Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Vancouver Canucks

Introducing the Canucks 2016 draft class

by Ryan Biech / Vancouver Canucks
The Vancouver Canucks held five picks going into Day 2 of the 54th Annual NHL Entry Draft. Upon selecting London Knights defenceman Olli Juolevi 5th overall in Day 1, the Canucks drafted one other blueliner and four forwards. Here's a closer look at the players who were selected and what they bring to the table.

RW William Lockwood - USNDTP — selected 64th overall

With their first pick of the second day of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, the Canucks selected forward William Lockwood from the United States National Development program. Lockwood posted 33 points, 13 goals and 20 assists, in 59 games for the program. He then represented the United States at the U18 World Championships in North Dakota where he put up 7 points in 7 games on the way to capturing a Bronze Medal.

Lockwood is a 5’10” right handed shot winger who is regarded as a ball of energy on the ice who never gives up on a play using his speed to create opportunities for himself. Skating is his strongest skill, and he uses that to his advantage.

Lockwood is committed to the University of Michigan next season where he will look to round out his game at one of the best NCAA programs in the United States.

D Cole Candella - Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL) - selected 140th overall

With the pick acquired in the Erik Gudbranson trade with the Florida Panthers, the Canucks selected left handed defenceman Cole Candella from the Hamilton Bulldogs of the OHL. Regarded as a jack of all trades kind of defenceman that can help with generating offence and isn’t afraid to get dirty in the defensive zone. But has shown the ability to play that gritty style of game without taking too many penalities.

In 37 games this season, he posted 4 goals and 16 assists, so he has shown already that he can put up points. His point per game rate of 0.54 PPG was ranked 6th amongst draft eligible OHL defenceman. Canucks first round pick Olli Juolevi finished the season 4th in the same group.

He will look to make an impression at Young Stars this fall, and then return to the OHL to round out his game. He may be a bit of a long term project for the Canucks but he shows all the signs of developing into a serviceable defenceman.

LW Jakob Stukel - Calgary Hitmen (WHL) - selected 154th overall

With their 154th overall pick, the Canucks turned their attention to the WHL and selected overage winger Jakob Stukel from the Calgary Hitmen. Ranked as the 82nd best North American skater, Stukel posted 56 points, which included 34 goals, in 57 games with the Hitmen after being traded there by the Vancouver Giants earlier in the season, where he had two goals and two assists in 12 games.

His 36 goals were the 19th most goals in the WHL this past season.

Stukel has shown the ability to put up points and generate at a very impressive rate, thus can see why the Canucks snapped him up early in the 6th round. He possesses good skating abilities, an effective release and awareness that he uses to help generate offence.

The young winger was born in Surrey, B.C. and is a product of the Cloverdale Minor Hockey Association. He will return to the WHL next season and will look to build off an impressive season last year.

C Rodrigo Abols - Portland Winterhawks (WHL) - selected 184th overall

Early in the 7th round, the Canucks selected 20 year old Latvian forward Rodrigo Abols from the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL. That name may sound familiar, as he was an invitee to the Canucks Young Stars roster last year in Penticton where he showed very well.

In his first season in the WHL, Abols posted 20 goals and 29 assists in 62 games for the Winterhawks. He also represented Latvia at the World Junior Division 1 tournament where he put up 5 points in games. He finished the season presenting Latvia at the World Championships where put up one assist in 7 games.

Known to be a hard working centre who uses his strength and speed to create offence. He is very good at battling for the puck down low and trying to drive the puck to the net. He has the raw tools that he will look to further develop. Since Abols is 20 years old, there is the chance that he may ply his trade for the Utica Comets of the AHL as early as next season

C/LW Brett Mckenzie - North Bay Battalion (OHL) - selected 194th overall

With their final selection of the day, the Canucks went back to the OHL and selected North Bay Battalion forward Brett Mckenzie. Known as a hard working, who isn’t overly physical but is noticeable in all three zones. He posted 26 goals and 27 assists in 66 games for North Bay, then followed that up with 5 points in 11 playoff games for the Battalion.

McKenzie is another overager, after being passed over in last years draft but he showed this year enough offensive output to warrant the Canucks taking him the 7th round. Measuring in at 6’2” and 182 lbs, Mckenzie is well on his way to have the size needed for the NHL.

The Ontario born forward will return to the OHL next season with hopes of taking on a leadership role for a team looking to make hay in the playoffs.

View More