Vancouver Canucks: Always draft the best player available

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Takeaways from this

If this topic is depressing you, it should. This franchise has had opportunities to really bolster their lineup in the first round of the last four drafts and decided to eschew the BPA rule. Wouldn’t it be nice to have two more top six forwards in place of bad players? I’m not saying we would suddenly be a playoff team, but at least Brock Boeser could have some more support and not always be relied upon for offence.

Picking Jake Virtanen caused a ripple effect where Benning thought his prospects were ready or at the very least on the way, when they were not. He gave his scouts few picks to work with thanks to his strange attempt at “bridging the age-gap” and “accelerating development.”

Jim Benning didn’t even pick the best defenceman from the 2016 draft. Mikhail Sergachev and Charlie McAvoy are taking much larger strides in the NHL, and will be better than Juolevi. Adam Fox has played immensely well in the NCAA and I recommend you watch him at the World Juniors to see his skill on display. Juolevi will have mountains to climb to live up to his lofty draft position and that’s not fair to him. It is Benning’s fault to put him in a position like this, where the picks are few and the expectations are so high.

If Benning was so dead-set on a player, I truly wonder why he did not trade down. With a fifth or sixth overall pick, you could acquire another second-round pick and get the player you wanted. That would have helped add to the prospect pool.

There’s no doubt in my mind that the BPA was selected in the cases of Jared McCann, Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson. Too bad McCann is succeeding with another team. It’s just odd why this was not followed in 2014 and 2016.

Trading for need instead of drafting for it

The reason I advocate picking the BPA is to collect an abundance of talent. You can always use this abundance to trade for something you don’t have. For example, the Nashville Predators boast one of the strongest defensive corps in the league, but always lacked that scoring touch to be a contender. They swapped Seth Jones for Ryan Johansen, who was instrumental in their cup run last year before his injury.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have done so well at the draft that they could afford to move Jonathan Drouin for Mikhail Sergachev. How was this possible? They had Brayden Point ready to take on Drouin’s role and he has flourished. That’s the kind of prospect depth teams should be striving for. It’s not just about the quality of prospects you possess, it is the quantity.

Next: Canucks Resolutions for 2018

The team that moves futures is willing to make that sacrifice because their team is competitive. Bad teams sacrifice their future for short-term gain and tend to fail. Just look at the Canucks since 2015. If a team is patient enough to collect picks, they want to make sure to not waste them. To do that, teams need to ALWAYS pick the best player available.