The day that Canucks fans have been waiting for ever since being swept out of the first round by the San Jose Sharks is finally upon us, Draft day 2013. However, in Vancouver, this year’s NHL Entry Draft is being overshadowed by the anticipation of a high profile trade happening on the draft floor, more specifically a deal to trade Roberto Luongo out of Vancouver, General Manager Mike Gillis still needs to make his 24th overall pick count if indeed he is to make the Canucks younger.
We’ve all heard of the three biggest stars of this year’s entry draft: Seth Jones, Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin, but what about the rest? Who will be available at number 24 and, more importantly, who will the Canucks pick?
From what I’ve gathered, Burakovsky is a highly skilled and creative winger, who is generally not afraid of going to the dirty areas to score goals. At 18 years of age, he’s used to competing against men and possesses the size and weight to do so. However, at times he is forced by the older, stronger opponent to play a perimeter game and at times can be a non-factor. But when things are going well for him, he’s flying all over the ice and creating lots of scoring chances, especially with his speed and hard wrist shot. One downside of Burakovsky is that he can be intimidated and shy away from the dirty areas, as he sometimes did while playing among men.
Bowey is a smooth-skating defenceman that loves to jump up into the rush, as we can tell by the 12 goals and 18 assists he put up this past season in Kelowna. You would think that with Bowey’s style of play, he would get caught up ice a lot, but that isn’t the case. Bowey was an outstanding +41 last season, which was good enough to rank him sixth among defenceman and 13th among skaters in plus/minus. Bowey also has great size and isn’t afraid of playing physical. It’s rare that we see such a combination of size and mobility in defenceman, which makes Bowey such a hot commodity.
Overall, McCoshen is your prototypical 2-way defenceman. He’s responsible in his own zone, can kill penalties, plays the point on the powerplay and isn’t afraid of jumping into the rush. In 53 games with the Waterloo Blackhawks, McCoshen put up 44 points, with 11 goals and 33 assists, and was a +34. His stats are impressive, but McCoshen’s biggest asset is his speed. McCoshen is able to keep up with the quickest of forwards, which allows him to jump up into the play without getting caught up ice. His foot speed allows him to keep oncoming forwards in front of him which makes him a terrific one-on-one defender.
Rychel is exactly the nasty skillful player the Canucks have been looking for over the last two years or so. He is a hyrbrid type of player in that he is able to score goals while adding some sandpaper to the lineup. Last season in the OHL, Rychel was able to collect 40 goals and 47 assists in 68 games played and finished eighth in OHL scoring. He was also able to collect 94 penalty minutes. If he’s still available at number 24, there probably isn’t another prospect that Vancouver should rank ahead of him.
“Kerby plays with a passion and purpose that is undeniable. He may not be the most fluid skater but he’s a very effective skater and he gets to where he wants to go. He will play nasty and physical and it makes it very uncomfortable for opponents because he simply doesn’t allow himself to be denied. He has very good hands and can score in multiple ways and will pay the price to score. He plays a rugged style and his line mates will get room and space because he’s constantly taking opponents out of the play. He plays with a single-minded focus on helping the team win.”
The 2013 NHL Entry Draft will take place on Sunday, June 30, 2013 at 11:30 p.m. PT and will be aired live on TSN.