Vancouver Canucks 2016 NHL Draft Profile: LW Simon Stransky

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 owned seven picks early in each round. That changed after trading the second and fourth-round selections to the Florida Panthers, but who knows what will happen on draft day to get those back. 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.

For the past weeks, the focus was on what seem to be typical Benning players — big power forwards and shutdown defensemen. WHL Prince Albert Raiders winger Simon Stransky is the opposite of that, but that doesn’t make him any less interesting!

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Name: Simon Stransky

Position: Left Wing

Shoots: Left

Height, weight: 5’11”, 170 lbs

Team/League: Prince Albert Raiders, WHL

Stats (from 







NHL CSS Ranking: 48th (North American Skaters)

Risk, Reward: 4.5/5, 4.5/5

NHL-potential: Top-Six Winger

Draft Range: Third to Sixth Round

Scouting report

"A Czech left wing currently in the WHL with Prince Albert who has good acceleration, shiftiness, puck handling ability and soft hands. His overall skating needs work but he moves well laterally and as he gets stronger, it may address this. He has a very good presence when attempts are made to contain him and he uses his all around shiftiness to stickhandle in tight areas and escape pursuit. Will use his feet like a soccer player to reposition the puck. Plays quick and patient with the puck. Wait and waits on some carries for the play to form and makes sure the puck best to his lineman. Very creative passer and nimble puck handler and passer who will get the puck ahead through the middle zone and sneak in for the clean up. Needs to improve puck pursuit, and puck control on his zone entries, and build core strength so his skating improves. Needs to improve his plat away from the puck. There are things to like with this player who seems to always be around the puck and action. (Bill Placzek,"


Simon Stransky is a Czech WHL prospect who boasts first-round offensive potential. He has the speed, skill, creativity and hockey sense to become a top-six scorer in the NHL. That is, if he can improve the rest of his game.

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Stransky takes great advantage of his skating ability. Whether he just speeds past defensemen or hesitates before sudden acceleration, opposing players often struggle to control the speedy winger. In the offensive zone, especially along the boards, Stransky likes to shake off opponents with tight turns and quick stop-and-gos. His speed and agility are his prime assets, and he surely knows how to use them.

Along with his skating, Stransky’s offensive hockey sense allows him to sneak away from opponents and appear in open spaces unexpectedly. He can come out of nowhere to receive a dangerous breakout pass or appear in front of the net for a prime scoring chance. If you don’t keep an eye on him, you are going to lose his quickly.

In addition, Stransky possesses terrific puck skills and shows a lot of confidence in them. He makes defensemen look like traffic cones when he dekes around them at top speed, and it really does not look like he cares whether he is playing against the league’s top defensemen or indeed a traffic cone. It takes some outstanding defensive skills to stop Stransky in open ice.

Stransky’s 19 goals and 43 assists are a testament to his scoring potential. He has a dangerous wrist shot that is most effective as he gets closer to the net, and he sets his teammates up well. When Stransky gets the puck around the net, it won’t take long for a scoring chance to develop.


Stransky is all about offense. And even there, he has some weaknesses. Most of them have to do with a lack of physicality and work ethic, which are important factors that could force him into the later rounds of the draft.

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Once Stransky has the puck, he is an extremely dangerous player. But when he doesn’t have it, he also doesn’t put in the effort to get it. You won’t see him throw a hit to separate the opponent from the puck, and he seldom even goes into the corners to dig for loose pucks. Hand the puck to him and he will do magic with it, but he is also the kind of player who goes into the game saying “give me the puck and let me do magic with it.”

Outside of the offensive zone, there just isn’t a lot of effort. Stransky waits things out and hopes his teammates will get the job done. He waits somewhere along the boards, hoping to either intercept a pass or dump, or get a breakout pass from his defense.

Stransky is listed at 169 pounds by the WHL and that is exactly what he looks like on the ice. He doesn’t throw hits himself and usually loses battles when he is on the receiving end. I mentioned Stransky being the opposite of a Benning player — this is the reason why.

Final Thoughts

Simon’s older brother, Matej Stransky, is a 6-foot-3, 209-pound forward for the AHL Texas Stars. He was drafted 165th-overall in 2011 as a 26-point scorer, broke out with 81 and 85-point seasons the next two years, and is now a 39-point scorer with 23 goals at the AHL level. He would have been more of a Benning type.

But, Simon isn’t Matej. He is shorter than his brother, lighter than his brother, and definitely no power forward. However, there is a good chance that Simon will get up to 100, maybe even 120 points in his next WHL years. The offensive potential is crazy — first-round level, as said before. But there is simply no indication of a developing two-way game.

Because of that, Stransky’s rankings on the major scouting services’ lists are all over the place. have him at 73, Future Considerations have him at 100, and ISS Hockey put him at 175. Those ranks are also an accurate projection for where he will be drafted: anywhere from the third to sixth round.

Next: More 2016 NHL Draft Profiles

Most NHL teams like to pick players with a few outstanding skills but many holes in their game over those with a good all-around game but questionable potential in the late rounds. If the Vancouver Canucks can snag him in the sixth round, Stransky could become the biggest steal of the 2016 draft. If they pick him in the third, he could still be a steal, but the risk that comes with it is probably way too high at 64.

An intriguing player looking for a GM that is bold enough to pick him.