Saturday, June 21, 2008
Obviously the "payoff" of any draft is further down the line but at least we now have an idea of what sort of team Mike Gillis is trying to build. One Trevor Linden clone, a big slow offensively-challenged defensemen, a skillful Scandinavian, a skillful Lower Mainland marketing dreamboat and a Canuck employee's son--so, yeah, basically your typical Canucks team of the '80s.
The first rounder is Cody Hodgson. He's described as a Trevor Linden clone (i.e., future hunky dreamboat captain material who will lose his scoring touch by his mid-20s?) and, hopefully, is not in any way related to another ex-Canuck Dan Hodgson. Cody can definitely score, but in the words of TSN's Bob McKenzie "the only thing that separates him (Hodgson) from (#1 overall pick) Stamkos is a lack of explosive speed." So, in other words, Mike Modano he's not. Then I guess he is Trevor Linden Version 2.0.
Associate (would someone explain to me how assistant coaches became "associate" coaches, by the way) Rick Bowness's son works as the (wait for it) marketing and communications manager of the St. John Sea Dogs (QMJHL). So, voila, Ocean Canines' D-man Yann Sauve is ours in round two. He says he patterns his game after Dion Phanuef.
Let's see how good a judge of his talent Sauve is:
17-year-old Phaneuf 30 pts in 71 GP, +28 w/ Red Deer (WHL)
17-year-old Sauve 21 pts in 69 GP, +1 w/ St. John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)
Well, not quite at Phaneuf levels yet. Maybe he meant he patterns his hunky physique more like Phaneuf's in hopes of catching Elisha Cuthbert's eye. Sauve might want to crank it up a bit as by 18, Phaneuf was a serious stud (statistically, that is) and by 19 was averaging over a point per game in the Dub.
Now given Nonehead boneheaded up by trading all of the 2008 draft picks for the Eric Weinrichs and Keith Carneys of the NHL world, Gillis was left with nothing to do for rounds three and four but watch other teams stock up.
Round five and away we go!
The Nux picked up Prab Rai (for all confused world music fans, that's not a new form of Algerian pop music). Described as a Mason Raymond type (so we can look forward to him not making the NHL until age 22?) albeit via Surrey. The Rai on ice has way better stats than Raymond ever had. Last season, the Prabster had 65 pts in 71 GP for the Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) and was +31. The marketing potential, too, is Robin Bawa-tastic here locally so here's hoping he blazes his way onto Canuck ice sooner rather than later.
An Espen Knutsen of a pick in Mats Forsberg...I mean Froshaug. A Norwegian playing in the Swedish junior league, he bagged 36 pts in 35 GP--"hyggelig!" As nice as that is in Norwegian, the fact as a 19-year-old he played in the World Championships held in Canada this past spring is promising news. Then again we're talking a nation of cross-country skiers and ski jumpers. I'm sure the talent level and depth in Fjordland are not exactly up to its Scandinavian neighbors' depth charts.
Once again it's time to tap that wide Canuck scouting network. Morgan Clark, son of Nux goaltending consultant Ian Clark, is now Canuck property. He is described as a sound technical goalie. Given his save percentage last season with Red Deer (WHL) was .884, I think he needs to look into being more Gumby Hasek-like unless they meant the way he talks "sounds" technical.
There you have it: No Tanguay, Umberger, Jokinen or anyone else half decent traded for the Sedins on draft day. Meaning another season of Tour de Sweden cycling until maybe one or more of the 2008 crew come onboard the good ship Canuck.