Justin Sourdif was drafted 87th overall in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft by the Florida Panthers.
The Vancouver Canucks, his local team held the 82nd pick but decided to use it on defenseman Joni Jurmo out of Finland. The Canucks passing on Sourdif is another example of Vancouver missing out on homegrown talent that is playing less than 45 minutes from their own arena.
An Opportunity Missed:
Justin Sourdif is a solid prospect that has the tools to become an everyday NHLer. Not only does Sourdif have a great shot, but his high offensive awareness allows him to find open space to create scoring opportunities. Although not the biggest player, Sourdif still brings a physical aspect by using his low center of gravity to drive through opponents. Lastly, Sourdif is a great skater. He has a great combination of speed and agility which helped him score 26 goals last year. Sourdif is a great prospect that many teams including the Canucks will regret passing on.
Historical Missed Opportunities by the Canucks:
This is not the first time the Canucks have had an opportunity to draft a Giants star and went in another direction.
2006 is where the Canucks missed out on future Stanley Cup Champion Milan Lucic. The Canucks traded their second-round pick (46th) to Buffalo for Mika Noronen. He played four games for the Canucks while Lucic who was drafted 50th overall won the cup against the Canucks in 2011. Lucic is closing in on 1000 games and could have been that great protector the Canucks needed when the Sedin’s played. Lucic was a fan favorite with the Giants, but the Canucks missed out on a golden opportunity to have him as part of their franchise.
In the 2009-2010 season, Brendan Gallagher put up 41 goals and 81 points and helped lead the Giants to the third round of the playoffs. His 41 goals were good enough for seventh in the WHL but it was his determination and gritty play style that made him a fan favorite in Vancouver. When the fifth round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft came along, many thought the Canucks would jump on the opportunity to draft Gallagher. Unfortunately, they used the 145th overall pick on defenceman Adam Polasek while Montreal drafted Gallagher two picks later at 147th. Polasek played zero games in the NHL while Gallagher has become one of the most important players in the Montreal lineup.
In 556 games, Gallagher has put up 340 points while being named an assistant captain the last six seasons. The two-time 30-goal scorer has also won gold with Canada at the 2016 World Championships. Gallagher’s willingness to get to the net and put his body on the line led him to become a premier player in the NHL. Although Gallagher is a smaller player, he continues to have success even scoring against the Canucks in the 2020-2021 season. Gallagher is a player Giants fans would love to have seen in Canucks colors.
Jordan Martinook has had a decent NHL career so far. In 377 games, he has registered 104 points. The Canucks had a chance to draft the former Giant in the second round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Instead the Canucks went with Alexandre Mallet who has played zero games in the NHL. Jordan Martinook did not put up eye-popping numbers in his final season with the Giants only registering 64 points in 72 games, but his size and nose for the net lead him to put up 40 goals in his draft year. Martinook was drafted one pick after the Canucks took Mallet at 57th overall. Martinook remains a solid bottom-six forward to this day while Mallet is currently playing the Czech Extraleague.
The Exact Type Of Player The Canucks Need:
Justin Sourdif is a talented winger that any organization would be lucky to have. The frustrating part is why the Canucks continue to dismiss players from the Giants during the draft. Sourdif has back to back seasons of over 20 goals and has gotten better season by season. He has a shot that score from anywhere in the offensive zone, and playmaking ability that can help drive offense. This is going to be another pick that the Canucks will dread in the future as Sourdif should be a solid NHLer in the future. The Canucks need to pay more attention to the team in their backyard as the Giants have continually pumped out NHL talent over the past 20 years.