1st round, 21st overall – JT Miller, forward North Dakota University, NCAA NHL: 1st round, 15th overall by NYR (+6) Scouting Report: Well-rounded forward who played center but might profile better at wing, had an underwhelming season with the US NDP but saved his best for last when he lit up the U18 tournament. All the tools are there, good size, powerful skating, solid hands, physical play, defensive awareness, and a decent shot, the only question is consistency and upside. Sometimes compared to Ryan Kesler and Erik Cole, Miller will head to North Dakota next year, although he likely will not play four years. Comment: Our list dropped off after Miller. There were a handful of guys we wanted at 21, and a group we did not want, and then a collection of players we felt were more late first/early second types. So we are thankfully he was there. 2nd round, 48th overall – Stuart Percy, defence Mississaugua St. Mike’s Ice Dogs, OHL NHL: 1st round, 25th overall by Toronto (+23) Scouting Report: Defence-first blueliner who thinks the game as well as anybody in the draft. Compared to Paul Martin and Toni Lydman, Percy is not overly big or physical, but is the epitome of quiet and effective. Over the year his confidence grew offensively, and he could be a second unit PP guy. Shot remains a weakness. Comment: Percy was always a target in the second round, but a focus on forwards had me leaning the other way heading in to the draft. Very pleased he jumped into the first round. 2nd round, 49th overall – Gregory Hofmann, forward Ambri-Piotta, NLA NHL: 4th round, 103rd overall by Carolina (-54). Scouting Report: Quick, energetic and aggressive player with good hands and shot. Not a typical Swiss forward, Hofmann has a fair bit of gumption in his game, and could be a very useful third line role player over time, like a Darren Helm. If he comes over to North America (perhaps to Plymouth) it will be interesting to see how he adjusts. Comment: Hofmann was a guy I wanted to land, whether it was at 48, 49 or 62. If he stays in Ambri-Piotta (two towns so small you could drive through them and not realize they were there), I'm excited to have a player to scout here. I really think the skill and energy make him a legit prospect. 3rd round, 62nd overall – Matt Nieto, forward Boston University, NCAA NHL: 2nd round, 47th overall by San Jose (+15) Scouting Report: Very fast, one of the best skaters in the draft with a wide stride which should allow him to be sturdy on his feet in time. Can score goals, although may not have as much upside as thought a few years ago. Two things held him back from being a first round pick. One he is not that big, and two he had a slow start to his freshman season. But this is a guy who has scored everywhere, and is really not much different than a guy like Emerson Etem, another Californian. Comment: I wanted Nieto and had him targeted at 48/49, so that he slipped to 62 was great. Considered a goalie instead, but couldn't pass up a guy with speed and offensive upside. I have a lot of Sharks prospects in the system as well, so I'm glad Nieto was scooped up there. 3rd round, 81st overall – Jeremy Boyce-Rotevall, forward Timra, SEL NHL: Undrafted Scouting Report: Very good skater who has some scoring ability but struggled to get icetime in the SEL last year, which isn't surprising because he won't turn 18 until around the start of the coming season. Was an opportunistic scorer at the U18s and has put up numbers at the lower levels. Comment: I didn't feel good about the pick at the time. I wanted to move down, nobody bit, and the clock was running. I almost took Marcus Sorensen, and a couple minutes after I picked regretted forgetting about William Karlsson. It's disappointing JBR didn't get drafted, which is a surprise, but he'll play at the Allsvenskan level next year, and hopefully he'll get more icetime. I took Mattias Ekholm a year before the NHL did, and he's turned into a top prospect, so hopefully JBR can do the same. 4th round, 96th overall – Johan Sundstrom, forward Frolunda, SEL NHL: 2nd round, 50th overall by NYI (+46) Scouting Report: Big, hard working forward who can play center or wing and received a fair amount of responsibility last season in the SEL at times, because he is such a responsible player. Actually made the WJC team last year, kind of out of nowhere. The question is upside with Sundstrom. He's already very well-rounded and should have NHL size with more conditioning, but how far will the offence go. Comment: Wasn't really on my radar until late, but when I was looking into Max Friberg, I noticed Sundstrom's accomplishments at the lower levels. When he wasn't in the SEL last year, he was just tearing up the J20 league, including 8 goals and 15 points in 7 playoff games. Glad he went high though, because I was worried about the fact nobody talked about him. 4th round, 106th overall – Steven Fogarty, forward Edina HS, Minnesota NHL: 3rd round, 72nd overall by NYR (+34) Scouting Report: Another big forward who can play center and was maybe under the radar this year, although in Fogarty's case it is because he was in high school. Admittedly I've never seen the guy play, but he's got a ton of videos up on youtube. The scouting reports are all positive though. Skating is a bit rough, particularly off the mark, but I like the stride. Hands, vision, size and compete level are all great. He's heading to the USHL and then to Notre Dame, and while you never know with HS players, I'm really pleased to have Fogarty. Comment: Another early fourth who went much higher in the NHL, the Rangers are high on this kid. They dealt Grachev to get him and think he's got some really raw potential. A couple good years of development and some work on that stride and he could be a steal. 4th round, 113th overall – Ryan Tesink, forward Saint John, QMJHL NHL: 6th round, 162nd overall by St. Louis (-49) Scouting Report: Has some similarities to Hofmann and Nieto in that he is not particular big and did not put up staggering numbers, but has some good things going for him. Skating is good and there is some skill there, but Tesink also plays with enough aggressiveness and jam that again there's a bit of Darren Helm there. Saw very little icetime in SJ, but unlike Scott Oke, still put up some numbers and scored some clutch goals in the playoffs. Very slender and young but a project. Comment: When I picked Tesink, I figured he could go anywhere in the draft, literally even late first to not drafted at all. I'm not as bothered by CHL players who slide on draft day because if they perform over the next two years it doesn't matter. With players in the USHL, HS or Europe, being a high draft pick means NHL teams take more control over your development. Tesink was a good role of the dice, hopefully the icetime comes in SJ. 5th round, 122nd overall – Dillon Simpson, defence North Dakota, NCAA NHL: 4th round, 92nd overall by Edmonton (+30) Scouting Report: The youngest player in Div. 1 last year, fast-tracked to get to North Dakota at 17, not unlike his father Craig who started at Michigan State at 16! Varying opinions on Simpson who was projected as a first round pick heading in to the year. Some say he didn't get much icetime and struggled, others say he got real responsibility and actually put up some numbers. Some say his skating is a real weakness, others say it is choppy but he gets where he needs to go. In any event, he's an intelligent, mature player who thinks the game well and has NHL potential for sure. Comment: I actually thought he might jump up higher than this. Bloodlines always plays well on draft day, but a 30 point jump is fine. One of only two defencemen I drafted, I'm glad to have landed him. I think like Nieto, he got lost in the shuffle this year because he was a freshman in college. It's rare for players to be taken out of college as a first time eligible these days, so that Simpson and Nieto actually made contributions (at two of the best programs in the world) is encouraging. 7th round, 207th overall – Marcus Sorensen Skelleftea, SEL NHL: 4th round, 106th overall by Ottawa (+101) Scouting Report: Was unknown last year when Ottawa drafted him, and still is relatively unheard of because he played at the J20 level. Will head to the SEL next year though. Sorensen is undersized and physically undeveloped, but has some intriguing traits. Skating and hands are very good, and despite being slight, plays an aggressive, involved brand of hockey. Had an outstanding start at the J20 level but cooled off over time. Definitely a project who might have been better off in a time where draft picks had more than 2 years to sign. Comment: As mentioned above, he's the only re-entry I really wanted, but I was so determined to get him I almost used the 81st on Sorensen. He was 11th on my list, so I'm shocked he slipped to the 7th round. The NHL Sens think he's a steal, there was a yelling match at their draft table last year because their regional scouts insisted they get him and wanted the Sens to use a 3rd on him. Instead they took Jakub Culek and luckily got Sorensen in the 4th round. Who knows if any other team even knew of him. He'll head to Skelleftea next year, where former Sens scout Anders Forsberg is running things. A couple commentators think he could be the surprise star of the SEL. Overall: A very good draft for the Canucks I think, probably our most satisfying in a few years. I wanted forwards and got plenty of them. While JT Miller is a classic NHL first rounder in a sense, with the size to backup an all-round skill set, the rest of the picks were mostly the types of prospects I always like collecting. Hofmann, Nieto, Sorensen and Tesink can all skate, score and get involved physically with their energy, and Sundstrom and Fogarty have both size and upside. They won't all pan out, but it's a great group of forwards. Percy moving into first round was a welcome surprise, although it became clear after our draft that he was knocking on the door of the first round. He seems like a very intelligent kid who wants to be a player, so my hope is he works on his shot and his overall strength, but stays true to his game. The organization is loaded with young offensive defencemen, so it's great to have a more defensive guy in the fold. The second day overall was a success. I got numbers 3, 5, 6, 7 and 11 in the draft, and only Tesink didn't rise on draft day. In fact overall, only JBR not being drafted (and passing on William Karlsson to get him) really blemishes the overall crop of players. Updated Canucks Top 30 Prospects 1) David Rundblad 2) Jake Allen 3) Luke Adam 4) Kyle Palmieri 5) Jeff Petry 6) JT Miller 7) Justin Faulk 8) Alexander Urbom 9) Mattias Ekholm 10) Beau Bennett 11) Justin Braun 12) Max Sauve 13) Stuart Percy 14) Richard Bachman 15) Drew Schiestel 16) Philippe Paradis 17) Harri Sateri 18) Matt Nieto 19) Jerry D’Amigo 20) Gregory Hofmann 21) Jussi Rynnas 22) Justin Holl 23) Mike Hoffman 24) Tommy Wingels 25) Marcus Sorensen 26) Nick Crawford 27) Johan Sundstrom 28) Maxim Chudinov 29) David Warsofsky 30) Mitch Callahan HM: Steven Fogarty, Dillon Simpson, Brenden Dillon, Ryan Tesink, David McIntyre, Joakim Nordstrom, Brandon Archibald, Jeremy Boyce-Rotevall Graduated: Zack Smith, Bryan Bickell, Brandon Yip, Tom Wandell. WJC Watch Next season could be another banner year for the Canucks at the WJC. Justin Faulk is a lock for the US team, maybe even the captaincy, so long as Carolina releases him. JT Miller, Matt Nieto, and Justin Holl are all headed to the summer development camp, and I bet Miller and Nieto are there at Christmas. The Swedish team should boast a few Canucks as well. Johan Sundstrom played on the club last year, and Marcus Sorensen and Joakim Nordstrom were late cuts from camp. Both should make it this year, particularly Sorensen. Jeremy Boyce-Rotevall has a chance as well. For Canada, both Stuart Percy and Dillon Simpson are headed to the summer camp, and it is too early to gauge their chances. Gregory Hofmann will play for the Swiss team again, and hopefully will light it up.