Canuck picks won't be suiting up for Moose

KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:37 AM ET

The Manitoba Moose don't expect to see any immediate benefits from the 2005 National Hockey League entry draft.

Although the parent Vancouver Canucks are excited about the draft, it appears most (or all) of their selections are either headed back to junior or off to college next season.

Vancouver made defenceman Luc Bourdon their first round pick, 10th overall, yesterday in Ottawa.

Bourdon, a 6-foot-3, 220-pounder from Shippagan, N.B., is known as a strong skater with a heavy shot.

Bourdon, who spent last season with Val D'Or of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, will compete for a spot on Canada's World Junior Hockey Championship team after helping Canada to a silver at the under-18 championship in the Czech Republic.

In the second round, the Canucks chose left-winger Mason Raymond of the Camrose Kodiaks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.

Raymond, 19, had a strong season for the Royal Bank Cup finalists and is committed to attending the University of Minnesota-Duluth in the fall.

"He's an extremely quick skater, a guy that can beat you wide and the puck doesn't slow him down," Said Canucks GM Dave Nonis yesterday during a conference call. "He's going to need some time to develop and get a little stronger ... and he'll benefit from playing at least part of his career at the college level."

The Canucks picked goalie Alexandre Vincent in the fourth round.

Vincent, 18, stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 193-pounds, spent last season with Chicoutimi of the QMJHL.

In the fifth round, the Canucks tabbed centre Matt Butcher, 18, who spent last season with Chilliwack of the British Columbia Hockey League.

Defenceman Kris Fredheim, an 18-year-old who spent last season with the Notre Dame Hounds of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, was chosen in the sixth round (185th overall).

Skilled centre Mario Bliznak, an 18-year-old from Trencin, Slovakia, was the Canucks' final pick in the seventh round (205th overall).

MOOSE TRACKS: RW Jason King and C Nathan Smith, who spent last season in Manitoba, were among the 15 players given qualifying offers by the Canucks ... Because C Brandon Reid and RW Fedor Fedorov were qualified last summer, they remain Group II free agents and are still property of the Canucks ... RW Justin Morrison becomes an unrestricted (Group VI) free agent tomorrow and is not expected to be re-signed.


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