Last week, we profiled Pierre-Luc Dubois, Matthew Tkachuk, and Olli Juolevi as players that the Canucks could select if they remain at 5th overall at this year’s draft. However there is a very real possibility that the Canucks could trade down in the draft order, gain some additional assets, and select a slightly lower ranked player.
This is something that the Canucks should explore, as they would still be able to get a high-end prospect, while gaining an additional pick or prospect. It would be best to stay in the top-10, because after that point in the draft, the difference between the players available there and at 5th overall would be too great.
If the Canucks do move down a few spots, here are some of the players that could be available in the second half of the top-10.
If the Canucks are looking for a big centre with soft hands, they would be wise to look at Logan Brown from the Windsor Spitfires. Son of former Canucks defenceman Jeff Brown, Logan has been on the rise in draft rankings during the second half of the season. Six-foot-six players that can skate, pass the puck, and shoot like Brown don’t grow on trees, so it’s understandable why teams might be attracted to taking him.
In late April, the Raleigh, North Carolina native had a very good U18 tournament, posting 12 points in 7 games, which was the 4th most by any player.
If the Canucks are interested in adding Brown to the fold, they would be wise to move down a few spots to take him. There are concerns that Brown’s ceiling may only be a second line centre, and he has struggled with consistency. This isn’t to say that Brown is a bad prospect, you just have to be concerned about everything with such a high pick.
Logan Brown’s Spitfires teammate, defenceman Mikhail Sergachev, is an interesting prospect that should be available if the Canucks were to trade down in the top-10. Characterized as a two-way defenceman, Sergachev is a force in all three zones, using his size, active stick, and high-end skating ability. The 6’2″, 200-pound d-man posted 17 goals and 40 assists, both of which were second amongst draft-eligible OHL defencemen.
The difference between Olli Juolevi, who the Canucks may take at 5th overall, and Sergachev is very minimal. So if the Canucks feel that taking a defenceman with their first round pick is the wise thing to do, then it would be very prudent of them to trade down, gain additional picks or prospects, and select Sergachev.
His offensive ceiling, along with his NHL frame (6’2″ and 220 lbs) makes Sergachev a very tantalizing player.
If the Canucks are looking for a smart, playmaking centre, then they would be wise to consider Penticton Vees Tyson Jost. Measuring in at 5’11” and 190 pounds, the left-handed centre is a player that makes everyone around him better.
Curtis Joe at Elite Prospects gives a great scouting report on the young pivot:
Tyson Jost is a crafty goal-scorer that carries out plays as quickly as he envisions them. As someone who thinks and plays at a fast tempo, it comes as no surprise that he creates a lot of energy as an offensive catalyst. He sees the ice very well and has the willingness and determination to win battles in the tough areas. All-in-all, a dynamic offensive forward with top-6 potential at the next level.
There were some questions if Jost was putting up so many points because he was playing against lesser competition in the BCHL. Those concerns were promptly squashed as Jost was dominant at the U18 tournament in April, leading all Canadian skaters in points. After that stellar showing, the St Albert, Alberta native solidified himself as a top-10 player in this upcoming draft.
Jost will attend the University of North Dakota next year with current Canucks prospect Brock Boeser.
Entering this season, Jacob Chychrun was the consensus best defenceman available in this draft class.
Through no fault of his own, he has fallen in a bit in scouts’ eyes. That has more to do with Sergachev and Juolevi having great rookie seasons, while Chychrun continued to be a consistent contributor for the Sarnia Sting.
The American-born player who represents Canada internationally, is a two-way defenceman who always seems to make the smart play. Given that he is already 6’2″ and 198 pounds, he has the NHL frame and skillset to project into a top-4 defenceman already.
Like Jost and Brown, Chychrun had a very good showing at the U18’s in North Dakota, but he wasn’t as heralded as others, given he played a low-key, defensively dependable role for Team Canada. Although the left-handed rearguard doesn’t play a flashy game, he would be very attractive to the Canucks as he has all the makings of being a very good defender in the NHL for years to come.
We obviously don’t know what will happen on the draft floor in Buffalo yet, but it’s clear that if the Canucks are wanting to trade down, there will be some interesting players available that could add some serious talent to their prospect pool.