The odds of the Vancouver Canucks winning the 2022 NHL Draft Lottery were exceptionally low, so it wasn’t surprising to anyone that they didn’t move up the draft. The Canucks had the 15th-worst record in the NHL this past season so they will pick at 15th overall in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.
The winners of the draft lottery? The Montreal Canadiens and New Jersey Devils saw their numbers drawn in the lottery and will pick first and second-overall. Call the Devils the big winners, jumping up to 2nd overall from 5th overall despite just an 8.5 per cent chance of doing so.
It's particularly exciting for the Canadiens, since they'll be hosting the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, even if it was the most likely outcome based on the draft lottery odds. The scene in Montreal could be absolutely wild.
As for the Canucks, they have never picked 15th overall in their history, though they have picked 14th and 16th.
The Canucks grabbed Michael Grabner 14th overall in the 2006 draft and R.J. Umberger 16th overall in 2001. Reaching way back, the Canucks also took Jim Hargreaves 16th overall in their very first entry draft in 1970.
Some great players have been drafted 15th overall, including the Canucks’ own J.T. Miller, who was drafted 15th overall by the New York Rangers in 2011. Miller has since developed into a top-tier NHLer, leading the Canucks in scoring this past season with 32 goals and 99 points.
Of course, Miller pales in comparison to a few of his other fellow 15th-overall picks: Hall-of-Famers Joe Sakic, Mike Bossy, and Al MacInnis.
Joe Sakic, or “Burnaby Joe,” was one of the greatest players of his generation. His 1,641 points not only surpasses every other player taken in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft but is 9th all-time, with more points per game than Gordie Howe, Mark Messier, and Jaromir Jagr.
Mike Bossy is only one of the greatest goal-scorers in NHL history, with 573 goals in just 752 games. His goals-per-game is the best in NHL history, if only a hair ahead of Mario Lemieux. His legacy might have been greater if his career hadn’t ended at the age of 30 due to injuries.
And finally, there’s Al MacInnis, who won both a Norris Trophy and Conn Smythe Trophy during his 22-year career. He was the owner of one of the greatest slap shots of all time, with seven victories at the NHL’s hardest shot competition at the All-Star Game.
The odds that the Canucks get a future Hall-of-Famer at 15th overall are low but it shows that the Canucks can still get a great player even if they don’t have the first-overall or even a top-10 pick.
A few other notable names who were drafted 15th overall: Erik Karlsson, Alexei Kovalev, Alexander Radulov, Pierre Mondou, Dylan Larkin, and Cole Caufield. Larkin and Caufield, as rather recent picks, are of particular interest, as they both have potentially out-performed their draft position.
While the Canucks have never picked first-overall, they have briefly held the first-overall pick — then-GM Brian Burke acquired and then traded the first-overall pick in 1999 as part of the series of deals that landed the Canucks both Sedin twins, with Daniel going second-overall and Henrik going third-overall.