The Vancouver Canucks behind-the-scenes 2022 NHL Draft and Development Camp video was entertaining and cautiously informative, while because of general manager Bill Guerin, the Minnesota Wild’s video was just as good in half the time.
The Wild video ‘auto-played’ when the Vancouver Canucks video ended on youtube and it was cool to see the contrast in production and presentation. The basic ideas were the same. Mic’s being worn by the key characters, reaction from players, and limited ‘top secret’ conversations.
Guerin’s comment on the draft floor on day-one summed things up nicely; “Somebody’s life is about to change big time”.
There was a “Peaky Blinders” element to the Canucks video, somewhat superfluous, with multiple shots of hockey executives walking in slow motion. When the action actually started, there was a solid emphasis on Vancouver’s first round draft pick Jonathan Lekkerimaki.
“It’s a steal,” Vancouver Canucks Director of Amateur Scouting Todd Harvey is caught saying on stage to General Manager Patrik Allvin.
Back at the table, Allvin says “Mikael Samuelsson was very excited about Lekkerimaki when I talked to him today.”
That’s a highly credible reference and a sentiment that should make Vancouver Canucks fans happy.
Samuelsson, a member of hockey’s rare Triple Gold Club (one of thirty players to have won a Stanley Cup, and Olympic Gold Medal, and a World Championship) and a player development coach for the club, is later heard giving advice to players at Canucks Development Camp.
There’s a solid sequence as he works with 2021 2nd-round pick Danila Klimovich.
Back at the Draft, Guerin steals the show with some off-the-cuff remarks on the Wild video. In one sequence, when Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Kyle Dubas answers the phone, Guerin immediately says, “Can you pass the phone to Shanny.” He then teases Maple Leafs President Brendan Shanahan about the briefcase he’s been carrying.
You can read into that sequence in a couple different ways if you’d like, or just enjoy it for its playful camaraderie.
At one point Guerin and Wild team owner Craig Leopold joke that they think the gopher that went to get their coffee may have put arsenic in it.
“Very happy with yesterday, very happy with today, and very happy to have these young men in the mix,” Guerin says to the media in the end.
The Canucks video was more businesslike in general. It doesn’t reveal any trade proposals, but we do hear Allvin poo-poo’ing one just before the club makes its first round pick. The day-one draft lead up is compelling.
“When you get a difference maker and you have him rated high, go for it,” Allvin says at the draft table at one point, summing up the approach.
We meet the top draftees before transitioning to the Development Camp, an off-beat and entertaining look at a cooking class the players attended, a quick visit to a boys and girls club, and then the group’s trip up the Grouse Grind.
One can imagine Vancouver Canucks President of Hockey Operations Jim Rutherford turned down wearing a mic, not wanting to make it about him, but it would have been cool to hear the cagey, wiley veteran executive sharing some advice.
One huge contrast between the two videos: The Vancouver Canucks with the presence of experienced female hockey minds Cammi Granato and Emilie Castonguay, while the Wild’s meeting room’s had the conspicuous look of an ‘old boy’s club’.
Also neat is glimpses of skills coach Yogi Svejkovský and Bryan Marshall from the Vancouver Canucks strength and conditioning department. We also get player development coaches Mike Komisarek and Chris Higgins mic’ed up as well.
For the Wild we also hear from Director of Amateur Scouting Judd Brackett, who summarizes the players Minnesota selected.
“Heavy, skilled, skate well, play with pace,” he told the media.
It’s probably worth a trip around the internet to see how other NHL teams handled this production. Entertaining material one way or the other.