A: Exceptional, Fantastic, Great
B: Good, Solid, Quality
C: Average, Ordinary, Meh
D: Bad, Poor, unsatisfactory
F: Terrible, Fail, Insignificant
In order of position drafted
Stats are taken from the highest level of competition played
Jonathan Lekkerimäki: 15th Overall/ 1st Round - RW
GP: 26 G:7 A:2 TP: 9 (SHL)
As the youngest player selected in the first round, Jonathan Lekkerimäki was rumoured to be high on the Canucks draft board. Lekkerimäki is a pure sniper, possessing one of, if not the best shots in the draft according to scouts. He is an offensive player with high-end skills, has shown glimpses of high-end playmaking, and is a powerplay specialist.
The two main criticisms of his game have been his top-end speed and willingness to get to the dirty areas of the ice.
Only turning 18 in late July Lekkerimäki will have plenty of time to add muscle which in turn will improve his top-end speed; however, I don’t think Lekkerimäki will ever be a burner. His willingness to get to the front of the net and get into board battles has also been questioned, but akin to his top-end speed I think these areas of his game will improve as he physically matures.
Almost all scouts had Lekkerimäki ranked anywhere from 7-13, to get him at 15 is excellent value.
NHL Arrival: 3-4 seasons
Elias Pettersson: 80th Overall, 3rd Round -LHD
GP: 17 G: 0 A: 1 TP: 1 (SHL)
Patrik Allvin is truly for the memes… The Canucks selected defenseman, Elias Pettersson, with the 80th Overall pick. The left-handed defensemen played formidably in the SHL as an 18-year-old, posting a plus/minus +4 in just 17 games. What is more impressive; however, was his performance in the Under 20 Swedish Leagues playoffs.
10 points in 6 games with a plus/minus of +12… wow!
According to many scouts, he has a high floor but low ceiling due to his low offensive potential.
He does play with a considerable amount of physicality and aggression to his game, and he is a good skater who moves the puck well.
Elite Prospect’s J.D Burke said he is one of the better defensive zone defenders in the entire class.
NHL Arrival: 4-5 seasons
Daimon Gardner: 112th Overall/ 4th Round - C
GP: 14 G: 3 A: 1 TP: 4 (USHL)
With the Canucks 3rd selection of the draft, they picked 6’4” Center Daimon Gardner.
Gardner is seen as a raw prospect but possesses physical attributes that you just can’t teach. He dominated the High School hockey league in the U.S putting up an unbelievable 83 points in 30 games. Unfortunately, that level of production hasn’t translated to higher levels of competition.
He regularly muscles himself to the front of the net and is a fantastic passer of the puck. His skating leaves a lot to be desired, but as a kid who turned 18 in January, there is time to improve in that area.
Elite Prospects had ranked him in the 40s while other outlets had him ranked as a late-round pick or even undrafted… big risk for potentially big reward in round 4.
NHL Arrival: 5-6 seasons
Ty Young: 144th Overall/ 5th Round - G
GP: 23 GAA: 3.50 SV%: .899 WLT: 6-9-3 (WHL)
The Canucks surprised many by selecting a goalie in the 5th round as they selected Ty Young, the youngest player selected in the entire draft.
Ty Young is 6’3” so he meets the Ian Clark mould and possesses good rebounding and positioning. While he is athletic, he does need to improve on his agility and ability to slide from side to side.
He was the 9th-ranked goalie in pre-draft rankings and was the 9th goalie taken in the draft, solid value.
NHL Arrival: 6-7 seasons
Jackson Dorrington: 176th Overall/ Sixth Round - LHD
GP: 41 G:3 A: 8 TP: 11 (USHL)
In round 6 the Canucks selected another left-handed defenseman, Jackson Dorrington. Dorrington is a defensive- defenseman who is listed as 6’2”, he plays with a lot of physicality to his game and shows a lot of promise while defending the rush. Unfortunately, his skating and puck handling ability are below average and severely limit his offensive upside.
Overall, this pick doesn’t serve a positional need and quite frankly underwhelms as a prospect. He is slated to play at Northeastern University next season alongside Canucks prospect Aidan McDonough.
NHL Arrival: …
Kiril Kudryavtsev: 208th Overall/ 7th Round - LHD
GP: 68 G:5 A:34 TP: 39 (OHL)
Kiril Kudryavtsev was the Canucks final section of the draft. Seen as a mid-round pick by many outlets the left-handed Russian defensemen slid in the draft due to the global conflict between Ukraine and Russia. He was ranked 104th overall by Elite Prospects which would have made him a 4th-round pick.
Kudryavtsev has high IQ, is positionally sound, is good in transition, and possesses good skill. While there isn’t a glaring weakness in his game, he suffers from Shane Wright syndrome: good at everything but exceptional at nothing
NHL Arrival: 4-5 seasons
Final Draft Thoughts:
The Canucks had an underwhelming draft as they didn’t make any trades and stayed pat with every selection they had going into draft day.
The prospects selected checked a lot of boxes as they had a very diverse set of skillsets that could provide value down the road.
It was head-scratching coming away with 3 defenders all of whom are left-handed, especially considering this management group has made acquiring right-handed defenders a point of emphasis.
Final Draft Grade: B-