The Vancouver Canucks retained their No. 6 spot at Tuesday night’s lottery, and will pick just outside the top five in this summer’s NHL Draft, to be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Last year, Vancouver traded goaltender Cory Schneider to New Jersey and chose London Knights forward Bo Horvat with the ninth overall pick. They then used their 24th overall selection on Medicine Hat Tigers winger Hunter Shinkaruk.
This year, Canucks fans could expect their club to chose any number of players slotted in at the sixth spot. TSN’s Bob McKenzie has Peterborough Petes power forward Nick Ritchie ranked sixth in his mock draft, while another TSN analyst – Craig Button – said he expects the Canucks to take Abbotsford kid Jake Virtanen, who plays for the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen.
Meanwhile, the ISS released its official April rankings on Tuesday, with Prince Albert Raiders forward Leon Draisaitl in the sixth spot, available for Vancouver. The ISS ranked Ritchie and Virtnanen in ninth and tenth, respectively.
Willie Nylander hopped over Draisaitl in the ISS rankings for fifth, which would go to the New York Islanders.
The Edmonton Oilers will select third this year – the first Canadian team to pick – and the Calgary Flames follow them in fourth place.
The Florida Panthers stole the No. 1 overall pick from the Buffalo Sabres, who will pick second.
Vancouver-born Sam Reinhart is favoured to go first overall this year, along with potential franchise defenceman Aaron Ekblad. Sam Bennett is the consensus third overall pick – or he’s first, depending on who you ask.
Highlights: Nick Ritchie (2013/14)
Highlights: Jake Virtanen
Highlights: Leon Draisaitl (2013/14)