PROSPECT REPORT #1
I’ve decided to add a new section to my blog, mainly focusing on Canucks Prospects.
However, I won’t go with the usual suspects in Cody Hodgson or Michael Grabner, instead the first Prospect Report will be on Canucks 2007 first-round pick, Patrick White.
At the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the Canucks hold the 25th selection in the first round. Players like Patrick Kane (1st overall), James van Riemsdyk (2), Kyle Turris (3), Sam Gagner (6), Angelo Esposito (20), Mikael Backlund (24) were all selected by their respective teams. At the 25th selection, players like David Perron, Brendan Smith and Nick Petrecki were still available, but Canucks chose to select a player from the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers, with the name of Patrick White.
A lof of people were surprised by this, as it seems unanimous that David Perron was a much better and safer choice. But…this is still 2009. Although David Perron is already playing his second season with the St. Louis Blues, earning 13G, 14A in 62 games last year, and 9G, 29A so far this season, meanwhile Mr. White is still playing at the WCHA level with the Minnesota Golden Gophers, it’s still way too early to tell; and we’ve seen a lot of late-bloomers with tremendous NHL careers.
But who is Patrick White?? Canucks 06 first-rounder – Micheal Grabner and 08 first-rounder Cody Hodgson are household names in Vancouver, and perhaps in a lot of other hockey towns as well, but Patrick White???!!!
Maybe some insights by Canucks Fanz Columnist Farhan Devji’s article can help us know him better? Farhan quoted various scouts prior to the 2007 draft said the following:
“…White is one of the more complete players in the draft, with no glaring weaknesses…”
“I hate to cross compare stats but Sam Gagner had 11 goals in 40 some games in the USHL last year. This year White had 8 goals in 12 games…”
“[White]…is hard to knock off of the puck. Great shot. Loves to fish out pucks down low and take them out from and bury it. Possible 2 way sniper.”
“…with the game on the line there wasn’t anybody as clutch as him.”
“The best stick handler in ther draft beside Pat Kane.”
Best stick-handler besides Patrick Kane??? Really???!!!!!! REALLY????
Well, we don’t know about that, but of course these comments were made in 2007, so… anyways, let get to know a bit more about Mr. White.
Patrick was born Jan 20, 1989, and grew up in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. White joined his high school hockey team in Grand Rapids and wasn’t noticable during his first season. But he would quickly improve his play and by his third season with the school team, White was already leading his team in scoring with 52 points in 30 games. He earned the Associated Press All-State Honorable mention, and also helped his team to finish runner-up at the State High School Boys Hockey Tournament.
Then during his senior year White repeated his success with 49 points in 30 games and was named the Associated Press Player of the Year.
In 2007, Patrick White was ranked 23rd overall among North American skaters, and was subsquently drafted in the first round by the Canucks.
As a first-rounder, Patrick returned to Minnesota and joined the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers for the 07-08 season. But due to the depth of the team, White played limited minutes and only gathered 10 points in 45 games. He did however led the team in terms of plus-minus at a rating of +9.
Entering the 2008-09 season, White again returned to the Golden Gophers for his sophomore season. However, despite the exit of experience players like Kyle Okposo to the NHL, White wasn’t able to secure more ice-time or improved his point production as a third-line center.
Despite having two somewhat disappointing seasons with the Gophers, Patrick has been improving his play of late, shown by his overtime game-winning goal during the 2009 Dodge Holiday Classic against the Northeastern University. White scored two goals in this two-game tournament.
During this past Saturday, the Gophers played their last game of the season, and it was also the teams last chance at clinching home ice-advantage for the conference playoffs. In a 2-0 win over Michigan Tech, Patrick secure the win in the second period with a slap-shot which was redirected by Tony Lucia.
Doesn’t sound too exciting right? Well yes and no. History showed that Patrick is a slow starter, and he needs his time to build confidence before he can excel. I think the up-coming playoffs for the Gophers will be a good test for White to showed that his is capable of stepping up to the next level. But with the depth in the Canucks/Moose organization, there really isn’t any need to rush Patrick into dropping out of college to join the team.
If you ask me today, I honestly don’t think Patrick White will be the next Patrick Kane. I would probably compare him to the Kesler of 2006 at best. But still, he has the potential to improve himself, and if he doesn’t, well we still have Michael and Cody.