The Vancouver Canucks joined the party of signing their 2013 1st round draft picks on Tuesday, as both Bo Horvat (9th overall) and Hunter Shinkaruk (24th) signed on the dotted lines for their entry-level deals.
Both Horvat and Shinkaruk are centres, both 18 years old and both of them are currently participating, with fellow Canucks prospect Brandon Gaunce, at the World Junior Evaluation Camp in Montreal.
The centre position in Vancouver is again offering plenty of intrigue, with potential spots to fill behind Henrik Sedin and Ryan Kesler, which may give a long look to both Horvat and Shinkaruk. There is certainly no guarantee that they are NHL ready, nor are they necessarily primed to be a 3rd line centre in an NHL line-up, so if I had to guess, it would be at least a year before they really make a push for a line-up spot.
The Canucks have also failed to nurture a top end prospect centre in recent memory in Cody Hodgson, which is a mistake that the club should be looking to avoid with these two new prospects.
With these signings, that, by my count, has 14 2013 draft picks signed on to their entry-level deals, including the entire top 10. Nathan McKinnon, Alexander Barkov, Jonathan Drouin and Seth Jones are all locked up and they will be featured on the blog when the projections are let loose around the start of September. This looks like a good crop of rookies and it will be interesting to see where a lot of them are taken in the draft, if at all.