Canucks GM Mike Gillis has made no bones about wanting bigger, smarter players. He proved that last night with his first round selection of Belleville Bulls’ 6’2″ center Brendan Gaunce. Today, he continued with that theme with the selection of 3 forwards and 1 defenseman, all at least 6’1″ and 3 of them having committed to play for the University of Maine, Boston University and Yale.
Round 2, 57th overall: Alexandre Mallet, C, Rimouski (6′ 1″, 194 lbs.)
Photo credit: TVA Sports
Undrafted last year and unranked this year, Mallet (@LaMalletos_21) is a physical overager who potted 34 goals and 81 points for the Rimouski Oceanic last season.
The Hockey Writers: Mallet is not simply a fighter that picks up garbage goals around the net, he can also score beauties thanks to a booming slap shot and soft hands, and his goals often come in bunches.
New England Hockey Journal: Older, 1992-born center is like Mitch Moroz: tough, rugged and willing to drop the gloves anytime, anywhere. Although the upside is a bit in question, he has the physical traits and attitude to appeal to the Bruins.
The Chronicle Herald: He also went undrafted last year but broke out with 81 points this year, more than quadrupling his 2010-11 totals. Scouts like his offensive potential, but love his physical play even more.
Round 5, 147th overall: Ben Hutton, D, Nepean (6′ 3″, 195 lbs.)
Another prospect who was passed over in last year’s draft, Hutton (@bhutt10) captained the Kemptville 73s, led the Nepean Raiders to the CCHL championship, and represented Canada East in the World Junior A Challenge.
From BDN Maine Sports:
Ben Hutton, a point-producing 6-foot-3, 195-pound defenseman for the Kemptville (Ontario) 73’s of the Central Canada Hockey League, has verbally committed to attend the University of Maine on a scholarship beginning next fall.
Hutton, who plays in all situations, is the team’s No. 2 scorer with seven goals and 19 assists in 30 games. He leads the team in assists and in power-play points with 12 on four goals and eight assists.
“He’s the best defenseman in our league, by far. He’s like a man among boys out there,” said Kemptville coach and general manager Pat Malloy. “He oozes with pro potential. His skill level is so high.”
“He’s big and his puck skills and hands are off the charts,” added Malloy. “He’s a one-man forecheck breaker, he has a good shot and he’s an above-average skater. He plays 35 minutes a game and plays important minutes against the other team’s top line.”
Malloy said Hutton, who is the team captain, is also a first-class individual.
“He’s a straight arrow from a good family who will do anything to win and will do anything for the team,” said Malloy. “He’s a dream to coach.”
Round 6, 177th overall: Wesley Myron, LW, Victoria (6′ 2″, 190 lbs.)
Photo credit: Grizz Roar
Like Hutton, Victoria, BC native Myron (@Mysie9) played in the 2011 World Junior A Challenge, winning gold while representing Team Canada West.
US Hockey Report: Myron, a tall, lanky kid with the frame of an NHL-type center, is a strong skater who has shown a lot of finish in the BCHL. He was #3 on our list of Top Uncommitted NCAA Prospects (USHR News, 10/25/11), following only Seth Jones (US U-18) and Alex Kerfoot (Coquitlam – BCHL). Myron has the potential to be a top two line center for the Terriers, which, should Charlie Coyle opt to go pro (not a foregone conclusion), would fill a very immediate need. An 8/16/92 birthdate and Victoria, BC native, Myron was also sought by UNH and St. Cloud State. Michigan was reportedly beginning to show interest too.
Grizz Roar: With 24 assists in 23 games the bigger 6’2” 190lbs Myron is the set-up man, “His passing has always been good and it seems to get better every year and his physical play has improved this year” adds Murphy.
Round 7, 207th overall: Matthew Beattie, C/RW, Phillips Exeter Academy (6′ 3″, 175 lbs.)
Photo credit: Phillips Exeter Academy
Because the Canucks love Ivy League players, they reached out and drafted Yale-bound Beattie (@UnBeatable_13) with their last pick of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
College Hockey Perspective: Exeter coach Dana Barbin couldn’t be happier to have had a year’s worth of Beattie’s contribution in his lineup. Said Barbin, “Matt has been outstanding all year in his post-grad year. He is the leading scorer in New England with 28 goals, 29 assists in 18 games. He’s one of my all-time favorites in 25 years here. Matt loves to practice, play, and enjoy the game with his teammates. He’s a real competitor when the going gets tough. His skating is outstanding, explosive and he has pretty darn good hands as well. He needs to improve speed of his shot and put on some weight, but Matt has flown under the radar. He could be the real deal.”
New England Hockey Journal: But as Exeter is enjoying its best season, record-wise, since its New England championship team of 1998-99, the 6-foot-3 Beattie, a Yale-bound postgraduate, is leading the team in scoring with 28-29-57 totals entering last weekend.
That’s even more than the Harvard-bound Hart (21-25-46), who was recently tabbed by Central Scouting as the 60th-ranked North American skater in its midterm draft rankings.
“No one knew who he was,” said Exeter coach Dana Barbin (Exeter, N.H.) of Beattie. “Over the summer he started going around to camps and then people started saying, ‘Whoa.’ He sent me a DVD 15 months ago. I looked at it and said, ‘Oh, yeah.’ He’s been lights out from the first game.”