Photo credit: The Pipeline Show
The Vancouver Canucks ignored all the trade chatter and whispers on the draft floor in order to take centre Brendan Gaunce of the Belleville Bulls with their 26th overall pick.
What the Canucks are getting:
A solid two-way centre with faceoff ability who can play all forward positions. Gaunce has been a leader with the Belleville Bulls and should be on a shortlist for Canada at the next World Juniors. Gaunce isn’t a physical specimen by any means, but at 6-2 and 201 pounds is willing to go into the corners and engage in physical battles if necessary. The knock on Gaunce is that there are questions about his offensive upside, so most scouts have him pegged as a third-line centre. Gaunce’s skating stride is also suspect, as his first step is rather sluggish. But if Gaunce can improve his stride, he can be a very tenacious forechecker for the Canucks down the road.
Call me, Cody?:
There are a couple similarities between Brendan Gaunce and one-time Canuck Cody Hodgson. On top of the fact the two are both from Markham, their skating strides when drafted out of junior are similar, but both are hard-working players with leadership qualities.
We shared some of the scouting reports on Gaunce earlier this week.
In drafting Gaunce, the Canucks passed on a few other prospects: Henrik Samuelsson, a rugged crash-and-bang winger, and Brady Skjei, a smooth-skating defenseman from the U.S. National Development Program. The Canucks also could’ve opted for Matthew Finn, another defenseman from the OHL’s Guelph Storm, or Ludvig Bystrom, a Swedish defenceman who hails from Ornskoldsvik (aka The Canuck Factory).