Mike Gillis stayed true to his word and drafted the best overall athlete available to him with the 26th pick today in the 2012 NHL entry draft.
Mike Gillis said "This is the guy we wanted. Size and character. We had some opportunities to move this pick. We weren't moving if he was available."
The Vancouver Canucks selected Brendan Gaunce. TSN had him ranked #20 prospect in this draft, and was the highest available prospect left on the BIG TSN Board.
So when it was all said and done it looks like Mike Gillis (Canucks GM) was telling the truth. The Canucks have said all along that they have lots of interest in Luongo.
But the best fits, and the likeliest destinations haven't changed. Florida and Toronto are the two teams he's likely dealing with, and we could see a trade sometime over the summer.
Gaunce can play Center or Left wing, he can be a top 6 forward that can be really difficult to play against says Bob McKenzie in the post pick comments.
Gaunce was quoted as saying to TSN, "Getting drafted is something special. Getting picked on Friday night is great. I'm lucky to have my brother drafted by Colorado. So this is fun to be able to play against him."
2011-12 Team: Belleville
2011-12 Stats: 68 GP, 28 G, 68 PTS
Weight: 215 lbs.
Brendan is big, strong two-way center. He is a good skater with a good stride and he moves well. He can improve his quickness and by doing so, he will become more difficult to stop because with his size, when he gains a step, an opponent is faced with a losing proposition. He is smart and plays the game well both with and without the puck. He makes plays and because he's smart he gets scoring chances and an improved shot can make him that much better offensively. He works without the puck and is also capable of playing on the wing which adds a component of versatility to his game. He will assert with his body, hold off defenders and create advantages for himself and the team with his approach but is not going to be the punishing type. He has shown the ability to raise the level of his play when the games become more demanding and important. He's a very effective player and because he can find a way to contribute in multiple ways, this enhances his play and adds value to a team.