#5: Vasily Podkolzin:2019 10th overall
Vasily Podkolzin was the last player the Canucks picked in the first round.
It’s still early for him but he has shown promise in his rookie season. 14 goals and 12 assists for 26 points in 79 games aren’t bad numbers at all. Throughout the season, he seemed to gradually improve.
He was displaying his strength when he had the puck and was also trying to get involved physically. Podkolzin’s passing also improved as well as his defensive play.
There is a lot to like about the Russian and expect him to take a bigger step next season. At just 20-years-old, Podkolzin is only going to get better from here.
#4: Brock Boeser: 2015 23rd overall
When Brock Boeser was taken 23rd overall by the Canucks in 2015, scouts were saying the same thing: He is a pure goal scorer. Boeser displayed that in his rookie season scoring 29 goals and that earned him a Calder Memorial Trophy nomination.
However, Boeser has evolved into more than just a goal scorer. Throughout his NHL career, he improved his passing and has become a decent playmaker as well.
Unfortunately, Boeser has struggled with consistency and injuries since coming into the league. Staying healthy and finding ways to produce points consistently are things he is working on.
Boeser has gone through plenty of hardships in his life and his father Duke passed away a couple of weeks ago. Our condolences go out to the Boeser family.
#3: Bo Horvat: 2013 9th overall
The Canucks shocked the hockey world when they traded Cory Schneider to the New Jersey Devils during the 2013 NHL Draft. (Which was being held in Newark.)
As a result, they took Bo Horvat who is now their captain. Despite his strong two-way game, the biggest concern was his skating. However, Horvat wanted to improve on that.
The following summer, he worked with skating coach Kathy McLlwain in Ontario. Once he made the NHL, Horvat’s skating was drastically different than in junior.
While Horvat’s defensive play has declined in recent seasons, he has established himself as a solid offensive player and has been great at faceoffs. He has also proven to be a big-game player. That was evident in the bubble in the Canucks first round series win over the St. Louis Blues.