Vancouver Canucks 2016 NHL Draft Profile: D Sean Day

Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; A general view of the podium on stage before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; A general view of the podium on stage before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

The Vancouver Canucks are preparing for the 2016 NHL Entry Draft — and so are we.

Unfortunately, the 2015-16 season was cut short for the Vancouver Canucks, which means we have a long offseason ahead of us. Canucks GM Jim Benning and his staff will use the time to prepare next season’s roster, and the 2016 NHL Entry Draft will certainly play an important part in that process.

Vancouver started off strong in the fall of 2015 but ended the season with a thud. Thanks to their abysmal 28th rank in the league standings, the Canucks own seven picks early in each round. Benning did a great job in his first two years at the job and another successful draft could certainly help boost the rebuild.

Here at The Canuck Way, we will do our best to prepare you for the upcoming event by profiling as many draft-eligible players as we possibly can. Keep in mind that we are not saying these are players the Canucks are targeting. Instead, these are players that we think the Canucks could or should have interest in.

Today we are looking at a player who was supposed to be the real deal but dropped far, far down on draft rankings: Mississauga Steelheads defenceman Sean Day.

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Name: Sean Day

Position: Defence

Shoots: Left

Height, weight: 6’3”, 229 lbs

Team/League: Mississauga Steelheads, OHL

Stats (from 







NHL CSS Ranking: 59th (North American Skaters)

Risk, Reward: 4/5, 5/5

NHL-potential: Elite Defenceman

Draft Range: Second to Third Round

Scouting report

"A mobile two-way defenceman that boasts an elite level skill package. Strong on the forecheck and delivers hard shots and crisp passes. His consistency and enthusiasm exhibited at the game’s defining moments does seem to wane, and the pressure felt seems to impact his decision-making slightly. When focusing on simplifying his game and getting all the little things right, he becomes a forceful impact that is hungry to be a difference maker. All-in-all, a talented two-way defenceman that has all of the raw abilities in place to become an elite defenceman, but has yet to put it all together and prove that he can thrive in the driver’s seat. (Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects 2015)"


If you are looking for raw elite skill, Sean Day is your man. If you are looking for a well-rounded player with good hockey sense who is guaranteed to make the NHL, he certainly is not.

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The main reasons for Day being granted exceptional player status to play junior hockey a year early were his size and skating, along with outstanding puck skills. Three years later, those are still his standout attributes.

Listed at 6-foot-3 and 229 pounds, Day already has the perfect frame for an NHL defenceman. Yet, he is an elite skater. A powerful stride, speed, mobility — Day has it all.

Another standout attribute is his passing. Day plays powerful, accurate passes, especially during breakouts. He can also make big plays in the offensive zone and possesses a good, heavy shot.

Last but not least, Day is a terrific puck handler and could turn into a large two-way defenceman who can drive the puck up ice and be a power-play quarterback.


First, there is his inconsistency. One second you see that elite exceptional status player, the next you see a below-average junior player like you find them aplenty in the CHL.

Second, many scouts question his hockey sense. Day used to play a “get the puck and go” style in minor hockey and had a hard time changing that (and he is still working on it).

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Furthermore, Day seemed to struggle a lot with the strong competition in the OHL and the pressure of being granted exceptional player status. He was used to being much bigger and better than all his peers in minor hockey, but playing against 20-year-olds was a change he struggled to adapt to.

Day was a minus-35 in his rookie season and struggled defensively in general. He got better in his second year — offensively and defensively. In 2015-16, his production dropped, but he got much more responsible in the defensive zone. If he continues his defensive development like he has for the past year, it should not be an issue at the next level.

Perhaps the biggest issue, if all the rumours are true, is Day’s character. Granted exceptional player status, he was said to just take everything for granted instead of working hard to be successful. Then, he was reported to have had a few falling-outs with his coach. Furthermore, he reportedly demanded a trade — to the London Knights and the London Knights only.

Final Thoughts

Picked in the second round, Day has a lot of risk attached to him. Picked in the third, the risk is slightly lower. If the Vancouver Canucks can snag him in the fourth round, he would be an absolute steal.

Day is and likely always will be looked at as the first exceptional status player who was not selected first overall at the NHL Entry Draft. But, if he is looked at as a regular prospect, he looks like someone who has raw talent and elite potential but is too inconsistent. That could still be a good late first-round pick.

However, considering his character issues and hockey sense, he will likely fall into the third round.

Next: Pierre-Luc Dubois: NHL Draft Profile

Is he coachable? Does he understand the game well enough? Can he improve his hockey sense?

A high-risk, high-reward player, Day can be anything from an elite NHL defenceman to the “guy who never lived up to his potential.” Is Jim Benning willing to take the risk?