It’s time to reflect on everything that happened at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft for the Vancouver Canucks. Here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly, from draft weekend.
It was a busy draft for the Vancouver Canucks and general manager Jim Benning. The Canucks made a big splash, as expected, acquiring some help for their top six. Let’s break it down.
The good is obviously adding a stud Russian winger with size and skill in the form of Vasily Podkolzin. Although two years remaining on his KHL deal, Podkolzin seems like he wants to come do great things in the NHL with the Canucks as soon as that deal expires. Podkolzin is a solid goal scorer, and as I mentioned on Friday, was predicted to go much higher in the draft than 10th overall.
The second round pick, Nils Hoglander, is another pick that I’m happy about falling to the Canucks., and I think he’s going to play a key role on the team. An undersized player at 5’9, Hoglander is someone that both Benning and the Canucks’ Director of Amateur Scouting, Judd Brackett, are incredibly high on.
The Canucks swung for the fences at the draft this year, going with picks who have high upside and high ceilings. The Canucks are hoping that all of their picks, not just Hoglander and Podkolzin, will be home runs, rather than strikeouts.
The good part is that it seems that every player the Canucks picked this year was a good decision. Most of us have learned to trust Brackett due to his success in recent years, and this year was no different. Every pick the Canucks made today looks good right now, but of course, we will have to wait and see how each of them pan out. As it stands, there isn’t one prospect they added this year that I don’t like.
Ethan Keppen is who the Canucks selected in the fourth round, and he seems like he has all the tools to be an effective NHL player. The young forward models his game after Jamie Benn and Matthew Tkachuk, and we know how effective those two are and the success they’ve had in the league. Keppen says that he likes to battle and can play in any situation. Sounds good to me, sign me up.
The Latvian goalie that the Canucks selected only adds to the team’s goaltending prospect pool, which was bolstered in March when the Canucks signed Jake Kielly out of the NCAA. The five additional forwards added are also nothing you can really complain about. Now, for the bad.