It's who I wanted the Canucks to take as well. I'm just looking at the pick from all angles and evaluating it based on past directives from MG. When he got here, he preached skill first. Hodgson and Schroeder seemed in line with that philosophy. Rodin also. Now, we see him moving away from that approach to prioritize size.
The PF or the PMD. Those two player types seem to be what MG values most these days. Where before you could absolutely see him take a chance on a boom/bust pick like Aberg or Collberg. Now, we see a shift. Just trying to understand the thought process behind that change.
I agree. The safe pick was the way to go because MG has to start bringing players in, even if it's at the bottom end of the NHL roster. He's got to see the system churn something out. Gaunce makes it easier to expect something from the pipeline. Not to mention, he along with Collberg (less so) were generally regarded to be BPAs at the time. Makes sense from that perspective as well.
Another way to look at this is to analyze the choice between Jensen and Rattie. Canucks took the best combination of size and skill, but not the most skilled F at the time. Rattie may end up being the better scorer in the NHL, as his skill level is higher, but he's less versatile overall. Versatility is key here... It's like you said, harder for a smaller guy to make it on the 3rd line in general. You just have to hope that guys like Jensen and Gaunce don't get completely left behind offensively in the trade off. They have to contribute. Otherwise, it becomes a clear case of skill vs. size, instead of pure skill vs. a better combination of size+skill. MG would be giving up too much in the prior exchange.
I totally agree with you, Jensen has the potential to be a Kopitar-like player with a solid balance of size, skill, and hockey sense. If he can develop the defensive side of his game like Kopitar, the overall package is so valuable (especially come playoffs). Rattie is more of a J.Carter type player with lots of skill and scoring ability. They are required on a team but they typically don't carry a team.