The Vancouver Canucks select Brendan Gaunce 26th overall.
Here’s the run down on Gaunce:
He is a smart two-way power centre with high-end leadership qualities. He is intelligent in many situations, showing good positional play and the ability to affect the game at both ends of the ice. He is smart with the puck, shows some good vision and makes decisive plays. He uses his size and strength well down low and along the boards, cycling the puck against some stronger and bigger defensemen, causing frustration and often drawing penalties. He possesses good intelligence and instincts, both with and without the puck. He has decent hand skills; although, he is not too flashy in that regard. He gives impressive feeds to his wingers and makes quick decisions with the puck in the offensive zone. He generates chances with timely passes from behind the net. He has a very strong shot with a nice quick release, but is definitely a pass first player. He possesses good playmaking abilities and sees the ice well. He is extremely intelligent, showing a very high IQ level. Gaunce, whose brother Cam is an Avalanche prospect, is a very safe bet to become an NHL player. While his feet are not high-end right now—just like Avalanche forward Ryan O’Reilly was—he can put in the work to improve his skating and make an impact sooner rather than later at the next level.
Here’s what one of our scouts had to say:
“Gaunce is a player who you either like or you just don’t see the upside in. Some have him as a top 10 player, while others have him lower. I view him as a good second line centre with above-average leadership capabilities.”