MAJOR | Insider just revealed the Canucks' target for their first-round selection

Published June 12, 2023 at 3:05 PM

We're only a few weeks away from the draft, and the Canucks still have lots of homework ahead of it. Currently holding the rights to the 11th pick, there's been lots of speculation regarding who the Canucks should be aiming for. The NHL held its annual combines over the last few days, and an insider confirmed the Canucks' targets.

In lieu of the combine, the League's GM, prospects, scouts and agents were gathered in Buffalo. Teams take the time to meet with the prospects, conduct interviews, and some are even taken out to dinner. This gives a pretty good indication of who the teams are leaning toward drafting.

The Athletics' Harman Dayal confirmed that the Canucks took 3 players to dinner last week. The most surprising name that came out was the Swede defenseman Tom Willander. A competitive, two-way defender with amazing skating attributes who'll be lining up for Boston University next year:

''Willander, a 6-foot-1 right-handed defender, is one of the draft classes' biggest risers. He was projected to go in the middle or late first round for most of the year but turned teams' heads after a strong performance for Sweden at the U18 World Championship. He's a pretty strong bet to go in the top 10-15 picks and may even become the second defender off the board after David Reinbacher, who's unlikely to be available when the Canucks select at No. 11.''

It was also confirmed that the Canucks took out Nate Danielson; it's not the first time his name has been linked to the Canucks 11th overall pick. Coming from a dominant 78 points season, he could very well be the team's 3rd line centerman for years to come:

''Danielson, who's one of the oldest players in this draft class, is a bit of a polarizing prospect. He's a right-shot centre with a projectable 6-1 frame, solid two-way chops, good wheels and an uptempo style. All of that gives him a very high floor. Danielson has some skill, but the big question mark is whether he has enough offensive dynamism, creativity and playmaking to top out as more than a future third-line centre.''

The last player taken out to the dinner was the OHL product, Colby Barlow. The author of 46 goals this year, the winger is a heck of a shooter who plays a gritty and physical game. While he may not fit the team's positional need, he may turn out to be the best available prospect at number 11:

''Barlow is a winger, but the stylistic profile of his game could make him a logical option for Vancouver. He's a high-end goal scorer (46 goals in 59 OHL games this season) with a gritty, direct, hard-to-play-against style. He already has a pretty thick frame, is highly competitive and captained Owen Sound in the OHL. Vancouver's front office has mentioned sandpaper and the need to become harder to play against in the past and Barlow would certainly add those traits in addition to his offensive potential.''

Dayal also confirmed that the Canucks did not take Axel Sandin Pellika to dinner; the Swede defender had previously drawn comparisons to Quinn Hughes. The Canucks will need to strike big with their 1st Round Selection this year. In a draft loaded with talent, they need to come through.

Source:The Athletic
June 12   |   183 answers
MAJOR | Insider just revealed the Canucks' target for their first-round selection

Who should be the Canucks' pick?

Danielson2513.7 %
Willander6435 %
Barlow3418.6 %
Other6032.8 %
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