David Quadrelli: Bobby Brink. He may not be available at 40th overall, but no one thought Kole Lind would be available in the second round, either. Brink brings to the table an absolutely wicked shot, he is a pure sniper. His skating can use work, but one summer with Bo Horvat’s skating coach should do the trick for this young lad. The thing I like most about Brink for the Canucks is that he works his tail off on defence. Much like Pettersson, Brink reads the plays before they happen and acts accordingly. He would be a steal at 40th in my opinion, so if he isn’t there, my pick is still Nolan Foote, as I wrote in a past article.
Alex Hoegler: Simon Hölmstrom. If Benning does take a defenceman with his first pick, then I’d be very surprised if he didn’t take a winger here. There won’t be a shortage of gifted goal-scorers here, and if I were to guess, he’d settle on Swedish winger Simon Hölmstrom. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound winger brings a nice skill set.
More from The Canuck Way
- Which team won the Bo Horvat trade?
- What to expect from newcomers Anthony Beauvillier, Aatu Räty
- Back to the future: How the skate uniforms became a regular Canucks’ feature night
- Canucks kick off 2023 with disappointing 6-2 loss to Islanders
- 2nd period penalty trouble sinks Canucks in 4-2 loss against Winnipeg
Not only can he score, but Hölmstrom is a superb playmaker and passer as well. Certainly worth a look if he’s available when the Canucks pick.
Stephen Kronstein: Kaedan Korczak. The gold medal-winning Kaedan is probably what Benning meant when he recently said he wanted to draft players with “hardness”, no doubt a quality learned growing up in small town Saskatchewan.
The iron man showed proficiency by scoring 33 points while playing in all 68 WHL games this past season for the Kelowna Rockets, where he was awarded top defenceman honours. He’s a big, mobile, puck-moving blueliner who excels at the defensive aspects of the game. The draft experts rank him anywhere from late first round to middle third round.
Joshua Rey: Brayden Tracey. This is a prospect I have really liked for some time now. Tracey is a goal scorer and has an excellent wrist shot and one-timer. He is also a good stick handler can make good tape to tape passes and has very good edgework and ability. However, he still needs work on his defensive game
Ben Steiner: Anttoni Honka. The Canucks should pick the Finnish defenceman with the 40th overall selection if he is available to them. Some scouts have signalled Honka as a low floor, high ceiling player — a risk the Canucks should take with their second rounder. Given the current situation on defence, if Honka were to pan out — he would be a welcome addition to a struggling Vancouver defensive situation.
Owen Gibbs: Kaeden Korczak. The Canucks need to stock up on right-handed defenceman soon. In all likelihood, this will mean Jake Gardiner or Tyler Myers. But drafting a guy like Korczak, who can provide offence and size — would go a long ways towards bolstering the team’s defensive pool.
Matthew Zator: Lassi Thomson. The mobile puck-moving defenceman would be a welcome addition to a blue line already boasting the likes of Quinn Hughes, Troy Stecher and Olli Juolevi. The Canucks would be wise to keep moving forward with drafting and signing puck movers and stay away from the “old school” defensemen.
Jarred Chan: Kaeden Korczak. Needing to add more right-handed defenders, Korczak may be the best one available when the Canucks select at 40. Teammate RHD Lassi Thomson had more points, however, will most likely be selected earlier in the draft. Korczak can eat minutes and is dependable in his own end, which is a great sign. Honourable mention: Brayden Tracey