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Canucks Report: Draft wrap 2010

Canucks select Patrick McNally, Adam Polasek, Alex Friesen, Johnathan Iilahti, Sawyer Hannay

Saturday, 26.06.2010 / 5:39 PM / News
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Canucks Report: Draft wrap 2010
June 26, 2010

McNally

McNALLY AT 115

The Canucks did not move up into the second or third rounds of Saturday’s draft, opting instead to hang on till the 115th spot to take a crafty defenseman out of the New England Prep system.

Patrick McNally, 6'2", 180 lbs, led his Milton Academy Mustangs in scoring last season with 35 points (14-21--35) in 28 games. He was named the New England Prep School Defenseman of the Year, U.S. Hockey Report's Prep Defenseman of the Year and was a First Team All-New England selection.

Milton's head coach Paul Cannata said, "He certainly stepped in and was a very good hockey player for us. He created a lot of offense from the blue line and provided a lot of spark. He’s a great student, a good kid and a pleasure to coach.”

"He loves to play hockey, carry the puck, skate, and make plays. There's a freshness to his game that is really enjoyable. You don't want to coach that out of him."

McNally is described as a player with size, athleticism, agility, and a passion for joining the rush.

“He’s going to go to Harvard and is a bright young guy and his father is an FBI agent,” said Canucks GM Mike Gillis. “He’s an offensive skating defenseman and we think he’s got a tremendous amount of potential.”

Central Scouting had him ranked 40th heading into the draft. Gillis said he likely slipped to 115th because he was fully committed to Harvard next season, which doesn’t concern the Canucks management who have several young offensive defencemen in their system.

“We think we have got a few of those types of players now and will move to something different,” said Gillis. “[We have] Kevin Connauton, [Evan] Oberg, [Chris] Tanev and now McNally, so we’ve got enough offensive young defenceman.”

NHL Central Scouting's Gary Eggleston

“Pat is an offensive defenseman whose strength is in rushing the puck and putting constant pressure on the defense. He is a very good skater with mobility, speed and quickness. His skating skills and quick hands allow him to escape trouble and move the puck quickly out of danger. In the defensive zone he has very good lateral mobility and closes quickly on the puck carrier, forcing him into quick decisions or mistakes. He is an excellent passer whose passes are accurate and proper for the situation. Doesn't play a physical game, but relies on quick stick and smarts to gain puck possession.”

QUICK FACTS

As a defenseman, McNally led his Milton Academy squad in scoring this past season with 35 points (14-21--35) in 28 games. He was named the New England Prep School Defenseman of the Year, U.S. Hockey Report's Prep Defenseman of the Year and was a First Team All-New England selection.

Currently a junior, McNally is set to join Harvard University for the fall of 2011. His father, Tom, played football at Columbia.

He is a product of the Suffolk Pride in Athletics program which has produced a number of current NHL players including: Eric Nystrom, Mike Komisarek and Chris Higgins.

His most memorable hockey moment was winning the 2009 Massachusetts Tier I Under-18 State Championship in overtime – “we played a team with much more talent then us, but we outworked them and won”.

His very first hockey team was the Long Island Gulls and he likes old western movies because he used to watch them with his grandfather.

FAVORITES

NHL Team: New York Islanders
NHL Player: Mark Streit
Shootout move: “Fake shot to backhand, back to forehand”
Goal celebration: “Raise my arms”
Video Game: NHL ‘10
Movie: Sleepers
TV Show: Seinfeld
Actor: Mel Gibson
Cartoon: Peanuts
Website: youtube.com, facebook.com
Pump-up song: “Lose Yourself” by Eminem
Sport (other than hockey): Lacrosse
Breakfast food: Bagel with peanut butter
Superhero: Superman


Polasek

ADAM POLASEK AT 145

Firstly, no relation to big Libor...

This 6'2", 187 lb. Czech defender played 66 games for the QMJHL's Prince Edward Island Rockets scoring 13 goals and 28 assists for 41 points while amassing 91 penalty minutes. He led all defencemen on his team in scoring and was named to the AMJHL All-Rookie Team following the 2009.10 season.

He’s a guy who got injured and struggled with an injury but played through it. He’s a guy that our scouts like a lot. I didn’t know a whole lot about him but they really liked his upside so we’ll see.”

Polasek is an imposing, hard-hitting defender who is efficient in his own end, though it would be inaccurate to list him as a defensive specialist. Scouts are quick to play up his skating, his reads and hard and accurate slapshot. There’s lots of upside to this physical rearguard.

He was draft eligible in 2009 but was passed over. He is about to turn 19 years old. Polasek was a finalist for RDS Cup as QMJHL Rookie of the Year, as well as the Raymond Lagace Trophy as QMJHL Rookie Defensemen of the Year.

At the 2009 U18 World Junior Championships, the Ostrava, CZE native finished second on his team in scoring with five points (2-3-5) in six games and was the only Czech player to register a plus rating at +1. In 2008.09, Polasek had 20 points (7-13-20) and 68 penalty minutes in 38 games for Vitkovice Ostrava in the Czech junior league.


Friesen

ALEX FRIESEN AT 172

The 5’10” 189 lb, native of Niagara-on-the-Lake went undrafted in his first year of NHL availability, but won attention after OHL coaches named him the hardest working player in the Eastern Conference.

Friesen is quick, intelligent, solid on the forecheck and has a penchant for scoring clutch goals as he racked up seven point in five games with the Niagra Ice Dogs last season. Friesen is a point-a-game player, scoring 60 points in 60 games along with 94 penalty minutes.

The centreman finished second on his team in scoring. This season he was awarded the team’s “Heart of the Team” award. In 2008.09 he received the team’s Humanitarian Award. In 2007.08, the Niagara-on-the-lake, ON native was awarded the Ivan Tennant Award as the Top Academic Player.


Iilahti

JONATHAN IILAHTI AT 175

The 6'0", 167 lb Finnish keeper recently turned 18 years old. The Vaasa, FIN native split time in the Jr. B SM-sarja Q, Jr. B SM-sarja and Jr. A SM-liiga leagues in 2009.10.

In seven games with the Blues U18, the 6’1” goaltender registered a .921 save percentage and 2.20 goals against average. He posted a .917 save percentage and 2.49 goals against average in 14 games with the Blues U18 in the Jr. B SM-sarja league. In 14 games with the Blues U20 in the Jr. A SM-liiga, he registered a .904 save percentage and 2.67 goals against average.

“Our guys love him. He should play at the World Juniors for Finland next year so we’re really pleased that he was there.”

Iilahti started for the Finns at the Under-18 World Hockey Championships and was rated 6th amongst European goalies.


Hannay

SAWYER HANNAY AT 205

One of the youngest players in the draft, Hannay is a 6'4", 190 lb defender who plays for Halifax of the QMJHL. Hannay had 6 points in 54 games and 158 penalty minutes. Despite his young age, Hannay is a mean opponent who loves the physical game. He’s efinitely a stay-at-home defender who has the potential to grow into a truly imposing force in time.

"I enjoy [physical play]," Hannay told RedLineReport.com. "I really like the rough stuff and, in my opinion, that’s the way to play the game. You level with the game, you level with your opponents when you’re playing physical and it brings out the heart in a player. And it’s fun. I love competing at a high level."