When the Vancouver Canucks feel from 2nd pick to 5th pick as a result of the NHL Draft Lottery in April, you could hear the collective groan of the team’s entire fanbase from across the continent. The hard luck team had just experienced their worst season in nearly 20 years and were looking forward to landing a top prospect at the 2nd overall position. As it turns out, that player would have been Nolan Patrick, but of course the Canucks lost the lottery and fell to 5th where they selected Elias Pettersson.
While he’s not talked about in the same breath as Patrick, Pettersson, by all accounts, is an excellent prospect and will be an impact player at the NHL level. In fact, much of the Canucks’ prospect stable is primed for the NHL. After years of trading away picks for stop gap solutions, the Canucks regime of Trevor Linden and Jim Benning have made it a priority to build up the franchise’s prospect pool. With talent like Pettersson, Boeser, Juolevi, Virtanen and Demko now in the pipeline, the future looks brighter in Vancouver.
So, who else did Benning manage to grab at this year’s entry draft? Early indications are that the team had another strong showing at the draft podium and was one of the most improved teams as a result of Friday’s and Saturday’s selections.
Take a look at the full list of their choices: