Since entering the league in 1970, the Vancouver Canucks have never had a true No. 1 defenseman.
That’s not to say they haven’t had some decent defensemen, because they have.
And according to GM Jim Benning, even if the Canucks use their fifth overall pick to draft the best defenseman in this year’s draft — say, somebody like Olli Juolevi, Jakob Chychrun, or Mikhail Sergachev — they may still not have a true No. 1.
“I don’t know if there’s a true No. 1 defenseman (in the draft),” Benning told TSN 1040 radio. “If you look through the league right now, there’s maybe eight or ten No. 1 defensemen in the whole league.”
And so the Canucks may choose a winger like Matthew Tkachuk or, perhaps more likely, a center like Logan Brown. If Pierre-Luc Dubois doesn’t get picked at No. 4, he’d certainly be an option, too.
“If we felt there was a true No. 1 defenseman….then that’s where our focus would be,” said Benning. “But having said that, with Henrik Sedin getting older now, we have to look to the future, too.”