Well, that wasn’t necessarily the draft weekend Vancouver Canucks fans were expecting.
After entering the draft short on picks, Patrik Allvin and his staff failed to add any additional selections.
JT Miller also remains a Canuck despite rampant speculation of his departure.
Still, the Canucks did draft some intriguing players with their six selections. Here’s what you need to know about them.
After entering the draft as a consensus top-10 pick, skilled Swedish winger Jonathan Lekkerimäki fell to the Canucks at 15th overall.
Allvin later mentioned that the Canucks had Lekkerimäki higher on their board, much like the consensus.
We already wrote in-depth about a few key facts on Lekkerimäki, but here’s what FC Hockey’s Draft Guide said about his game.
“Lekkerimaki is one of the top wingers in the NHL Draft, and one who uses his elite shot and top-notch offensive instincts to be a force on the ice. He has all the potential to be a contributor in a team’s top-six and ﬁrst unit power play.”
It was one of the strangest moments in Canucks draft history.
When the Canucks made their selection at pick #80, they drafted Elias Pettersson.
That wasn’t a mistake. Pettersson 2.0 is a big left-shot defenceman who managed to play 17 SHL games this year.
Vancouver gets great value on ANOTHER Elias Pettersson.
A sturdy, physical, two-way defender. I had him ranked No. 45 on my board. pic.twitter.com/GlKq9BAcz6
— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) July 8, 2022
Although he put up points in the junior circuit, including 10 in six playoff games, he’s projected to be a defensive defenceman, according to FC Hockey’s outline.
“Elias Pettersson is a defensive defenseman with strong skating ability, making him a nightmare to attack in one-on-one situations. He has a high-level IQ, great physical attributes, and solid mobility that allow him to maintain high-end gap control and angle opponents away from the center lanes to keep them to the perimeter.”
Five years ago, the Canucks took another U.S. High School hockey player in the fourth round in Jack Rathbone.
They’re hoping to hit a similar home run with Daimon Gardner.
The Eagle Lake, Ontario native was one of the lone Canadians in Minnesota’s high school hockey circuit, but he was one of the best players in that league with 45 goals and 83 points in 30 games.
Daimon Gardner, selected 112 by @Canucks, is a 6-foot-4 centreman who is incredibly inside-focused, a talented passer, and puck protector, his edge work is the major question mark. Pushed great results in limited minutes in USHL action. Love it
— Daniel Gee (@DanielGScouting) July 8, 2022
Gardner is a big centre at 6-4, 201 pounds who will play for the Chilliwack Chiefs in the BCHL next season.
One of the more surprising picks by the Canucks was their fifth-round selection (144th overall) of goaltender Ty Young.
The 17-year-old began his season with the Calgary Canucks of the AJHL, where he played well (3.38 GAA, .918 SV%) in front of a bad team.
He then earned a recall to the Prince George Cougars, where he backed up the top-ranked North American goalie in the draft, Tyler Brennan, who the New Jersey Devils picked 104th overall.
Brennan and Young did both have matching .899 save percentages for the Cougars, although the former handled the bulk of the minutes.
— The WHL (@TheWHL) July 8, 2022
Most outlets didn’t have Young being drafted. FC Hockey ranked his 266th overall in a draft where only 225 players were selected.
This is a situation where you have to trust in Canucks goaltending coach Ian Clark. Young is also (no pun intended) one of the youngest draft-eligible players. If his birthday was five days later, he would have been a part of the 2023 NHL Draft.
The Canucks selected another tall, left-shot defenceman at 176th overall with Jackson Dorrington.
The Massachusetts native comes from a family of hockey players. His distant cousin, Art Dorrington, was the first black player to sign an NHL contract.
In terms of the Canucks sixth-round pick, here’s what FC Hockey had to say about his game.
“Dorrington is a two-way defender who has the tools to impact the game in multiple ways. He uses his size and strength to play with an active stick and he brings a physical edge to the way he defends. One of his best attributes is his ability to defend on the rush.”
The main knock on Dorrington is that he needs to improve his skating.
Dorrington will play in the NCAA for Northeastern University next season. Current Canucks’ prospect Aidan McDonough currently plays there, while former Canuck draft picks Adam Gaudette and Tyler Madden also suited up for the school recently.
In the seventh round of the draft, the Canucks snagged a potential steal.
They selected their third left-shot defenceman of the day, Kirill Kudryavtsev, at 208th overall.
The Russian defenceman was seen as a mid-round pick by most outlets, after a successful first season in the OHL for the Soo Greyhounds (68 GP, 5 G, 34 A, 39 PTS)
“He’s a very intelligent player who knows exactly where to be positionally,” Greyounds associate coach Jordan Smith said in an interview.
“He’s got all the tools to be a pro defenceman.”