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Draft edition: Benning vs the World

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51 minutes ago, knucklehead91 said:

WARNING: THIS IS GOING TO BE A LOT OF READING...like...a lot...But it will be worth it

 

Alright Canuck fans, I want to start off by saying I wanted to get this post done in time for the NHL Entry Draft and was also hoping that we would have kept the 9th overall pick to really hype this up another notch... I hope that midway through this post, fans will come to an understanding as to why it has "taken" Benning "so long" to "rebuild" this team. Benning's strong suit is definitely drafting and many people are going to freak out and say "well why the hell is he trading draft picks if he is so strong at drafting?!" 

I believe with the core we have that we are able to actually ship out draft picks at this point, so long as it returns a player of first round value and not just a Patty Marleau cap dump kinda deal. 

 

In the past I've compared Benning's drafting to previous regime's drafting and shown just how much this organization has lacked drafting for an unbelievably long time.

In this post, the first segment will be our history of draft failure from 2005 onward up to the Horvat draft, this may open some "fans" eye's and help them understand just how bad our drafting has been prior to Benning taking over and how it led to the early struggles in the Benning era where we had nearly zero prospects in the pipes to build around. It's why when the Sedin's retired, that the true rebuild began, not when Benning took over in 2014, but 4 years later when the Sedin's retired. Which in my next post I will break down the choices, contracts and trades made by Benning and the timing of them, compared to his moves now and how the culture of the team is changing from a quick turn around rebuild to our eyes being set on being competitive.

 

The second segment in this post will be comparing our drafting to the entire NHL from 2014 to 2020, as the 2021 picks were not eligible to play in the NHL. There will be each team's drafting breakdown since JB took over the GM position in Vancouver. Total games played, goals, assists, points, number of 1st round picks along with their position, total draft picks and total number of games played

 

The third and final segment will be about Benning's time in Boston and the lead up to the 2014 draft and Benning's arrival in Vancouver.

 

Now keep in mind this first segment's drafting ran the entire course of the Sedin's career's and what we added after that '99 draft.... And how little we added after '04 to extend the window.

 

 

 

 

PART 1: Benning vs Nonis+Gillis regime's drafting history and Burke's

 

 

 

Dave Nonis: Vancouver CanucksVancouver Canucks General Manager May 6, 2004 - Apr 14, 2008

 

Nonis's Drafts:

2004 - Cory Schneider (26th overall), Alex Edler (91st overall), Jannik Hansen (287th overall)

2005 - Luc Bourdon (RIP 10th overall), Mason Raymond (51st overall)

2006 - Michael Grabner (14th overall)

2007 - 0/6 draft picks played a single NHL shift

 

Total picks: 24

Total games played: 3606

Total goals: 521

Total assists: 720

Total Points: 1241

Span of 15 seasons ('05/'06 season to today)

.34 point %

 

 

 

 

Mike Gillis: Vancouver CanucksVancouver Canucks General Manager Apr 23, 2008 - Apr 8, 2014

 

Gillis's Drafts: 

 

2008 - Cody Hodgson (10th overall)

2009 - Jordan Schroeder (22nd overall) Kevin Connauton (83rd overall) - Neither are all that notable, but there was hype about Schroeder, and Connauton played 300+ games

2010 - Alex Friesen (172nd overall) 1 GP 1/5 picks played a shift in the show - Absolutely nothing notable about this draft

2011 - Nicklas Jensen (29th overall) Frankie Corrado (150th overall)

2012 - Brendan Gaunce (26th overall) Ben Hutton (147th overall) 

2013 - Bo Horvat (9th overall) Hunter Shinkaruk (24th overall) 

 

Total picks: 37

Total games played: 1954

Total goals: 278

Total assists: 423

Total points: 701

Span of 12 Seasons ('08/'09 season to today)

.36 point %

 

From 2004 to 2013 we had a total of 61 draft picks and of those 61 picks, the only players we were able to add to the core of the Sedin era was Edler and Horvat (Horvat came near the end of their careers). Schneider didn't last long, neither did Hodgson. Hansen was a great supporting character, but not a player who could be a top 6 guy. Horvat was still just a rookie and took couple years to develop in the NHL. That is a HUGE hit to the future when we relied heavily upon the Sedins, Burrows and Kesler, yet we were unable to add any players to that top 6 through drafting. 

8 years of failed drafting plus developmental years puts us 10-11 years behind on the future. Which is where we were when Jim Benning stepped foot in the door. We had a declining and aged core, the only shiny toy we had was Bo Horvat, which has turned out to be great (and I always believed in him). So if we were to run it back and look at the Brian Burke era, we would see how he laid the entire foundation and future down for us. Nonis helped cement the core by acquiring Luongo and Gillis added the final touches, but ultimately between Gillis and Nonis, the future was surrendered by poor drafting. 

 

Jim Benning Vancouver CanucksVancouver Canucks General Manager May 21, 2014 - Present

 

Draft picks who have a lot of potential and they still have a chance to become and NHLer as it is in their careers will have an asterisk next to them.

 

Benning's Drafts: 

 

2014 - Jake Virtanen (6th overall), Jared McCann (24th overall), Thatcher Demko (36th overall) 

2015 - Brock Boeser (23rd overall), Adam Gaudette (149th overall)

2016 - Olli Juolevi* (5th overall), Will Lockwood* (64th overall) 

2017 - Elias Pettersson (5th overall), Kole Lind* (33rd overall), Jonah Gadjovich* (55th overall), Michael DiPietro* (64th overall), Jack Rathbone* (95th overall)

2018 - Quinn Hughes (7th overall), Jett Woo* (37th overall)

2019 - Vasili Podkolzin* (10th overall), Nils Hoglander (40th overall)

2020 - Joni Jurmo* (82nd overall), Jackson Kunz* (114th overall)

2021 - Danila Klimovich* (41st overall)

 

Some of these drafts are a little too recent to determine the outcomes of these players, but they still have some years of development to become a potential NHLer. But despite that, lets dive into how Benning's drafting has done up to this point with success in the NHL

 

Total picks: 48

Total games played: 1801

Total goals scored: 349

Total assists: 511

Total points: 860

Span of 7 seasons ('14-'15 to current)

.48 point %

 

In 7 Seasons, Benning has nearly caught Nonis' drafted players in goals, assists and points in half the amount of games, with a much higher point %. Next season he will surpass all of Nonis's drafting. He has also surpassed Gillis' draft picks in goals, assists and points. That is quite remarkable, considering some of these players from previous regime's have been drafted for 10+ years and have carved out decent careers. 

 

 

Now lets run it back to the Burke era, I'm not going to get into full detail of his entire tenure, but just to put the pieces together as to what made our 2010-11 team so successful. As I'm sure all of you know.....

 

Burke's notable draftee's:

'99 - Daniel Sedin (2nd overall)

'99 - Henrik Sedin (3rd overall)

'01 - Kevin Bieksa (151st overall)

'03 - Ryan Kesler (23rd overall)

 

The first 4 core members of the 2010-11 team. Without them, we would have never had a sniff of the cup finals, they were ALL draft picks. Burke also moved Schaefer to Ottawa for Sami Salo. So far 4/5 guys that were critical in our 2010-11 run were drafted and developed by our own organization.

 

Now for Nonis's contributions. He was the man who gave Alex Burrows a chance and Burrow's surprised everyone and became the best line mate the Sedin's ever had. He also drafted Edler, Schneider and Hansen to add to the team. He also made the most critical move which was getting a #1 goalie and one of the best in the league.

So far we now have 7 players on that 2010-11 roster that were drafted. 

 

I really want to emphasize on how important drafting is versus signings and trades. Drafting is the best strong suit to have as a GM. So now I'm going to list each player from the 2010-11 run and next to them will be how they were acquired, what 2 categories (traded, signed or drafted) could you build a team around?  Which team would give you the best chance at winning a cup with the other 2 categories being untouched.

 

For example I will remove 2 categories on a 9 man roster and I'm going to try to assemble a pretty strong selection and it will all be from the 2010-11 team.

 

Daniel Sedin- drafted

Henrik Sedin - drafted

Schneider - drafted

Roberto Luongo - traded for

Christian Erhoff - traded for

Maximie Lapierre - traded for

Dan Hamhuis - signed

Manny Malhotra - signed

Alex Burrows - signed

 

For me, personally, I would remove the signed and traded for players and build my team around my draft picks. 

Now lets do a 23 man roster and next to the category will be a N for Nonis, B for Burke and G for Gillis. Who had the bigger effect and who's moves had the highest impact on the best Canuck team we have ever seen?

 

Drafted                                        Traded for                                    Signed

Daniel Sedin - B                           Roberto Luongo - N                   Alexandre Burrows - N

Henrik Sedin - B                           Sami Salo - B                             Dan Hamhuis - G

Kevin Bieksa - B                           Christian Erhoff - G                    Tanner Glass - G

Ryan Kesler - B                             Victor Oreskovich - G                Raffi Torres - G

Cory Schneider - N                       Maxim Lapierre - G                    Chris Higgins - G

Alex Edler - N                                Chris Higgins - G                       Aaron Rome - G

Jannik Hansen - N                                                                           Mikael Samuelsson - G                                                             

Mason Raymond - N                                                                       Chris Tanev - G

Cody Hodgson - G

 

 

Gillis may have had the most "additions" but in comparison to the core, he really did not contribute anything major. Hamhuis was big, but who doesn't want to sign with a contending team and your hometown team? I'd say Gillis made the smaller moves of everyone, but he did make many small moves that added up to a big season and a great run. 

 

I think this is a no-brainer....... I would bet my chances on the players we drafted over the players we signed and traded for combined.

So of that 2010-11 team 9 players were drafted from '99-2010. Our starting goalie was acquired via trade however. Now why am I bringing this up?

Look at the draftee's above.... Now look at the draftee's below

 

Benning's core draft picks

Elias Pettersson

Brock Boeser

Quinn Hughes

Thatcher Demko

Nils Hoglander

Olli Juolevi 

Jack Rathbone

Vasili Podkolzin

Michael DiPietro

 

  • It took 3 GM's to build the 2010-11 core
  • It took Benning a span of 6 drafts to draft the same type of core it took 3 GMs and 11 years.
  •  Benning has drafted his #1 C and #1 RW, similar to how Burke drafted his #1 C and #1 LW. 
  • 3 GM's prior drafted 6 FWDs, 2 D and 1 G
  • Benning has drafted 4 FWDs, 3 D and 2 G
  • Benning found his starting and back up goalie through drafting, whereas it took 2 GM's to draft/acquire their #1 and #2 goalies
  • Benning has drafted 2 high skilled defensemen compared to the the other 3 GM's had to find them via trade or FA. 
  • We have drafted Hoglander who looks to be a legit 2LW and Podkolzin who if his work ethic pays off like Hoglander's, will be a 2RW. Our 2nd Line had to be built through Trade and Free Agency

 

Now that Juolevi is healthy and showing NHL promise, along with the hype and excitement from the same draft, Benning may have a successful NHLer in each and every single draft from 2014 to 2020. 6 consecutive drafts of landing a minimum of one NHL player. You look back at how many completely failed drafts we had from '98-'13

 

  • 2000 NHL entry draft 5 picks, 39 GP 2G 4A 6PTS
  • 2002 NHL entry draft 11 picks, 12 GP 0G 0A 0PTS
  • 2007 NHL entry draft 6 picks, 0 GP
  • 2010 NHL entry draft 5 picks, 1 GP 0G 0A 0PTS
  • 2011 NHL entry draft 8 picks, 129GP 6G 8A 14PTS

 

Thats 5 years of drafting with 35 picks and only getting 181 NHL games, 8 goals and 12 assists... 20 points.... Do you understand how much this hurts the future of an organization when you COMPLETELY fail in 5 drafts in 20 years, thats without mentioning the Gaunce and Hodgson drafts. The future was grim from 2004 onward to the Horvat draft... Since 2014 the future has finally looked bright. And yes, I AM talking about the Virtanen draft, its the same draft we snagged Thatcher Demko, so yes the 2014 draft was not a complete loss. Ultimately we had 8 consecutive failed drafts from 2005 to 2012 where we didnt and anything of significance.... Mason mother f***ing Raymond was our most successful draft pick in that span of time... And his a$$ was always in a Raymond, Ballard and a 2nd package.

 

Burke's drafting produced 6985 games played, 1260 goals, 2463 assists and a total of 3723 points. His drafting which led to some of the greatest seasons for Vancouver had a .53 point %......Thats pretty damn close to Benning's .48 point % so I would say that the future looks quite bright.

 

 

 

 

 

Part 2: Benning's drafting versus the League 2014-2020

 

 

 

2021 Is not being used as these draft picks are not eligible to play until the 2021-22 campaign

 

Below is a table of each teams total picks, 1st round picks plus the spot they were selected, games played etc etc.. I'm sure you can read it and understand it.

 

 

 

Team Total # of picks 1st Round Picks 1st round pick ranks Draft picks to play 1 NHL game Games played Goals Assists Points
COL 48 8 (23,10,10,4,16,4,16,25) 13 (27%) 913 192 338 530
CAR 59 7 (7,5,13,21,2,28,13) 16 (27%) 2138 366 591 957
FLA 50 7 (1,11,23,10,15,13,12) 13 (26%) 1392 120 279 399
PIT 35 2 (22,21) 7 (20%) 688 111 146 257
TOR 60 6 (8,4,1,17,29,15) 15 (25%) 1567 453 647 1100
WSH 37 6 (13,22,28,31,25,22) 10 (27%) 521 89 100 189
TBL 55 4 (19,27,14,27) 12 (22%) 1358 281 400 681
MIN 46 6 (18,20,15,24,12,9) 7 (15%) 988 190 254 444
CHI 56 6 (20,29,8,27,3,17) 12 (21%) 1111 215 344 559
CGY 43 5 (4,6,16,26,24) 9 (21%) 1572 277 458 735
BUF 48 7 (2,2,8,8,1,7,8) 17 (35%) 1862 415 547 962
ANA 45 6 (10,27,24,23,9,6) 13 (29%) 1878 231 416 647
CBJ 42 6 (16,8,29,3,18,21) 17 (40%) 1592 226 397 623
DAL 44 7 (14,25,3,26,13,18,30) 11 (25%) 774 128 198 326
DET 64 8 (15,19,20,9,6,30,6,4) 12 (19%) 1130 182 318 500
EDM 45 7 (3,1,4,22,10,8,14) 12 (27%) 1583 459 824 1283
MON 53 7 (26,26,9,25,3,15,16) 14 (26%) 967 80 205 285
NSH 47 5 (11,17,30,24,11) 12 (26%) 1322 266 370 636
NJD 56 7 (30,6,12,1,17,1,7) 22 (39%) 1529 236 291 527
NYI 36 6 (5,16,19,11,12,23) 11 (31%) 1169 215 368 583
NYR 54 8 (7,21,9,22,28,2,1,19) 15 (28%) 595 78 91 169
OTT 46 10 (18,21,11,28,4,26,19,3,5,28) 15 (33%) 1057 188 341 529
PHI 54 10 (17,7,24,22,2,27,14,19,14,23) 21 (39%) 1855 289 438 727
ARZ 55 8 (12,3,30,7,16,23,5,11) 19 (35%) 1975 380 496 876
SJS 47 5 (27,9,19,21,31) 13 (28%) 1291 226 334 560
WPG 44 8 (9,17,25,2,18,24,20,10) 14 (32%) 1657 483 517 1000
LAK 52 6 (29,11,20,5,22,2) 16 (31%) 1230 133 226 359
STL 48 6 (21,26,20,31,25,26) 14 (29%) 1414 210 313 523
BOS 41 8 (25,13,14,15,14,29,18,30) 19 (46%) 2242 418 636 1054
VAN 48 7 (6,24,23,5,5,7,10) 17 (35%) 1801 349 511 860

 

 

 

NOW BEFORE I REALLY GET DEEP INTO IT..... I just want to start by saying I FULLY ACKNOWLEDGE and understand that these draft picks have been moved around the league over the course of time..... The point is a about an organizations ability to DRAFT and DEVELOP NHL talent..... Picks that actually turn into NHL players, not just with the team that they are drafted by, but that they continue to be an NHL player. Anyways... Onwards we go.

 

 

 

Now I know a lot of people might look at this chart and think "why the hell wouldn't we keep our pick?!?!"... At this point right now, we already have our core and its one hell of a core. So we can afford to actually move picks, so long as it returns a 1st round type of player and an impact player. We can sacrifice a year or two of high drafting due to the core we have and the trajectory it is on, its not like we are still in a full on rebuild. We have Wingers, we have Centres, Defensemen AND Goalies, all from our own organizations drafting. A lot of these teams that have drafted high and are producing a lot, dont have the other necessities like D or goaltending. Instead they are loaded up with offence. In a few years we can add a couple more 1st round selections into the roster while we are in the "win now mode" to help extend the window and add skill on a very cheap contract that may help give the team the edge in the playoffs in a best of 7. 

 

 

 

Since Jim Benning took over the reigns, only 6 NHL franchises draft picks have put up more points than JB's scouting department. Edmonton and Toronto are two of the 7 teams, the other five being Arizona, Buffalo, Carolina, Boston and Winnipeg. Now what do a lot of these franchises have in common? 1st overalls or the runner up prize. Vancouver has not drafted higher than the top 5 in drafting. Edmonton and Toronto are teams that won the McDavid and Matthews sweepstakes. They also took home the consolation prizes of Marner and Draisaitl in the top 5. Buffalo also took home the runner up of the McDavid draft and landed Jack Eichel, but lets not forget that they also won the second coming of Bobby Orr, Rasmus Dahlin. A player that was head and shoulders above anyone else in his draft and was talked about like he was the next EK65 on steroids. Carolina took home a runner up prize in 2018 with Svechnikov. The Winterpigs lost out on Matthews, but took home Laine..... However along with Arizona the Jets and Yotes have drafted fairly well. They have landed some good players deeper in the 1st rounds. Boston did not have the same sort of high drafting as every other team listed above and I will dive into the Boston drafting later...

But lets just see how much these teams relied on their sweepstakes or runner-up prizes to makeup for there drafting.... And lets just remind ourselves that a team drafting at the top is drafting borderline 1st, 2nd and 3rd line players in the rounds following... They should be the first to get a chance to uncover a missed gem.

 

This is only considering draft picks from 2014 onward, there is no discussion about 2013 and prior. It is to compare Jim Benning and co. drafting, to the rest of the league over the last 7 years.

 

Toronto

I just couldn't wait to sh*t all over them. They have had the most draft picks in the last 7 years, yet of their league leading 60 picks, only 15 of them would go on to take a shift or two in the NHL. 25% of them, with a few years of high drafting, resulted in Matthews, Marner and Nylander..... Nothing else.

So Matthews and Marner are no doubt, excellent players and combine to be one of the best 2 players together, next to McDavid and Draisaitl (when they are put together)

 

Toronto's drafting

453 goals, 647 assists and 1100 points

Matthews and Marner.... combined for 302 goals (67%).....407 assists (63%) and 709pts (64%)

 

Without their top 2 producing players, they drop significantly and their ability to draft and produce an NHL player outside of those 2 falls off dramatically. 

 

Edmonton

Edmonton had 459 goals, 824 assists and 1283pts from their draft picks the last 7 years.... Of that was 394 goals between McDavid and Draisaitl (86%) the assists?? 686...(83%) the overall? 1080pts (84%) Like how the f*** has Edmonton sucked for so long.... They have had 11 f***ing top 10 picks between 2007-2019...... Not to mention the 6 top 5 picks and oh ya know the 3 consecutive 1st overalls and then to top their drafting failure off with the f***ing saviour McJesus. All in the last 11 years of drafting, yet they got absolutely dusted by Winnipeg in the playoffs and Edmonton has never really sold anyone on their contender status... Everyone has just been sold on McDavid being the best player on the planet and Draisaitl.

 

Those are 2 teams that won 100% generational players... The new Sid and Ovi of the league. Yet outside of those guys and their consolation prizes in another year... They have only managed to find a water boy. How do you draft so bloody high yet only come up with a 2 man team for the last 5 years? Look at how WPG shut down the top line and Edmonton was absolutely f***ed and played McDavid til the wheels fell off. Matthews and Marner couldn't close out a f***ing 3-1 series lead!!! like seriously!!! WTF!! 

 

Carolina

Their top 2 producing draft picks are a Aho and Hanifin... Aho was a hell of a steal, and without him their drafting would look even worse. Aho has 320 of Carolina's 957 points, Hanifin has 153 ponts, so of their 473 points its nearly 50%. Luckily enough Carolina is a pretty good team. 

 

Winnipeg

They lost out on Matthews but still snagged one of the highest goal scorers in the last 5 years, Patrik Laine.... despite his success in the NHL (and this terrible season) right on his tail and not talked enough about is Kyle Connor. They have made some good use of their 1st round picks. However... They have not taken a single D-man in the top 10 since 2012 Vancouver has taken 2.... OJ has had some bad luck with back and knee surgeries, had he not had those set backs at the start of his career, he'd have 4 years of NHL experience under his belt. But outside of Ehlers and Connor, what do they have? Laine is gone so I can't include him in their future, they havent found a #1 dman or a goalie...

 

Arizona

Despite what everyone thinks of them, has actually done a decent job of drafting and producing NHL players. 35% of their draft picks will play in the NHL at some point, just like Vancouver's drafting (Which is tied for 3rd highest percentage) And funny enough, they actually seem to score at the same rate. Arizona never had a runner up prize and franchise altering player like McDavid, Matthews, Eichel, Draisaitl etc. Their best "prize" was Strome, who kinda seems to be a let down. Despite their 3rd overall pick not turning out to be a stud and getting shipped off, they have still managed to find some decent NHL talent, but outside of Chychrun and Keller. 7 of their draftee's have gone on to play over 100 games in the NHL 6 of them playing over 200 games. Not too bad.

 

Buffalo
Now for Buffalo....what...in....the....F*** is going on in that organization??!??!?!?!?!? How do you have 7 TOP 10 PICKS.... sorry.... SEV...IN.....TOP...PUH... 10...PIX! A 1st, 2 2nds a 7th and 3 8th overall picks and wind up as brutally sh*tty as they are.... Without Eichel and Reinhart..... their ability to draft a f***ing NHL or AHL player is pretty much zero. Just like Deadmonton and the Maple Laughs.. 650 points between Eichel and Reinhart of the total 957 points for Buffalo's drafting.... And thats with 13 players drafted in the top 40!! So if you didnt count Eichel, Dahlin and Reinhart, they have 10 more picks in the top 40..... They havent drafted a good OR sh*t quality NHL player.... Its pretty much non-existent outside of the 3 guys they drafted and now they just got rid of one of the guys who puts up a fair chunk of their points and ontop of that Eichel wants out and has some sort of neck issues and they do not have any draft picks to help overcome these obstacles. That place is a f***ing disaster.

 

Vancouver, without our top 2 producers from JB's drafting (Petey and Boeser) we would lose 43% of our point production from our drafted players.... Which is a far f***ing cry from 60%+ from Edmonton, Toronto and Buffalo... Who have all drafted in the very top for multiple years.

 

Only 6 organizations to have produced more NHL games from their drafting than Vancouver. Those teams being Carolina, Buffalo, Anaheim, Philadelphia, Arizona and Boston. 

Boston and Carolina both broke the 2k+ games played by draft picks since 2014. Which is very impressive. But with a healthy Juolevi, Boeser and Pettersson, we would have also broke that 2k games played without a doubt. As for the newly mentioned teams (in the last few paragraphs) Anaheim and Philadelphia, they have more games played, but less goals, assists, points etc.....Philly has had 10 1st round picks since 2014, Anaheim has had 9, compared to Vancouver's 7. Kinda odd how Edmonton and Toronto who have drafted so high for several years aren't mentioned in this paragraph eh? 

 

Now lets bring a few teams who have drafted very high and have not been mentioned yet. NJD, NYR, LAK, OTT, DET and MON.... These teams have all had top 5 picks, some have had 1st overall's, runner-ups or some of these teams have had a boatload of 1st round picks, upwards of 10 1st round picks in the last 7 years. Yet if you look at their ability to 1) draft and develop an NHL player, 2) draft anything outside the 1st round and 3) get production out of their draft picks, its quite alarming if I was a fan of those franchises. The futures do not look bright for anyone other than Ottawa in that pile of sh*t drafting. The rest are looking quite grim in terms of the future youth.

 

I believe I have mentioned over 15 teams at this point..... And yet most of them are for bad reasons, only a couple for good reasons in terms of their future. The rest are unmentioned because they dont need to be mentioned and thats not a good thing either. A lot of them are of course winning franchises right now, but their windows are either over, coming to an end and they are soon to be like the Mike Gillis wastelands.... empty and barren...

 

If our youth is better than almost half the youth around the league that has been mentioned.... And the other half of the league has not even been mentioned, I would like to think that our future is very bright and very promising.

 

Anyways, I've said enough about our drafting compared to other teams around the league, you guys can see the charts and see for yourself just how far ahead of almost every team in the league we are in terms of drafting and developing. We are very fortunate that our 1st round picks turn out to be impact players instantaneously. We haven't had to rely on the big sweepstake consensus 1st and 2nd overall picks to produce NHL quality players, we've snagged some real gems in pretty much every draft. Sure the Virtanen draft didn't quite pan out as we hoped, but we still snagged Demko and that makes up for the first round failure.

 

Part 3: Drafting: Benning's departure from Boston and his arrival in Vancouver

 

Benning departed Boston in mid Spring of 2014. He was hired in Vancouver and the announcement was made official in May 21st, 2014. 

 

Staff History

Jim Benning

 

Boston BruinsBoston Bruins Assistant General Manager Jul 14, 2007 - May 20, 2014 44 - 51 6 Years, 10 Months, 6 Days
Vancouver CanucksVancouver Canucks General Manager May 21, 2014 - Present 51 - 7 Years, 2 Months, 13 Days

 

 

 

Important to note about a few dates and timelines

  • May 20th 2014, Jim Benning departs Boston
  • May 21st 2014, Jim Benning is hired by Vancouver
  • June 27th 2014 the first round of the NHL Entry Draft takes place (This is 5 weeks after hiring Benning)
  • 2008-2015 Eric Crawford was the head of scouting and Director of Player Personnel with the Vancouver Canucks

 

So just to touch on this quickly, the 2014 draft, known in Vancouver as the "Virtanen" and "McCann" draft was the Benning's 1st draft as we all know and that he had just joined the club in 2014. 

Benning's first draft was ultimately big letdown. But in the long run we found our #1 Goalie in Demko when we look back at it. But lets look at the events leading up to the draft and the eventual outcomes since that day.

 

Now prior to joining Vancouver, Jim Benning was working with Boston and the upcoming draft. Boston was drafting near the bottom of the first round and they had their eyes and expectations on players much later in the round. Benning jumped ship May 21st 2014 and joined Vancouver, where he and his team had 5 weeks to come up with a game plan for the draft. 5 weeks is not much time and after hiring Benning, no other changes were really made to the organization. Still.... intact was the scouting department and who they had their eyes and sights set on their guy. Virtanen was ranked in the top 10 by many experts in the final stretch, he had all the tools and had exceptional potential to be the player coaches dreamed about. A highly skilled power forward with speed, size, hands and shot..... Just not the IQ level. Even Craig Button had JV at #6 in his final draft rankings.

https://mapleleafshotstove.com/2014/06/24/tsn-2014-nhl-mock-draft-with-craig-button/

 

How much say did Benning have and how much studying was he able to do in 5 weeks, to say for certain Virtanen was the guy he wanted to draft? Benning had spent quite a significant amount of time debating on players much lower in the draft with Boston and now all of the sudden he goes from the bottom 10 to the top 10 of the draft and has 5 weeks to make a decision. That doesn't allow a lot of time for Benning to definitively say "this is our guy". Crawford and his scouting department had done their work and the influence to draft Virtanen and McCann was a decision made due to the amount of time invested in scouting from the Canucks organization prior to Benning's arrival. I do not believe this was a 100% Benning call, due to only being with Vancouver for 5 weeks and he was previously working with Boston and working with their scouts on different players around Boston's draft position.

 

Since Benning made changes to that department we have drafted quite well. Boeser, Hughes, Pettersson, Hoglander, Rathbone, Podkolzin etc. Demko was the best draft pick next to Horvat under Crawford's watch. 

 

Don't want to believe me? Look at how our drafting has changed for the better since Crawford was removed in 2015 and then look at how Montreal's drafting has been since Crawford joined them in 2016..... YIKES.

 

Staff History

Eric Crawford

 

TEAM POSITION DATE SPAN AGE SPAN DURATION
Vancouver CanucksVancouver Canucks Director of Pro Scouting 2008 - 2013 34 - 39 5 Years
Vancouver CanucksVancouver Canucks Director of Player Personnel 2013 - 2015 39 - 41 2 Years
Montreal CanadiensMontreal Canadiens Director of Pro Scouting 2016 - Present 42 - 5 Years

 

Just keep in mind, Crawford was also the guy who was feeding Gillis his influence on picks.... Which may explain why Gillis failed to produce anything more than Horvat... and Hutton..... I guess?

 

Now lets look at Boston's 2014 draft and then look the the rest of their drafting after Benning departed, just remember that Benning worked with Boston right up until just prior to the draft in 2014. He would have had a fair amount of influence on these picks leading up to the 2014 draft. 

 

2014 Entry                    
Draft Num. Round Player Pos Drafted From GP G A Pts PIM
2014 Entry 25 1 David Pastrnak R Sodertalje SK [Swe-1] 438 200 227 427 195
2014 Entry 56 2 Ryan Donato C Dexter School (Mass H.S.) 180 35 42 77 30
2014 Entry 116 4 Danton Heinen C Surrey Eagles [BCHL] 272 44 77 121 44
2014 Entry 146 5 Anders Bjork L U.S. National Under-18 Team [USHL] 153 19 26 45 32

 

Boston had a pretty good draft in 2014, I think it's pretty fair to state that Benning had a helping hand in this being that he was employed 5 weeks prior to this draft, with Boston

In 2015 Boston went on to draft 3 players in the 1st round and had a total of 10 picks. Of those 10 picks, they landed Jake Debrusk in the 1st round and Brandon Carlo in the 2nd. Neither of the other 2 1st round picks played more than 50 games. 

 

From 2015 Onward the only notable players drafted are McAvoy, Carlo and DeBrusk

 

2020 Entry                    
Draft Num. Round Player Pos Drafted From GP G A Pts PIM
2020 Entry 58 2 Mason Lohrei D Green Bay Gamblers [USHL]          
2020 Entry 89 3 Trevor Kuntar L Youngstown Phantoms [USHL]          
2020 Entry 151 5 Mason Langenbrunner D Eden Prairie (Minn. H.S.)          
2020 Entry 182 6 Riley Duran C Lawrence Academy (Mass. H.S.)          
                     
2019 Entry                    
Draft Num. Round Player Pos Drafted From GP G A Pts PIM
2019 Entry 30 1 John Beecher C U.S. National Development Team [USHL]          
2019 Entry 92 3 Quinn Olson L Okotoks Oilers [AJHL]          
2019 Entry 154 5 Roman Bychkov D Yaroslavl [Russia Jrs.]          
2019 Entry 185 6 Matias Mantykivi F Saipa [Finland Jrs.]          
2019 Entry 192 7 Jake Schmaltz F Chicago Steel [USHL]          
                     
2018 Entry                    
Draft Num. Round Player Pos Drafted From GP G A Pts PIM
2018 Entry 57 2 Axel Andersson D Djurgarden-2 (Sweden Jrs.)          
2018 Entry 77 3 Jakub Lauko L Chomutov Pirati [Czech]          
2018 Entry 119 4 Curtis Hall C Youngstown Phantoms [USHL]          
2018 Entry 181 6 Dustyn McFaul D Pickering Panthers [OJHL]          
2018 Entry 212 7 Pavel Shen C Khanty-Mansiysk Yugra [KHL]          
                     
2017 Entry                    
Draft Num. Round Player Pos Drafted From GP G A Pts PIM
2017 Entry 18 1 Urho Vaakanainen D JyP HT Jyvaskyla [SM-liiga] 16 0 2 2 2
2017 Entry 53 2 Jack Studnicka C Oshawa Generals [OHL] 22 1 3 4 2
2017 Entry 111 4 Jeremy Swayman G Sioux Falls Stampede [USHL] 10 0 0 0 0
2017 Entry 173 6 Cedric Pare C Saint John Sea Dogs [QMJHL]          
2017 Entry 195 7 Victor Berglund D MODO [Sweden-Jrs]          
2017 Entry 204 7 Daniel Bukac D Brandon Wheat Kings [WHL]          
                     
2016 Entry                    
Draft Num. Round Player Pos Drafted From GP G A Pts PIM
2016 Entry 14 1 Charlie McAvoy D Boston University [H-East] 235 24 98 122 177
2016 Entry 29 1 Trent Frederic C U.S. National Development Team [USHL] 59 4 1 5 80
2016 Entry 49 2 Ryan Lindgren D U.S. National Development Team [USHL] 116 2 28 30 90
2016 Entry 135 5 Joona Koppanen C Ilves Jrs (Finland)          
2016 Entry 136 5 Cameron Clarke D Lone Star Brahmas [NAHL]          
2016 Entry 165 6 Oskar Steen C Farjestad Jrs (Sweden) 3 0 0 0 2
                     
2015 Entry                    
Draft Num. Round Player Pos Drafted From GP G A Pts PIM
2015 Entry 13 1 Jakub Zboril D Saint John Sea Dogs [QMJHL] 44 0 9 9 18
2015 Entry 14 1 Jake DeBrusk L Swift Current Broncos [WHL] 244 67 67 134 57
2015 Entry 15 1 Zachary Senyshyn R Soo Greyhounds [OHL] 14 1 2 3 2
2015 Entry 37 2 Brandon Carlo D Tri-City Americans [WHL] 324 15 40 55 196
2015 Entry 45 2 Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson C Omaha Lancers [USHL] 29 3 6 9 2
2015 Entry 52 2 Jeremy Lauzon D Rouyn-Noranda Huskies [QMJHL] 76 3 8 11 71
2015 Entry 75 3 Daniel Vladar G Kladno Jrs. (Czech Rep.) 5 0 0 0 0
2015 Entry 105 4 Jesse Gabrielle L Regina Pats [WHL]          
2015 Entry 165 6 Cameron Hughes C U. of Wisconsin [Big-10] 2 0 0 0 0
2015 Entry 195 7 Jack Becker C Mahtomedi (Minn. H.S.)          

 

 

Doesn't look like Boston's future is all that exciting at this point in time.

 

 

Lets compare Bostons 2014 draft to the entire drafting from 2015 onward.

 

Boston's drafting from 2014-2020 generated 2242GP 418 goals 636 assists 1054 points.

Of that, the 2014 draft generated 1043GP (46.5%), 298 goals (71.2%) and 372 assists (58.4%) and the total points 670 (63.5%) Since Benning's departure, Boston's drafting has plummeted heavily. Sure they have been a strong team for many years and they draft a little lower in the draft, but in 2015 and 2016 they drafted in the 1st round 5 times. McAvoy and Debrusk being the only 2 1st rounders to become NHLers.

 

Boston had 3 1st round picks in 2015, Boston had 3 cracks to draft Boeser and they nearly missed out on all 3 picks. They took home DeBrusk while Benning made away like a bandit with Boeser.

 

I think we can all say that our drafting was changed instantaneously after removing Crawford and I think Crawfords time in Montreal just goes to prove that he was a problem here. Sure we matched Boston in games played in that 2014 draft, but our point production was smashed by them. Judd Brackett had a huge part to play in our drafting after that, but I'm sure that the drafting we have done this past 6 years will be enough to not worry about our drafting too much for a couple years. I also have faith in the group of guys in place to keep our drafting a success along the way. We have a great looking core and a lot of exciting prospects in the works, our youth is beginning to take over and the league will be at our mercy in no time at all. 

 

 

I hope this brings forth hope and restores fans excitement for this franchise and the upcoming season(s). You can look around at a lot of other teams from all over the league and see that the position we are in is much, much better. Teams like Toronto, Edmonton and Buffalo who have had exceptionally high drafting and landed these superstars are nowhere further in the league than we are and their future is even scarier for their fan base. Eichel wants out, Matthews is a UFA and may just leave town, McDavid and Matthews may have priced themselves out of town..... Then there are bottom teams like Detroit and a few others that I listed that are drafting high and have almost nothing to show at all for it. 

 

 

GO CANUCKS GO!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Someone who really gets it

I have a post I am getting ready for the beginning of the season that will fit nicely to this topic.

 

Well done on your post. I completely agree

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1 hour ago, knucklehead91 said:

I hope this brings forth hope and restores fans excitement for this franchise and the upcoming season(s). You can look around at a lot of other teams from all over the league and see that the position we are in is much, much better. Teams like Toronto, Edmonton and Buffalo who have had exceptionally high drafting and landed these superstars are nowhere further in the league than we are and their future is even scarier for their fan base. Eichel wants out, Matthews is a UFA and may just leave town, McDavid and Matthews may have priced themselves out of town..... Then there are bottom teams like Detroit and a few others that I listed that are drafting high and have almost nothing to show at all for it. 

 

 

GO CANUCKS GO!!

 

Sorry I didn't read all that. But I think Drafting was never Benning's problem, he's actually a pretty good B+ drafter. Heck even in his inaugural year he drafted McCann, Forsling, and Demko. Of course the fact he traded 2 out of those 3 for basically nothing shows Benning's problem is more with asset management. 

 

Though the David Pastrnak thing is a headscratcher to me. He was drafted right after McCann and drafted by his former team. How did Benning miss out on this?

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1 hour ago, knucklehead91 said:

WARNING: THIS IS GOING TO BE A LOT OF READING...like...a lot...But it will be worth it

 

Alright Canuck fans, I want to start off by saying I wanted to get this post done in time for the NHL Entry Draft and was also hoping that we would have kept the 9th overall pick to really hype this up another notch... I hope that midway through this post, fans will come to an understanding as to why it has "taken" Benning "so long" to "rebuild" this team. Benning's strong suit is definitely drafting and many people are going to freak out and say "well why the hell is he trading draft picks if he is so strong at drafting?!" 

I believe with the core we have that we are able to actually ship out draft picks at this point, so long as it returns a player of first round value and not just a Patty Marleau cap dump kinda deal. 

 

In the past I've compared Benning's drafting to previous regime's drafting and shown just how much this organization has lacked drafting for an unbelievably long time.

In this post, the first segment will be our history of draft failure from 2005 onward up to the Horvat draft, this may open some "fans" eye's and help them understand just how bad our drafting has been prior to Benning taking over and how it led to the early struggles in the Benning era where we had nearly zero prospects in the pipes to build around. It's why when the Sedin's retired, that the true rebuild began, not when Benning took over in 2014, but 4 years later when the Sedin's retired. Which in my next post I will break down the choices, contracts and trades made by Benning and the timing of them, compared to his moves now and how the culture of the team is changing from a quick turn around rebuild to our eyes being set on being competitive.

 

The second segment in this post will be comparing our drafting to the entire NHL from 2014 to 2020, as the 2021 picks were not eligible to play in the NHL. There will be each team's drafting breakdown since JB took over the GM position in Vancouver. Total games played, goals, assists, points, number of 1st round picks along with their position, total draft picks and total number of games played

 

The third and final segment will be about Benning's time in Boston and the lead up to the 2014 draft and Benning's arrival in Vancouver.

 

Now keep in mind this first segment's drafting ran the entire course of the Sedin's career's and what we added after that '99 draft.... And how little we added after '04 to extend the window.

 

 

 

 

PART 1: Benning vs Nonis+Gillis regime's drafting history and Burke's

 

 

 

Dave Nonis: Vancouver CanucksVancouver Canucks General Manager May 6, 2004 - Apr 14, 2008

 

Nonis's Drafts:

2004 - Cory Schneider (26th overall), Alex Edler (91st overall), Jannik Hansen (287th overall)

2005 - Luc Bourdon (RIP 10th overall), Mason Raymond (51st overall)

2006 - Michael Grabner (14th overall)

2007 - 0/6 draft picks played a single NHL shift

 

Total picks: 24

Total games played: 3606

Total goals: 521

Total assists: 720

Total Points: 1241

Span of 15 seasons ('05/'06 season to today)

.34 point %

 

 

 

 

Mike Gillis: Vancouver CanucksVancouver Canucks General Manager Apr 23, 2008 - Apr 8, 2014

 

Gillis's Drafts: 

 

2008 - Cody Hodgson (10th overall)

2009 - Jordan Schroeder (22nd overall) Kevin Connauton (83rd overall) - Neither are all that notable, but there was hype about Schroeder, and Connauton played 300+ games

2010 - Alex Friesen (172nd overall) 1 GP 1/5 picks played a shift in the show - Absolutely nothing notable about this draft

2011 - Nicklas Jensen (29th overall) Frankie Corrado (150th overall)

2012 - Brendan Gaunce (26th overall) Ben Hutton (147th overall) 

2013 - Bo Horvat (9th overall) Hunter Shinkaruk (24th overall) 

 

Total picks: 37

Total games played: 1954

Total goals: 278

Total assists: 423

Total points: 701

Span of 12 Seasons ('08/'09 season to today)

.36 point %

 

From 2004 to 2013 we had a total of 61 draft picks and of those 61 picks, the only players we were able to add to the core of the Sedin era was Edler and Horvat (Horvat came near the end of their careers). Schneider didn't last long, neither did Hodgson. Hansen was a great supporting character, but not a player who could be a top 6 guy. Horvat was still just a rookie and took couple years to develop in the NHL. That is a HUGE hit to the future when we relied heavily upon the Sedins, Burrows and Kesler, yet we were unable to add any players to that top 6 through drafting. 

8 years of failed drafting plus developmental years puts us 10-11 years behind on the future. Which is where we were when Jim Benning stepped foot in the door. We had a declining and aged core, the only shiny toy we had was Bo Horvat, which has turned out to be great (and I always believed in him). So if we were to run it back and look at the Brian Burke era, we would see how he laid the entire foundation and future down for us. Nonis helped cement the core by acquiring Luongo and Gillis added the final touches, but ultimately between Gillis and Nonis, the future was surrendered by poor drafting. 

 

Jim Benning Vancouver CanucksVancouver Canucks General Manager May 21, 2014 - Present

 

Draft picks who have a lot of potential and they still have a chance to become and NHLer as it is in their careers will have an asterisk next to them.

 

Benning's Drafts: 

 

2014 - Jake Virtanen (6th overall), Jared McCann (24th overall), Thatcher Demko (36th overall) 

2015 - Brock Boeser (23rd overall), Adam Gaudette (149th overall)

2016 - Olli Juolevi* (5th overall), Will Lockwood* (64th overall) 

2017 - Elias Pettersson (5th overall), Kole Lind* (33rd overall), Jonah Gadjovich* (55th overall), Michael DiPietro* (64th overall), Jack Rathbone* (95th overall)

2018 - Quinn Hughes (7th overall), Jett Woo* (37th overall)

2019 - Vasili Podkolzin* (10th overall), Nils Hoglander (40th overall)

2020 - Joni Jurmo* (82nd overall), Jackson Kunz* (114th overall)

2021 - Danila Klimovich* (41st overall)

 

Some of these drafts are a little too recent to determine the outcomes of these players, but they still have some years of development to become a potential NHLer. But despite that, lets dive into how Benning's drafting has done up to this point with success in the NHL

 

Total picks: 48

Total games played: 1801

Total goals scored: 349

Total assists: 511

Total points: 860

Span of 7 seasons ('14-'15 to current)

.48 point %

 

In 7 Seasons, Benning has nearly caught Nonis' drafted players in goals, assists and points in half the amount of games, with a much higher point %. Next season he will surpass all of Nonis's drafting. He has also surpassed Gillis' draft picks in goals, assists and points. That is quite remarkable, considering some of these players from previous regime's have been drafted for 10+ years and have carved out decent careers. 

 

 

Now lets run it back to the Burke era, I'm not going to get into full detail of his entire tenure, but just to put the pieces together as to what made our 2010-11 team so successful. As I'm sure all of you know.....

 

Burke's notable draftee's:

'99 - Daniel Sedin (2nd overall)

'99 - Henrik Sedin (3rd overall)

'01 - Kevin Bieksa (151st overall)

'03 - Ryan Kesler (23rd overall)

 

The first 4 core members of the 2010-11 team. Without them, we would have never had a sniff of the cup finals, they were ALL draft picks. Burke also moved Schaefer to Ottawa for Sami Salo. So far 4/5 guys that were critical in our 2010-11 run were drafted and developed by our own organization.

 

Now for Nonis's contributions. He was the man who gave Alex Burrows a chance and Burrow's surprised everyone and became the best line mate the Sedin's ever had. He also drafted Edler, Schneider and Hansen to add to the team. He also made the most critical move which was getting a #1 goalie and one of the best in the league.

So far we now have 7 players on that 2010-11 roster that were drafted. 

 

I really want to emphasize on how important drafting is versus signings and trades. Drafting is the best strong suit to have as a GM. So now I'm going to list each player from the 2010-11 run and next to them will be how they were acquired, what 2 categories (traded, signed or drafted) could you build a team around?  Which team would give you the best chance at winning a cup with the other 2 categories being untouched.

 

For example I will remove 2 categories on a 9 man roster and I'm going to try to assemble a pretty strong selection and it will all be from the 2010-11 team.

 

Daniel Sedin- drafted

Henrik Sedin - drafted

Schneider - drafted

Roberto Luongo - traded for

Christian Erhoff - traded for

Maximie Lapierre - traded for

Dan Hamhuis - signed

Manny Malhotra - signed

Alex Burrows - signed

 

For me, personally, I would remove the signed and traded for players and build my team around my draft picks. 

Now lets do a 23 man roster and next to the category will be a N for Nonis, B for Burke and G for Gillis. Who had the bigger effect and who's moves had the highest impact on the best Canuck team we have ever seen?

 

Drafted                                        Traded for                                    Signed

Daniel Sedin - B                           Roberto Luongo - N                   Alexandre Burrows - N

Henrik Sedin - B                           Sami Salo - B                             Dan Hamhuis - G

Kevin Bieksa - B                           Christian Erhoff - G                    Tanner Glass - G

Ryan Kesler - B                             Victor Oreskovich - G                Raffi Torres - G

Cory Schneider - N                       Maxim Lapierre - G                    Chris Higgins - G

Alex Edler - N                                Chris Higgins - G                       Aaron Rome - G

Jannik Hansen - N                                                                           Mikael Samuelsson - G                                                             

Mason Raymond - N                                                                       Chris Tanev - G

Cody Hodgson - G

 

 

Gillis may have had the most "additions" but in comparison to the core, he really did not contribute anything major. Hamhuis was big, but who doesn't want to sign with a contending team and your hometown team? I'd say Gillis made the smaller moves of everyone, but he did make many small moves that added up to a big season and a great run. 

 

I think this is a no-brainer....... I would bet my chances on the players we drafted over the players we signed and traded for combined.

So of that 2010-11 team 9 players were drafted from '99-2010. Our starting goalie was acquired via trade however. Now why am I bringing this up?

Look at the draftee's above.... Now look at the draftee's below

 

Benning's core draft picks

Elias Pettersson

Brock Boeser

Quinn Hughes

Thatcher Demko

Nils Hoglander

Olli Juolevi 

Jack Rathbone

Vasili Podkolzin

Michael DiPietro

 

  • It took 3 GM's to build the 2010-11 core
  • It took Benning a span of 6 drafts to draft the same type of core it took 3 GMs and 11 years.
  •  Benning has drafted his #1 C and #1 RW, similar to how Burke drafted his #1 C and #1 LW. 
  • 3 GM's prior drafted 6 FWDs, 2 D and 1 G
  • Benning has drafted 4 FWDs, 3 D and 2 G
  • Benning found his starting and back up goalie through drafting, whereas it took 2 GM's to draft/acquire their #1 and #2 goalies
  • Benning has drafted 2 high skilled defensemen compared to the the other 3 GM's had to find them via trade or FA. 
  • We have drafted Hoglander who looks to be a legit 2LW and Podkolzin who if his work ethic pays off like Hoglander's, will be a 2RW. Our 2nd Line had to be built through Trade and Free Agency

 

Now that Juolevi is healthy and showing NHL promise, along with the hype and excitement from the same draft, Benning may have a successful NHLer in each and every single draft from 2014 to 2020. 6 consecutive drafts of landing a minimum of one NHL player. You look back at how many completely failed drafts we had from '98-'13

 

  • 2000 NHL entry draft 5 picks, 39 GP 2G 4A 6PTS
  • 2002 NHL entry draft 11 picks, 12 GP 0G 0A 0PTS
  • 2007 NHL entry draft 6 picks, 0 GP
  • 2010 NHL entry draft 5 picks, 1 GP 0G 0A 0PTS
  • 2011 NHL entry draft 8 picks, 129GP 6G 8A 14PTS

 

Thats 5 years of drafting with 35 picks and only getting 181 NHL games, 8 goals and 12 assists... 20 points.... Do you understand how much this hurts the future of an organization when you COMPLETELY fail in 5 drafts in 20 years, thats without mentioning the Gaunce and Hodgson drafts. The future was grim from 2004 onward to the Horvat draft... Since 2014 the future has finally looked bright. And yes, I AM talking about the Virtanen draft, its the same draft we snagged Thatcher Demko, so yes the 2014 draft was not a complete loss. Ultimately we had 8 consecutive failed drafts from 2005 to 2012 where we didnt and anything of significance.... Mason mother f***ing Raymond was our most successful draft pick in that span of time... And his a$$ was always in a Raymond, Ballard and a 2nd package.

 

Burke's drafting produced 6985 games played, 1260 goals, 2463 assists and a total of 3723 points. His drafting which led to some of the greatest seasons for Vancouver had a .53 point %......Thats pretty damn close to Benning's .48 point % so I would say that the future looks quite bright.

 

 

 

 

 

Part 2: Benning's drafting versus the League 2014-2020

 

 

 

2021 Is not being used as these draft picks are not eligible to play until the 2021-22 campaign

 

Below is a table of each teams total picks, 1st round picks plus the spot they were selected, games played etc etc.. I'm sure you can read it and understand it.

 

 

 

Team Total # of picks 1st Round Picks 1st round pick ranks Draft picks to play 1 NHL game Games played Goals Assists Points
COL 48 8 (23,10,10,4,16,4,16,25) 13 (27%) 913 192 338 530
CAR 59 7 (7,5,13,21,2,28,13) 16 (27%) 2138 366 591 957
FLA 50 7 (1,11,23,10,15,13,12) 13 (26%) 1392 120 279 399
PIT 35 2 (22,21) 7 (20%) 688 111 146 257
TOR 60 6 (8,4,1,17,29,15) 15 (25%) 1567 453 647 1100
WSH 37 6 (13,22,28,31,25,22) 10 (27%) 521 89 100 189
TBL 55 4 (19,27,14,27) 12 (22%) 1358 281 400 681
MIN 46 6 (18,20,15,24,12,9) 7 (15%) 988 190 254 444
CHI 56 6 (20,29,8,27,3,17) 12 (21%) 1111 215 344 559
CGY 43 5 (4,6,16,26,24) 9 (21%) 1572 277 458 735
BUF 48 7 (2,2,8,8,1,7,8) 17 (35%) 1862 415 547 962
ANA 45 6 (10,27,24,23,9,6) 13 (29%) 1878 231 416 647
CBJ 42 6 (16,8,29,3,18,21) 17 (40%) 1592 226 397 623
DAL 44 7 (14,25,3,26,13,18,30) 11 (25%) 774 128 198 326
DET 64 8 (15,19,20,9,6,30,6,4) 12 (19%) 1130 182 318 500
EDM 45 7 (3,1,4,22,10,8,14) 12 (27%) 1583 459 824 1283
MON 53 7 (26,26,9,25,3,15,16) 14 (26%) 967 80 205 285
NSH 47 5 (11,17,30,24,11) 12 (26%) 1322 266 370 636
NJD 56 7 (30,6,12,1,17,1,7) 22 (39%) 1529 236 291 527
NYI 36 6 (5,16,19,11,12,23) 11 (31%) 1169 215 368 583
NYR 54 8 (7,21,9,22,28,2,1,19) 15 (28%) 595 78 91 169
OTT 46 10 (18,21,11,28,4,26,19,3,5,28) 15 (33%) 1057 188 341 529
PHI 54 10 (17,7,24,22,2,27,14,19,14,23) 21 (39%) 1855 289 438 727
ARZ 55 8 (12,3,30,7,16,23,5,11) 19 (35%) 1975 380 496 876
SJS 47 5 (27,9,19,21,31) 13 (28%) 1291 226 334 560
WPG 44 8 (9,17,25,2,18,24,20,10) 14 (32%) 1657 483 517 1000
LAK 52 6 (29,11,20,5,22,2) 16 (31%) 1230 133 226 359
STL 48 6 (21,26,20,31,25,26) 14 (29%) 1414 210 313 523
BOS 41 8 (25,13,14,15,14,29,18,30) 19 (46%) 2242 418 636 1054
VAN 48 7 (6,24,23,5,5,7,10) 17 (35%) 1801 349 511 860

 

 

 

NOW BEFORE I REALLY GET DEEP INTO IT..... I just want to start by saying I FULLY ACKNOWLEDGE and understand that these draft picks have been moved around the league over the course of time..... The point is a about an organizations ability to DRAFT and DEVELOP NHL talent..... Picks that actually turn into NHL players, not just with the team that they are drafted by, but that they continue to be an NHL player. Anyways... Onwards we go.

 

 

 

Now I know a lot of people might look at this chart and think "why the hell wouldn't we keep our pick?!?!"... At this point right now, we already have our core and its one hell of a core. So we can afford to actually move picks, so long as it returns a 1st round type of player and an impact player. We can sacrifice a year or two of high drafting due to the core we have and the trajectory it is on, its not like we are still in a full on rebuild. We have Wingers, we have Centres, Defensemen AND Goalies, all from our own organizations drafting. A lot of these teams that have drafted high and are producing a lot, dont have the other necessities like D or goaltending. Instead they are loaded up with offence. In a few years we can add a couple more 1st round selections into the roster while we are in the "win now mode" to help extend the window and add skill on a very cheap contract that may help give the team the edge in the playoffs in a best of 7. 

 

 

 

Since Jim Benning took over the reigns, only 6 NHL franchises draft picks have put up more points than JB's scouting department. Edmonton and Toronto are two of the 7 teams, the other five being Arizona, Buffalo, Carolina, Boston and Winnipeg. Now what do a lot of these franchises have in common? 1st overalls or the runner up prize. Vancouver has not drafted higher than the top 5 in drafting. Edmonton and Toronto are teams that won the McDavid and Matthews sweepstakes. They also took home the consolation prizes of Marner and Draisaitl in the top 5. Buffalo also took home the runner up of the McDavid draft and landed Jack Eichel, but lets not forget that they also won the second coming of Bobby Orr, Rasmus Dahlin. A player that was head and shoulders above anyone else in his draft and was talked about like he was the next EK65 on steroids. Carolina took home a runner up prize in 2018 with Svechnikov. The Winterpigs lost out on Matthews, but took home Laine..... However along with Arizona the Jets and Yotes have drafted fairly well. They have landed some good players deeper in the 1st rounds. Boston did not have the same sort of high drafting as every other team listed above and I will dive into the Boston drafting later...

But lets just see how much these teams relied on their sweepstakes or runner-up prizes to makeup for there drafting.... And lets just remind ourselves that a team drafting at the top is drafting borderline 1st, 2nd and 3rd line players in the rounds following... They should be the first to get a chance to uncover a missed gem.

 

This is only considering draft picks from 2014 onward, there is no discussion about 2013 and prior. It is to compare Jim Benning and co. drafting, to the rest of the league over the last 7 years.

 

Toronto

I just couldn't wait to sh*t all over them. They have had the most draft picks in the last 7 years, yet of their league leading 60 picks, only 15 of them would go on to take a shift or two in the NHL. 25% of them, with a few years of high drafting, resulted in Matthews, Marner and Nylander..... Nothing else.

So Matthews and Marner are no doubt, excellent players and combine to be one of the best 2 players together, next to McDavid and Draisaitl (when they are put together)

 

Toronto's drafting

453 goals, 647 assists and 1100 points

Matthews and Marner.... combined for 302 goals (67%).....407 assists (63%) and 709pts (64%)

 

Without their top 2 producing players, they drop significantly and their ability to draft and produce an NHL player outside of those 2 falls off dramatically. 

 

Edmonton

Edmonton had 459 goals, 824 assists and 1283pts from their draft picks the last 7 years.... Of that was 394 goals between McDavid and Draisaitl (86%) the assists?? 686...(83%) the overall? 1080pts (84%) Like how the f*** has Edmonton sucked for so long.... They have had 11 f***ing top 10 picks between 2007-2019...... Not to mention the 6 top 5 picks and oh ya know the 3 consecutive 1st overalls and then to top their drafting failure off with the f***ing saviour McJesus. All in the last 11 years of drafting, yet they got absolutely dusted by Winnipeg in the playoffs and Edmonton has never really sold anyone on their contender status... Everyone has just been sold on McDavid being the best player on the planet and Draisaitl.

 

Those are 2 teams that won 100% generational players... The new Sid and Ovi of the league. Yet outside of those guys and their consolation prizes in another year... They have only managed to find a water boy. How do you draft so bloody high yet only come up with a 2 man team for the last 5 years? Look at how WPG shut down the top line and Edmonton was absolutely f***ed and played McDavid til the wheels fell off. Matthews and Marner couldn't close out a f***ing 3-1 series lead!!! like seriously!!! WTF!! 

 

Carolina

Their top 2 producing draft picks are a Aho and Hanifin... Aho was a hell of a steal, and without him their drafting would look even worse. Aho has 320 of Carolina's 957 points, Hanifin has 153 ponts, so of their 473 points its nearly 50%. Luckily enough Carolina is a pretty good team. 

 

Winnipeg

They lost out on Matthews but still snagged one of the highest goal scorers in the last 5 years, Patrik Laine.... despite his success in the NHL (and this terrible season) right on his tail and not talked enough about is Kyle Connor. They have made some good use of their 1st round picks. However... They have not taken a single D-man in the top 10 since 2012 Vancouver has taken 2.... OJ has had some bad luck with back and knee surgeries, had he not had those set backs at the start of his career, he'd have 4 years of NHL experience under his belt. But outside of Ehlers and Connor, what do they have? Laine is gone so I can't include him in their future, they havent found a #1 dman or a goalie...

 

Arizona

Despite what everyone thinks of them, has actually done a decent job of drafting and producing NHL players. 35% of their draft picks will play in the NHL at some point, just like Vancouver's drafting (Which is tied for 3rd highest percentage) And funny enough, they actually seem to score at the same rate. Arizona never had a runner up prize and franchise altering player like McDavid, Matthews, Eichel, Draisaitl etc. Their best "prize" was Strome, who kinda seems to be a let down. Despite their 3rd overall pick not turning out to be a stud and getting shipped off, they have still managed to find some decent NHL talent, but outside of Chychrun and Keller. 7 of their draftee's have gone on to play over 100 games in the NHL 6 of them playing over 200 games. Not too bad.

 

Buffalo
Now for Buffalo....what...in....the....F*** is going on in that organization??!??!?!?!?!? How do you have 7 TOP 10 PICKS.... sorry.... SEV...IN.....TOP...PUH... 10...PIX! A 1st, 2 2nds a 7th and 3 8th overall picks and wind up as brutally sh*tty as they are.... Without Eichel and Reinhart..... their ability to draft a f***ing NHL or AHL player is pretty much zero. Just like Deadmonton and the Maple Laughs.. 650 points between Eichel and Reinhart of the total 957 points for Buffalo's drafting.... And thats with 13 players drafted in the top 40!! So if you didnt count Eichel, Dahlin and Reinhart, they have 10 more picks in the top 40..... They havent drafted a good OR sh*t quality NHL player.... Its pretty much non-existent outside of the 3 guys they drafted and now they just got rid of one of the guys who puts up a fair chunk of their points and ontop of that Eichel wants out and has some sort of neck issues and they do not have any draft picks to help overcome these obstacles. That place is a f***ing disaster.

 

Vancouver, without our top 2 producers from JB's drafting (Petey and Boeser) we would lose 43% of our point production from our drafted players.... Which is a far f***ing cry from 60%+ from Edmonton, Toronto and Buffalo... Who have all drafted in the very top for multiple years.

 

Only 6 organizations to have produced more NHL games from their drafting than Vancouver. Those teams being Carolina, Buffalo, Anaheim, Philadelphia, Arizona and Boston. 

Boston and Carolina both broke the 2k+ games played by draft picks since 2014. Which is very impressive. But with a healthy Juolevi, Boeser and Pettersson, we would have also broke that 2k games played without a doubt. As for the newly mentioned teams (in the last few paragraphs) Anaheim and Philadelphia, they have more games played, but less goals, assists, points etc.....Philly has had 10 1st round picks since 2014, Anaheim has had 9, compared to Vancouver's 7. Kinda odd how Edmonton and Toronto who have drafted so high for several years aren't mentioned in this paragraph eh? 

 

Now lets bring a few teams who have drafted very high and have not been mentioned yet. NJD, NYR, LAK, OTT, DET and MON.... These teams have all had top 5 picks, some have had 1st overall's, runner-ups or some of these teams have had a boatload of 1st round picks, upwards of 10 1st round picks in the last 7 years. Yet if you look at their ability to 1) draft and develop an NHL player, 2) draft anything outside the 1st round and 3) get production out of their draft picks, its quite alarming if I was a fan of those franchises. The futures do not look bright for anyone other than Ottawa in that pile of sh*t drafting. The rest are looking quite grim in terms of the future youth.

 

I believe I have mentioned over 15 teams at this point..... And yet most of them are for bad reasons, only a couple for good reasons in terms of their future. The rest are unmentioned because they dont need to be mentioned and thats not a good thing either. A lot of them are of course winning franchises right now, but their windows are either over, coming to an end and they are soon to be like the Mike Gillis wastelands.... empty and barren...

 

If our youth is better than almost half the youth around the league that has been mentioned.... And the other half of the league has not even been mentioned, I would like to think that our future is very bright and very promising.

 

Anyways, I've said enough about our drafting compared to other teams around the league, you guys can see the charts and see for yourself just how far ahead of almost every team in the league we are in terms of drafting and developing. We are very fortunate that our 1st round picks turn out to be impact players instantaneously. We haven't had to rely on the big sweepstake consensus 1st and 2nd overall picks to produce NHL quality players, we've snagged some real gems in pretty much every draft. Sure the Virtanen draft didn't quite pan out as we hoped, but we still snagged Demko and that makes up for the first round failure.

 

Part 3: Drafting: Benning's departure from Boston and his arrival in Vancouver

 

Benning departed Boston in mid Spring of 2014. He was hired in Vancouver and the announcement was made official in May 21st, 2014. 

 

Staff History

Jim Benning

 

Boston BruinsBoston Bruins Assistant General Manager Jul 14, 2007 - May 20, 2014 44 - 51 6 Years, 10 Months, 6 Days
Vancouver CanucksVancouver Canucks General Manager May 21, 2014 - Present 51 - 7 Years, 2 Months, 13 Days

 

 

 

Important to note about a few dates and timelines

  • May 20th 2014, Jim Benning departs Boston
  • May 21st 2014, Jim Benning is hired by Vancouver
  • June 27th 2014 the first round of the NHL Entry Draft takes place (This is 5 weeks after hiring Benning)
  • 2008-2015 Eric Crawford was the head of scouting and Director of Player Personnel with the Vancouver Canucks

 

So just to touch on this quickly, the 2014 draft, known in Vancouver as the "Virtanen" and "McCann" draft was the Benning's 1st draft as we all know and that he had just joined the club in 2014. 

Benning's first draft was ultimately big letdown. But in the long run we found our #1 Goalie in Demko when we look back at it. But lets look at the events leading up to the draft and the eventual outcomes since that day.

 

Now prior to joining Vancouver, Jim Benning was working with Boston and the upcoming draft. Boston was drafting near the bottom of the first round and they had their eyes and expectations on players much later in the round. Benning jumped ship May 21st 2014 and joined Vancouver, where he and his team had 5 weeks to come up with a game plan for the draft. 5 weeks is not much time and after hiring Benning, no other changes were really made to the organization. Still.... intact was the scouting department and who they had their eyes and sights set on their guy. Virtanen was ranked in the top 10 by many experts in the final stretch, he had all the tools and had exceptional potential to be the player coaches dreamed about. A highly skilled power forward with speed, size, hands and shot..... Just not the IQ level. Even Craig Button had JV at #6 in his final draft rankings.

https://mapleleafshotstove.com/2014/06/24/tsn-2014-nhl-mock-draft-with-craig-button/

 

How much say did Benning have and how much studying was he able to do in 5 weeks, to say for certain Virtanen was the guy he wanted to draft? Benning had spent quite a significant amount of time debating on players much lower in the draft with Boston and now all of the sudden he goes from the bottom 10 to the top 10 of the draft and has 5 weeks to make a decision. That doesn't allow a lot of time for Benning to definitively say "this is our guy". Crawford and his scouting department had done their work and the influence to draft Virtanen and McCann was a decision made due to the amount of time invested in scouting from the Canucks organization prior to Benning's arrival. I do not believe this was a 100% Benning call, due to only being with Vancouver for 5 weeks and he was previously working with Boston and working with their scouts on different players around Boston's draft position.

 

Since Benning made changes to that department we have drafted quite well. Boeser, Hughes, Pettersson, Hoglander, Rathbone, Podkolzin etc. Demko was the best draft pick next to Horvat under Crawford's watch. 

 

Don't want to believe me? Look at how our drafting has changed for the better since Crawford was removed in 2015 and then look at how Montreal's drafting has been since Crawford joined them in 2016..... YIKES.

 

Staff History

Eric Crawford

 

TEAM POSITION DATE SPAN AGE SPAN DURATION
Vancouver CanucksVancouver Canucks Director of Pro Scouting 2008 - 2013 34 - 39 5 Years
Vancouver CanucksVancouver Canucks Director of Player Personnel 2013 - 2015 39 - 41 2 Years
Montreal CanadiensMontreal Canadiens Director of Pro Scouting 2016 - Present 42 - 5 Years

 

Just keep in mind, Crawford was also the guy who was feeding Gillis his influence on picks.... Which may explain why Gillis failed to produce anything more than Horvat... and Hutton..... I guess?

 

Now lets look at Boston's 2014 draft and then look the the rest of their drafting after Benning departed, just remember that Benning worked with Boston right up until just prior to the draft in 2014. He would have had a fair amount of influence on these picks leading up to the 2014 draft. 

 

2014 Entry                    
Draft Num. Round Player Pos Drafted From GP G A Pts PIM
2014 Entry 25 1 David Pastrnak R Sodertalje SK [Swe-1] 438 200 227 427 195
2014 Entry 56 2 Ryan Donato C Dexter School (Mass H.S.) 180 35 42 77 30
2014 Entry 116 4 Danton Heinen C Surrey Eagles [BCHL] 272 44 77 121 44
2014 Entry 146 5 Anders Bjork L U.S. National Under-18 Team [USHL] 153 19 26 45 32

 

Boston had a pretty good draft in 2014, I think it's pretty fair to state that Benning had a helping hand in this being that he was employed 5 weeks prior to this draft, with Boston

In 2015 Boston went on to draft 3 players in the 1st round and had a total of 10 picks. Of those 10 picks, they landed Jake Debrusk in the 1st round and Brandon Carlo in the 2nd. Neither of the other 2 1st round picks played more than 50 games. 

 

From 2015 Onward the only notable players drafted are McAvoy, Carlo and DeBrusk

 

2020 Entry                    
Draft Num. Round Player Pos Drafted From GP G A Pts PIM
2020 Entry 58 2 Mason Lohrei D Green Bay Gamblers [USHL]          
2020 Entry 89 3 Trevor Kuntar L Youngstown Phantoms [USHL]          
2020 Entry 151 5 Mason Langenbrunner D Eden Prairie (Minn. H.S.)          
2020 Entry 182 6 Riley Duran C Lawrence Academy (Mass. H.S.)          
                     
2019 Entry                    
Draft Num. Round Player Pos Drafted From GP G A Pts PIM
2019 Entry 30 1 John Beecher C U.S. National Development Team [USHL]          
2019 Entry 92 3 Quinn Olson L Okotoks Oilers [AJHL]          
2019 Entry 154 5 Roman Bychkov D Yaroslavl [Russia Jrs.]          
2019 Entry 185 6 Matias Mantykivi F Saipa [Finland Jrs.]          
2019 Entry 192 7 Jake Schmaltz F Chicago Steel [USHL]          
                     
2018 Entry                    
Draft Num. Round Player Pos Drafted From GP G A Pts PIM
2018 Entry 57 2 Axel Andersson D Djurgarden-2 (Sweden Jrs.)          
2018 Entry 77 3 Jakub Lauko L Chomutov Pirati [Czech]          
2018 Entry 119 4 Curtis Hall C Youngstown Phantoms [USHL]          
2018 Entry 181 6 Dustyn McFaul D Pickering Panthers [OJHL]          
2018 Entry 212 7 Pavel Shen C Khanty-Mansiysk Yugra [KHL]          
                     
2017 Entry                    
Draft Num. Round Player Pos Drafted From GP G A Pts PIM
2017 Entry 18 1 Urho Vaakanainen D JyP HT Jyvaskyla [SM-liiga] 16 0 2 2 2
2017 Entry 53 2 Jack Studnicka C Oshawa Generals [OHL] 22 1 3 4 2
2017 Entry 111 4 Jeremy Swayman G Sioux Falls Stampede [USHL] 10 0 0 0 0
2017 Entry 173 6 Cedric Pare C Saint John Sea Dogs [QMJHL]          
2017 Entry 195 7 Victor Berglund D MODO [Sweden-Jrs]          
2017 Entry 204 7 Daniel Bukac D Brandon Wheat Kings [WHL]