On a rare occasion, an entire draft class can be a bust. Arguably that is the case with the crop of players chosen by the Vancouver Canucks in the 2007 NHL entry draft. Not only have none of them played an NHL game four-plus years later, but only sixth-round pick Taylor Matson, who is finishing his last year of college hockey, has a legitimate chance of making it to hockey’s big show.
It’s easy to call White a bust given that only this season, 2011-12, has he played his first professional game and it was for Klostersee EHC of the GerObL, a third-tier pro hockey league in Germany.
Obviously Dave Nonis, then GM of the Canucks, saw something in White when he drafted him in the first round, 25th overall. He was not rated in the first round by Central Scouting though was one of the top Minnesota high school players eligible for the 2007 draft. He also put up nine points in 12 USHL games. The following season he went to the University of Minnesota of the WCHA where he played four seasons.
White was reputed to have a great wrist-shot and the 6′ 185 pound center was said to battle in corners but his totals in WCHA are not impressive, 27 goals, 26 assists for 53 points in 147 games. In August of 2009, Vancouver traded his rights to the San Jose Sharks in the deal that saw Christian Ehrhoff come the other way. The trade was a salary dump for the Sharks and they didn’t sign White when he finished college.
Taylor Ellington, D, Everett Silvertips (WHL) – 2nd round, 33rd overall
NHL Games Played: 0
The 6′ 200 pound defenseman has not had a particularly strong pro career thus far. Drafted with the hope he would develop into a solid, shutdown defenseman, Ellington to date has played in only 20 AHL games over four seasons, the rest of his time being spent in the ECHL. The Canucks traded his rights to the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Sami Pahlsson deal at the 2012 trade deadline and he’s currently with the Chicago Express of the ECHL.
Charles-Antoine Messier, C, Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL) – 5th round, 145th overall
NHL Games Played: 0
Drafted with the hope he could develop into a talented offensive forward, Charles-Antoine Messier never got enough size to get there and his best offensive season in junior was his draft year in 2006-07. Injuries and lack of playing time thereafter hampered him in the QMJHL.
He wasn’t signed after completing juniors in 2010 and he enrolled in management courses at Concordia University. Messier is now in his third season with the Concordia University Stingers and is the only player on the team to have been drafted.
Ilya Kablukov, F, HC CSKA Moscow (RUS) – 5th round, 146th overall.
NHL Games Played: 0
Kablukov is still listed on the Canucks prospect page on their website but has not been to any of the NHL team’s camps since being drafted and is currently playing in the KHL, with his fourth team since the 2008-09 season. This year he’s become a regular for the first time and playing in the bottom group of forwards, he has four goals and three assists in 46 games for Moscow Oblast Atlant.
Another Minnesota high school player, Taylor Matson was drafted for his playmaking ability and high character. Now the captain of the Minnesota Gophers, Matson has developed into a pre-eminent captain, playing with lots of heart and grit, and leading his team by example. He is also a former teammate of current Canuck prospect Jordan Schroeder.
He has dealt with injuries over the past few seasons but is firing on all cylinders now. In 35 games to date in 2011-12, Matson has seven goals and 13 assists through 37 games.
Drafted as a 20-year-old who had spent three years prior in the WHL, the Canucks hoped Gendur was a late-bloomer, having just gone through a breakout offensive season with the Everett Silvertips. He’d play one more in Everett before joining the Canucks organization where he spent the bulk of his time in the ECHL.
He currently is playing in the CHL with the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees where he has 25 goals and 36 assists through 55 games.
Article was written by Marcus Hondro.