Why the Vancouver Canucks should draft Cole Caufield at 10

ST. PAUL, MN - SEPTEMBER 19: Team Leopold forward Cole Caufield (14) makes a pass during the USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game between Team Leopold and Team Langenbrunner on September 19, 2018 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN. Team Leopold defeated Team Langenbrunner 6-4.(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ST. PAUL, MN - SEPTEMBER 19: Team Leopold forward Cole Caufield (14) makes a pass during the USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game between Team Leopold and Team Langenbrunner on September 19, 2018 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN. Team Leopold defeated Team Langenbrunner 6-4.(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

The Vancouver Canucks will have some options at this year’s draft picking at 10th overall, and one player I think they should consider drafting is Cole Caufield.

Standing at just five foot seven and weighing in at 163 pounds, is 18-year-old American, Cole Caufield. Although not large in stature, Caufield plays big, and if he’s available at tenth overall, the Vancouver Canucks should highly consider drafting him. Here’s why.

Caufield is a natural goal scorer. His shot is a thing of beauty and as EliteProspects says, “Caufield is a game-breaking goal scorer that, despite his diminutive frame, thrives under pressure, and is difficult to contain.” Caufield can absolutely rip a puck and may very well be another key piece to the rebuild, that was sped up this last season with the success of Elias Pettersson.

The first line consisting of Pettersson and Brock Boeser is a lock for next year. The two have undeniable chemistry with one another, and are great friends on and off the ice. Caufield may be able to find a home on that first line with the two stars, or may provide Bo Horvat with some stability with wingers on the second line, hopefully alongside a rejuvenated Tanner Pearson.

Caufield has just wrapped up a huge weekend for himself, where he recorded a hat trick in the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team’s 6-1 victory over Sweden in their first preliminary game at the 2019 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship.

More from The Canuck Way

Caufield then followed that performance up by scoring four goals just a day later, this time coming in a 12-5 U.S. victory over Slovakia. That’s seven goals in two games. To say that Caufield can shoot the puck and score goals is almost an understatement. Caufield is also a smooth skater who, according to EliteProspects, is “hard to play against”. Sounds like a Travis Green guy to me.

Caufield’s goal-scoring numbers absolutely jump off the page. In 60 games with the US National U18 team this year, Caufield has scored 67 goals and potted 23 assists. In 60 games. To put that in perspective, the consensus first overall pick, Jack Hughes, has picked up 30 goals and 72 assists in 46 games. Funny enough, the two players are actually linemates and play extremely well with one another.

In a league that is becoming a young man’s game and a game where smaller players are able to thrive, Caufield seems like a player the Canucks could be interested in. That being said, if there’s anything we’ve learned from this year’s playoffs, it’s that, for starters, the Canucks would have swept the Calgary Flames (sarcasm), and that some smaller players are unable to perform in the playoffs when the going gets tough.

The Canucks have shown that they’re not afraid to draft smaller players though, as they drafted Pettersson back in 2017, whose slight build caused almost everyone in the hockey world to lose their minds and claim that he’d be too small to play in the NHL — and again last year with the drafting of Quinn Hughes.

Next. The curious case of Reid Boucher. dark

The truth is, there’s no exact formula a team can follow on how to build a Stanley Cup winning team, and if there is one, I unfortunately don’t have it. All I know is, Caufield appears to have what it takes to be a regular goal scorer in the NHL. The way he is playing, Caufield may be gone by the time the Canucks make their pick, but if he’s there at 10, the Canucks should definitely considering calling his name when they take the stage.