Vancouver Canucks 2017 NHL Draft Profile: D Max Gildon

Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Brock Boeser walks to the stage after being selected as the number twenty-three overall pick to the Vancouver Canucks in 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; Brock Boeser walks to the stage after being selected as the number twenty-three overall pick to the Vancouver Canucks in 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 2017 NHL Entry Draft — and so are we.

Once again the Vancouver Canucks failed to secure a spot in the NHL playoffs. So, instead of competing for the Stanley Cup, Canucks GM Jim Benning and his staff will use the upcoming months to prepare next season’s roster. Now that the organisation is officially in a ‘transition period’, the 2017 NHL Entry Draft will be of utmost importance.

A four-game winning streak to start the 2016-17 season gave fans hope for the playoffs. But — blame the coach, the roster, injuries or anything else — unfortunately, the team was unable to play competitively for an entire season. With that, they are guaranteed another high draft pick this year.

Here at The Canuck Way, we will do our best to prepare you for the upcoming draft by profiling as many 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.

This year’s draft seems wide-open, with no real consensus in any of the seven rounds. So, it will certainly be interesting to see who will put on a Vancouver Canucks jersey come June.

Up today is a potential third-round target: D-man Max Gildon of the US NTDP.

Embed from Getty Images

Name: Max Gildon

Position: Defense

Shoots: Left

Birthdate: 1999-05-17

Height, weight: 6’3”, 187 lbs

Team, league: USA U-18, NTDP

Stats (from 







#44 by Future Considerations
#54 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)

Risk, Reward: 2.5/5, 3.5/5

NHL-potential: Top-six defenseman

Draft Range: Top 90

Scouting report

"A two-way defender in the Ryan McDonagh mold…this big wing-spanned blueliner is just scratching the surface of his ability…the big Texan is a minute-muncher who can contribute at both ends of the ice…a steadying presence in his own zone…strong and physical, not afraid to flex his muscle and willing to play it nasty if required…pins his man and does not let him back into the play…generates decent speed and keeps his gaps tight because of his reach and skating…handles the puck well, although not overly flashy or very creative offensively…can play in all situations…plays a strong transition game, moving the puck quickly and accurately up to his forwards…does not back down from a battle…his point shot is improving with added strength…has loads of room to grow, but also the potential to be a difference-maker at the NHL level. (Future Considerations)"


Max Gildon is a two-way defenseman with a promising skillset but questionable upside. He went into the year with early second-round potential, dropped down far on scouting lists at the start of the season, but moved his way back up. Consistent play is what keeps prospects in the position they are in, but Gildon improved throughout the year and deservingly moved back up on many lists.

Gildon’s best assets are his size and reach along with great mobility. He controls the gap well and frequently finds ways to interrupt plays with an active stick. Listed at 6-foot-3 and 187 pounds, Gildon also possesses the size and strength to play a physical game. It’s not like he runs around destroying opponents, but he is capable of laying hits and pinning players against the boards.

In addition, Gildon has some offensive upside. He likes to get rid of the pass rather quickly, playing quick, accurate breakout passes, but he has also shown the skating ability and puck skills to carry the puck himself. Plus, he has an excellent wrist shot with a quick release and great accuracy. At the very least, Gildon should be able to develop into a strong transitional player; the best-case scenario would see him becoming a regular offensive contributor as well.


Gildon may one day become an impact player at the NHL level. But at this moment, it looks like he might just become a solid bottom-pairing player without any standout attributes. He isn’t very flashy, and he hasn’t shaped his raw skills into a really strong all-around game yet. But, the potential is certainly there.

More from Draft

As to actual skills that can be called a weakness, I would name his decision making and perhaps even hockey sense as a whole. Whether he pinches when he should sit back or commits to a poke check he shouldn’t commit to, there are some instances where Gildon made the wrong decision. That said, his defensive awareness certainly seems good enough to play at the NHL level.

Gildon is neither elite nor terrible in any areas of the game. He is simply a solid all-around player. That kind of player can be important, especially when he has the ability to skate with the puck and play accurate passes, but how early do you pick this kind of player?

Final Thoughts

The top 90 seems like a large range, but it is hard to say where Gildon will end up. If teams trust his skillset and believe he can develop into an offensive impact player, they may use an early second-round pick on him. But if all they see is a solid-not-great prospect, they may want to wait until later.

For Vancouver, the second round — 33rd overall — might be too early to take their chances with Gildon. If he is still around at pick 64, he would be a must-take player. Gildon would not give the Canucks the flashy offensive player they seem to be coveting, but a strong all-around defenseman can be equally important. But, chances are he will be picked relatively early.

Next: 2017 NHL Draft Profile Overview

If the Canucks want to draft a future first-line center and top-pairing defenseman, they will have the chance to do that in the first two rounds. In the third, they can simply go with whoever they believe has the greatest chances of making the NHL. And with his combination of size and skating ability, as well as his defensive prowess, Gildon’s chances don’t look too bad.