 2nd (should he fall that much) as people are high on ehlers, they should be high on a blue liner like Honka for the exact same reason

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I wish. everyone is around is also losing, including the Laffs who out of nowhere is just 2 points ahead of us. they might even leap frog us and we might end up with a useless 11th pick.

As it stands we are 3 points out of 6th and 9 points out of 5th with a high QualComp of teams ahead of us...we can lose at least 4 more games outright easily. Added 2 of those teams have games at hand on us.

I could see us 6th to 9th no less

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He is that player we do not have in our system and size regardless is something we do need in our system. What shocks me to the core is how people are hands in their pants over Ehlers yet still think Honka is not worth a sniff based on his size.

If there is indeed a trade with Pitts and somehow Pouliot and that 1st are part of it in a Kesler trade, I would STILL take Honka as people seem to forget that moving the puck north to south is what wins games.

Honka might slip to the high 20's in the draft and would be worth a look if we pick up another 1st or even early 2nd (should he fall that much) as people are high on ehlers, they should be high on a blue liner like Honka for the exact same reason

I've wanted a TRUE puck mover even dating back to our SCF run. Made posts to the effect that year that Errhof helped us a ton. But he was neither the elite 70 point guy that wins a Norris, nor quite up to snuff with the balance of our crew defensively. That was probably a little heavy a view, if Hammer did not get hurt we prob win by committee. Still, I did not complain when he was let go as he was not quite worth his $40 mill contract.

But never in my wildest dreams did I believe we would go 3 years without any effort to address the issue.

Two key points / questions.

- Will Honka be worth picking in the slot we look to have (currently 10th)?

- Is there other young players (cant see affording an established one) or prospects who could help?

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But never in my wildest dreams did I believe we would go 3 years without any effort to address the issue.

Two key points / questions.

- Will Honka be worth picking in the slot we look to have (currently 10th)?

- Is there other young players (cant see affording an established one) or prospects who could help?

LOL, not really answering my own question, but throwing some hypotheticals for fun...

Do we pick Honka over say Virtanen? (my opinion is if Honka has both Elite skill, and elite athleticism, Yes).

If we don't take Honka at 9 or 10, and say Phoenix has no 16, Gaunce for the pick if Honka is available? They do need a big center...

Another trade, with the devil, that makes sense to me is Gaunce for Jake Gardiner? They also need a young big center. Especially considering their cap, Gardiner is due a raise. It would help them quite a bit... Or Cassels and Subban??

Same trades could be offered Chicago for similar reasons for Leddy or Rundblad?

FTR, I prefer ways to acquire Pouliot or Honka in a long term view due to upside, but there is value in being NHL ready.

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I've wanted a TRUE puck mover even dating back to our SCF run. Made posts to the effect that year that Errhof helped us a ton. But he was neither the elite 70 point guy that wins a Norris, nor quite up to snuff with the balance of our crew defensively. That was probably a little heavy a view, if Hammer did not get hurt we prob win by committee. Still, I did not complain when he was let go as he was not quite worth his $40 mill contract.

But never in my wildest dreams did I believe we would go 3 years without any effort to address the issue.

Two key points / questions.

- Will Honka be worth picking in the slot we look to have (currently 10th)?

- Is there other young players (cant see affording an established one) or prospects who could help?

NO he is not worth a pick in the top 10.

If we have a top 10 pick we have needs on RW and forward that transcend our need for a PMD with Subban and Hutton in our drawers. Ritchie, Draistl or Virtanen are who I keep hoping for unless Dal Colle falls to us somehow. I do not see Bennett nor Reinhart being that #1 C we need, 2nd line C yes.

Honka if we had an additional pick in the 10-20 range would be worth it, regardless of size just because of that speed and that IQ plus first pass. Wtaching him work the blue line on a PP and walking out of the zone and around 2 way pivots in the WHL is awesome

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LOL, not really answering my own question, but throwing some hypotheticals for fun...

Do we pick Honka over say Virtanen? (my opinion is if Honka has both Elite skill, and elite athleticism, Yes).

If we don't take Honka at 9 or 10, and say Phoenix has no 16, Gaunce for the pick if Honka is available? They do need a big center...

Another trade, with the devil, that makes sense to me is Gaunce for Jake Gardiner? They also need a young big center. Especially considering their cap, Gardiner is due a raise. It would help them quite a bit... Or Cassels and Subban??

Same trades could be offered Chicago for similar reasons for Leddy or Rundblad?

FTR, I prefer ways to acquire Pouliot or Honka in a long term view due to upside, but there is value in being NHL ready.

I wouldn't trade Gaunce for anything. His knock (if it is one) is his first 3 steps. people call him slow as molasses because his first 3 steps are rather slow. But if you watch him, he is actually still faster at his age than either Sedin was at the same age and their speed or acceleration is still one of their biggest knocks.

That can be taught, but his size and hockey IQ cannot. We need that solid 3rd line C and if his ceiling is ONLY 3rd line C, he could be one of the best in the league in 5 years. I couldn't be happy with any trade involving Gaunce unless the return was in an area we need help in or part of a larger return

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I wouldn't trade Gaunce for anything. His knock (if it is one) is his first 3 steps. people call him slow as molasses because his first 3 steps are rather slow. But if you watch him, he is actually still faster at his age than either Sedin was at the same age and their speed or acceleration is still one of their biggest knocks.

That can be taught, but his size and hockey IQ cannot. We need that solid 3rd line C and if his ceiling is ONLY 3rd line C, he could be one of the best in the league in 5 years. I couldn't be happy with any trade involving Gaunce unless the return was in an area we need help in or part of a larger return

The thing is the Sedins puck control & passing are at an elite skill level that Guance won't ever have as he isn't a skill type of player. That being said, I think Guance will continue to work on his skating as he seems like a hardworker and wants to improve, but realistically I don't see this guys stealing a roster spot untill at least a couple of more years. He would benefit from a DET style of slow development so when ready he can step in and be a difference maker.

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LOL, not really answering my own question, but throwing some hypotheticals for fun...

Do we pick Honka over say Virtanen? (my opinion is if Honka has both Elite skill, and elite athleticism, Yes).

If we don't take Honka at 9 or 10, and say Phoenix has no 16, Gaunce for the pick if Honka is available? They do need a big center...

Another trade, with the devil, that makes sense to me is Gaunce for Jake Gardiner? They also need a young big center. Especially considering their cap, Gardiner is due a raise. It would help them quite a bit... Or Cassels and Subban??

Same trades could be offered Chicago for similar reasons for Leddy or Rundblad?

FTR, I prefer ways to acquire Pouliot or Honka in a long term view due to upside, but there is value in being NHL ready.

Really don't care for the Gaunce for Gardiner idea.

If you think the Canucks are getting into the top 10 and your opinion is that Honka isn't worth taking that high - there are other options imo. Honka however may be one of the more under-touted guys in the draft. At the start of the season he was projected in the 40+ range - and has shown in his transition to NA hockey that he's probably more realistically in the mid 1st range. ISS still have him off the charts, but then again, he decided to leave Europe and come to the WHL, so who knows why they see him as a mid second round pick, but if someone gets Honka in the 2nd round, they've got a steal imo. I think he'll go higher than expected because of his skillset and the rarity of that type of player. CS has him around 17. Canucks could wind up anywhere from 6th to 13ish.

The other options that I really like involve a second straight year with a pair of 1st, particularly if the Canucks wind up moving up from 10th where they are presently.

Deal Kesler at the draft to Columbus or Philly.

I believe those might be the two best/most likely options.

Kesler, Schroeder, mid round pick for Dubinsky, Jenner, 2014 1st, Erixon.

Kesler for Couturier, 2014 1st, 2nd.

Either of those 1sts are likely to come in the 13-18 range...

In the CBJ deal Erixon is a near NHL ready puck mover, and Honka could be added as well with their 1st.

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With Gillis' job on the line. I am not sure if he would take a risk on a small defense man. He will likely grab Perlini or Virtamin or however you spell his name if they are available. He almost has to grab a bigger forward who is a safer pick.

Apologize for not knowing the spelling for their names.

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Thanx for the responses below guys!

If you think the Canucks are getting into the top 10 and your opinion is that Honka isn't worth taking that high - there are other options imo. Honka however may be one of the more under-touted guys in the draft. At the start of the season he was projected in the 40+ range - and has shown in his transition to NA hockey that he's probably more realistically in the mid 1st range. ISS still have him off the charts, but then again, he decided to leave Europe and come to the WHL, so who knows why they see him as a mid second round pick, but if someone gets Honka in the 2nd round, they've got a steal imo. I think he'll go higher than expected because of his skillset and the rarity of that type of player. CS has him around 17. Canucks could wind up anywhere from 6th to 13ish.

The other options that I really like involve a second straight year with a pair of 1st, particularly if the Canucks wind up moving up from 10th where they are presently.

Deal Kesler at the draft to Columbus or Philly.

I believe those might be the two best/most likely options.

Kesler, Schroeder, mid round pick for Dubinsky, Jenner, 2014 1st, Erixon.

Kesler for Couturier, 2014 1st, 2nd.

Either of those 1sts are likely to come in the 13-18 range...

In the CBJ deal Erixon is a near NHL ready puck mover, and Honka could be added as well with their 1st.

I tend to agree the best solution is acquiring a second first round pick. Anaheim, Philly and Columbus all have picks where we could be potentially adding, the Pens possibly. I still like Pouliot, Bennet and a first for Kesler / Schroeder or Kesler / 2knd. Trading within the division is dicey in the case of Anaheim, but Theodore is not that far off Pouliot? I actually prefer a more advanced top prospect to a draft pick if its available. And to trade Kesler it should be along with the pick and a roster player?

I wouldn't trade Gaunce for anything.

I couldn't be happy with any trade involving Gaunce unless the return was in an area we need help in or part of a larger return

Fair enough.

In an earlier post you mentioned RW being a bigger need than PMD? No we're not deep, but do have Kassian and Jensen appears better on his off wing? Kassian could still be our top 6 RW. There is a lot of development required to get Hutton and Subban to the status where they would not be considered projects?. In short, we have no serious blue chip PMD prospect and its a bigger hole on the roster as well. All I am saying is I look hard at any and all options to gain what we need for our line up first.

Trade for a prospect, or a pick where one you covet is expected.

Then if we are not successful recruiting / acquiring to fill specific needs it becomes opportunity sensitive. If at your pick a much more reliably sure thing at RW is available it trumps need. You pick BPA when it comes down to pick.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have to say of all the draft picks I've read about this one seems to fit the mould the best...Ritchie

The anonymous NHL Scout we talked to had this to say about Nick Ritchie: “He’s like a throwback to the days of Cam Neely, Bob Probert, Wendel Clark, and Gary Roberts. How many players in the NHL today can score 25 or more goals in a season and can also beat you up? I can only think of one, (Milan) Lucic. (Jarome) Iginla used to be that way, but doesn’t fight as much anymore. Nick Ritchie has that package, and he won’t last long on draft day because of it.”

On his wrist shot, “Its off his stick so quickly. He has the best shot I’ve seen in this draft. He can score a lot of goals in the NHL with that shot.”

In terms of style, we have to agree that we see a lot of Milan Lucic’s game in Ritchie. As with all our comparisons that isn’t a potential thing, just a style thing. In terms of potential, Ritchie’s ceiling is to be the elite powerforward that every NHL team craves.

http://lastwordonsports.com/2014/04/07/nhl-draft-profile-6-nick-ritchie/

If we have to compete with the likes of LA, Bruins & the Ducks this is the sort of player you need

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