Well, you're mistaken. In this thread he has been called a "bonafide franchise center"
You don't win without depth and Horvat has proven to be a clutch performer. If you trade players like Horvat plus a top 6 pick you damn well be getting more than a potential 1b center.
I understand what you're saying Clam, and do understand the importance of depth, but it seems to me like you're saying this with the assumption that all/most of our draft picks will pan out. Drafts don't work that way.
More times than not, draft picks do not pan out as expected.............and this risk increases exponentially as you move away from the Top 3 picks in a first round draft.
Let me give you an example. I'll use the time frame from 1997 to about 2000 since it was around this time period when the Canucks were as bad as they are now. I'll extend it to 2003 since that was the year we snagged Kesler.
http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/draft/team ... 08756.html
1997: Brad Ference, Ryan Bonni, Harold Druken. Our best pick that year was Matt Cooke in the 6th round.
1998: Bryan Allen, Artem Chubarov, Jarko Ruutu.
1999: Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Rene Vydareny. ***In this draft, we trade McCabe and 1st overall pick in 2000.......Chicago's pick ends up being Mikhail Yakubov*
2000: Nathan Smith, Thatcher Bell, Tim Branham
2001: RJ Umberger, Fedor Fedorov, Evegeny Gladskikh. Our best pick that year was Kevin Bieksa.
2002: *more crap*
2003: Ryan Kesler (23rd overall pick). + more crap.
Conclusions to make from this?
1) Most of our draft selections didn't make the Canucks. Therefore, building depth through the draft, atleast through our experience, is only a good concept in theory.
2) In those 6 years of drafting, our two biggest steals were Kesler in 2003 and Bieksa in 2001. In the grand scheme of things however, finding "steals" with late 1st round picks or in later rounds has very low probability of success.
3) Our BEST draft move over the past 15 years, was in trading Bryan McCabe and our 2000 first round pick (ends up being Mikhail Yakubov) for the 2nd overall pick in 1999 in which we draft Daniel Sedin. Did the move have risks associated with it? Yes. For all we know, Burke could have ended up drafting Pavel Brendl and someone else that was highly touted (non Sedin). Like a Tim Connolly for instance. However - In this case, I think it's safe to say that the rewards completely blew away the potential negatives (i.e. McCabe + 2000 1st for Brendl and Connolly would've been seen as a regular 'bust'/bad deal, whereas McCabe + 2000 1st for the Sedins' was seen as a MAJOR MAJOR lopsided win).
Remember Cody Hodgson?
Clam, if I recall correctly, you were REALLY singing the praises of Cody Hodgson a few years ago when we drafted him. I think I remember you even mentioning that you thought he could be of a similar mold to Dale Howerchuk. While Hodgson still looks like he will be a decent player, do you still hold him in the same regard? What if the Canucks had traded Hodgson and say a 1st in 2009 for Alex Pietrangelo (drafted 4th) or Drew Doughty? (drafted 2nd). How would you have reacted to an idea like this in 2008/2009 had fans/management pondered this idea?
Building depth through a draft is an overrated and weak concept since most draft picks do not pan out. The best strategy appears to be getting the highest draft pick possible in terms of lowest risk and highest potential for ROI.
Try and acquire the highest draft pick possible, and let them develop properly by not putting them into roles that they aren't ready for (i.e. something that Edmonton and Florida are very guilty of).
Build a team around said core players when said core players are ready. Sign core players to long term below market value contracts and cap hits. By signing these core players to long term below market value contracts and cap hits, it then allows a team to have enough cap space to have depth on other lines. This depth comes from 'lucky' draft picks that pan out, and from free agent signings.
-Get your core players first via draft. Strive to draft as high as possible for highest potential ROI and lowest amount of risk.
Sign them long term and below market value.
-Once you have done this, THEN you can add depth via lucky draft picks and/or free agent signings.