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Canucks at 140: Cole Candella

The Vancouver Canucks selected Cole Candella in the 5th round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft with the 140th pick. Cole Candella is the first player in the history of the Hamilton Bulldogs OHL organization to be selected in the NHL Draft. Remember this factoid, as his career potentially represents a unique piece of  draft history. Candella could potentially be the last player to play for the Belleville Bulls to be selected in the NHL Draft (I’m holding out hope that we see a re-entry pick this time next year).

Cole Candella was forced into being the leader on the Bulldogs' blue line the first half of this season. (Photo: Brandon Taylor / Hamilton Bulldogs)

Cole Candella was forced into being the leader on the Bulldogs’ blue line the first half of this season. (Photo: Brandon Taylor / Hamilton Bulldogs)

Two-way defender

Cole Candella has been given an opportunity that so few young men get, the chance to separate himself from hundreds of young men as a legitimate NHL prospect. TSN’s Scott Cullen has a series of articles where he breaks down the statistical probability a player becomes an NHL regular. This helps fans gauge the success of any young prospect in relation to where they were selected in the draft. Cullen’s model (Source) and the outlook for Candella:

No. 136-150
Average Rating: 1.64
Best: Ryan Miller, Andrei Kovalenko, Bryce Salvador
Ranked 7 or better: 2.0%
Ranked 5 or worse: 94.3%
At least 100 NHL games (or extremely likely): 13.4%

10 – Generational
9 – Elite Player
8 – First Line, Top Pair D
7 – Top Six Forward, Top Four D
6 – Top Nine Forward, Top Six D
5 – NHL Regular
4 – Fringe NHLer
3 – Very Good Minor Leaguer
2 – Minor Leaguer, under 50 NHL games
1 – 10 or fewer NHL games

Bryce Salvador is a different player than Candella, but something to keep in mind – he played almost 800 NHL games. Outer marker for sure, but possible goal to one day surpass.

Candella has spent some time playing alongside Canucks offensively minded defenseman Jordan Subban while they were playing for the Belleville Bulls during the 2014/15 season. There is a potential future where they’re both manning the blueline along the Pacific shoreline. He’s going to win over Canucks fans early and often.

About The Author

Krist Hayes

Krist is fan of the game of hockey that has been moonlighting as a blogger recently writing about the OHL's Hamilton Bulldogs. Reckless since his days as a crease-crasher. Tweet him @kristhayes

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Reckless Restraint

A blog for fans of the Hamilton Bulldogs of the Ontario Hockey League. Updates, reports & musings on the team, players, and prospects.

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