Canucks continue retooling efforts through the NHL draft

The Vancouver Canucks have chosen Jake Virtanen of Abbotsford as their first pick in the NHL draft.

Virtanen, a 17-year-old power forward with the Calgary Hitmen, has been compared to Jarome Iginla and Cam Neely.

In their second choice in the first round and 24th overall, the Canucks drafted smooth-skating Jared McCann, a centre from Stratford, Ontario. He's with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

McCann was the draft choice who came along with defenceman Lucas Sbisa and forward Nick Bonino from the Anaheim Ducks in return for centre Ryan Kesler. The Canucks also received the 85th pick, which they swapped with the New York Rangers for winger Derek Dorsett.

In addition, the Canucks traded defenceman Jason Garrison and the rights to Jeff Costello to the Tampa Bay Lightning for the 50th overall pick in the draft.

On the second day of the draft, the Canucks chose Boston College goalie Thatcher Demko as the 36th pick overall. and then selected 6'6" Russian defenceman Nikita Tryamkin with the 50th pick.

The trading of Kesler, Garrison, and Roberto Luongo has shed huge salaries from the Canucks roster, clearing the way for a more thorough rebuilding process under new president Trevor Linden and new general manager Jim Benning.

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