#TBT: Daft Drafting- Worst 1st Round Misses

It’s not a secret the Vancouver Canucks have not had the best luck, insight and/or intuition regarding their first round draft picks over the years. There have been some very notable mis-picks and for whatever reason, the Canucks haven’t really learned from their past mistakes and continue to miss the mark more often than not.

Here’s a look at some of the bigger mis-picks the Canucks have made with that 1st round pick. Listed after each pick are players  the Canucks could have had after their draft pick was made.

(AS) – All-Star (HOF) Hall of Fame

1973 Dennis Ververgaert

1973 3rd Overall pick.

1973 3rd Overall pick.

Ververgaert played with the London Knights of the OHL,  scoring 147 points in 1972–73, including a franchise record 89 assists (Sergei Kostitsyn later broke that record) and was selected 3rd overall in the 1973 NHL Amateur Draft by the Vancouver Canucks. He was big and skilled and many thought he had the potential to be a big name player in the NHL. He played six seasons with the Vancouver Canucks before moving on to Flyers and the Capitals. He had a decent career but not the one the Canucks were hoping for when they drafted him. 

Notable available picks: Lanny McDonald (HOF), Bob Gainey(HOF)

1977 Jere Gillis 

1977 1st Round pick for the Canucks, Jere Gillis.

1977 1st Round pick for the Canucks, Jere Gillis.

Drafted 4th overall in 1977 by the Canucks, Jere Gillis did not pan out as much as the team would have liked. In  386  games, Jere Gillis scored 78 goals, 95 assists totaling 173 points. He had a 10 year NHL career with some stints in the minors in between a few of those years. Gillis played for the Canucks, Rangers, Flyers, Sabres and the Nordiques organizations.

Notable available picks: Ron Duguay (AS), Mike Bossy (HOF)

1979 Rick Vaive

1979 1st round pick, Rick Vaive

1979 1st round pick, Rick Vaive

Chosen 4th overall in the 1979 NHL Entry draft, Rick Vaive was not at all a bad choice when looking at his career numbers (GP 876  G441 A 347 ) except the majority of those numbers were put up playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs, including being the first 50 goal scorer in Maple Leaf franchise history. He was traded along with Bill Derlago for Dave “Tiger” Williams and Jerry Butler in a lop-sided trade in favour of the Maple Leafs, but that’s another #TBT subject.

Notable available picks: Raymond Bourque (HOF), Michel Goulet (HOF)

1981 Garth Butcher

Garth Butcher, 1981 1st round pick.

Garth Butcher, 1981 1st round pick.

Chosen 10th overall in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft, Garth Butcher became a Canucks fan favourite and was also known for selling Trevor Linden a classic 60’s Mustang during Linden’s rookie year. He became an integral part of the “Blues Brothers” trade in the 1990’s that brought a group of players to put the Canucks into a playoff position. Butcher did well for someone who was more of a shut down 3rd line guy, but the Canucks could have had a HOF defenseman with a wicked shot.

Notable available picks: Al McInnes (HOF)

1986 Dan Woodley

1986 1st round pick, Dan Woodley Photo credit: Ottawa Citizen

1986 1st round pick, Dan Woodley Photo credit: Ottawa Citizen

Dan Woodley was the 7th overall pick in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft from the Portland Winterhawks. With the Winterhawks, Woodley posted a 108 pt season and an 100 pt season, so the appeal was strong with the Canucks to draft him. Playing only five NHL with the Canucks, he spent the rest of his career in the minors between the AHL and the former IHL. In picking Woodley, another HOF defenseman was left for the Rangers to grab.

Notable available picks: Brian Leetch (HOF)

1990 Petr Nedved

2nd overall pick in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft.

2nd overall pick in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft.

 Nedved had a decent career in the NHL,  but not the player many predicted him to be when he defected to Canada. Due to limited opportunities in communist Czechloslovakia to play, Nedved ended up in the WHL with the Seattle Thunderbirds. There he scored 145 points in 71 games. Nedved played three years with the Vancouver Canucks with a 38 goal 31 assist season in 92/93.  Due to a bitter contract dispute with the Canucks and he held out. Nedved went to play for the St. Louis Blues,  in a trade, for Craig Janney. However the Canucks could have had fellow Czech and future HOF and a reputation to be tough as nails instead of Nedved.

Shawn Antoski

18th Overall pick in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft

18th Overall pick in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft

So in 1990, the Canucks had not one but two picks in the 1st round and they missed on both of them. For their 18th overall pick, Pat Quinn went with Shawn Antoski. A rough and tough checker that wasn’t afraid to drop the gloves. Quinn had a reputation for liking these types of players and Antoski wasn’t an exception. In his NHL career, Antoski played 183 games, scored 3 goals, 5 assists giving him a total of 8 points. He has played for the Canucks, Flyers, Penguins and the Ducks.  Even with Jagr gone out of the pick pool, an American All-star level forward who scored more than 500 NHL goals and probably the best goalie of all time who solidified his spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame was still up for grabs, but instead, Quinn went with Antoski.

Notable available picks: Jaromir Jagr (AS) before Antoski- after Antoski – Keith Tkachuk(AS) , Martin Brodeur (AS)

1991 Alek Stojanov 

1991 Alek Stojanov was the Canucks 1st round pick.

1991 Alek Stojanov was the Canucks 1st round pick.

In true Pat Quinn fashion, with the 7th overall pick in 1991, Alek Stojanov was chosen. The Windsor, ON native played his junior hockey in the OHL. He put up decent numbers and had no problems dropping the gloves. Although, his transition into the NHL did not go as planned. He ended up only playing 107 games, scoring 2 goals and 5 assists in his NHL career. However, Stojanov proved to be the bait to eventually catch the big fish in 1995. He was traded to Pittsburgh for Markus Naslund. Later on, Naslund ended being the future Captain of the Vancouver Canucks and became an All-Star in the NHL. Stojanov played a few more years in the minors after the trade and eventually retired to become a firefighter in Pennsylvania.

Notable available picks: Markus Naslund (AS), Alexei Kovalev (AS)

1997 Brad Ferrence

Brad Ference was the 1997 1st Round pick for the Canucks.

Brad Ference was the 1997 1st Round pick for the Canucks.

The 10th overall pick in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft is Brad Ference. He didn’t even play one game for the Vancouver Canucks because he was traded to the Florida Panthers with Pavel Bure and Bret Hedican in January 1999. The Canucks received Dave Gagner, Ed Jovanovski, Mike Brown and Kevin Weekes in return. 250 games and 34 points later, it was a good trade. Ference was more known for dating US Olympic figure skater, Michelle Kwan than what he did on the NHL ice. Although, the Canucks could have gotten a sniper and cup chaser instead.

Notable available picks: Marian Hossa (AS)

2006 Michael Grabner 

Austria's Michael Grabner was the 2006 1st round pick for the Canucks.

Austria’s Michael Grabner was the 2006 1st round pick for the Canucks.

The 14th overall pick of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft is far from a bust in his career, but Grabner wasn’t a Canuck for very long. Don’t get me wrong, Grabner is a hell of a player and his story is not yet fully told in the NHL. Traded to the Florida Panthers with Steve Bernier for Keith Ballard and Victor Oreskovich. The Panthers waived this gem and was picked up by the Islanders and so far having a nice go at the NHL on Long Island. But, how good would have this guy looked in a Canucks uniform…

 

Notable avaiable picks: Claude Giroux

2007 Patrick White

Canucks' 25th overall pick in the 2007, Patrick White.

Canucks’ 25th overall pick in the 2007, Patrick White.

In 2007, the Canucks chose Patrick White 25th overall in the NHL Entry Draft. Some of you are probably wondering who is he? Well, I am sitting here thinking about it and you’re all right, who is he? With a draft that boasted Patrick Kane and Logan Couture, anything beyond the top 10 picks was pretty much a crap shoot, and well, the Canucks crapped out. White is playing out in Slovakia and did play for a KHL team and really hasn’t been heard from since in North American hockey. The only player that would have appealed to me in that draft class wasn’t even in the 1st round after White but the 2nd round and  he became a Norris Trophy winner in 2013.

Notable available picks: PK Subban (2nd round)

 

Hindsight is definitely 20/20 and foresight isn’t always as clear as we thought it would be at the time. It seems to be an ongoing problem for the Canucks drafting team. However, we have seem some gems over the years and didn’t lose all our first rounds by a country mile. These were just some to remind us of  “Picks of Drafts Past” on this #ThrowbackThursday. 

Follow me on twitter @Aviewfromabroad

       

Today in Canucks History: Debut of Pavel Bure

Welcome back to #TICH. We hope you enjoyed our little write-up about Stan Smyl. That week in November of 1991,  was a busy week for the Canucks. To not take any “Steam” away from Smyl’s number retirement night, Bure’s debut for the Canucks was delayed until the next game. Then owner, Arthur Griffiths, and GM, Pat Quinn, wanted to make sure Stan got the attention he deserved and Bure debuted in a Canucks uniform two nights later versus the Winnipeg Jets.

When Pavel Bure finally hit the ice on November 5, 1991, he did not disappoint. He was electrifying. Instead of us trying to describe it to you with words, let’s look back at this video instead.

 

 

A week later, he scored his first goal, at the Pacific Coliseum, on the LA Kings’ netminder, Daniel Berthiaume. A standing ovation came right after, and so well deserved.

 

 

During his rookie year, his presence on the ice alone became a ‘must see’ in any city he visited and an even bigger draw at home. He was a marquee player in,  what was at the time, small market Vancouver. He won the Calder Trophy for the NHL Rookie of the year. He played 65 games, scored 34 goals and 26 assists for a total of 60 points. He scored 22 goals in the last 23 games of the season. Words cannot describe fully the skill of Pavel Bure. As Canucks fans, I believe we saw the best he offered in the NHL. Simply amazing, the Russian Rocket, was no less than electrifying.

Captivating crowds all over the NHL with his speed, skill and the tenacity of his play.

Captivating crowds all over the NHL with his speed, skill and the tenacity of his play.

 

Justine Galo

 

Follow me on twitter: @Aviewfromabroad

 

Today In Canucks History: Stan Smyl

This the first edition of “Today in Canucks History” or simply hashtagged #TICH. From time to time we will sharing moments of happenings from that day. Hope you enjoy it and we look forward to sharing more of these moments with you throughout the season.

On November 3, 1991 Stan Smyl’s No. 12 was retired and went up into the rafters at Pacific Coliseum.  That night, the Vancouver Canucks won 7-2 over the Edmonton Oilers. Smyl is the only one of the four Canucks  number retirements that was retired at the old “Rink on Renfrew”. All the others have been at GM Place/Rogers Arena. He is also the only one out of the four retired numbers that played his whole career with the Vancouver Canucks, from 1978 to 1991.

Stan Smyl's No.12 was retired on Nov.3, 1991 at the old Pacific Coliseum.

Stan Smyl’s No.12 was retired on Nov.3, 1991 at the old Pacific Coliseum.

Smyl served as Captain from 1982 until his retirement.
GP 899- G 262-  A 411-  Pts 673

Stan now works for the Vancouver Canucks as Senior Advisor to GM & Director of Player Development.

Thanks Steamer.

Thanks Steamer! You are forever a Canuck.

Thanks Steamer! You are forever a Canuck.

Justine Galo

Follow me on twitter: @Aviewfromabroad

The Begrudging Recap: “Numbers Game” Canucks 3 Oilers 2

To be brutally honest, I’ve had a hard time writing blogs lately. Every single time I’ve wanted to type up a Canucks related blog, I draw a blank and leave the entry unfinished or I would delete it completely. During the month of October, I am pretty much a 4-5 days a week high school volleyball coach after work hours, so my time is also limited, which cuts into my “veg” time. “Veg” time is super important, and I try not to skimp on it if possible.  Tonight, I come back with a recap blog. This is CanucksCorner.com we don’t do recap blogs! We blog relevant but cool things about the Canucks. Anyone can do a recap,  but there is something about the Edmonton Oilers that has me wanting to talk about the game. Here it is, by the numbers.

Burrows suspended, enter Tom Sestito

Games Suspended: 3 – Was it worthy of that many? Many say no, but he would have been out for this game regardless.

Let’s take another look at that hit again shall we?

 So, with Bo Horvat in transit from Utica, in comes Tom Sestito to play in Edmonton.

TOI: 6:25 -the least played by either team. Even injured Taylor Hall played 6:30 for the Oilers

Points: 1 assist on Linden Vey’s goal. 

Hits: 6 

+/-: +1

Not an ‘impact’ player, but for the limited time he played, Sestito did enough.

Ryan Miller 10 Edmonton Oilers 0

Ten career wins versus the Edmonton Oilers and no losses. In other words, Ryan Miller is perfect versus Edmonton. So with the Oilers being considered “gimme games” for the Canucks, it would serve them wise to start the man with the perfect record over “this team is for the back-up to play” scenario. Let’s just hope when (or if) Miller finally does lose to the Oilers, he is no longer wearing a Canucks uniform.

Tweet of the night regarding Millers vs Oilers?

Parody Account of Zack Kassian tweeted this about Ryan Miller's undefeated streak against the Edmonton Oilers.

Parody Account of Zack Kassian tweeted this about Ryan Miller’s undefeated streak against the Edmonton Oilers.

 

Ryan Miller has eight wins, leads all NHL goalies so far this season.

 

Ryan Miller leading NHL in wins. Eight wins so far.

Ryan Miller leading NHL in wins. Eight wins so far.

Vrdinery

Points: 0

TOI: Hank 20:43 Danny 19:54 Vrby: 17:58

Hank, Danny and Radim Vrbata were held pointless tonight, but the bottom six forwards made up for their lack of offense. It seemed like the Oilers were really focusing on the Canucks top line and didn’t seem to pay much attention to the Dorsetts, Sbisas and Veys. I guess secondary scoring is around to pick up the slack. Despite not factoring on the score sheet, Daniel, Henrik and Vrbata are all over a point a game at this point in the season.

daniel-sedin-henrik-sedin-2010-10-11-23-20-20

I don’t know how to love you, Luca!

Sometimes, he’s so awful and gives away pucks like he was feeding ducks at the pond and then he shows can actually play hockey. He leads all Canucks defencemen with his two goals.

Oy Vey!

Is there a guy on the #Canucks roster that has more play-on-words with his surname than Linden Vey? I think not!

Here’s the goal, and below it is the reaction from Canucks fans and media alike.

The official Canucks account and local journalist, Cam Cole got in on it.

The official Canucks account and local journalist, Cam Cole got in on it.

 

This one is quite typical, and abundant on twitter.

 

This one is quite typical, and abundant on twitter.

 

This guy doesn't know who or what Linden Vey is? He's a pun producing machine, man.

This guy doesn’t know who or what Linden Vey is? He’s a pun producing machine, man.

 

My friend Nick said it all here!

My friend Nick said it all here!

 

I even got in on the action with Vey's goal on the Oilers to put the Canucks up by one.

I even got in on the action with Vey’s goal on the Oilers to put the Canucks up by one.

 

On The Short

Derek Dorsett gets his first goal as a Vancouver Canuck on the penalty kill of all times. It was a pass too short that was intercepted, a man down for the Canucks and Dorsett beats Scrivens on the short side. Have a look:

Three is the magic number.

The Canucks and Oilers have now faced off three times in this young NHL season. It’s also the number of times the Canucks have won this season over the Oilers, and how many goals were needed to once again, defeat Edmonton. However, they weren’ the only Vancouver based team in Oil city last night. Both the Canucks and Lions scored three points up against Edmonton teams, however, the Canucks won with it, the Lions lost horribly with the exact amount of scored points.

Just how good of a tweet was this from TSN 1040 radio personality, Jeff Paterson?

 

 

Three

 

 

Zero

Although he has been playing more like a hero as of late, Shawn Matthias can’t buy goal. Either he is hitting posts and crossbars or the opposing goalie makes the unbelievable save on his chances.

Even his team picture has a slight look of begging going on. "Please sirs, may I have a goal?" Hang in there Shawn, you'll get your due.

Even his team picture has a slight look of begging going on. “Please sirs, may I have a goal?” Hang in there Shawn, you’ll get your due.

 

 Well, that’s the tale of the tape between the Canucks and the Oilers, November 1, 2014 edition. Tonight, the Canucks are back home to take on the Nashville Predators. Eddie Lack gets the start for this one and my predition?

 

Looks like the Canucks netminder agrees with me!

Looks like the Canucks netminder agrees with me!

 

It’s such a good prediction, even tonight’s starting goalie had to give it a favourite on twitter.

Go Canucks go!

Follow me twitter: @Aviewfromabroad

After Ten: Canucks Pull Off Exciting Start To The Season

image

The month of October has passed for the Vancouver Canucks who promised in the offseason that change was coming.

Willie Desjardins’ Canucks are off to a stunning 7-3-0 start to the regular season with exceptions for two of the games. The Canucks left the gates running as they dished out victories over the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames for a three win kickoff. The Celebration came to a standstill after two straight losses to the Lightning at home and the Dallas Stars who ran them out of town 6-3. The new team found the light at the end of the tunnel after a disappointing 2-1-0 road trip last week as they held the fort for three games.

They now find themselves at second place in the Pacific Division but what has led to this early success? Let’s break it down line by line and find out.

D. SEDIN (3-9-12) H. SEDIN (4-8-12) VRBATA (5-6-11)

The first line in the ten games they played have been a force to be reckoned with. The twins and Vrbata are combined for 35 points overall and prove to be one of the top lines in the league.

These veteran hockey players have been one of the most productive power play units on the ice scoring seven out of eight one man advantage goals from the ranks.

This line is always a thrill to watch what they will do next and are on pace for a great season.

HIGGINS (2-4-6) BONINO (4-4-8) BURROWS (2-4-6)

The second line looked a tad shaky at first glance when they debuted on the ice. Without any production from themselves and the bottom six they made the Sedin line look like the only strength the team had.

It turned out they only needed a couple match-ups to warm up when they suddenly cranked up the heat in the last five games scoring 14 points. The largest effort has been made by centre Nick Bonino who has proven to be the successor of Ryan Kesler who has on amounted a record of 3-4-7 in 11 games. Bonino now has eight points on the season and is on route for a 66 tally season.

Alex Burrows has shown that being demoted after a poor season will not bring him down as he has pulled a great effort. The 33 year old is back to his 2011 form especially in scrapping. Burrows has come across an amount of trouble after delivering a controversial hit to Alexei Emelin Thursday evening. The forward has now received a 3 game suspension from NHL Player Safety for his actions.

Chris Higgins has been getting Higgy with it in his first ten games. He is one of the most noticeable forwards on the ice. Higgins has not only proven that he can maintain a second role but has proven he is definitely worth the money that management pays.

MATTHIAS (0-2-2) RICHARDSON (3-3-6) KASSIAN (2-1-3)

The third line is a work in progress that has gained traction in the last couple games. Strong efforts have been provided by Brad Richardson who scored three goals in two games. Richardson has been one of the most impressive among the bottom six with his hard shot that simply gets the puck in the net.

Shawn Matthias has begun to show glimmers of hope in his offensive play after being moved from centre to wing last week. The recently acquired former Panther has charged the net on multiple occasions and has not failed to get the puck toward the net.

Zack Kassian on the other hand has been frustrating. The wild card first round pick is still streaky in his play. Not to mention all the obscene acts he has committed in “gooning it up” he really needs to smarten up. Desjardins commented on Kassian’s outrageous applause towards the refs in a game against the Oilers.

“The referees were really good in that situation,” said Desjardins. “We can’t do that. Our players know that. We talked about that.

“That’s one thing you can’t do. I thought the refs handled it real well.”

Kassian all in all is a defective version of Todd Bertuzzi.

DORSETT (0-2-2) VEY (3-2-5) HANSEN (3-0-3)

Linden Vey though a fourth line centre at the moment has been on the top power play unit alongside the
Sedins, Vrbata and Alex Edler. The young forward has shown that he can fit in with the big boys on the roster as is fully capable in being a professional offensive force.

Jannik Hansen was demoted all the way to the bottom of the line chart but he does not seem to mind it. Hansen has provided bottom six mite in scoring three goals this season.

Derek Dorsett is an intense player. He knows when to be the tough guy on the ice and scraps a lot. Dorsett can be compared to those like the late Bob Probert who played the nitty gritty style with integrity and honour. The new enforcer is a man who will light up his team mates when needed.

EDLER (1-3-4) TANEV (0-4-4)

This top pairing has been the heart and soul of the defensive core. When the other two thirds of the blue line fail to support, Tanev and Edler know how to crack the volume up on their play. They are yet to disappoint on a major comeback from the 2013-14 regular season.

Alex Edler has gone from the worst in the NHL last year in plus minus with a rating of -39 to now maintaining a +3 rating.

Chris Tanev is now in the spotlight where he must prove his place on the Canucks for management in order to lock up a multi-year deal with the team. If Tanev keeps up his to the standard they seen him perform, it will be no problem watching him here for years to come.

BIEKSA (0-1-1) HAMHUIS (0-3-3)

This veteran blue line that was expected to carry the team this year has given insight on early rust. Both Bieksa and Hamhuis have had plausible performances on the ice but are not in their peak. The two big names will have to work hard to prove that the old guys have a role too.

SBISA (1-1-2) WEBER (0-2-2)

The third pairing on the Canucks have been an utter embarrassment. Both Sbisa and Weber have been present on the ice for the majority of goals against their team.

Luca Sbisa appears lost whenever he is on the ice and is not the player fans expected in return for Ryan Kesler in last years trade. His play is outright sloppy and to make matters worse, he holds a hefty pay cheque of $2.175 million.

WHAT ABOUT THE GOALTENDING?

The goaltending has been absolutely brilliant with the stellar performances of Ryan Miller. He has been there every time his team needs him and is currently tied with Canadiens goaltender Carey Price for most wins.

Ryan Miller in the first ten games achieved his 30th career shutout and his 300th career win.

WHAT CAN BE TAKEN FROM THIS?

Last season, John Tortorella claimed that the Canucks were simply too old and too stale. In the reign of Willie Desjardins, those remarks have been proven wrong as the team has quickly retooled and are now on pace to be a playoff contender.

Desjardins’ Canucks are slowly beginning to click together in his four line ideology. There is still much work to be done for the Vancouver Canucks and that’s alright.

Change has indeed come to the city of Vancouver.

Follow me on Twitter @cjaharder