Vancouver Canucks: Late Draft Picks Nothing to Overlook
In the article, I focused on the Canucks' first round pick of Brendan Gaunce. The reason is that as you get into the later rounds, it's impossible to predict whether or not they will make it to the NHL, let alone perform in a way that impacts the future of the team.
But that isn't to say these players can't or won't make it.
On TSN's draft coverage, they listed other notable pick from the same position. For example, the 26th overall pick where Brendan Gaunce was selected also has David Perron, Cory Schneider and Brian Boyle listed as notable No. 26s.
TSN does this for the first round and the first round only, for the same reason I didn't bother to speculate what the later picks could mean for the Vancouver Canucks; it's simply too hard to predict.
But in doing that, we don't see Patrik Elias, Patrick Sharp, Pavel Datsyuk or any of the other late round stars.
The players mentioned, along with many others have proven that late picks are nothing to scoff at. Getting picked late means you have less talent and potential than the first-round guys, but getting selected in the NHL entry draft puts you at an elite level to begin with, and anything can happen from there on out.
The following takes a look at notable players picked 57th, 147th, 177th, and 207th as were the Nucks' later picks of Alexandre Mallet, Ben Hutton, Wesley Myron, and Matthew Beattie.
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The Canucks selected Alexandre Mallet 57th overall in the entry draft. He is a 6'1", 195lbs left-winger, who spent the last few years playing for Rimouski of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Last season, he picked up 132 penalty minutes and 81 points in 68 games. He was the second leading scorer on the team and 13th in the league.
As he was picked in just the second round, there are a few names worth mentioning that share the pick of No. 57.
First up, we have Jay McClement. He was drafted 57th overall in the 2001 entry draft by the St. Louis Blues. He didn't get a taste of the NHL until the 2005/06 season, but made it count. He picked up 27 points in 67 games, and has since rarely missed an NHL game.
He isn't an offensive player by any means, but has demonstrated consistency and defensive value over the years.
Now playing in Colorado, he finds himself one of the more experienced players on a team riddled with young stars.
One year later in 2002, the Toronto Maple Leafs drafted Matt Stajan 57th overall. He played just one game the following season, but has since been a regular in the NHL, playing a total of 609 regular season games.
Once again, he's not the most offensive player, but a career high of 55 points isn't too shabby for a late second-round selection.
Stajan now finds himself a member of the Calgary Flames, where he picked up 18 points in 61 games last season.
Next up is Mike Weber of the Sabres, who was drafted by Buffalo in the 2006 entry draft. The defender has played a total of 132 over the past four seasons, and has now almost made himself a regular on the team.
Only time will tell if Weber really has what it takes to play consistently at the NHL level, but it looks good so far.
Last, but not least is Matt Kassian; older brother of Canucks' forward Zack Kassian. Matt was drafted by the Minnesota Wild in the 2007 NHL entry draft, and has played just 28 games.
Despite his lack of experience thus far, Matt looks like he's here for the long haul.
With the 147th pick overall, the Canucks selected Benn Hutton, a 6'2" 183lbs defenseman. He was born in Brockville, Ontario, and played for the Keptville 73's and the Nepean Raiders last season. Between the two teams, Hutton picked up 43 points in 57 games.
Oddly enough, there haven't been any players drafted 147th overall that are worth mentioning over the past 25 years.
As time goes on, we can only hope that Hutton will one day be a notable player in that sense.
For the 177th overall selection, the Canucks chose the 6'2", 182lbs left-winger from Victoria, BC, Wesley Myron. Myron was not only born in Victoria, but he played for the Victoria Grizzlies of the BCHL for the past three seasons. Last season, he accumulated 42 points in 26 games.
Also selected 177th overall was a former Phoenix Coyote who may sound familiar, Ladislav Nagy.
Nagy was drafted 177th by the St. Louis Blues in 1997. After 51 games in a Blues' jersey, Nagy was moved the the Phoenix Coyotes, where he played the best hockey of his career.
At one point, he picked up 56 points in 51 games for the Coyotes, putting him near the top of the leaderboard in points/game.
Another notable player is Mathieu Perreault, who was drafted 177th by the Washington Capitals in the 2006 entry draft. He has played for Washington the past three seasons, and has increased games played and points each season.
While he isn't an offensive star by any means, Mathieu Perreault is surely earning his spot in the big leagues.
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At 207th; the fifth-to-last pick in the draft, the Canucks selected Matthew Beattie. The 6'3", 175lbs right-winger/center. Last season, Beattie picked up 74 points in 28 games with the Phillips-Exeter Hockey Acadamy.
Despite the strong offensive side that has been displayed, there are still numerous steps to go before making it to the NHL, if ever.
But some players have made the leap.
First, we have Hal Gill. The 6'7" 241lbs Chara-esque player was drafted 207th overall by the Boston Bruins in 1993.
Since then, Gill has played over 1000 games in the NHL for 5 different teams. With just 184 points in that time, he doesn't bring much offense to the table but his size brings great value to the team.
If Beattie can add some size to his already tall stature, hopefully he will be able to do the same.
He has since played just 38 NHL games, but has displayed strength and consistency in that time.
As it stands right now, he is the most qualified player for the No. 1 position on Tampa Bay, but only time will tell if that ends up the case.