Vancouver Canucks 2016 NHL Draft Profile: F Manuel Wiederer

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 taking a look at overage forward Manuel Wiederer of the QMJHL’s Moncton Wildcats!

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Name: Manuel Wiederer

Position: Center/Right Wing

Shoots: Right

Height, weight: 6’0”, 174 lbs

Team/League: Moncton Wildcats, QMJHL

Stats (from 







NHL CSS Ranking: Not Ranked

Risk, Reward: 1/5, 3/5

NHL-potential: Top-Nine Forward

Draft Range: Sixth to Seventh Round

Scouting report

"Wiederer is playing on the top line and seems to have found chemistry with reigning CHL scoring leader Conor Garland. He’s a great skater with amazing vision. He’s definitely a set up guy that makes some brilliant players. He also has a sneaky release and is always at the right place at the right time which shows he’s smart as well. (WildcatMapleLeafs28, HFBoards)"


Manuel Wiederer is an overaged player who decided to play junior hockey in Canada after spending three years in German men’s leagues, including one season in the top-tier DEL. The move seems to have paid off, even though Wiederer did not get ranked by the NHL Central Scouting Service.

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Wiederer spent most of the year playing on a line with Conor Garland who won consecutive QMJHL scoring titles with 129 and 128 points, respectively, in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. However, Wiederer’s 41 goals and 80 points in 71 games (including playoffs) were as much a product of Wiederer’s abilities as they were one of Garland’s. The 19-year-old German is a good skater and extremely skilled, and easily managed to keep pace with Garland.

Wiederer is a great skater with good agility and good speed. His skating combined with his puck skills can be a nightmare for his opponents who struggle to stop him as he rushes into the attacking zone.

However, Wiederer’s biggest asset is his hockey sense, which can make up for any technical deficiencies. Wiederer sees the ice extremely well and knows where to be and when to be there. He often skates into open areas and can find teammates to make passing plays in the offensive zone.

Furthermore, Wiederer has a good shot and is smart around the net. Playing with 89-assist Conor Garland, everyone scores the occasional goal, but it is not like Wiederer’s 41 tallies came on unintentional deflections.


Wiederer has no glaring weaknesses in his game, which is the reason why he got to play on the first line of a team that made the semifinal of the QMJHL playoffs. However, he is also no elite talent, and everything he does should be taken with a grain of salt. As a 19-year-old who had been playing against men for the past three years, Wiederer is obviously farther ahead in his development.

Like many European forwards, Wiederer is also not a big defensive force. He does what he needs to do in the defensive zone, but is certainly not a two-way forward. However, he adjusted well to the North American game and had no issues competing on the smaller surface after getting a few games to get used to it.

Wiederer has good height for a forward, but he is rather lanky and not very physical.

Final Thoughts

Manuel Wiederer drew a lot of interest from CHL clubs going into the CHL Import Draft, and ended up with the Moncton Wildcats. It turned out to be the perfect move for him, if he wants to make a career in North America.

In the 2014-15 campaign, Wiederer played five games in the German top-tier junior league DNL, scoring seven goals and 14 points. Obviously, he was too good for that level of play already. Hence, he spent 15 games in the second-tier DEL 2 and 29 in the top-tier DEL, succeeding in the former but struggling in the latter. In Moncton, he got the chance to develop his skills in a professional environment, yet playing with and against players with his age and skill level.

Because of his age and past development path, it is hard to judge and compare him to his fellow draft prospects, and it is a reason why he was not ranked by NHL CSS. Nevertheless, there should be at least one team that is willing to use a late-round draft pick on him, especially after a strong showing in the QMJHL playoffs.

Next: More 2016 NHL Draft Profiles

The Vancouver Canucks currently one sixth-round and two seventh-round draft picks — their own and one from Carolina — and Wiederer will be a good option with any one of those picks. He is a great skater and displays great hockey sense, which are two extremely important attributes for success in the NHL.