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Photo Credit: Graig Abel/Getty Images

Three AHL forward prospect targets from Toronto in Tanev Trade

The calls for the Vancouver Canucks to trade Chris Tanev have been deafening, with many weighing in on why they should move on from the 27-year-old defenceman. The trade-Tanev Train has left the station. Whether you agree with the notion or not, this grants us the opportunity to look at players the Canucks could get in return for their ace defenceman.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are one team that make sense as a trade partner in this hypothetical deal. They’re on an upward trajectory and adding a right-handed minute eater like Tanev is their top priority.

TSN’s Scott Cullen proposed a deal on TSN.ca that had the Canucks receiving Brendan Leipsic, Connor Carrick and Toronto’s 2017 first-round pick. The community met Cullen’s proposal with contempt, and copious amounts of discussion ensued. It’s the summer; discussion is all we have.

I won’t be exploring a specific package that the Maple Leafs could pry Tanev with, but instead, aim to focus on forward prospects who might sway the Canucks. These players shouldn’t be the only piece(s) coming to the Canucks, but we can handicap their production and underlying metrics all the same.

We’ll start with the player included in the Cullen proposal: Brendan Leipsic

Brendan Leipsic

Leipsic is a 5’10” winger who’s played six NHL games so far in his career, where he scored one goal and two assists — his goal was against Vancouver.

The Nashville Predators originally drafted the little spark plug. Nashville dealt Leipsic to the Maple Leafs before the 2015 trade deadline, though. Since then, Leipsic’s hovered around a point per game pace as a member of their farm team, the Toronto Marlies.

This season he has suffered some injuries but was the only Marlie to be over a PPG. His situational point production can be found below:

B. Leipsic
ESG 11
ESA 13
PPG 6
PPA 19
SHG 1
SHA 1

People have argued that power play goals are more volatile and suspect to their environment than power play assists. Assists with the man advantage are, generally, more sustainable. So even though about 49% of Leipsic’s production was with the man advantage, the fact that 37% of his points are power play assists should alleviate those concerns.

Historically, Leipsic was the Portland Winterhawks’ leading scorer when Travis Green was calling the shots as their head coach. In 2012-13, Leipsic led Portland with 120 points (49 goals and 71 assists) in 68 games.

Leipsic is a tenacious forward with good playmaking skills and speed. He loves getting under the skin of his opponents. He has an underrated shot that he uses well, plays with pace and is crafty offensively.

The left winger ended the season with 146 shots on goal, averaging 2.98 shots per game. He had shots in 48 of 49 games. The only contest where he didn’t register a shot was October 23rd vs. Manitoba.

Using the pGPS lens, 35.8% of comparable players went on to become NHL regulars. There are some intriguing names in there with Tyler Johnson, Daniel Briere and Brendan Morrison on the younger side of comparables and slightly higher production-wise. If Leipsic didn’t have his injury issues this year, he could’ve seen a higher PPG rate, and look even better.

Leipsic has seen a little dip in pGPS this season but given his injuries, that isn’t surprising.

With Leipsic, there are some curve balls. He is concluding his entry level deal this season, would have to be protected from the expansion draft and is waiver eligible next season. Operating under the assumption that this Tanev trade happens after the expansion draft, and Leipsic isn’t selected by the Vegas Golden Knights, waivers make things complicated. If the Canucks do acquire the Winnipeg native, he would need to stay on the Canucks roster, or they risk losing him for nothing.

He is at a point where he needs a chance at the NHL level to see if he can carve out his niche. The Leafs will either have to give him that spot or move him to a team who is willing.

Kasperi Kapanen

Kasperi Kapanen is the jewel of many a Canucks fans eye. If you want the Canucks to ensure they get the most impactful forward prospect, then Kapanen is the best bet. Originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins, they dealt Kapanen to the Leafs in the Phil Kessel trade. He’s the youngest of the three Leafs prospects I’m profiling, only turning 21 this summer.

He is the flash and dash of this group. Kapanen isn’t a dime a dozen type of player and is arguably the Leafs best forward prospect (who hasn’t graduated):

Kapanen holds the most value for the Leafs if they’re looking to upgrade their roster, but he has the potential to add good offensive depth to their group as is. Basically, they’ve reason to trade him or keep him.

Kapanen is coming off his second season in the AHL. He was more of a secondary piece for the Marlies last season, but this year he led them offensively.

Kapanen was subject to some bursts of offence and then had some slow stretches, but overall similar production to Leipsic.

K.Kapanen
ESG 9
ESA 11
PPG 9
PPA 14
SHG 0
SHA 0

With Kapanen, 53% of his production came on the power play with 23 of his 43 total points coming with the man advantage. Kapanen does have a much higher percentage of power-play goals, which is something to use video to evaluate further.

Like Leipsic, Kapanen shoots a lot. In his 43 games this season, he only had one game where he didn’t register a shot on goal. That was on October 28th vs. Albany. He ended the season with a SOG/GP average of 2.81.

To no one’s surprise, Kapanen’s pGPS % is extremely favourable with 79.3% of comparable players go on to become NHL regulars. There is a wide variety of players there but encouraging to see some notable producers in the NHL all around, and even below-concerning production.

Kapanen has trended upwards since being drafted in 2014 and really broke out this season which the high pGPS percentage reinforces.

Since Kapanen signed his ELC with the Penguins shortly after being drafted and he’s considered ’18 years old’ according to article 9.2. of the NHL/NHLPA CBA. Since that was done, Kapanen’s contract slid in  2014-15, and then slid again for the 2015-16 season because he did not appear in more than nine games in the NHL. (For a more in-depth explanation on this, I covered it here in relation to Nikolay Goldobin)

This means that Kapanen has two years remaining with a cap hit of $863,333. He is eligible for waivers if he appears in 137 more NHL games or at the beginning of the 2019-2020 season.

Andreas Johnsson

The least recognizable name of the three is Swedish winger Andreas Johnsson. The former seventh-round pick just finished his first full season in North America after tearing up the SHL. The 5’10” and 184 lbs left winger is a skilled player who has a balanced offensive attack that would likely succeed in the NHL. He isn’t a fast skater but has quickness and power to his stride.

He’s always been one of those players that you look at and think “how did he fall to the seventh-round?”. He was worth a flyer in any of fourth, fifth, sixth or seventh-round, but the Leafs were able to snag him with the 202nd overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

He was the least productive of the three players here, but his last two-thirds of the season were extremely encouraging.

At the 44 game mark for Johnsson, he only had 20 points; he then had 27 points in the final 31 games to push his PPG rate up to .63. You can see a noticeable push from his assists. That was a combination of recalls, injuries to other players, and Johnsson adapting to the N.A. rink. He has been efficient and noticeable in the playoffs for the Marlies this year.

A. Johnsson
ESG 10
ESA 17
PPG 10
PPA 9
SHG 0
SHA 1

Like Kapanen, we see very high production on the power-play for Johnsson, this is something that would not be further evaluated and dissected through video. Trying to figure how/what resulted in the goal.

Johnsson’s shot production was much lower with an average of 1.84 SOG/PG. This resulted in inflated SH% of 15.1%

Johnsson has the most comparable players out of there with 167 matches. The 28.1% success rate is a little lower, but with the context of the first year in North America and a strong second half, the argument can easily be made that the percentage isn’t a full representation of his trajectory. The names like Matt Calvert, Jesper Fast, and Calle Jarnkrok (reasonably close to him in the plot chart) are what I would’ve personally expected as comparable roles to Johnsson.

Obviously Johnsson has seen some drastic dip in his pGPS – but given the context of first year in North America and a slower start to the year, the number isn’t alarming. If he can have a good start to his season next year, he can eliminate any concern the drop in percentage has.

Johnsson just completed the second year of his three-year entry-level contract. He has one year remaining with a cap hit of $750,833. He becomes eligible for waivers at the beginning of the 2018-19 season.

His production doesn’t stand out as much, but if he were a Utica Comet, he would’ve finished first in points amongst players that the Canucks have signed and tied for first with Darren Archibald (who is on an AHL deal).

Comparisons

Lastly, we look at how they compare to each other.

Since I focused a lot on Johnsson and Kapanen’s power-play production, it’s important to check them against each other. Despite his lower production rates, Johnsson led the entire group in ESA and is in the mix for ESG.

For the AHL, ice time is not publicly available. So we can only go off the estimates that are available. Which is as follows:

Position EST TOI
A. Johnsson F 17:10
B. Leipsic F 22.23
K. Kapanen F 21.54

Unfortunately, we are limited in situational breakdowns and it only being estimated. With that disclaimer out of the way, here is how they compare:

Ideally, we would be able to break apart into PP, SH and even strength but this look does provide a good outlook for all three players. The chart is for goals, primary assists and points.

From a Goals For %, Relative Goals For % and Wins Above Replacement lens – all three look good:

GF% REL GF% WAR
A. Johnsson 58% 6.2% 2.53
B. Leipsic 57% 4.3% 1.87
K. Kapanen 60% 6.8% 1.86

Conclusion

It’s clear that Kapanen is still the most attractive prospect that could be moved as he holds the most cache as a former first round pick. Leipsic provides an intriguing skillset because he is a very skilled offensive player but plays with an edge and can get under people’s skin. He can be one of those players that can play anywhere in your lineup.

Johnsson is, of course, the least recognizable name, but his underlying numbers and production are encouraging. He wasn’t leaned on as much as the other two, but when out there, he has produced. There are some red flags there with the powerplay production and the second half explosion.

Kapanen is the logical target for a deal (along with a first-round pick), but if the Canucks can use their advantageous position to get multiple players, then Leipsic and Johnsson are good targets. They are not the players that the package should be built around but would be worthwhile adds to the organization (along with Kapanen and pick).

Maybe the Canucks can dump a bad prospect contract along the way too.


Underlying data is from ahlstats.blogspot.ca

pGPS data provided by Canucks Army writer Jeremy Davis

Remainder of data is from www.theahl.com



    • Ryan Biech

      My intention is to cover some of their prospects too – also cover some other Toronto ones.

      Likely, the first in a series – good way to explore other teams prospects.

        • Neil B

          RH-shot D who can eat minutes are currently at a premium in the league; and Tanev, arguably, may be the best pure defensive defenceman in the NHL. He’d be under-valued before the expansion draft (much as Hutton will be over-valued, as he can play top-4 minutes & doesn’t need to be exposed); but between then & the rookie draft, people might be surprised by what Tanev might draw in a trade.

    • Bro Horvat

      I like the idea of getting Landeskog, his value isn’t as high as it probably should be after a down year but he’s a legit top-6 center and still under 25. I seriously doubt you pry away #4 overall AND him for Tanev, but perhaps they would consider throwing in #32 overall? I like Nicolas Meloche too, a big, skilled 19-year old right hand shot D. Throw him in with Landeskog and I’d take that in a heartbeat.

  • apr

    Good article. I can live with Kapanan and a first, and any Tanev trade should net a top prospect and a pick. That said, Tanev for Dallas 3rd and Nichuskin and Lehtonen would be ideal. You can get your center (Middlestadt) d-man (Makar) in one swoop.

  • Ranger2k2

    I would think Tanev + Columbus 2nd round pick (if they give it up this year) + Stewart MacKenzie for Kapanen + Toronto’s first pick this year would get it done. I would love to see them land Drouin but I think that Tampa would want a talented prospect to go with Tanev (and lets be honest the Canucks don’t have many of them). I think getting Kappanen would be a great trade for both teams.

  • Keenyana

    I agree that Dallas’s 3rd should be in play and it would be ideal to get that pick in some sort of Tanev deal since Dallas will contend again next year. Selecting 3 & 5 in the draft would be great for the Canucks in 3 to 5 years . . . but that is our reality now.

  • El Kabong

    Looking at the return we could get from Toronto, I also looked at their top 20 prospects, I was underwelmed. I think we can put together a better deal with another trading partner.

    • Kevin

      Leafs are a bit lean with prospects after Kapanen, Dermott and Grundstrom (who are close to NHL ready) but do have a few young players who already made the jump that may be in play (Brown).

    • Neil B

      Time replaces Tanev.

      Basically, we’re not going to be in contention until Tanev is about 30 and trending downwards. If we’re going to suck while he is at his playing peak anyways, why not trade him & add an asset that is likely to peak around the same time as our current crop of top-end prospects (Bo, Boeser, Juolevi, Demko).

      To that point, I do think that shifting Tanev to Dallas for #3 plus a prospect, or to NYI for Strome + a pick, is probably a better fit than adding a 21-23 year old winger prospect. If Tanev is at play after the expansion draft, then we should be able to pick up a year or two in the rebuild process, and add a key D and a quality 1C prospect in the same off-season.

  • Burnabybob

    Trading Tanev for a winger (short of someone like Patrik Laine) doesn’t make a lot of sense, given their relative depth of prospects at that position.

    If they’re going to trade Tanev, it should be for a young defenseman, center, high draft pick, or some combination of those three. Otherwise, the Canucks should just hold on to him. He’s a valuable mentor to young players, and will remain a capable defender for years to come.

    • Donald's Hat Trick

      You can sign your choice of mentors for less than $2M as free agents. Canucks aren’t challenging for anything for a while, the time is now to run an auction and unload anyone with value that will be past their prime in 4 seasons, and fill those prospect cupboards fast, Leaf-style.

      • MM

        Just the Oilers did??? Benning’s pro scout track record is very hit or miss, and this strategy worked wonders for the oilers for 10 years. Keep tanev if the deal isnt perfect and try again at the deadline.

        • Donald's Hat Trick

          Just because the Oilers failed at it (or took a while to get it right?) doesn’t mean that the underlying approach is wrong. You’re right though, it requires some skill at evaluating, negotiating and developing to make it happen quickly.

          Trade Tanev now before his NMC kicks in, and use the draft as the auction deadline to get those best offers in. I’d put All Star Bo on auction too for another big return.

          • fretallack

            you want to trade horvat? sometimes i feel like people on this site have such a hard on for draft picks they forget that at some point you need yo let them become a hockey team. Lets trade boeser and juolevi too and we more picks! we should be highly competitive for the stanley cup of picks!

          • Donald's Hat Trick

            If you’re running the Tanev auction you might as well also run a secondary auction with a similar prize. If the deals aren’t good enough of course you walk away, but that might just be the added incentive needed to get those offers really sweetened up.

          • Neil B

            The difference between selling of Tanev (27) and selling off Bo (22) is the age difference. If we’re not competitive for 4 years, then Bo will be 26 and peaking; Tanev will be 31 and dropping. It’s not just about grabbing any pick for a good player; it’s about strategically assessing a player’s potential contributions in the future and weighing them against the potential asset(s) acquired.

            Bo would get us a tier-2 prospect and a pick that might translate into a 75% shot at a top-6 forward in 4 years’ time. On the other hand, keeping him means we have a current top-6 forward who is likely to continue improving over the next four years. Tanev would get us probably that same 75% shot at a top-6/top-pairing player from this draft, plus probably a tier-1 prospect (and possibly a later pick/prospect as well, if we wanted to ‘weaponize’ our 50-player contract list). In four years, Tanev will be 31, turning 32 in December, and probably regressing as a player.

        • Donald's Hat Trick

          Sure, any vet that’s right at the end of his career, not getting picked up by his existing team and that is interested in the mentoring role. What makes you think that Tanev would rather be a mentor than play on a team that can actually make the playoffs?

          • Bud Poile

            I don’t confess to know what Tanev thinks.
            There are players like Tanev that can teach Juolevi and Stetcher properly being amongst the league’s premier defensive d-men.
            Then there’s $1.5m plugs that fill a hole but haven’t the skill levels to learn from.

  • Fred-65

    What I see is a team overloaded with wingers of it’s own and afns that think the grass is always some how greener on the other side. Vcr has the following young (ish) wingers
    Baertschi
    Granlund
    Boeser
    Goldobin
    Dahlein
    Virtanen
    Rodin

    and that’s without counting Megna LOL Are the suggested players so much better than these 7 players who we already have and still have Tanev. I guess it stems from it’s summer ( or should be ) and impatience …. Vcr fan base is just not contructed for a rebuild. Remember apart from the youngster we have a boat load of veteran wingers too

    • Dirk22

      Baertschi – will be 25 at the start of next season
      Granlund – turning 25 next season
      Virtanen – seriously?!
      Rodin – MIA

      So quick answer is yes, any of those players would be a massive improvement on the current state of the prospect/youngster pool of the Canucks.

  • TheRealRusty

    Easy pass. The only thing worst than trading Tanev is trading him to the Leafs and watch them win a cup. If we are trading with them then I would expect a kings ransom. RH 1st pairing defensemen don’t exactly grow on trees. The return for Tanev should be a high 1st rounder plus and elite young player (Marner or Nylander).

  • Spiel

    Kapanen is definitely the class of these three prospects, but the fact remains they are all wingers. Canucks have plenty of winger prospects/young players in Goldobin, Dahlen, Virtanen, Boeser, Baertschi, Granlund. A wingera as the return for Tanev would be disappointing.

    Hold out for young center or D in the package and get a first round pick. Use a winger prospect to augment the deal, not as a centerpiece.

    My first ask would be Tanev for 1st rounder + Carrick(D) + Kapanen.
    If they balk at Kapanen and Carrick in the deal, remove Kapanen and try for a lesser forward prospect. I think its that important to get a center or D back for Tanev.

    • Spiel

      Can’t edit replies anymore, but wanted to add the better option might be to find a trade partner other than the leafs if we can’t get a defence or center back in the deal.

      • Dirk22

        As I said above, you can’t include 25 year old players as prospects which is what Baertschi and Granlund will be by next season. They’ll be approaching their 30’s by the time this team is competitive again. They’re nice youngish players but if anything they’re a bridge between the old guard and what hopefully will once again be a competitive team.

        • Spiel

          Baerstchi is a ’92 birthday, Granlund a ’93, Leipsic and Johnsson are ’94s. Age difference is pretty marginal at this point. Leipsic and Baerstchi were teammates in junior….
          We can do better than a 2 year younger version of Baertschi or Granlund for Tanev.
          Kapanen (’96) is the youngest of these 3 which makes him the most intriguing.

          • Dirk22

            We can hopefully do better yes.

            I don’t think I’m ready to say we can’t improve on Baertschi and Granlund though. Like I said they’re nice players but you certainly don’t look at that situation and say “yes we have enough good wingers to compete for a cup in a few years.” That’s the goal right?

  • MM

    The price for Tanev seems steep. As a Canucks fan i hope it works out. I think to get a Kapanen or a Drouin plus a first the Canucks would need a bidding war. Im not even certain you could do a one up for either of those two players. Cant wait to see if or how this pans out. As long as Benning doesnt give him away for someone else’s plugs. Tanev holds value as a leadership mentor to Juolevi and i bet his value is the same or more come trade deadline.

  • Locomotion

    Wow if they can get dallas’ 3rd pick. Plus a prospect. I’d be sold.
    What’s the point of keeping him? So he teaches? Nah someone else can do that too. As for these leafs kids. Sure on kasper but Where do you put him next year ?

    • Rodeobill

      The value of a player as a “mentor” is a little overvalued IMO, they have a whole staff of coaches that are paid specifically for that (pry Phil Housley from Nash!), plus I don’t know if Tanev is that kind of guy anyway, maybe a lead by example kind of teacher, but doesn’t strike me as an engaging communicator or tony robbins type to inspire, but maybe im wrong.

    • Mollymayhem

      you are absolutely deluded if you think the Leafs would trade Nylander or Marner for Tanev.

      Both 60+ points in their rookie season and Nylander would be a #1 Center (and a damn good one) on any team that didn’t have an Auston Matthews type on it.

  • swell

    Trading Tanev to the Leafs makes sense for them but not for us. As others have mentioned repeatedly, he’s worth way more.
    My preference is to trade with Buffalo for Reinhart, their #8, and their lower 2nd (#54). Then use #5 for Makar and #8 for Liljegren. Also happy keeping Tanev.

    • MM

      Sam Reinhart is 21, went 2nd overall and is a Center. If the shoe were on the other foot it would be like them trading their Bogosian to Van for Horvat, our 5th, and our columbus 2nd. How would that work? Great if Buffalo would do that though.

    • I am Ted

      I’d do that in a second but I can’t see Tanev fetching that much. Yes, Sam is under a bit of fire over there but he hasn’t burned his bridges out that way..I don’t think.

      • Neil B

        With Toronto leaping past Buffalo in the rebuild lifespan, there is a lot of pressure on Botterill and the new Buffalo braintrust to quickly turn the turkey around. Adding a RH D who can eat major minutes and spell Ristolainen would make a major difference to the team’s performance. Buffalo does have a surfeit of RHD, but Bogosian is a 5-6 D, and Franson has questionable foot-speed. Taking Bogosian’s contract back *might* be enough to allow us to get Bennet, #8, and maybe pick #54. (For those not familiar with Bogosian, he adds as much offensively as Tanev, but ranks as a bottom-pairing defender in shots vs metrics. Contractually, he costs about a half-mil more than Tanev, and has the same term left.) If the Sabres had a right side comprised of Ristolainen-Tanev-Franson, that would allow them to focus on adding a LHD for the top pairing, and provide a good security blanket for Guhle if he is ready to join the big team next fall.

        I think that there are better trade partners out there, from both teams’ points of view, than Buffalo-Vancouver; but I do agree that there might be a trade there. However, an alternate possibility with Buffalo might be to pick up Bogosian, and upgrade our #55 (CBJ) to #37 in the process, and trade Tanev elsewhere. I’m sure Botterill would like the $5 mill cap hit back to try to acquire a LHD.

  • LTFan

    I am one of the few on here who is in the keep Tanev camp. Remember a Prospect is a Prospect until he can play regularly and contribute at the NHL level. If and I say if the Canucks were thinking of trading Tanev it would probably be to a team that thinks they have a chance at winning the Cup in the next year or two. So what is that team willing to give up? In the case of the Oilers, they gave up Taylor Hall because they had McDavid, who is going to be (is) a generational player. The Canucks don’t have a player to make up for the loss of a player like Tanev.

    If someone makes and offer that is ridiculous for Tanev, okay, otherwise keep him. Remember the other 30 teams are all trying to improve as well without giving up too much. If Tanev is traded what we get back would have to be a player who is already in the NHL plus prospects and / or draft picks. It seems the grass always looks greener across the street to many posters on here.

  • TheRealPB

    Just because some analysts have decided Tanev should be traded doesn’t mean the Canucks have shown any inclination to. I don’t really see why other teams are going to go down this path either, as much as Tanev is valued around the league.

  • redrocket

    dream 3 way deal..drouin and tanev to buffalo, 8th overall and kane (or something) to tampa, reinhart and 14th overall to vancouver. sweeteners could be added but I think that’s a pretty decent start.

  • I am Ted

    No on this one. Kapanen looks like a legit top 6 player which is great. However, all three are small and none project as a future #1 or #2 centre. No thanks. Sure, Kap might be for real but this doesn’t really address the need for the Sedin succession plan.

  • defenceman factory

    It is amusing to speculate on what assets Tanev might bring. It’s also easy get on board with team tank. Tear it all down for as many prospects as possible as the quickest way back to being a top end team.

    The premise for these discussions ignores the key factor decisions are made on, profit and loss. Team tank seems to expect ownership to eat tens of millions in losses suffered by icing a horrible team.

    Rebuild on the fly isn’t a Benning narrative, he is the spokesperson for a company. I didn’t buy a K car when Lee Iacocca said I should and I sure didn’t register for Trump University. It is ownership not wanting to lose money during a rebuild. It seems a poor approach in hindsight and it is easy to point to some poor moves by Benning. It doesn’t work well because it is a financial strategy not a hockey strategy.

    Without Tanev this team bleeds money next year. The 3-2 losses turn into 4 and 5-2 losses and ticket sales evaporate. The Canucks are 2 and 8 in their last 10 and Edmonton is in town, are you going to buy a ticket?

    Any decision to trade Tanev has to make financial sense. It has to dramatically shorten the path back to profits from winning seasons. Without a top pair right hand D I don’t see how winger prospects shorten the path at all.

    • Donald's Hat Trick

      I totally buy your financial argument. Benning was hired because he no doubt was saying what ownership wanted to hear, rebuild on the fly, quick turnaround, etc. while others were saying it needed to be torn down. So three wasted years later ownership is either blaming Benning for not delivering on his promise or finally believing it needs to be torn down. Seasons tickets sales are dropping and aren’t going to turn around unless something dramatic happens. Plus the Aqulinis want to win, and have shown that they will think outside the box as owners. I think they’d be onboard with making a big, bold play, they really don’t have a lot to lose short term.

      • defenceman factory

        No argument the Canucks would be further ahead had they bit into the rebuild sooner but the 3 years weren’t totally wasted either. Canucks made money the 1st year under Benning. Ticket sales slipped a bit but nowhere near where they are now. Boeser, Demko and Joelevi all look like decent prospects. Dahlen and Goldobin could turn out well and the 5th overall this year should also be good. Baerschi and Granlund are okay.

        I’m not a big Benning fan. He clearly misread the regression of the Sedins and Sutter’s ability to drive play. I believe the Canucks lose a lot less money next year with Tanev in the lineup. Keeping him delays getting back to significant profits. Draft picks outside of the top ten and winger prospects who project into the middle 6 are too risky, don’t add enough or take to long to show returns. Keeping Tanev makes some short term financial sense (as resigning Miller probably does). Dealing him makes longer term financial sense if the deal includes a pick or prospect with a high probability of being a 1C or elusive PP quarterback D.

        I don’t really agree Benning sold this rebuild on the fly to ownership. I expect this spin was developed by ownership and Linden. Benning was brought in as a guy to implement. No way you get to tell your new boss his strategy won’t work. Benning tried and failed and it doesn’t matter whether he believed it would work or not.

      • Bud Poile

        101 points and 10 NTC’s-nobody was saying or could tear it down.
        With the second year of top five picks it’s going to take a couple of years before these kids are NHL ready.

  • truthseeker

    NO WINGERS!!!!!!!!

    Especially wingers who aren’t even NHL proven.

    An already producing young NHL potential first line center, a prospect and a pick. (ok..the prospect could be a winger IF we get the center)

    The ONLY other option is a young future top pairing D man already playing, prospect and pick.

    Enough of this already. Tanev is worth WAY more than a bunch unproven winger prospects.

  • Sami Ohlund

    To paraphrase former Montreal GM Sam Pollock’s famous words — whoever gets the best player wins the deal. So if Tanev is going to be traded, let it be for a better player and not just picks. It it’s a prospect, it must be a Grade A prospect who can’t miss and will become a top-end player in the league. If Hall for Larson is the standard, and if NJ won because they got the better player, who can the Canucks get for Tanev? Maybe Reinhart out of Buffalo and a high pick would be a win. I don’t think any or all of these Toronto prospects is a win for the Canucks.

    • Kevin

      Since when is 25 too old?? Look at the 4 teams in the conference finals right now and tell me how young they are?? You need a good healthy balance of young and old to be competative. Anytime the young guys started getting comfortable and building chemisty with each other, WD would switch up the lines. You need a coach thats going to keep players together for more than a couple shifts and I think that will make a difference with the guys we have. There is no imediate need to move Tanev so why settle and not just wait and hold out for a deal that will benefit us long term. Going forward, our top 4 are Edler, Stecher, Hutton, Gudbranson then Juolevi and Subban, Pedan, Brisebois, Neill will all be NHL ready withing a year or so. The need to move Tanev isn’t as important as our need to find future scoring. Kick the tires on teams needing a top 4 Dman and see what the biggest return will be. I always felt that a deal with Buffalo with Tanev and our 5th overall for Sam Reinhart… The 8th overall… and a prospect would be a good trade.

      • dtriemstra

        I do agree with you that scoring will STILL be the canucks number one issue moving forward until they acquire a future first line centre. I wouldn’t mind Sam Reinhart however he hasn’t had much more than a 55 point season to-date. Kind of a risky move there especially when you are considering to also give up the 5th overall pick. Would rather see the Canucks draft Cody Glass. Also, for your knowledge, the Canucks did not offer Carl Neill a contract. Cheers

        • Sami Ohlund

          I think you mis-read my post. I am not for giving up the draft pick and Tanev for Reinhart. Keep the draft pick and try to get more – you build through the draft. I’m saying if Edmonton gave up a top player – Taylor Hall – for a decent D-man in Larson, can the Canucks not get as much or more for a better D-man in Chris Tanev? Who is in the market for a Chris Tanev type of D-man? Maybe Buffalo. And the target would be a top-line C in Sam Reinhart who hit 47 points on a bad team in the year he turned 21. A much surer thing at this point than Cody Glass who will go between 5-10 in a weak draft (same range as Jake Virtanen in a weak draft.)