Vancouver Canucks 2017 NHL Draft Profile: D David Farrance

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’ll take a look at US NTDP defenseman David Farrance!

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Name: David Farrance

Position: Defense

Shoots: Left

Birthdate: 1999-06-23

Height, weight: 5’11”, 187 lbs

Team, league: USA U-18, NTDP

Stats (from 







#55 by Future Considerations
#46 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)

Risk, Reward: 2/5, 3.5/5

NHL-potential: Top-six defenseman

Draft Range: Top 75

Scouting report

"A transitional offensive minded defenseman who skates very well and has skilled hands… a quick and agile skater…slick stick-handling abilities…thanks to his skating and puck-handling abilities, he can escape forechecking pressure…sees the entire sheet of ice as he carries the puck up ice and into the offensive zone…can be a threat with his precise puck movement or by delivering a quick shot…is dangerous as he skate the puck coast to coast at any time…knows when to jump into the play and keeps the risk of being caught up ice to a minimum…displays great gap control and positioning…not bad defensively although he doesn’t get physical enough…soft along the wall and little sense of urgency to his defensive play…projected as a strong possession player who can take the puck into the offensive zone, quarterback a power play and put up some points at the next level. (Future Considerations, November 2016)"


David Farrance is one of many skilled but undersized defensemen in this draft class. He has excellent tools that could make him a dangerous offensive player, but is very raw and will need some time to develop.

Farrance is an excellent skater with great four-way mobility as well as strong acceleration and speed. These abilities help him keep a perfect gap. Along with an active stick, that allows him to defend the rush well and force early turnovers in the neutral zone.

Furthermore, Farrance profits from his skating on the breakout. He can create separation from the forecheck with his quick first steps and then continue to carry the puck up ice. Farrance possesses the stick-handling skills to avoid opponents and successfully exit the D-zone before carrying the puck through the neutral zone for a clean entry.

Offensively, Farrance tries hard to have an impact. He uses his vision to set up scoring chances and frequently shoots the puck as well.


Farrance has all the tools, but he is still raw.

More from Draft

One of the biggest areas of improvement is his decision-making; Farrance can carry the puck up ice and avoid opponents, but he can’t always turn that into something productive. Sometimes he just carries the puck into traffic and turns it over or he gets forced into a dump-in.

Offensively, Farrance sees his teammates well and shows some creativity, but his passes don’t always reach the intended recipient. His shots show similar variance, as he shoots frequently but isn’t dynamic enough to create shooting lanes when they aren’t there, resulting in many blocked shots.

Lastly, Farrance does not look like much of a defensive player. He is neither big nor strong, resulting in struggles in board battles and physical play. His defensive awareness and positioning are solid, but nothing more. The only defensive standout attribute — though they are very positive — are his gap control and rush defense.

Final Thoughts

The team that drafts Farrance takes a chance at a raw player with a promising toolkit. They won’t draft him to get a strong defensive player, but rather hope to get a prospect that can help on the breakout and have an offensive impact.

Farrance is not good enough defensively and not dynamic enough offensively to be selected in the top 30; even the top 60 is questionable. In the early rounds of the draft, scouts prefer players that are more of a “sure thing” or have higher upside, and Farrance might not quite fit the bill there.

As a result, Farrance will be an option for the Canucks’ third-round selection, the 64th-overall pick.  Other potential picks at 64 include Swedish defenseman Filip Westerlund and Farrance’s US NTDP teammate Max Gildon, though the latter will likely be long gone at that time.

Next: 2017 NHL Draft Profile

Fact is, Vancouver could get a solid D-prospect with that pick. However, if they want a dynamic offensive forward who is likely to develop into a strong power-play quarterback at the NHL level, they might have to get him in the first or second round. Here, Cale Makar and Henri Jokiharju are among the potential picks.