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Vancouver Canucks Trade Deadline Month

The Vancouver Canucks trade deadline “day” started just over a month ago with the huge Bo Horvat deal. It ended with its thematic opposite as they sent Wyatt Kalynuk to the New York Rangers for future considerations.

Vancouver Canucks Combined Trade Record

It is time to examine the Vancouver Canucks trade deadline. Just to get some focus, let’s list what’s come to Vancouver and what’s gone out starting January 30.


Aatu Räty
Anthony Beauvillier
Vitali Kravtsov
Filip Hronek
Josh Bloom

2023 3rd-round pick (Toronto Maple Leafs)
2023 4th-round pick (Detroit Red Wings)
2024 4th-round pick (New Jersey Devils)

$2,100,000 cap hit


Bo Horvat
Luke Schenn
Curtis Lazar
Riley Stillman
William Lockwood
Wyatt Kalynuk

2023 2nd-round pick
2026 7th-round pick

The End Result

This Vancouver Canucks Trade Deadline was busy. Adding some cap hit isn’t changing the Canucks future all that much. Primarily, that they were unable to get out of long-term injured reserve space means there will be some carryover. That impacts the 2023-24 cap to some degree, depending on bonuses getting hit by players who have them.

On the ice, the impacts are more visible. Sending out Horvat leaves a huge gap at centre high up, and Lazar’s trade mirrors it lower. That’s putting more pressure on J.T. Miller to take the middle. Fortunately, under coach Rick Tocchet, he has improved there. Perhaps not having the “escape hatch” of returning to the wing has him more focussed.

Are the picks the team brought in better than the ones they sent out? The distance between the Canucks second-round pick and the Leafs third-round slot is a large one – around 60 spots. Despite the additional darts to throw, it’s hard to say the value Vancouver got is higher.

Looking at the players, though, it’s easy to see two highlights. The defence has improved, and the team has gotten younger. Both of those were stated goals of his management group, and they did it. It’s not finished, but it is an obvious start.

About A Boy(s)

There is hope that prospect top Räty will be able to remain at centre as he gains experience. That’s not always a guarantee for young players, but as always time will tell. He hasn’t produced with the AHL Canucks much, and the coach isn’t giving him much time. If the goal is to get young players experience, it’s hard to picture averaging less than seven minutes per game will help.

Putting Räty’s use aside, he is a good prospect. He’s not starting as well as hoped just yet, but that’s why he’s a prospect rather than a player. The same can be said about Kravtsov, pulled from a willing Rangers team that couldn’t find a spot for him. It’s odd to call a 23-year-old a prospect, but Kravtsov has played fewer than 150 professional games over the last three years.

The third young prospect – and one perhaps more legitimately named such – is Josh Bloom. A third-round pick from the Buffalo Sabres in 2021, he hasn’t been heavily scouted but shows signs of life in the OHL. Remembering the caveat of overagers in junior leagues, Bloom is not only scoring but has good speed and a high hockey sense. Those are not unwelcome additions for the Canucks.

Veteran Presence

Filip Hronek represents a player the Vancouver Canucks trade gurus have been looking for seemingly ever. Hronek may not be the top-pair, right-side defenceman they hoped for, but neither’s anyone else. The history of their quest, if you need a reminder, is here.

Now, whether he plays with Quinn Hughes or is on his own pairing is essentially irrelevant. The Canucks need two good pairs to get anywhere. Maybe Hronek is good enough to elevate someone on his left, maybe not. He spent time in Detroit with Olli Maata, Ben Chiarot, and Jake Walman.

Currently, he is the second-best defenceman Vancouver has. They need more, but now at least they can be on either side.

And that really symbolizes the entire tack this team has taken over the past decade. They are risk-averse in trading for NHL players instead of picks. Yet they increase their risk by relying heavily on the few deals they make working in their favour.

The last player to talk about seems to have done just that – and the question is if he’ll remain a Canuck. Beauvillier has worked out surprisingly well since arriving from Long Island in January. Of course, it helps that he’s playing beside Elias Pettersson and Andrei Kuzmenko on a presumptive first line.

But that being said, being able to fit well with a star player is an actual consideration. The joke is that a pylon could have a 40-point season on a line with Pettersson, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Beauvillier is no pylon, fortunately, scoring six goals and 11 points in his first 12 games.

Running Lines

The Vancouver Canucks trade modus operandi of late has been to move prospects for players. And at least up front, it seems to have worked. Vasily Podkolzin and Kravtsov sound excited to play together for the first time since the World Junior Championships. They won bronze together in 2019 with Kravtsov playing – wait for it – centre.

For a team with a historical paucity of Russians, they have suddenly got a lot of talent there. The perpetually delightful Andrei Kuzmenko certainly helps there, but having people around who literally speak your language doesn’t hurt. Once Ilya Mikheyev returns from injury, they could have five Russian speakers should Danila Klimovich show up.

Even outside the Russian contingent, the forward lines look very solid. Despite what the tank-supporting fans may wish if Tocchet can bring some discipline to the Canucks they can cut goals against. The wins they get before the season ends are as much a harbinger of future success as their draft position.

When the Vancouver Canucks trade from a position of strength, they can afford to take a bit of a hit in moving out money. It would have been nice to do that at the deadline, but it will be easier in the offseason.

Even if the wins aren’t exactly numerous right now, improving the team structure is a win of its own. The depth needs work still, especially on the defence and in goal, but there are signs of a reasonably quick turnaround.

Main Photo: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports


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