Canucks: All The Pain Drafting Can Buy

The Canucks aren’t exciting anymore…like on any level. Most of the fan base, the media and even its biggest critics have lost interest in the spark that seems to always allude this team. Struggling last season to a point we all thought there was a very real possibility Auston Matthews could actually be a Canuck, only to win just enough games to slam that door shut. The second place prize was pretty nice too, Patrik Laine was arguably just as good but of course, the Canucks put together a handful of wins at the very end and finish third last.

And then there was the lottery. What’s worse than picking 3rd instead of 1st? How about 5th? Thanks to the phrase “that’s so Canucks”, Vancouver was dealt yet another crappy hand in its illustrious franchise history. Drafting really hasn’t been nice to the Canucks and it’s caused many a heartache.

 

Every year, there is hope, every year there is pain and frustration. The Canucks drafting is a lot like buying a CD (remember those?) for that one hit song you heard on Much Music and your local top 40. You were excited to get on the wagon and be popular like all your friends. The problem is, you buy that CD and you put it in your discman (seriously, stop dating us) and after that first song, you realize the rest of the album really wasn’t all that good.

Of course I’m speaking of the 90’s and early 2000’s. So you’ve listened to this album a number of times trying so hard to like the rest of the tracks but you just can’t. But NOW, you’re wondering if that hit song was really all that good or if you just really liked the music video? Now, that song isn’t as impressive anymore and you kind of regret buying the CD in the first place.

My boy, Jackson Jackson aka Johnny Perogy on twitter and fellow Canucks Army writer guessed bang on which album I was talking about and I really couldn’t be more excited, mainly that we both had semi-bad taste in music. As the pic up top shows, I’m talking about All the pain money can buy by Fastball; you know the song (the way).

It actually wasn’t that bad an album but it was not worth the 13 bucks I paid. The Way was a great song, catchy and they played that thing into the ground on the radio.

This year, we had seen the mock drafts and speculated if Jim Benning would trade down and net some more picks after wastefully trading them away with other prospects that he just drafted, first rounders he just drafted; maybe he was going to trade that pick with a few stars to get PK Subban? Probably shouldn’t have talked about Subban, I don’t think I have enough money for potential tampering fines. 

OK, so the 2016 NHL Draft starts and as expected the Leafs get uber prospect Auston Matthews, he of Zurich. It’s exciting for Leafs fans everywhere because all of the years of sucking so hard, signing awful contracts to awfuller players and putting people in charge of the team that were hype more than help, the Leafs got better that day.

The Jets did as expected and selected Finnish star Patrik Laine. Some say he was the best player in the draft and compare him to a grittier Teemu Selanne. What could be better? And now its the Bus’ turn and Jesse Puljujarvi was ready to picked…byyyyyy the Oilers?

Columbus had the shocker of the draft and took the Canucks Pierre Luc Dubois at 3. It was over. Months of speculation – done. But maybe the Oilers were stupid enough to take someone else and let Puljujarvi go to 5? Nope. You cheer for the Canucks, that’s not happening.

All the hype that came with this draft, the potential promise of a star hybrid centre/winger coming to Vancouver was destroyed. But fear not, we got a stud #2 ceiling defenseman: Olli Juolevi. He isn’t amazing in any one area but he’s good at a lot of things. His brain is what seperates him and what puts him higher up on the rankings, one might say he’s smart like Nicklas Lidstrom; Bennings words not mine.

Why take a defenseman at 5 when you could probably get him around 9 by trading down? Why not just take a star winger like Matthew Tkachuk, a proven goal scorer from the London Knights? Is he Corey Perry, we’ll never know…we picked Juolevi. This organization needs pep and there is no pep. We were all very happy to have Dubois and once again our dreams were crushed.

From the first days of the Canucks being a franchise and getting Dale Tallon (insert wrong price sound on Price is Right) to trading Cory Schneider for the 9th overall pick; we just don’t have the luck or the right people to take this team over the top. Imagine if Dale Tallon was hired to GM the Canucks instead of Florida or Chicago? Sorry, that was mean.

There has only been a handful of times the Canucks have made the splash we wanted AND it panned out. There isn’t a history of success and aside from making the Stanley Cup Final 3 times, Vancouver has never been out of the 2nd round. At the draft, the possibilities of taking a superstar always escape the Canucks and looking back on previous years, it’s heartbreaking.

I am a big proponent of drafting local even if the East is loaded with talent as well. Heard of Duncan Keith, how bout Shea Weber, or maybe Milan Lucic? All players the Canucks could have easily drafted but instead took less than amazing options in those rounds.

The whole point of the draft is to sell hope, to bring in the next stars that will lead your team to a Stanley Cup. You can’t do that if you ignore the players right in front of your nose, those same players you can see down the street. The OHL and the Q always get so much spotlight and rightfully so, there are tons of forwards that end up being the NHL’s elite but not all of them come from the east.

Forgetting about the Western Hockey League has burnt the Canucks on many occasions and when they haven’t forgot about it, they’ve picked there too late. All 3 of those players I mentioned were very attainable and because the Canucks picked Michael Grabner, Marc Andre Bernier and Kirill Koltsov, their history has been quite different. How’d that go?

Jim Benning has actually done a pretty good job at the draft since he has been hired, even though he seems to part with his choices quicker than anyone would anticipate. His scouting prowess is the stuff of legends and apparently he doesn’t mind telling people. Like maybe you shouldn’t be so trusting Jimbo. Have a listen:

Jeff Paterson PAT CAST!!! – Olli Juolevi the second choice?

Drafting for many years has not been the strong suit for the Canucks and even though things have turned around slightly, there isn’t much to be excited about until the likes of Thatcher Demko, Brock Boeser and Cole Cassels crack the roster. It’s been the same year after year – hype, draft, disappointment. Until there is some dynamite breakthrough, get used to that formula.

Hang tight Canucks fans, the saying “pain is only temporary” doesn’t apply to us.

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