For the fourth straight year, the Vancouver Canucks fell in the NHL draft order. But the team must stay positive, because they’re going to land a quality player.
The Vancouver Canucks never had that much of a chance in winning the NHL draft lottery, but it’s easy for the organization and its fans to be frustrated about not getting any luck for a fourth consecutive year.
In 2016, the Canucks were the NHL’s third-worst team, but they moved down to fifth in the draft order. A year later, they finished 30th — and fell down to fifth for the second straight year. Of course, things turned out great for general manager Jim Benning and co. there. More on that later.
And finally, the Canucks finished 26th last season, but they moved down to the seventh spot. But hey, nobody is ever going to complain about them taking star defenceman Quinn Hughes, who should play a large role in their success down the road.
Remember, the Canucks had a whopping 48.8 percent chance of picking ninth, and a 30.7 percent chance of selecting 10th. They only had a five percent chance of winning the lottery, and a mere 16 percent chance of moving up into the top three.
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So really, this isn’t exactly a devastating drop off. The Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings had the first and second-best odds, and they moved down to fourth and fifth, respectively. They’re both missing out on Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko. The Canucks stood little chance of getting either of them in the first place.
Hughes and Kakko are in their own class, but after that, it’s anybody’s guess who will fall over the next 12 or so picks. Either way, the Canucks will be able to address their biggest need — whatever Benning thinks that is.
Does he want another defenceman to complement Hughes? There are plenty of excellent options there, including Bowen Byram, Cam York, Victor Soderstrom and Thomas Harley. All four of those guys would be excellent adds to the Vancouver core.
Does Benning want to add another scorer? Dylan Cozens, Kirby Dach, Peyton Krebs, Matthew Boldy, Alex Turcotte and Cole Caufield are only some of ultra-talented prospects that could help this team.
Who knows? Maybe Benning will have his eye set on one of these players specifically, and maybe that man will end up falling to him at No. 10. Who knows? Maybe Benning will wind up with an elite player with one of the later picks. Brock Boeser (23rd overall in 2015) and Elias Pettersson (fifth overall in 2017), have turned out just fine here on the west coast.
So at the end of the day, the Canucks and their fans cannot be too upset about moving down to 10th in the draft lottery. They never had much hope to begin with. On top of that, the front office will had another impact player that can help accelerate this rebuild, and more importantly, put them on the path to contend for multiple Stanley Cups over the next decade or so.