Canucks 1999 Draft Review

By pbadmin

June 26th, 1999 could go down in the annals of Nuck history as the greatest moment in franchise history with the selection of the Sedin twins.

The Canucks made out all right here…
-goaltending…since have signed Michaud and drafted Swanson…so it is markedly better than before. Don’t confuse that with “good” or even “solid” however.
-offensive defenseman…Darrell Hay isn’t about to fill this hole.
-a top 2 center who doesn’t receive old-age benefits…Henrik Sedin.
-offensive forwards…again the Sedins.

The Canucks stayed drafted 4 defensemen out of their 8 picks. The trading of McCabe will probably have a major impact on the Canucks next year, unless Bryan Allen really steps it up, or the Canucks sign a guy like Lefevbre to fill McCabe’s shoes, or skates, as it were. There is a bit of danger that the pick traded to Chicago will turn out to be another top 5 pick…in which case, the price paid for the twins (McCabe/top 5 pick 2000 draft) might have been too high. Unless you subscribe to the “Twin Doctrine”…in other words: Daniel and Henrik apart are going to be good players, perhaps stars…but if you have them together, it’s like 1+1=3. If both live up to their potential (no reason to think they won’t), then even if the 2000 pick IS a top 5, and even if McCabe becomes Chicago’s future captain and starts scoring 30-40 points to go along with the rest of his game, it will still be a huge win for the Canucks. Goaltending wasn’t exactly shored up in this draft, but at least they got another warm body, and a guy who seems to have decent enough stats. The Canucks went off the board to draft Kevin Swanson of the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets.

Draft Strategy:
There weren’t many rumblings about the Canucks going for both Sedins, but there was now way Burke could pass this up. Ignoring the probable benefit to the hockey team for a second, perhaps Burke couldn’t pass it up, because it would have made him star of the draft, and would have washed away a lot of the negativity that has swamped him in his tour of duty thus far. As it happens, Chicago was also the first team to blink, as the Chicago-Vancouver trade started the ball rolling. Looking at what it does for the team shows that it wasn’t simply narcisism that brought about the trade. Getting the twins on the same team is a coup. They were MVP’s of the Swedish Elite League, and they were only 18 years of age. They will likely go back to the SEL for one more season.

Here’s a run-down of the other players. Vydareny was the 12th ranked European, and 3rd ranked Euro d-man, by the CSB, and he moved 28 spaces up since his mid-season ranking. Ryan Thorpe apparently wasn’t ranked at mid-season, but he showed up at the 97th overall ranking in the final rankings. Josh Reed from the BCHL was not ranked at all by the CSB, but that isn’t rare, regarding the BCHL and other lower tier junior leagues.

Swanson was also not rated. Kankaanpera was the 71st rated Euro, and had fallen 23 spots since mid-season. The final pick was a guy by the name of Darrell Hay, from Tri-City of the WHL. His stats don’t look bad at all, so you have to wonder why he fell to being the second to last player taken. He was rated 157th in the final rankings, and wasn’t rated at mid-season.

Players: Here is the full list of Canuck draftees, including stats.

First Round:

2nd overall: Daniel Sedin, LW. 6-1, 194.

Year Team League GP G A Pts +/- PIM
1998-99 MoDo SEL 50 21 21 42 +19 20
Playoffs 13 4 8 12 14
WJC 6 5 5 10 n/a 2
-Daniel Sedin Player Profile
3rd Overall: Henrik Sedin, C. 6-2, 196
Year Team League GP G A Pts +/- PIM
1998-99 MoDo SEL 49 12 22 34 +20 32
Playoffs 13 2 8 10 6
WJC 6 3 6 9 n/a 10
-Henrik Sedin Player Profile

Second Round:


Third Round:

69th Overall: Rene Vydareny, D. 6-1, 198.

League Team GP G A PTS PIM
Slo. Div I Bratislava 20 1 6 7 6
Slo. Jr. Bratislava 48 5 14 19 74
Fourth Round:


Fifth Round:

129th Overall: Ryan Thorpe, LW. 6-3 1/2, 202.

League Team GP G A PTS PIM
WHL Spokane 41 12 4 16 89
Sixth Round: Canucks traded 2001 6th rounder for San Jose’s 1999 6th.

172nd Overall: Josh Reed, D. 6-2, 200.

League Team GP G A PTS PIM
BCHL Vernon 54 16 38 54 110
Seventh Round:

189th Overall: Kevin Swanson, G. 5-9, 181.

League Team GP MINS GA SO Avg W L T SV%
WHL Kelowna 50 2507 144 2 3.45 18 23 3 .898
Eighth Round:

218th Overall: Markus Kankaanpera, D. 6-1, 191.

League Team GP G A PTS PIM
FEL Jyvaskyla 50 0 2 2 85
Ninth Round:

271st Overall: Darrell Hay, D. 6-0, 190.

League Team GP G A PTS PIM

WHL Tri-City 72 13 49 62

Adding the Sedins to the roste, who could both turn out to be top 10-top 20 players in the NHL, and perhaps the best combo in the NHL, ups the skill level dramatically. Burke could be accused of gambling too much on the future, but isn’t that what the draft is about? And as far as gambling goes, gambling on the Sedin’s is a lot surer bet than most other wagers. Both are mature beyond their years, and not just because they are identical twins, but because they are great players at such a young age. Hopefully Vydareny and Kankaanpera are in the World Juniors next year, for Slovakia and Finland, respectively, so that there is a little more light shed on them (last year’s tourney is where Ytfeld had his game highlighted, after all). Overall, Canuck fans should be very content with what happened on draft day, and should actually have hope for the future.