Ever since the Brian Burke era, the Vancouver Canucks haven’t had very much luck with the 2nd round pick of the NHL Draft. With the odd exception, the Canucks’ management, whomever is at the helm, would take heat for not using those 2nd round picks to build within the organization. Many of those 2nd round picks since 1998 were used in trade deals, but the Canucks did not trade all of them away. So from 1998 to present, let’s see what the 2nd round pick has garnered the Canucks via trade or prospect. How did the team fare overall?
Brian Burke Era
1998: Canucks chose Artem Chubarov in the 2nd round, 31st overall. He spent seven years in the Canucks organization before heading to Russia to play in the KHL. He played 228 NHL regular season games and 27 playoff games. Chubarov is better known for his funny little NHL record.
1999: Brian Burke sent this selection (31st overall) was sent to Colorado (via Washington) as compensation to acquire Marc Crawford as the new head coach of the Vancouver Canucks.
2000: Traded to Atlanta for a 2nd round pick in 2001, plus a swap of the 3rd round picks in the 2001 draft.
2001: The pick traded to Atlanta was turned around in 2000 (42nd overall) in a trade to Nashville for Drake Berehowsky.
2002: Chosen 49th overall was Kiril Koltsov. In the efforts of trying to find the next great Russian player, Burke missed on this pick. Koltsov did not play one game for the Vancouver Canucks but spent 102 games with the Manitoba Moose, the then-AHL affiliate of the big club, before going to Russia.
2003: Marc-Andre Bernier, a right winger, was chosen 60th overall in the 2nd round. He, like Koltsov before him, did not register one NHL game under his belt, but spent his career in the minors, bouncing from the AHL to the ECHL.
Dave Nonis Era
2004: The 61st pick overall was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for backup net-minder,Johan Hedberg. Hedberg only played 21 games for the Canucks with a GAA of 2.52 and a SV % of .900. That was as steep price to pay for a backup goalie for such a short term.
2005: Mason Raymond. One of the 2nd round picks that worked out for the Canucks, for the most part. Raymond played 279 games for the Canucks with one 25 goal season. Most of all, for about four seasons, we the fans, were entertained how many times Raymond fell on the ice, without assistance of a shove, almost each and every game.
2006: The 46th overall pick was traded to the Buffalo Sabres for goalie, Mika Noronen. If you thought Hedberg was an expensive trade, Noronen played only 4 games for the Canucks. With his .870 SV% and his GAA 3.52, Nonis was fleeced.
2007: Taylor Ellington was chosen 33rd overall in an inside-out trade with Buffalo and LA for Dan Cloutier. Ellington spent the majority of his hockey career in the ECHL and was last seen playing in Denmark last season.
Mike Gillis Era
2008: Yann Sauve was chosen 41st overall. He spent the better part of the last six years in the Canucks’ system. He was a call up for the big club playing eight games, scoring no points. Sauve is now in Springfield, IL playing for the Columbus Blue Jackets farm team, The Falcons.
2009: Anton Rodin was chosen 53 overall. The Swedish right-winger is currently playing the SweHL for Brynas IF Galve. Another pick really not panning out for the Canucks.
2010: The 55th pick overall was traded to Buffalo for Steve Bernier, and then traded to LA in 2009 and the pick was eventually used by the Bluejackets. Make sense? Not really, but neither have some of the Canucks picks.
2011: The Canucks chose David Honzik, a Czech goalie who played in the QMJHL. Nothing has progressed beyond Honzik’s junior career and hasn’t been seen on any hockey radar since the 2013-2014 season.
2012: Alexandre Mallet, a left wing prospect chosen 57th overall. He played a few years in the AHL and ECHL system for the Canucks until recently. He is now part of the ECHL Stockton Thunder, an affiliate team of the New York Islanders.
2013: CORRECTION: The Canucks did not have a 2013 pick due to a trade in order to get Derek Roy . Along with the pick was Kevin Connaughton. However they did have another pick in the 1st round and turned it into Hunter Shinkaruk. As per @s0ya on twitter.
Jim Benning Era
2014: A possible goalie of the future in Thatcher Damko, who played in goal for Team USA in the WJC. In development and we are pretty excited to see what happens.
Until now, it seems the Canucks management failed to see the importance and true value of the 2nd round picks, especially when Burke and Nonis were at the helm. With the scouting background of Jim Benning as an asset, perhaps this is a trend that has been bucked and we can look to the future of depth and building within the system. We can all hope.
In 2015, that 2nd round pick has again been traded, but Sven Baertchi looks like his worth the price ,so far since being acquired, down in Utica. Benning and others seem Baertchi as a future regular NHL’er with the proper development. Travis Green knew how to motive and develop Sven in the WHL, and it could be another wonderful realtionship in Utica.