Barring some miraculous wheeling and dealing from Jim Benning, the Canucks will not be reuniting Quinn Hughes with his younger brother, Jack, at the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. It’s a crying shame, because it’s been far too long since the Canucks were led by an elite brother duo.
The Canucks did not win the draft lottery on Tuesday and will not pick first overall. Nor did they move up into second or third. They didn’t even stay in their original spot at ninth overall, which was the most likely result. Instead, the second-most likely result occurred: the Canucks moved down one spot to tenth overall.
Obviously this is not a disastrous result. It would have been nice for the Canucks to pick in the top three, particularly with the draft taking place in Vancouver, but a top-ten pick is still worth a little hype, even if it’s at the outer edges of the top ten. Teemu Selanne was picked tenth overall, as was Bobby Holik, not to mention Steve Vickers, for those of you who watched hockey in the 70’s.
We’re not going to talk about the times in the Canucks’ history when they’ve picked tenth overall, because we’ll all just get very sad.
The point is, if you have faith in Judd Brackett and the Canucks’ scouting department, as well as Benning’s reputation as a super-scout drafting GM, then you likely have faith that the Canucks can find an impact player at tenth overall to join their young core. That’s small consolation after missing out on the prize of Jack Hughes or Kakko Kaapo, but it’s consolation nonetheless.
Canucks fans had a reason to be uneasy while watching the draft lottery, aside from the half hour of playoff previews seemingly specifically designed to remind all the fans waiting for draft lottery results exactly what they’re missing out on. When the countdown from 15 to 1 skipped over the Chicago Blackhawks at 12th overall, it meant that they had bucked the odds and jumped into the top three. The odds were good that meant the Canucks were moving down and it was all the more galling that the Blackhawks were the culprits.
Of course, if you were watching the draft lottery from Sweden, you would have known about if far sooner. Hockey fans watching on Viasat, a streaming service, got an accidental sneak preview of the three teams jumping into the top three.
damn i just leaked the lottery result pic.twitter.com/iqIMCrOmr7— v (@gbgtomtl) April 10, 2019
The image quickly spread, which meant the top three, though not the order in which they would pick, were leaked at least half an hour before the big reveal.
The Blackhawks, thankfully, won’t get the first overall pick, but will have what could be the most contentious pick at the draft: third overall. The top two are all-but guaranteed to be Hughes and Kaapo, but there are a wide variety of opinions on who is third best. Is it the physically-dominant Vasili Podkolzin? Consensus best defenceman Bowen Byram? The fast and powerful Dylan Cozens? It’s up in the air.
Getting the top prize of either Hughes or Kaapo will be the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils. The Rangers moved up from sixth to second, while the Devils jumped up from third to first, marking the sixth time that Taylor Hall was involved in a draft lottery win, if you include the draft where he was picked first overall.
Hall had some fun with that fact on his Twitter account, where he’s beginning to rival Roberto Luongo when it comes to hockey stars that have significantly changed their public perception through social media.
They talk about Gretzky’s 92 goals or Sittler’s 10 pts in one game as records that may never be broken. But winning 5 draft lotteries in your first 9 years in the league? In 2 different draft lottery eras, no less. That is a record that will stand forever.— Taylor Hall (@hallsy09) April 10, 2019
So, the pick is set. The Canucks will select 10th overall. Let the debates begin over who they should take.