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2011 Young Stars: Vancouver Canucks

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames



Drafted in the 3rd round (83rd overall) in 2009

Kevin Connauton may be a defenceman by trade but he has offensive talent in spades. In 73 games with the Manitoba Moose last season, Connauton scored 11 times and ended the year with 23 points. He makes a great first pass and isn't afraid to join the rush. The defenceman is especially dangerous on the power play thanks to his booming shot from the blueline. The 21 year-old has show poise when pressured and while he isn't overly physical, he has learned how to use his 6-foot-1 build to protect the puck.


Left wing

Drafted in the 1st round (29th overall) in 2011

One glance at Nicklas Jensen and it looks inevitable that he will one day play in a top-six role in the NHL. He's an excellent skater, has great vision, can put the puck in the back of the net and is dependable in all three zones. In his first season in the OHL, he scored 29 goals and 58 points for the Oshawa Generals. His postseason stats are also impressive. He potted seven goals and 11 points in 10 playoff games. Consistency has been the biggest knock against him thus far in his young career  but he's shown a willingness to battle through slumps to try to balance out his game.



Drafted in the 2nd round (41st overall) in 2008

At 6-foot-3 and 209 lbs, 21 year-old Yann Sauve provides the Canucks with a big-body, veteran presence on their blueline. He isn't afraid to throw his weight around and mix it up with opponents if he feels players take too many liberties in his zone. Sauve also uses his body well positionally, boxing out forwards trying to dart into his end or forcibly moving them off the puck.  He was once touted as an offensive blueliner but he hasn't progressed nearly as much as he has defensively. That being said, opposing teams still make sure he isn't left with too time and space to get a shot off because when he does let one go, he has a howitzer.

Follow Torie Peterson on Twitter | @ToriePeterson
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