LATEST | Craig Button identifies the prospect the Canucks must draft with their first rounder

Published May 8, 2023 at 8:40 PM

The lottery finally took place and the Canucks' fate regarding the 2023 draft is now sealed. With the 11th pick, TSN analyst Craig Button identified THE prospect the Canucks must aim for.

The analyst is well-known for his prospect rankings and he's identified a Swede defender that's been drawing Rasmus Dhalin comparisons since the beginning of the year. Per his reports, the Canucks should be setting their eyes on the right-handed defenceman, Axel Sandin Pellikka.

Standing at 5'11'' and 181 pounds, he is the very definition of a modern two-way defenseman. If he were Dahlin's size (6'03'', 202 pounds), he'd definitely be higher on this list. Sandin Pellikka played at the SHL level this year and managed 5 points in 22 games with limited opportunities, at the junior level he was outstanding collecting 36 points in 31 games.

The Swede is a smooth skater and the scouts have noticed:

«Sandin Pellikka's skating is a thing of beauty. His stride is technically sound. His straight-line speed is excellent. When it comes to his first few steps, or acceleration, he is explosive. As for his edges, he generates a lot of speed through his crossovers, can stop on a dime, and transitions from forwards to backward skating near-flawlessly. His four-way mobility is evident and at a high level''

- Kyle Pereira LWOS

The great news about Sandin Pellikka is that his biggest weakness is his strength. With proper support and a training plan, he could definitely bulk up and fix this issue which could potentially make him a top-end defenceman at the game's highest level.

Here's Button first 16 picks mock draft:

1. Chicago Blackhawks – Connor Bedard
2. Anaheim Ducks – Adam Fantilli
3. Columbus Blue Jackets – Leo Carlsson
4. San Jose Sharks – Will Smith
5. Montreal Canadiens – Dalibor Dvorsky
6. Arizona Coyotes – Matvei Michkov
7. Philadelphia Flyers – Ryan Leonard
8. Washington Capitals – David Reinbacher
9. Detroit Red Wings – Colby Barlow
10. St. Louis Blues – Matthew Wood
11. Vancouver Canucks – Axel Sandin-Pellikka
12. Arizona Coyotes (via OTT) – Zach Benson
13. Buffalo Sabres – Oliver Moore
14. Pittsburgh Penguins – Brayden Yager
15. Nashville Predators – Gabe Perreault
16. Calgary Flames – Nate Danielson
May 8   |   247 answers
LATEST | Craig Button identifies the prospect the Canucks must draft with their first rounder

Should the Canucks that a serious look at Sandin Pellikka?

Yes15964.4 %
No5823.5 %
Draft a forward3012.1 %
Latest 10 stories