Call me crazy or whatever else you would like, but first, hear me out. J.T. Miller is one of the Canucks more valuable players, especially this season but many factors come to play on this one. Miller is a great hockey player, yes, he can fetch the young Vancouver Canucks a pretty penny on the market. The Canucks lack of future cap space may force them to lose at least one of their big names and trading J.T. Miller for younger pieces could help resolve that situation. Lastly, it has worked for other teams, why wouldn’t it work for Vancouver?
How Miller Arrived In Vancouver
Flashback to the 2019 NHL Entry Draft in Vancouver, where then-general manager Jim Benning pulled off what is now one of his best moves at the helm of the Vancouver Canucks, although then it was scrutinized by Canucks fans and Vancouver media. The Canucks acquired J.T. Miller who at the time was a third-line forward from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for goaltender Marek Mazanec, 2019 third-round pick, and 2020 conditional first-round pick. The third-round pick was used on Hugo Alnefelt and Tampa Bay flipped the first-round pick to the New Jersey Devils among other pieces for Blake Coleman. Although at the time Miller’s welcome to Vancouver was not warm since then fans of the Canucks have grown to love him as he has played a huge role in where the Canucks are at now. So why trade him?
J.T. Miller’s Trade Value
The main reason the Canucks would trade J.T. Miller is his value is at an all-time high. Miller is 28 years of age (29 in March), he can play center or wing, and either side of the ice. Back in 2019, he fetched two draft picks and a player, fast forward to 2022 Miller has played over 150 games while averaging almost a point per game while being able to play on the powerplay as well as the penalty kill. Showing that he could be a key piece to a team looking to make a deep playoff run. So where does his value lay now? Likely still involves a first-round pick for starters, followed by a prospect or young player, and depending on who that player may be a pick ranging from the second to the fourth round.
Potential Trade Ideas
Now that we have established J.T. Miller’s trade value and looked at how he found himself in Vancouver let’s look at some potential suitors and deals. Miller’s most likely suitors would be a contender who could afford Miller’s $5.25 million salary-cap hit. Team’s such as Columbus, Nashville, Minnesota, and maybe Colorado. What would potential deals look like with these teams?
Of the deals above which would be in the Canucks best interest? All four fill the Canucks biggest need with a young right-handed defenceman. The Blue Jackets deal is intriguing aside from the fact Ceulemans is still 19 years of age playing for the Brooks Bandits of the AJHL. Max Domi is on an exciting part of this deal as he would be a great fit alongside his former London Knights teammate Bo Horvat. In the Nashville deal, the Canucks receive two young defencemen, Fabbro playing alongside Quinn Hughes has the potential to be electric while Prokop is currently playing in WHL and has 17 points in 27 games with the Edmonton Oil Kings. Minnesota would send the Canucks a young forward and defenceman as well as a pick for Miller and Juulsen, Addison would be a significant upgrade to Juulsen while Minnesota gets a first-line center in J.T. Miller. As for Colorado Miller may not fix their issues completely but he would give them even more firepower, while Vancouver gets two young players one of which being former Vancouver Giant Bowen Byram.
Is Miller Really Worth Trading?
Yes, Miller is great. He gives it 100% game in and game out, fans love him, his teammates seem to love him. So, why would the Canucks trade him, it comes down to J.T. Miller being the right player at the wrong time. The Canucks are not ready to compete for a Stanley Cup, by the time they are truly ready J.T. Miller will be a free agent and the Canucks could lose him or Horvat for nothing. It is a tough decision but tough decisions win championships and a J.T. Miller trade should bring the Canucks that much closer to their first Stanley Cup.
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