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Jim Benning's Drafting


TonyStrecher

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It really is quite remarkable that anyone can complain about Jim Benning's drafting. I would say that since he took over as GM, the Canucks have done the best drafting of any team in the league by quite a fair margin. The Virtanen pick is really his only bad pick if you don't count Kyle Pettit, Mackenzie Stewart, Carl Neill and Tate Olson all of whom were picked in the later rounds. The fact that Virtanen could easily be the worst of all of Benning's 1st and 2nd round picks is a good thing in my opinion. The 2017 draft is looking like it could easily be the Canucks best draft ever.

 

Here are all of his picks:

 

2014:

6th Overall: Jake Virtanen - not one of Benning's best picks, I believe ownership played a big role in the drafting of Virtanen

36th Overall: Thatcher Demko - looking great in the AHL, future elite starting goalie

66th Overall: Nikita Tryamkin - unfortunately he bolted to the KHL, but he is absolutely dominating over there and I would say Brayden Point and Victor Arvidsson are the only better players drafted after him in the entire draft.

126th Overall: Gustav Forsling - trading him was a bad more, but he was a great pick, probably the third best player selected in rounds 5-7

156th Overall: Kyle Pettit

186th Overall: Mackenzie Stewart - a big project, could still find his way to the NHL as an extra who can play forward and defense and provides a huge body

 

2015:

23rd Overall: Brock Boeser - I don't think I need to explain this one, but he is looking like one of the best players in quite an amazing 1st round

66th Overall: Guillaume Brisebois - not one of Benning's best picks, but not a bad one either, he still has plenty of potential as a top foour d-man

114th Overall: Dmitry Zhukenov - he has a lot of offensive potential, currently starring in the MHL (Russian second division)

144th Overall: Carl Neill

149th Overall: Adam Gaudette - looking like an absolute steal, nobody better was picked after him

174th Overall: Lukas Jasek - still a decent prospect who projects as a high energy, shutdown forward with decent offensive tools

210th Overall: Tate Olson

 

2016:

5th Overall: Olli Juolevi - I still like this pick and think he has to potential to be a good top pairing d-man, his current points per game as a U20 d-man in the Finnish league is the second best ever

64th Overall: William Lockwood - projects as a great third line winger, scoring at a similar pace to Gaudette at the same age in the NCAA

140th Overall: Cole Candella - playing amazing in the OHL, being leaned on heavily in all situations and putting up good offensive numbers

154th Overall: Jakob Stukel - I don't like him much, but he's crazy fast

184th Overall: Rodrigo Abols - playing in the SHL, not putting up any offense, but provides physicality and defensive responsibilty

194th Overall: Brett McKenzie - good bottom six centre potential, does a bit of everything

 

2017:

5th Overall: Elias Pettersson - would probably go second overall if the draft was today, putting up utterly insane numbers in the SHL

33rd Overall: Kole Lind - dominating in the WHL, definitely looks like he should have been a first round pick, on Canada's WJC roster ahead of picks 9, 10 and 11 from this draft

55th Overall: Jonah Gadjovich - dominating in the OHL, also on Canada's preliminary WJC roster, great package of size, skill and willingness to go to the hard areas of the ice

64th Overall: Michael DiPietro - looking like a great prospect, on Canada's WJC roster, won Memorial Cup last year

95th Overall: Jack Rathbone - raw prospect with tons of potential, will take a while to develop

135th Overall: Kristoffer Gunnarsson - playing against men in the SHL, looks like solid defensive d-man

181st Overall: Petrus Palmu - looking like a great pick, offensive dynamo, playing well in the Finnish league

188th Overall: Matt Brassard - also looks like a great pick, playing great in all situations in the OHL

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Something something Jake going to prove all the haters wrong any day now.

 

But seriously, I'm pretty satisfied with his drafting overall even though I don't agree with some picks. I just wished that he had  loaded up on 2nd or 3rd rounders in his first few years, seeing as how he manages to make good use of those picks.

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I still like the Virtanen pick; there's risk there but the potential reward is huge.  Still would like to see him play on the left wing.  Juolevi is going to be really good, very comparable to Maatta.  Boeser we can all agree was a steal,  but I have to agree that the 2017 draft is looking like his best.  Every one of those 1st  picks is looking like an absolute steal, and the people complaining about Pettersson being a reach have already shut up.   We haven't had such a good run in the draft under any previous GM.

 

I was critical of Benning due to some of his early trades (which turned out pretty well for us overall), but his drafting is the reason we have the best prospect pool I can remember.  I'm going to be very disappointed if he's not rewarded with a new contract.

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His drafting has been superb, obviously in hindsight theres going to be a better player but overall he's done awesome and has found some of those better players. Its to bad he hasn't left himself more second round picks to work with in past years, but he has made some good trades with those. Really hoping he makes some trades at this deadline and gather some more top prospects and picks, preferably defenders.

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The only year I've had a problem with the picks have been in 2016 specfically the late round picks, Stukel, McKenzie, and Abols.

 

Trying to fast track the prospect pool by picking guys who were a little bit more mature, these 3 are the biggest head scratchers for me. Stukel (too one dimensional who only scores off the breakaway) and McKenzie (Super vanilla, brings nothing unique as a skillset) will likely become UFA's this summer much like what happened with Neill and Olsen.  Abols having a pretty atrocious year in the SHL as well, granted he is playing fourth line mins, but doesn't look very promising (1 assist in 22 SHL games).

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11 minutes ago, CRAZY_4_NAZZY said:

The only year I've had a problem with the picks have been in 2016 specfically the late round picks, Stukel, McKenzie, and Abols.

 

Trying to fast track the prospect pool by picking guys who were a little bit more mature, these 3 are the biggest head scratchers for me. Stukel (too one dimensional who only scores off the breakaway) and McKenzie (Super vanilla, brings nothing unique as a skillset) will likely become UFA's this summer much like what happened with Neill and Olsen.  Abols having a pretty atrocious year in the SHL as well, granted he is playing fourth line mins, but doesn't look very promising (1 assist in 22 SHL games).

I wanted Benning to pick Ty Ronning at the time. 

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1 hour ago, CRAZY_4_NAZZY said:

The only year I've had a problem with the picks have been in 2016 specfically the late round picks, Stukel, McKenzie, and Abols.

 

Trying to fast track the prospect pool by picking guys who were a little bit more mature, these 3 are the biggest head scratchers for me. Stukel (too one dimensional who only scores off the breakaway) and McKenzie (Super vanilla, brings nothing unique as a skillset) will likely become UFA's this summer much like what happened with Neill and Olsen.  Abols having a pretty atrocious year in the SHL as well, granted he is playing fourth line mins, but doesn't look very promising (1 assist in 22 SHL games).

Agreed. 

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3 hours ago, -Vintage Canuck- said:

2017 is definitely looking like his best year thus far. I've really liked his drafting outside of the first round and has got us future NHL players (Lind, Gadjovich, DiPietro, Demko, Gaudette, etc).

Maybe few years from now we will see " why didn't we take Kole Lind?' from other GMs. 

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I'm more angry the Canucks lost out on the 2nd overall pick twice... Laine :(

 

 

4 hours ago, TonyStrecher said:

It really is quite remarkable that anyone can complain about Jim Benning's drafting. I would say that since he took over as GM, the Canucks have done the best drafting of any team in the league by quite a fair margin. The Virtanen pick is really his only bad pick if you don't count Kyle Pettit, Mackenzie Stewart, Carl Neill and Tate Olson all of whom were picked in the later rounds. The fact that Virtanen could easily be the worst of all of Benning's 1st and 2nd round picks is a good thing in my opinion. The 2017 draft is looking like it could easily be the Canucks best draft ever.

 

 

 

I didn't mind the 99 draft year

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I've liked most draft years I didn't mind Virtanen. was hoping for the third overall that year but Vancouver's luck is the worst when it comes to getting a first or second. Last Draft was definately my favorite draft year for the Canucks I wasn't expecting JB to draft Dipietro and was extremely shocked that they got him.

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Still on team Jake. I think he's gonna be a really good player for this team. If Jake ever gets legitimate amount of PP time he might start scoring more. I feel like he plays slightly more timid worrying about his spot on the team as well. Excuses aside I definitely believe he can become a vital piece to the next core if he puts in the work. Last year is proof he can improve and work hard.

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8 hours ago, King Heffy said:

I still like the Virtanen pick; there's risk there but the potential reward is huge.  Still would like to see him play on the left wing.  Juolevi is going to be really good, very comparable to Maatta.  Boeser we can all agree was a steal,  but I have to agree that the 2017 draft is looking like his best.  Every one of those 1st  picks is looking like an absolute steal, and the people complaining about Pettersson being a reach have already shut up.   We haven't had such a good run in the draft under any previous GM.

 

I was critical of Benning due to some of his early trades (which turned out pretty well for us overall), but his drafting is the reason we have the best prospect pool I can remember.  I'm going to be very disappointed if he's not rewarded with a new contract.

 

1 hour ago, N7Nucks said:

Still on team Jake. I think he's gonna be a really good player for this team. If Jake ever gets legitimate amount of PP time he might start scoring more. I feel like he plays slightly more timid worrying about his spot on the team as well. Excuses aside I definitely believe he can become a vital piece to the next core if he puts in the work. Last year is proof he can improve and work hard.

st 

1 hour ago, 10pavelbure96 said:

I'm still a fan of the Virtanen pick, I see flashes of what he can bring and they are becoming more and more frequent. 

Yeah the Virtanen pick wasn't bad by most standards, just by Jim Bennings standard. That's why I mentioned it as a good thing that Virtanen could be Benning's worst pick in the first two rounds, not because Virtanen is bad, but because Pettersson, Boeser, Juolevi, Demko, Lind and Gadjovich are so good

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Virtanen wasn't the best pick, but I believe he will be a serviceable NHLer for at least 10 years (maybe not all with the Canucks).    He wasn't the only mistake that year, as Bennett, Dal Colle were also busts.  At least Virtanen will always have a utility in the bottomn 6, where as those two will be out of the league if they can't play in the top 6.

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22 minutes ago, timberz21 said:

Virtanen wasn't the best pick, but I believe he will be a serviceable NHLer for at least 10 years (maybe not all with the Canucks).    He wasn't the only mistake that year, as Bennett, Dal Colle were also busts.  At least Virtanen will always have a utility in the bottomn 6, where as those two will be out of the league if they can't play in the top 6.

I was just thinking the same thing. Hopefully Jake continues to improve and even surprise. Right now the club could really use some lottery luck. Adding another great young player to this group will start driving some real positive momentum. Hopefully JB can pick up a couple of extra picks this year to start stacking some serious depth. Almost time to turn the corner.

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Gillis didn't leave much for this organization to build on. Who did they have as prospects after the 6 years he was GM?

 

Kassian (who struggled with substance abuse), Horvat, Jensen, Grenier, Labate, Gaunce, Hutton, Shinkaruk, Cassels and Subban.  

 

Doesn't exactly scream future Cup contenders. And with the Sedins in their 30s and slowly in decline, things were starting to get concerning. Who would fill their shoes when they left?

 

Then Benning arrived, and over the 4 years as GM, he has restocked the cupboard. And not just filled it with mediocre players, he's given Canucks fans hope. 

 

Virtanen, Demko, Tryamkin (who may still return), Boeser, Brisebois, Gaudette, Juolevi, Lockwood, Pettersson, Lind, Gadjovich, DiPietro, and Palmu.

 

Granted, Benning inherited a team sinking to the bottom of the league after their SC run, so they were afforded higher draft picks. but Benning made those picks count. He is assembling what could become the best Canucks team ever.    

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