Second round: Pick 33rd : Kole Lind
I liked this pick at the time. Kole Lind was coming off a season where he had 87 points in 70 games with the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets
Benning famously said “Why isn’t anyone taking Kole Lind?” before making the pick.
Lind then got 95 points in 58 games with the Rockets this season. There was potential with Lind. He was known for scoring goals, speed and tenacity.
With the Utica Comets, Lind had 17 points in 51 games in his first season and then 44 points in 61 games the season after. He finally made his NHL debut on April 29, 2021, against the Toronto Maple Leafs but he only played seven games with the Canucks in the 2020-21 season registering no points.
Lind was taken by the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft last summer. He played 23 games with Seattle last season scoring two goals and managing eight assists. But Lind spent most of the season with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers scoring 17 goals and 18 assists in 35 games.
Lind showed promise in the Canucks organization but he was inconsistent. He could still be an NHL player but his ceiling is a depth piece.
Second round: 55th overall: Jonah Gadjovich
The pick used to select Jonah Gadjovich was received by the Canucks as compensation for the Columbus Blue Jackets hiring John Tortorella as their head coach in October of 2015.
Gadjovich was coming off a 70-point season with the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack. He put up 48 points in 42 games the next season and also won a gold medal at the 2018 World Juniors with Canada. In seven games, he scored a goal and two assists helping Canada win gold.
Gadjovich is a big and feisty two-way winger. However, his skating was a big weakness and that was something he was always working on.
Like Lind, he and an up and down time in Utica. Gadjovich made his NHL debut in May of 2021 against the Calgary Flames where he racked up 17 penalty minutes. With Utica in 2020-21, he led the team with 15 goals.
He impressed in training camp and preseason last September but he was put on waivers and claimed by the San Jose Sharks. Gadjovich probably deserved at least one more shot before being put on waivers. He got goal and two assists in 43 games with the Sharks this past season.
If Gadjovich pans out in the NHL, it will likely be as a fourth-liner.
Third round: 64th overall: Michael DiPietro
The Canucks took a goalie in the third round and that was Michael DiPietro who was coming off a solid season with the Windsor Spitfires with a 30-12-6 record, a .917 save percentage and a 2.35 goals-against-average.
DiPietro made his NHL debut on February 11, 2019, after being called up on an emergency basis a few days earlier. But he gave up seven goals in a 7-2 home loss to the Sharks.
There is potential that DiPietro can become an NHL goaltender but he’s not ready yet. (Putting him on the taxi squad for most of the 2020-21 season probably delayed his development.) He will continue to work with Abbotsford Canucks goalie coach Curtis Sanford next season.
Fourth round: 95th overall: Jack Rathbone
After being drafted by the Canucks, Jack Rathbone impressed at Dexter Southfield School and Harvard University. He made his NHL debut late in the 2021 season and managed a goal and two assists in eight games
There is a lot to like about Rathbone. He is a quick skater and is good at transitioning up the ice and displays a solid shot too.
However, he needs to work on his defensive game and that is a reason why he spent most of last season in Abbotsford instead of Vancouver. With Abbotsford, he managed 10 goals and 30 assists in 39 games which are decent numbers.
The upcoming preseason and training camp is big for Rathbone. His offensive game is good but can he improve his defensive game so he can stick around in the NHL?