Saturday, June 21, 2008

Canuck Draft 2008: Back to the '80s!

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.

Round six
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.

Round seven
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.

1 comment:

Doug Dinsdale said...

Your blog's a bit confused, yeah? That Sauve kid's no fifth-rounder: He's a second-rounder who ominously slid out of the first round rankings in one year (and was the Q's no. 1 draft only two years ago.)
Also, while described as "6'-plus, 215lbs" his draft day photo makes him look Krutovesque in build, and I mean that in a Nux way, not the Red Army machine.
The rest of the draft picks: Who the hell cares? Call me in three years when we know for certain if they can play/not.

Also, it furstrates me no end seeing teams like Florida and LA managing to trade UFAs like Jokinen and Cammaleri and getting assets for them. Looks like GM Mike continues to carry the Nux tradition of letting UFAs walk for nothing in return.

So, for all the talk about bringing radical changes, GM Mike's done nothing so far other than bring in off-ice elements who are unproven in their roles.
Ryan "the Love Guru" Walter, the motivational speaker who can make our boys SHINE with ZERO coaching experience has been annointed our next coach-in-waiting should Vigneault falter. (Since Bowness is Vigneault's boy, there's no way he's going to get to take over as coach.)
So far, nothing's been done to make me think the team's going to be better than last year other than ditching Linden as Vigneault's go-to whipping boy, so I'll make this prediction now: The Love Guru for coach by Christmas.

Dave Gagner, who did absolutely squat in his short, post-trade deadline ~ out before the playoffs stint as a player with the Nux, and presumably has an "intimate insider's grasp" of the locker-room dynamics, has been rewarded for his dedication and commitment to the Orca as our director of player development. (If your sarcasm radar is broken, get the fuck out of my Dodge.)

What the fuck has Scott Melanby ever done off the ice? Someone enlighten me here.

So yeah, what with the unexciting draft picks and all, our summer of rebuilding and reinvention's not on at all. Seems to me all GM Mike's done so far is add more passengers and deck chairs to the Titanic.