Less than a month removed from the club’s memorable playoff run and disappointing Stanley cup finals defeat, it was back to work for the front office of the Vancouver Canucks. The cup finalists went into the 2011 NHL draft with eight picks to their credit and despite owning the 29th selection in the first round, GM Mike Gillis and his staff knew they would be getting a good player. With a number of first-round worthy talents still on the board, Gillis went with Nicklas Jensen; a big, skilled winger from the Oshawa Generals in the OHL.
A lack of forwards and goaltenders were considered to be the Canucks two biggest organizational weaknesses heading into the draft and it was clear that they would be addressed at this year’s draft. Five of Vancouver’s picks were used to select forwards while their second pick of the draft was used on a promising young net-minder out of the QMJHL.