Trading up possible

BOB MACKIN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:58 AM ET

Steve Tambellini has heard it all before.

This year's NHL Entry Draft isn't as deep as previous ones.

"If you look back, you hear those comments a lot," said the Vancouver Canucks' vice-president and assistant general manager. "There are going to be players that come out of this draft that are strong, solid players that play in the NHL for a long time."

Tambellini's prediction? It'll be unpredictable after the first half dozen picks.

"It's going to be all over the map," Tambellini said.

The Canucks choose 25th overall in the first round. Tambellini said the club could trade up for a better spot if the right deal comes along. The team's draft committee, headed by GM Dave Nonis, is open to any offer, even one that would see the departure of 2004's first rounder Cory Schneider. The Boston College netminder is among several stuck below superstar Roberto Luongo in Vancouver's goaltending corps and could be trade bait for the goal-starved Canucks.

The Canucks pick third in the second round, thanks to last July's Dan Cloutier trade to the L.A. Kings. The Canucks also go back-to-back in the fifth (145th and 146th) plus singles in the sixth and seventh.


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