Vancouver Canucks: Pacific Division Draft Grade Ranking

(EDITORS NOTE: caption correction) Jun 24, 2016; Buffalo, NY, USA; Matthew Tkachuk poses for a photo after being selected as the number six overall draft pick by the Calgary Flames in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft at the First Niagra Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
(EDITORS NOTE: caption correction) Jun 24, 2016; Buffalo, NY, USA; Matthew Tkachuk poses for a photo after being selected as the number six overall draft pick by the Calgary Flames in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft at the First Niagra Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports /
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Apr 9, 2016; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; The Vancouver Canucks players celebrate after their game against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Arena. The Vancouver Canucks won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports /

Outlook

The 2016 NHL Draft could have gone better for the Vancouver Canucks. That said, the result was still good, getting an overall grade ‘B’. Looking at other Pacific Division teams, however, it might be time to get scared.

Vancouver will open the 2016-17 campaign with a home game against the Calgary Flames. The Flames are led by young forwards Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau and Sam Bennett, as well as top defensemen Mark Giordano and Dougie Hamilton. They also have ex-Canucks blue-chip prospect Hunter Shinkaruk and now added more talent to the system. Calgary will be a force not too long from now.

The Edmonton Oilers had a crazy amount of talent up front for many years now, and their forward group just keeps getting deeper. Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent Hopkins, Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Jesse Puljujarvi could be an outstanding top six for many years. Even if they finally manage to trade one of them for a top-pairing defenseman, that forward group will be scary good. We say this every year, but it won’t be long before Edmonton rises to the top.

Next: 5 Canucks Games to Look Forward to in 2016-17

Jim Benning wants to make the playoffs every year. But playing in the toughest division of the league, that will be a difficult task — not just this season, but every season in the future.

Looking at the rest of the division, a full-on rebuild might be inevitable. Let’s hope Benning figures something out.