Vancouver Canucks 2017 NHL Draft Profile: D Cale Fleury

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 /

Cale Fleury will be one of the Vancouver Canucks’ many defensive options at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.

Although most will agree that drafting the best player available in every round of the draft is the best way to go, there is nothing wrong with having preferences. The Vancouver Canucks have two player types they want to pursue this year: A playmaking center and an offensively skilled defenseman. And unless they acquire an additional first-round pick, they will need to grab one of those players in the second round or later.

Thankfully, there will be enough options around no matter who turns out to be the Canucks’ first pick of the draft. Better yet, there will likely be a playmaking center and an offensive defenseman available at every one of Vancouver’s picks that can be considered the best player available for that selection.

One of those, perhaps in the third round, is Cale Fleury of the WHL Kootenay Ice.

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Name: Cale Fleury

Position: Defense

Shoots: Right

Birthdate: 1998-11-19

Height, weight: 6’01”, 200 lbs

Team, league: Kootenay Ice, WHL

Stats (from 







#69 by
#69 by ISS Hockey
#86 by Future Considerations
#62 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)

Risk, Reward: 2.5/5, 3.5/5

NHL-potential: Top-four defenseman

Draft Range: Top 90

Scouting report

"A pass first, defensively accountable blueliner that also features some offensive upside… isn’t an overly enthusiastic straight line skater…uses his lateral footwork to avoid being turned around and keeping plays to the perimeter and away from the zones interior…manages the puck effectively and is a strong possession player who does not cough up the puck when he is pressured…is primarily a pass first guy offensively, taking a few strides up the ice before firing a connecting pass….has an intense edge to him and is a competitor who doesn’t back down physically and throws hits without taking himself out of the play…well positioned defensively and locks horns with anyone who tries to get to the front of his net…strong ability to follow the play and uses quick bursts to get into the play…has an active stick and constantly hacks at the puck carrier, being an irritable presence…shows great composure when under pressure and displays smarts when creating quick breakout plays…has the upside of a good top four two-way defenseman.  (Future Considerations, November 2016)"


A three-year WHL veteran, Cale Fleury was named captain of the Kootenay Ice in January, which is rather uncommon for first-year draft-eligibles. It does, however, show that the 1998-born defenseman is quite far in his development. At 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, he also possesses an NHL frame already. He was been one of the very few bright spots on a terrible Ice roster this year.

Fleury has excellent work ethic and makes sure to give everything he’s got, no matter the score. Whenever he gets the puck, he wants to push the pace and make something happen. That can either mean a quick stretch pass for a breakout or Fleury rushing the puck out of the D-zone himself. Fleury likes to join the rush and start an attack, which is something Kootenay has struggled to do as a whole this year.

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He is not the speediest player on the ice, but his skating is impressive nonetheless. Especially considering his size, Fleury displays excellent mobility and smooth edge work. This helps him defensively and on the rush, but also once he makes it into the offensive zone. Fleury displays strong playmaking ability from the back end, as he can walk the offensive blue line really well, has solid puck skills, can dish passes and get pucks at the net.

Defensively, Fleury mostly stands out as a physical presence. His defensive play can certainly be improved, but the one thing he’s very good at is laying a hit without taking himself out of the play.


Today’s hockey analysts and traditional scouts don’t quite agree on this one, but most would probably still agree that defensemen need to defend. And this is where Fleury’s biggest issue comes in. Fleury needs to improve his defensive coverage, as he often chases plays and tries to take a run at players when it might be better to sit back and play a more conservative defensive game instead.

It is important to note, however, that Fleury’s defensive game is not nearly as bad as you’d think when you look at his plus-minus stat. You know, that stat that doesn’t really make sense anyway.

What some scouts worry about is his upside. Fleury now has three years of major junior under his belt, but recently hasn’t progressed as much as we would have liked to see from him. That includes both his offensive and his defensive play. The big questions are how much better he can get, and how much off his potentially stalled development is due to him playing on an extremely weak team.

Final Thoughts

Fleury is one of many defensive options for the Canucks, and he fits their target profile very well. Plus, right-handed power-play defensemen are in great demand, so if Fleury turns into that kind of player in the NHL, he will have great value down the line.

For the Canucks, Fleury could be an option at 55th overall. A prospect like Fleury as compensation for John Tortorella would certainly be a great turnout. Going by Fleury’s rankings by all major scouting services, however, Fleury could also be available much later.

The Canucks could still hope for Fleury to be available at 64, but he will most likely be gone by the fourth round, where the Canucks hold the 95th and 112th selections.

Next: All 2017 NHL Draft Profiles

This pick is unlikely to be impacted by the Canucks’ previous picks, as Fleury would be a perfect option in the third round even if the Canucks drafted Cale Makar or someone like Henri Jokiharju in the previous rounds.