The Vancouver Canucks own the No. 10 pick in this year’s draft, but should general manager Jim Benning explore moving down in the order?
Had they landed the first or second overall pick in the draft lottery, things would have obviously been a lot easier for the Vancouver Canucks and general manager Jim Benning.
But of course, the Canucks didn’t get any lottery luck and fell down the order for a fourth straight year. Rather than simply choosing between Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko — the likely top two picks in this year’s draft — Benning and the Canucks will be forced to make a much more difficult decision.
It’s nearly impossible to guess which players will go where after Hughes and Kakko — especially from No. 3 overall to No. 15. There are so many talents in this year’s draft, just that they’re not quite on the level of Hughes and Kakko.
Benning and the Canucks might have troubles deciding between anywhere from five to seven players. They’d probably love to add Vancouver Giants defenceman Bowen Byram, but it’s hard to see him falling to them at 10.
With so many options to take at No. 10 overall, perhaps Benning should look at trading down in order to acquire more picks for later. Of course, this depends entirely on if he views a certain player as can’t-miss when it’s time to make his selection.
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The Canucks can’t really go wrong with their first round pick. Adding another blueliner to complement future All-Star Quinn Hughes wouldn’t hurt, but maybe Benning wants a scoring winger to help out Elias Pettersson?
There are lots of quality forwards and blueliners to choose from here, which is why Benning should explore moving down.
Even though he’s not getting Hughes or Kakko, Benning stands to land a great player who can complement the young core he’s built up here.
Unless he’s desperate to trade up — or if there’s a player he loves at No. 10 — Benning should consider moving down a few spots. I’d say he shouldn’t go any lower than 15th overall, but ideally somewhere between 12th and 14th.
You just have to consider the amount of talent and depth in this year’s draft. If Benning wants a centre, options could include Kirby Dach, Dylan Cozens, Alex Turcotte, Raphael Lavoie, Peyton Krebs and Trevor Zegas. Most of them should be available between 10 and 15.
If Benning wants a winger, Vasily Podkolzin, Matthew Boldy, Cole Caufield, Arthur Kaliyev, the versatile Raphael Lavoie and Brett Leason are the top targets — and most of those guys will be available when it’s time for him to pick.
Want a blueliner, Mr. Benning? Byram will likely be off the board, but Thomas Harley, Cam York, Victor Soderstrom and Philip Broberg are among the premier players to choose from. And at least two of those guys will likely be on the board when it’s Vancouver’s time to select.
It’s a deep draft, and Benning could use any of those players listed above. That’s why he shouldn’t be afraid to consider moving down in the order, especially since the Canucks are in need of more draft selections.