Ranking the Canucks 2000s First-Round Picks

* games played is as of the beginning of this season when this article was originally produced

There was certainly a large disparity of first-round talent drafted in the 2000 s.

Some crews, like the Pittsburgh Penguins, drafted dealership cornerstones such as Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Marc-Andre Fleury at the top of the draft. Other squads, such as the Buffalo Sabres, noted ability such as Thomas Vanek, Tyler Myers, and Keith Ballard later in the first round.

Related: The Sedin Twins and the 1999 NHL Entry Draft

Like many crews, the Sabres also struck out on first-rounders Artem Kryukov, Marek Zagrapan, and Denis Persson. Their 2000 s draft results are similar to many teams. Most dealerships encountered some aptitude in the first round while striking out on others.

The Canucks are no different, with their nine first-rounders in the 2000 s encompassing also be stopped of the spectrum.

9. Patrick White( 2007, 25 th overall)

0 NHL plays played.

Patrick White Vancouver CanucksPatrick White was drafted with high hopes, but soon faded from the remembrances of Canucks devotees.( Longbomb, Wikimedia Commons)

Patrick White is certainly biggest first-round disappointment for the Canucks during the 2000 s. The Minnesota native, who was voted the 2007 Associated Press Minnesota High School Hockey Player of the Time, was one of five first-rounders that time to never reach the NHL .

One of those players was Alexei Cherapanov, the New York Rangers prospect who tragically passed away after collapsing on the bench. The other three at least learnt some AHL time before is inadequate to induce the NHL. White, on the other hand, never came close.

His production tailed off with the Minnesota Gophers in the NCAA, and really he never came close to cracking the NHL. Mike Gillis realized Dave Nonis’s draft day mistake early on, and shipped White to the Sharks in a package for Christian Ehrhoff. While Ehrhoff flourished in Vancouver, White never induced it higher than the KHL in his hockey career.

In his one season playing for the KHL’s Bratislan Slovak, he failed to register a phase in 26 plays. He last played for Dijon in Div. 1 of the Ligue Magnus( France) in 2016 -1 7.

David Perron was selected right after White at 26 th overall, while wallop players such as P.K. Subban and Wayne Simmonds were selected in the second round of that draft.

8. Nathan Smith( 2000, 23 rd overall)

26 NHL games played( 0-0-0)

The good news? Nathan Smith terminated up playing 26 more NHL games than Patrick White. The bad news? Smith and White are tied in career NHL points.

Smith actually played 490 vocation games in the AHL, popping briefly into NHL action in five different seasons. He shaped his two-game NHL debut with the Canucks in 2003 -0 4, before playing two more plays for the franchise in 2005 -0 6 and 2006 -0 7. Smith then understood 13 games with Pittsburgh in 2007 -0 8, before playing nine more plays with Minnesota in 2009 -1 0.

At his top, Smith was a top-six, two-way centre at the AHL level. The AHL was never supposed to be his top, but he was statute as a two-way centre when he was drafted by the Canucks.

The scouting staff envisioned importance in a player of this mold, and passed on a more prolific junior scorer, Brad Boyes, who was selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs next at 24 th overall. Vancouver likewise pass away players such as Steve Ott, Justin Williams and Niklas Kronwall, who were selected before the end of the first round.

7. Jordan Schroeder( 2009, 22 nd overall)

165 NHL plays played( 18 -2 4-42)

In another draft miss by the Gillis administration, Jordan Schroeder was always pegged as a guy who needed to play in the top six in order to be successful. Unfortunately for Schroeder, his knack level wasn’t high enough to catapult him into that role.

Jordan Schroeder Rockford IcehogsJordan Schroeder, Rockford Icehogs( Jenae Anderson/ The Hockey Writers)

The Canucks dedicated him a couple of opportunities from 2012 to 2014, playing him 14 -1 five minutes per nighttime. Nonetheless, he merely wasn’t able to generate offence on a consistent basis. By the time he got to Minnesota, he was only used as a fourth-line, replacement-level, player.

He was recently reunited with John Tortorella in Columbus, and played 21 games( 1-1-2) for the Blue Coat last-place season. Torts coached Schroeder previously in Vancouver, but by this level in his career, his persona is already characterized. He did have a career-best 36 phases in 48 games for the Blue Jacket AHL affiliate, the Cleveland Monsters, last season.

There were some evenly ineffective musicians such as Tim Erixon( 23 rd overall) and Jordon Caron( 25 th overall) drafted after Schroeder. The Canucks did pass on Marcus Johansson( 24 th overall ), and missed out on Ryan O’Reilly( 33 rd overall) as well.

6. Cody Hodgson( 2008, 10 th overall)

328 NHL plays played( 64 -7 8-142)

Cody Hodgson, Buffalo Sabres( Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE)

Cody Hodgson was once on track to become the Canucks best first round picking since they selected the Sedin twins in 1999. First-line centre potential oozed out of his game early in his vocation after the draft. He really threw his identify on the map with 16 levels in six games at the 2009 World Juniors, when Canada beat Sweden for amber. Hodgson contributed the tournament in scoring, and outscored teammates such as John Tavares, Jordan Eberle, Jamie Benn, P.K. Subban and Evander Kane among others.

However, things rapidly came off the rails for the former junior sun. He showed promise during restriction times in Vancouver, but was shipped out of town after Gillis talked about Hodgson’s constant ailments. “” I expended more time on Cody’s issues than every other player blended on our squad the last three years ,” is what Gillis famously told Postmedia shortly after the trade.

Perhaps karma came back to bite the young star, “whos had” two good years in Buffalo before suffer through a horrendous 2014 -1 5 campaign. He was expected to be the Sabres top centre at one point, but registered only 13 phases in 76 games in 2014 -1 5. Hodgson played for one more season in Nashville before calling it ceases at the age of 26.

It was a strange career arc indeed, but you can’t fault the Canucks for making this selection. There were a plethora of busts and mediocre musicians during the first round of that draft. In terms of players drafted after Hodgson in round one, only Erik Karlsson, Tyler Myers, Jake Gardiner, Jordan Eberle and John Carlson went on to become impact NHL players.

5. Michael Grabner( 2006, 14 th overall)

640 NHL plays played( 175 -1 01 -2 76)

Following in the steps of Vanek, Grabner became one of the highest-drafted Austrians of all-time at 14 th overall in 2006. However, he only suited up for 20 games in a Canucks uniform, before Gillis shipped him to the Panthers in an ill-fated trade that brought back Ballard.

Florida made an even bigger mistake by waiving the Austrian prior to the 2010 -1 1 season. He was then picked up by the Islanders, and went on to register 34 aims and 52 phases as a rookie. Grabner was named a Calder finalist that season, although both sets of totals remain vocation high-priceds for the Arizona Coyote. He is currently an unrestricted free agent.

Michael Grabner Arizona CoyotesMichael Grabner, Arizona Coyotes( Jess Starr/ The Hockey Writer)

It was a matter of bad timing for Grabner in Vancouver when Gillis shipped him out of town. The streaky forward didn’t fit into the Canucks top-six, and Gillis constructed the call that defensive magnitude is most important. He ended up being right, although Ballard’s time in Vancouver was riddled with harms and inconsistencies.

Some much less impressive identifies were selected after Grabner during the first round , but Claude Giroux( 22 nd overall) stands out as the steal of that draft.

4. R.J. Umberger( 2001, 16 th overall)

779 NHL games played( 180 -2 12 -3 92)

Well, you can’t really complain about the selection of R.J. Umberger at 16 th overall in 2001. He played more NHL plays than anyone else drafted after him in the first round of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.

The fact that he never played a game for the Canucks is another story wholly. Umberger’s former Ohio State teammate, Ryan Kesler, was also drafted by the Canucks in 2003. Kesler signed his contract with the Canucks before Umberger, and Umberger’s side believed that Kesler signed a contract below market value in order to obtain less from Umberger.

R.J. UmbergerEven though R.J. Umberger( right) was one of the Canucks better first-round picks of the activities of the decade, he never played in Vancouver.( Amy Irvin/ The Hockey Writer)

Umberger famously sat out the entire 2003 -0 4 season, got traded to the New York Rangers, failed to sign, and signed as a UFA with the Philadelphia Flyers in the summer of 2004. At his peak, Umberger was a solid second-line player who was reliable for 50 -5 5 points per season.

3. Luc Bourdon( 2005, 10 th overall)

36 NHL plays played( 2-0-2)

In one of the most tragic narratives in Canucks history, 21 -year-old Luc Bourdon tragically passed away in a motorcycle collision in 2008. It’s an occurrence that shake the team, specially teammate Alex Burrows. Bourdon would have been 31 if he was around today, and who knows what his impact would have been in Vancouver.

Luc BourdonWhile Luc Bourdon never got a chance to show us his full potential in the NHL, the Canucks look to have made a prudent pick by selecting him in 2005.( Icon SMI)

He was on track to become a reliable defender for years to come. Bourdon fared well with the Canucks in 2007 -0 8, played 27 plays while registering two purposes. He was also a prolific defenceman in the QMJHL, and won a gold award with Canada at the World Juniors in 2006. Bourdon was named the best defenceman of the tournament as well.

Bourdon’s accomplishments as a young hockey player are what will be remembered of him. In terms of notable selections after Bourdon, there is really merely one that stands out. Anze Kopitar was selected by the Los Angeles Kings one pick later at 11 th overall.

2. Cory Schneider( 2004, 26 th overall)

409 NHL plays played( 170 wins, 159 losses, 58 overtime damages, 2.43 GAA,. 918 save percentage)

While there were varied levels of success for most of the Canucks first-round picks of the activities of the decade, two clearly stand above the rest. That starts with Marblehead, Massachusettes native Cory Schneider.

Schneider was seasoned to perfection in college and the AHL, and didn’t build his NHL debut until the fifth season after his draft. Soon after, he started to push netminder Roberto Luongo for the starting job in Vancouver, after a couple of stellar seasons as his counterpart.

Cory SchneiderCory Schneider’s strong job as a Canuck sparked the goalie controversy of the decade in Vancouver.( Bob DeChiara-US PRESSWIRE)

Of course, the shocking trade of Schneider to the New Jersey Devils at the 2013 draft brought back one of the Canucks best musicians in Bo Horvat. Schneider on the other hand, continued to put up strong numbers on a weak New Jersey squad. The last two seasons had been uncharacteristically bad for the goaltender, which resulted in the Devils buying out the remaining two seasons of his seven-year contract. He signed off by the New York Islanders in the 2020 offseason but has yet to play a game for his new team.

1. Ryan Kesler( 2003, 23 rd overall)

1001 NHL plays played( 258 -3 15 -5 73)

One of the most infamous and rugged players in Canucks history goes down as the best first-round selection of the 2000 s for Vancouver. In a stacked draft, the Canucks snagged Kesler at 23 rd overall. Even though he didn’t blow the doors off to begin his NHL career, Kesler progressed into one of the most dangerous two-way centres in hockey.

Even though Kesler was the most wonderful Canucks first-rounder of the 2000 s, his ascension was a rocky one. There was the aforementioned conflict with Umberger and an give sheet that virtually encountered Kesler join the Flyers. It wasn’t really until the 2007 -0 8 season that Kesler genuinely started to show signs of becoming a special player.

The peak of his Canucks career came during the 2010 -1 1 season, where the Livonia, Michigan native scored 41 aims, virtually single-handedly overcame the Nashville Predators in the playoffs, and won the Frank J. Selke Trophy.

Kesler’s relation with the fans in Vancouver did start to sour where reference is challenged a trade from the fraternity in 2014. Despite denying that he wanted to leave the club, Kesler forced general manager Jim Benning into a trade with the Anaheim Ducks. He spent five seasons with the Ducks before being placed on long term injured reserved for the remainder of his contract, likely finish his NHL career.

Ryan Kesler, NHL, Anaheim DucksIs it even possible that Ryan Kesler would be moved this season?( Amy Irvin/ The Hockey Novelist)

Regardless of his past with the Canucks, Kesler was easily the best first-round pick that the Canucks produced during the decade. While beliefs of him in Vancouver have wavered, he did give this team 100 per cent of cases on the frost every night during his prime. His struggles didn’t result in the Canucks bringing home a Stanley Cup, but Kesler was easily a major component of the most dominant Canucks squad in squad history.

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