Report: Vancouver Canucks Finally Finds the Hidden Gem After Many Years of Search…

Should We Be Talking More About Kirill Kudryavtsev?

The Vancouver Canucks, like many teams, have struggled to find standout players in the later rounds of the NHL Entry Draft. However, Kirill Kudryavtsev, their seventh-round pick from 2022, might just change that narrative.

Historically, the Canucks have had limited success with late-round draft picks. In the last two decades, only two such players, Aidan McDonough and Mario Bliznak, have played in the NHL, each managing to score a single goal before fading away. Making it to the NHL is notoriously difficult, requiring players to excel at lower levels before even getting a chance at the big league.

Kirill Kudryavtsev, a 20-year-old defenseman, shows promise with his solid puck-handling skills and smart defensive play. Over three seasons with the Soo Greyhounds in the OHL, he’s proven to be a productive blueliner, focusing on improving his gap control and playing quicker and closer to teammates and opponents. Kudryavtsev believes these adjustments will aid his transition to the NHL.

Despite his potential, the challenge remains whether he can adapt to the faster pace of the AHL and, eventually, the NHL. J.D. Burke of Elite Prospects describes Kudryavtsev as “decently mobile and skilled” but lacking a standout quality that would make him a surefire NHL player.

In the past, seventh-round picks often had unique qualities overshadowed by flaws. However, today’s draft process is a more precise reflection of talent, reducing the chances of finding hidden gems. Kudryavtsev’s journey to the NHL will be challenging, as he will be one of eight defensemen on the Abbotsford Canucks’ roster next season, and the youngest with no professional experience.

Despite the odds, Kudryavtsev has youth on his side and room to grow. While many of his peers are already reaching their professional peaks, he still has time to develop. If he can continue to improve and adapt his game, Kudryavtsev could become an intriguing prospect for the Canucks in the coming seasons.

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