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Looking to 18/19 - The Graduates & 2018 NEFHL Entry Draft

In part two of our “Looking to 18/19”, we will be looking at the graduates from our prospect pool onto the Vancouver Canucks roster as either a key component or one who may sliding up and down from the minors providing much needed depth. Secondly, we will be reviewing the 2018 NEFHL entry draft and where the Canucks are expected to be a power player for a second year in a row.

The Graduates:
Matthew Tkachuk – This left winger will assuredly step into a top six role on the Canucks 2018/2019 roster, likely slotting beside Taylor Hall for form two thirds of what should be an excellent first line. Tkachuk, 20, is on pace for 60 points and almost 30 goals in the NHL this year. He was acquired in a massive deal that shipped Victor Hedman to the San Jose Sharks.

Nick Schmaltz – Predominately a center, Schmaltz is expected to slot in on the second line left wing spot next season. He is on pace for 54 points and 25 goals as 22 y/o. Nick is in a different mold of Tkachuk but is skilled, fast and tons of IQ. He was acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers in another massive deal sending future NEFHL Hall of Famer Ryan Getzlaf the other way.

Christian Dvorak – Like Schmaltz, Dvorak is a center by nature but has the ability to play the wing and is expected to slot into the third line left wing spot next year. The 22 y/o is on pace for 40 points this season. Dvorak was acquired in a deal that sent Tanner Pearson to St Louis with Drake Caggiula and a 2nd round pick.

Shea Theodore – Acquired with Tkachuk in the massive Hedman deal, Theodore has seen time this season with Canucks but is expected to take a large step forward next year as a top 4 defenseman and likely playing in the 4th hole. He is a very smart offensive player who is learning the nuances of the defensive side.

Adam Erne – Is a strong, skilled right winger we see as middle six player. Next year will likely be Erne’s last season as a depth player and should be full time in 19/20.

The Draft:
For the 2018 NEFHL draft, the Canucks currently hold 3 first round picks secondly only to Nashville who has 4. The Canucks have a total of 22 picks in the new 7 round format with a breakdown in each round looking as such:

1st Round – 3
2nd Round – 4
3rd Round – 3
4th Round – 4
5th Round – 3
6th Round – 3
7th Round – 2

“We expect to be a big player in this years NEFHL draft. Whether that means we’re moving picks for players, trading up or down or even for picks in 2019, we expect it to be a busy time here in Vancouver. Being where we are in the standings, we are likely to end up with another top 7-8 pick and that pick will likely stay but we also have Detroit and St. Louis firsts and are watching how they play closely.” Said general manager Kyle Allen.

The whispers around town expect the Canucks to start moving out some picks and prospects to being building up a younger core around the likes of Hall, Tkachuk, Letang but we will touch on that in part three of “Looking to 18/19.”