First of all, piggybacking my buddies at NHL.com, I decided to take a look at their mock draft and see who they had the Vancouver Canucks picking at 15th-overall.
Old buddy Mike Morreale has Winnipeg forward Conor Geekie etched in there. Sorry Mikey, other than Geekie having the obligatory one ‘n’ in his first name, three words for you: Left Shot Center. Not exactly a priority for the Vancouver Canucks at the moment, on top of the fact Geekie ranked 5th in the NHL Central Scouting Bureau’s (CSB) North American final rankings this spring. So it would take Geekie having a precipitous fall to get to 15.
Another delightful former associate, writer Adam Kimelman, had right-shot defenceman Ryan Chesley’s name in the slot. Now you’re talkin’. Although Chesley ranked just 18th among only North American skaters, a number of NHL Draft pundits have the 6-foot, 200-pounder from Minnesota trending upwards.
Not a bad option if the Canucks can get him, but he’ll be taking some time to develop in college hockey, coming out of the USA’s National Team Development Program. There are many other North American and European defencemen ranked higher, including a couple of other righties.
(In an earlier mock draft, Vancouver Hockey Now had the Canucks drafting a lefty who can play the right side.
Speaking of precipitous falls, a dream sequence would involve right-shot Slovakian Simon Nemec sliding down to the Vancouver Canucks. The Slovakian ranked third for European skaters on the CSB’s final pre-draft list.
Right behind him in the Euro’ rankings is another right-shot D-man, David Jiricek from the Czech Republic. At 6-3, 190-pounds, Jiricek is a consistent performer known for his excellent skating ability and his heavy shot. The national TV pundits and private scouting services have him ranked anywhere from third to 7th-overall in the entire draft. TSN’s Bob McKenzie ranks him as the 6th best pick.
Again, a dream sequence. Instead of contemplating a trade up to New Jersey’s 2nd overall pick, how about the Vancouver Canucks find a way to slide up eight or nine slots to nab one of these beauties.
Hopefully the man from Leksand, Sweden, Vancouver Canucks General Manager Patrik Allvin, isn’t drawn in to picking monster D-man Lian Bichsel, from his hometown. Bichsel is a lefty who stands 6-6, weighs 225 pounds, and ranks 9th among European skaters.
Tempting for him, but not when there are better options, even a couple of potential dream sequences that exist in the offing.