Vancouver Canucks 2017 NHL Draft Profile: D Scott Walford

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.

Today we will take a first look at the later rounds, starting with local boy Scott Walford of the WHL Victoria Royals!

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Name: Scott Walford

Position: Defense

Shoots: Left

Birthdate: 1999-01-12

Height, weight: 6’2”, 190 lbs

Team, league: Victoria Royals

Stats (from 







#90 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)

Risk, Reward: 2/5, 3.5/5

NHL-potential: Top-six defenseman

Draft Range: Rounds three to five

Scouting report

"An underrated two-way defender who has shown an offensive side in the latter half of this season. Never tries to do more than he is capable of and takes care of his own end effectively. Always makes the safe play and gets the puck out of trouble. Stands his ground and keeps his net clear. Separates the puck away from opponents and has developed a physical game and is not afraid to throw the big hit. Patient in his own end and makes sure he has a clear path before he makes a pass. Has good size and battles in the corners. Will shoot the puck on the power play and does a good job of opening up space for himself to shoot. A reliable defender both defensively and in the offensive zone. Good vision and sees all areas of the ice well and skating has improved from start of the season. (HockeyNow)"


Scott Walford is a steady two-way defenseman who doesn’t wow you with flashy plays but rather plays a responsible all-around game. When you watch the Royals play, you might not notice Walford, but that’s usually when he’s at his best — just playing well positionally and making sure not to allow any scoring chances. A low-risk rearguard you can rely on with the puck in your zone.

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Walford is an excellent skater with great mobility, coupled with a solid frame. He controls the gap well, closes passing lanes and is always aware of what’s going on around him. Over the course of the season, he has also developed more of a physical game, laying the occasional hit.

With the puck, Walford shows some promise as well. He can carry it out of trouble and play accurate breakout passes thanks to great vision and hockey sense. After scoring just 16 points in the first 47 contests of the season, Walford had 14 in the final 13 games. His vision and a heavy slap shot are two of the tools that give him some nice offensive upside.


Walford has never posted a point per game and hasn’t come close since recording 51 points in 59 bantam games three years ago. So, what can we make of his 14 points in 13 games to finish his draft season? It’s certainly nice to see that offensive upside, but he might project as more of a defensive guy at the professional level.

Walford’s game has no real weaknesses, yet he projects to be picked in the fourth round or later. That’s because one of his strengths is also a weakness: He just doesn’t do anything outstanding. Walford isn’t flashy, he usually makes the safe play, and that might not be enough to make an impact in the NHL.

Final Thoughts

The Canucks will be picking early in each round of this year’s draft, so they probably shouldn’t look at Walford any earlier than the fourth round. As much as I like him, 64th is too early. That said, the Canucks’ 95th-overall selection as well as the San Jose Sharks’ fourth-round pick might be the perfect time to call Walford’s name.

Walford is a really solid player with great skating and hockey sense. Some scouts may question his offensive upside while others — myself included — have more trust in his abilities. Walford won’t be a 50-point scorer, but if he ends up scoring 25 to 30 points in the NHL one day, I would be more than happy.

Next: 2017 NHL Draft Profile Overview

Lastly, there is the hometown factor. Walford was born in Coquitlam, played minor hockey in the Okanagan and is spending his junior career a ferry ride away, with the WHL Victoria Royals. If the Canucks pick him and he develops into a solid pro, fans will certainly like him. (That is unless the Canucks select him sixth overall like a certain someone from New Westminster in 2014. Sorry, I had to.)