Canucks take centre Brendan Gaunce with first round pick in NHL draft
Seeking size and skill up front, the Vancouver Canucks hope they found both in Belleville Bulls centre Brendan Gaunce.
The Canucks took the 6’2” 215-pounder with the 26th selection in Friday’s NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh.
The Markham, Ontario native scored 20 goals and registered 68 points in 68 games in his second season in the Ontario Hockey League. He is described as a solid two-way player with the type of leadership skills that could one day make him a captain at the NHL level.
However, there are some concerns about his quickness, as there often are with big players.
Gaunce was the 17th ranked prospect in the draft according to The Hockey News and was rated 20th by TSN.
Canucks general manager Mike Gillis says the club received offers from other teams for the 26th pick, but refused to move it as long as Gaunce was available.
Gaunce’s brother Cameron was a second-round pick of the Colorado Avalanche in 2008, so there is a strong chance the two will face-off in the NHL in years to come.
Rounds two through seven of the draft take place Saturday.