The 2014 NHL Draft has come and gone and with it left behind some BIG and small movements on the Canucks radar as they were one of (if not) the most active team(s) at the draft.
Team Lindenning had a VERY busy 2014 draft. Change was inevitable coming into the 2014-2015 season, but did anyone see the team being as active at the draft as they were?
TRADE #1: Ryan Kesler to the Anaheim Ducks.
The Ryan Kesler elephant in the room was addressed immediately before it could become a situation that would fester and eat away at the locker room all year long. The Canucks have already had that happen with the Luongo situation that took nearly two years to solve. Benning was forced into to a corner with the Kesler trade as it became public knowledge that Kesler ONLY gave the team a 2-list destination possibility and never wavered from his stance. In the end, Kesler got exactly what he wanted: a ticket out of Vancouver.
It became apparent in his interviews following the news that he was more than ecstatic to be leaving Vancouver for Anaheim. I understand that he is “ready to move on”, BUT some of the things he said felt like he was burning a bridge rather than being grateful for an incredible ten years with the organization that developed him into the two-way player he is today.
Trade #2: Jason Garrison to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Trade #3: 85TH OVERALL 2014 draft pick to the New York Rangers in exchange for Derek Dorsett.
Trade #4: 50TH OVERALL 2014 draft pick to the LA Kings in exchange for Linden Vey.
2014 Vancouver Canucks DRAFT SELECTIONS:
6TH OVERALL: Jake Virtanen (Left Wing)
24TH OVERALL: Jared McCann (Centre)
36TH OVERALL: Thatcher Demko (Goalie)
50TH OVERALL: TRADED to LA in exchange for Linden VEY (Right Wing)
66TH OVERALL: Nikita Tryamkin (Defenceman)
85TH OVERALL (Acquired from Anaheim in the Kesler trade): TRADED to the New York Rangers in exchange for Derek Dorsett.
126TH OVERALL: Gustav Forsling (Defenceman)
156TH OVERALL: Kyle Petit (Centre)
186TH OVERALL: Mackenze Stewart (Defenseman)
7 draft picks and 4 trades later, the 2014 NHL draft came to a close for the Vancouver Canucks. In making some big moves (Kesler/Garrison) the Canucks now have more money in cap space than they’ve had in years and with the free agency frenzy just around the corner…they have the option to spend.
Have you recovered from the frenzy that was the 2014 NHL draft for the Canucks? Are you ready for the frenzy that will be free agency starting tomorrow (July 1)? Will the Canucks bring a veteran goalie to help mentor Lack? Will they lean towards youth or another veteran OR both in regards to bolstering their forwards/defensive lineup? Come tomorrow, we will have answers as to just what Linden and Benning have in mind for the roster moving forward.
As always, until next time, nuck said.