Vancouver Canucks 2016 NHL Draft: 5 Sleeper Picks

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The Vancouver Canucks sold their 33rd and 94th-overall picks in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft in an attempt to strengthen their defense — which makes the remaining picks even more important.

When a team is rebuilding but not really, like the Vancouver Canucks apparently are, the draft is extremely importnat. Well, it always is. But when you trade your draft picks to fill immediate needs and try to improve your prospect pool at the same time, landing diamonds in the rough becomes ever so important.

Losing the 33rd pick to the Florida Panthers in the trade that acquired defenseman Erik Gudbranson hurt. It really did. A lot. But once you look at the draft and realize that around the 25th pick, the entire thing becomes a coin toss, it hurts a little bit less.

The 2016 NHL Entry Draft really has scouts earning their money. The top-six players are forwards, there are six extremely talented defensemen in the first round, and about 10 other players have a spot in the first round guaranteed. But what will happen behind that?

Predicting the first round is tough enough, but starting with pick No. 25 or so, things get extremely difficult. Some rank 6-foot-7 defenseman Logan Stanley as a mid-first rounder, others have him barely cracking the second round. Some have 5-foot-9 forward Adam Mascherin as one of the first players to go off the board in the second round, others have him dropping down to the end of the third. You see, size is an important theme here.

So, let’s take a look at some draft sleepers, or diamonds in the rough, who will likely be selected in the later rounds, but could easily be two or three rounds higher in a redraft three to five years from now.

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