The Vancouver Canucks are officially under new management and coaching and seemingly have a plan for the future. That future plan like others has an end goal of the Canucks hoisting the Stanley Cup. The question now arises, how will they reach that goal? They have three options, rebuild, retool, or stay in their current course. For this one, we will focus on trades centred around a rebuild.
For a Canucks rebuild they will need to move on from players aged 30 and above as well as a few players in their 20s that hold value. All packages will involve prospects and or draft picks. Their end goal will be playoff contention within the next five seasons if all goes well. Now it is time to look into the players on the move and who or what the Canucks will be getting in return.
With the Canucks playoff hopes fading and the Canucks need for future salary-cap space backup goaltender Jaroslav Halak should be the first Canuck on the move. The 16-year veteran goaltender could prove to be an asset to most playoff teams although he has had quite the disappointing season thus far. Regardless the Canucks should be able to fetch a late-round draft selection for the journeyman goaltender. Although Halak holds a no-movement clause which could make a deal more complicated.
Trade: Colorado receives Halak and Vancouver receives 2023 fifth-round draft pick
Luke Schenn is interesting. He definitely does not fit into the Canucks rebuild plans, while being a 14-year veteran defenceman with two Stanley Cups under his belt he could fetch anywhere from a late-round draft pick to a low-end prospect. Although the Canucks would need to find the right trading to maximize Schenn value, unfortunately for Vancouver the perfect trade partner is their division rival Edmonton Oilers.
Trade: Edmonton receives Schenn and Vancouver receives 2022 fifth-round draft pick
Tanner Pearson’s name is yet to find itself in the rumour mill, although with a Canucks rebuild manned by Jim Rutherford, the man who traded Pearson to Vancouver back in 2019 it would not come as a surprise if he was traded to a contender. Pearson himself though does hold more value than Halak and Schenn. The Canucks should be able to acquire an early to mid-round draft pick and lesser prospect in return for Pearsons services.
Trade: Nashville receives Pearson and Vancouver receives 2022 second-round draft pick, Luke Prokop
It has been widely publicized the past few weeks the Canucks are looking to make a move and J.T. Miller constantly finds himself in the middle of all the trade talks. Trading Miller would be a great way to start the Canucks rebuild as well as bringing in a good-sized hall for a player who may not be on the Canucks roster come the 2023-24 season. A trade of Miller should net the Canucks a first-round draft pick, prospect or two, and potentially another later-round draft pick.
Now yes Brock Boeser is still young and the Canucks could very well use him in their rebuild, but Boeser could be a hot commodity to any of the other 31 NHL teams. In five NHL seasons, Boeser has scored 20 goals three times and will likely score at least 20 this season sitting on 12 goals in 40 games. Considering Boeser’s goal-scoring ability and age the soon to be restricted free agent could fetch a similar package to countryman J.T. Miller above.
Other players the Canucks could look to trade in the case of a rebuild would be Tucker Poolman, Matthew Highmore, Alex Chiasson, Justin Dowling, and Travis Hamonic. All of which hold around the same value in mid to late-round draft picks, or a low-end prospect.
Is a Rebuild The Right Move?
The question remains, is a rebuild the right move for Jim Rutherford and company? If the Canucks and their fans can be a little more patient then yes a rebuild could set them up for success for years to come. Although it would come with risks. Captain Bo Horvat has been with the Canucks for eight seasons of “rebuilding” already and young players such as Vasily Podkolzin, Nils Hoglander, Quinn Hughes, and Elias Pettersson would all be entering their respected primes during said rebuild. Fans would also have to pay top dollar in an already expensive Vancouver market just to watch their team lose for a few more. Rebuilds are tough but if done right they are worth it.
Main image credit: