Thursday, April 20, 2006

'Nucks Surfing

Whatever GM Dave Nonis had with him to the draft drawing last year when the Vancouver Canucks snagged the no. 10 overall pick, he might want to have with him again today. The 2006 NHL draft drawing will take place at 9 AM today and the Canucks will win the rights to anywhere between the 10th and 14th overall picks.


While we're talking about the draft, Matt MacInnis (Hockey Futures) has a round-up of the Canucks' ten European prospects who played in Europe. One name of note is Kiril Koltsov, who of course, spent some time a couple of years ago playing for the Manitoba Moose:

Koltsov enjoyed a career season this past year while skating for Avangard Omsk. He was amongst the elite Super League defensemen on a short list with very few names, including former NHLers Dmitri Yushkevich and Alexander Giroux. The young defenseman stood out at both ends of the ice, finishing the 2005-06 season in a four-way tie for the top defensive sniper position with 13 goals. It is the ease and effectiveness with which Koltsov quarterbacks the power play and joins the offensive rush that makes him so valuable in an opponent’s zone. Koltsov not only produces points, but also makes his linemates better, as he distributes the puck and forces the opposition to keep him in check instead of concentrating on the other four Avangard players on the ice.

As one of the top blueliners in Russia, Koltsov will represent Russia at the World Championships in Riga, Latvia. The 2005-06 season did not go to waste as some were worried. While before the young defender was considered a strong prospect and one of the top young blueliners in Russia, after this season, he is considered as one of the elite Russian defensemen outside the NHL. At this point, however, Koltsov has very little to gain from the developmental perspective if he remains in Russia. Financially, Avangard may make it more appealing for him in the short run, but Koltsov likely already sees the writing on the wall with the significant drop in talent in the Super League this past summer and the likely imminent departure of other talented players back to the NHL.

More from Matt here.


Looking for a team to cheer for for the playoffs? Vancouver's other hockey team, the Vancouver Giants, start their WHL Western Conference championship finals series against the Everett Silvertips tomorrow night at the Pacific Coliseum.

There's also the Manitoba Moose, who start their AHL playoff series against the Syracuse Crunch tomorrow night.


Back to the NHL... I'll post my round 1 playoff predictions tonight. Hope I do better than Maggie the Monkey.

Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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posted by J.J. Guerrero, 6:52 AM


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