I'll take another break from rolling out draft prospect profiles today—partly because there are some interesting Canucks news tidbits to talk about, and also because it seems right to take a pause in honour of Vancouver's missing third-round draft pick, which was part of the package that Jim Benning sent to Tampa Bay as part of the J.T. Miller deal.
The fanbase has shown plenty of anxiety about the conditional first-rounder that went to the Lightning; I feel like this additional pick flew under the radar a little bit.
The Canucks have actually done pretty well with their third-round picks over the last few years. Remember that glorious experience of watching 2013 pick Cole Cassels shut down Connor McDavid during the 2015 OHL playoffs—then end up so broken that he never regained that form again?
Here's the list of Vancouver's third-rounders from the Benning era:
2014: Nikita Tryamkin - 66th
2015: Guillaume Brisebois - 66th
2016: Will Lockwood - 64th
2017: Mikey DiPietro - 64th
2018: Tyler Madden - 68th
Of course, when I think of Lightning third-rounders, my mind jumps immediately to Brayden Point, chosen 79th in 2014. Tampa Bay also plucked Anthony Cirelli late in the third round in 2015, 74th overall.
It'll be years before we find out whether Julien BriseBois hit with the pick he got from the Canucks. At 71, the Lightning chose Swedish goalie Hugo Ainefelt, who backstopped the Swedes to gold with their overtime win over Russia at the U18 Championship back in April.
Also on the topic of the draft and the Canucks' scouting department, Patrick Johnston from The Province has a bit of an update in this story:
Johnston leads with the tragic story of Doug Gasper, who was one year into scouting the WHL for the Canucks when his son, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren were killed in a head-on collision in Saskatchewan just days after the 2018 draft—where Gasper, presumably, had a hand in the selection of Jett Woo. In the wake of the tragedy, Gasper is now returning closer to home as assistant general manager for the Brandon Wheat Kings.
Johnston reports that Gasper is the fourth Canucks' amateur scout to leave the team this summer. Chris MacDonald, who had been with the team since the Mike Gillis era and had been working in Ontario and Quebec, has joined the Arizona Coyotes as their director of European scouting, while Dan Palango and Paul Gallagher also won't be back.
According to a July article
from Johnston, Palango had worked at Mike Gillis' player agency before he was hired as a Canucks scout by Gillis. He worked as a cross-checker in Ontario, taking a second look at players that were already on the team's radar. Gallagher had been with the team for two seasons, "after a long career scouting the Maritimes and Quebec for the Florida Panthers."
The team has not yet made an announcement about how those roles will be filled, or if new scouts will be added to the roster for next season.
Now—back to the current roster.
The NHL's European player media tour is underway in Stockholm, and Sportsnet's Chris Johnston caught up with Elias Pettersson:
From what we've already seen of Pettersson, it's no surprise that he's hoping to come back next season with some new tricks up his sleeve.
Meanwhile, in Minnesota, Brock Boeser scored twice on Wednesday and was named player of the game, but his Team Bic won't get a chance to defend the John Scott Cup after failing to advance to Da Beauty League's playoffs next week following a 12-5 loss to Tria.
Boeser finished up this year with nine goals and 17 points in seven games—not quite the same torrid pace that saw him score 34 points in nine games as he was returning from his back injury last season.
Still—plenty of style points!
No new update on Brock's dad
since Tuesday, when his mom Laurie reported that Duke's condition was essentially unchanged but that he was continuing to battle in ICU and now getting better-quality rest.
On a happier note, a healthy Sven Baertschi checked in with Sportsnet 650 on Thursday:
Though he's a bit of a forgotten man after playing just 26 games last season, Baertschi sounds determined to keep himself in the mix for a top-six spot despite all the competition at forward.