With the fifth pick in the 2016 NHL Draft the Vancouver Canucks have selected Olli Juolevi from the London Knights in the OHL.
About Olli Juolevi
The Vancouver Canucks selected arguably the most well-rounded defender from the 2016 NHL Entry Draft Class. Juolevi led the London Knights defense with 42 points during the OHL regular season, but it’s his all-around ability and high hockey-IQ that really stand out. His smooth skating ability and confidence in all three zones will make the Vancouver Canucks a better team sooner rather than later.
One thing that Juolevi could look to improve is his physical prowess, as well as his drive from shift-to-shift. Playing on an offense-heavy team like the London Knights made it easy for Juolevi to let his teammates carry the brunt of the load at times, but the Vancouver Canucks will be looking for Juolevi to jump in on plays more frequently at the NHL level. There is certainly room for the 6-foot-3 defender to grow in terms of muscle, but height is something that cannot be taught and at 18, Juolevi has a lot of potential to be a star in the NHL.
The Vancouver Canucks chose Juolevi over some of the other top-rated prospects in the draft, including Matthew Tkachuk, and Mikhail Sergachev.
How This Affects The Vancouver Canucks Plans
The selection of Olli Juolevi immediately helps bolster the Vancouver Canucks prospect pool. The Canucks may not have the most impressive prospect system, especially after trading away Hunter Shinkaruk and Jared McCann, but Juolevi will help change that. Every team is looking for an impact player and there’s no reason to believe Juolevi can’t step in sooner rather than later to bolster Vancouver’s defensive depth.
With young players already in place in Vancouver, including Bo Horvat, Markus Granlund, Jake Virtanen, Sven Baertschi, and Ben Hutton along with Jordan Subban and Thatcher Demko in the AHL, the Canucks look like they’re heading in the right direction.