Author’s Note: My apologies for the tardiness. I am very sick! With Ryan away on vacation, I have taken up editing duties over the past week, and finishing the mailbag in time for it’s usual Monday morning/afternoon launch time just wasn’t going to happen. Expect everything to be back to normal next week.
Is it worth trying to get more picks at the draft (forget the whole hosting spectacle) or would aiming for 2020 be better, seeming as how it’s supposed to be deeper? Maybe in a year’s time ownership would be more willing to allow trading for picks…
— Trevor Crawley (@tcrawls) March 4, 2019
Even if we set aside reports that the 2020 draft is deeper, picks are never worth more than they are at the draft; so at this stage it makes sense to prioritize getting picks at the 2020 draft, which are likely to come at a lower cost. If the Canucks want to get the best possible value for their assets, their best bet might be to wait until Day 2 of the draft and target 2020 picks in return for role players.
Beyond the second or third round, though, I expect the difference to be pretty small. In historically deep drafts, the real value seems to be at the start of the second round, where you might be lucky enough to find a Sebastian Aho or Alex DeBrincat. If we’re talking 5th or 6th round picks, I would suspect the year won’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.
Is there something to Gudbranson’s “defensive system” comments about Vancouver?
— Jason (@JHamilton_87) March 4, 2019
There is in the sense that Travis Green likes his defensemen to be more active on the breakout than some coaches and that Gudbranson was uniquely ill-suited for his system. I wouldn’t be surprised if, on a superficial level, he has a bit more success in Pittsburgh, where the strategy seems to be to rattle the puck off the boards and allow the Penguins’ skilled forwards to chase after it.
I don’t think Gudbranson was wrong to think that the organization was a bad fit for him, but it also isn’t enough to account for how badly he struggled in Vancouver.
— Vyas Saran (@vyassaran) March 3, 2019
I’m going to have to disagree with my colleague on this one. Nikolay Goldobin has looked more like the player we saw at the beginning of the season over the last stretch of games, but the title of “best Canuck” has to go to Jacob Markstrom, who ‘s faced 182 shots over his past 5 games and stopped 171 of them, for a save percentage of roughly .939.
I’ll admit, this has a lot to do with the different ways that we value players. Markstrom’s job is to stop pucks and he’s done so. Goldobin’s job is to put up points and he hasn’t. Obviously, luck plays a huge role in that, but results have to count for something.
Where did the @thechelldude come from? He’s out of control!
— J.D. Burke (@JDylanBurke) March 3, 2019
The Chelldude was a human experiment conducted by the podcasting institute in an attempt to create a superhuman posting machine. He broke free from the lab and killed three social media interns and has not been seen since. If you have any information as to the whereabouts of the Chelldude, please contact the local authorities.
After the weisbod interview where draft picks are needed for trades. Do you think they will trade a lot of 2018 picks. And analysts are saying 2018 is a good and deep draft like 2015
— mike higashi (@hirokidude) March 3, 2019
*Mike later clarified he meant 2020 picks, not 2018 picks.
My hope would be that their reticence to trade away picks is a trend that continues for as long as the Canucks are in the midst of their rebuild, but my guess is that we’ll see them part with a couple of 2020 picks in trades designed to make them more competitive in the short-term. I just don’t think Jim Benning and co. can expect to be given much more rope if they don’t turn things around soon.
What Dmen do you think the Canucks targeting in free agency and why?
— nick babyn (@nixon8027) March 4, 2019
With Gudbranson now plying his trade in Pittsburgh, I’d have to think Tyler Myers would be at the top of their list. He brings most of the same qualities to his game that made Gudbranson a target in the past, but comes with considerably less flaws. He’s not someone I would target, but I think the Canucks would have interest. My guess is with all their cap space they’ll make calls to all the big names but will likely strike out on Erik Karlsson and Jake Gardiner. They’re little shallow on the right side, so I could also see them having some interest in Adam McQuaid on a short-term deal to facilitate a Chris Tanev trade.
List your top 5 Canucks from this year.
— team tank (@imboeserthanyou) March 4, 2019
- Elias Pettersson
- Bo Horvat
- Jacob Markstrom
- Brock Boeser
- Troy Stecher
Honourable mentions: Antoine Roussel, Ben Hutton, Nikolay Goldobin, Jake Virtanen.
One needs to be cut in the summer, one stays: Spooner or Pearson?
— Artem Zhurakhovsky (@nas19ua) March 4, 2019
It’s very close, but I’ll give the edge to Pearson, who’s a bit younger and has shown more of a scoring touch over the course of his NHL career. My preference would be to jettison one of the Canucks’ bevy of underperforming bottom-six wingers and keep both, though.
Is Will Lockwood going to sign with the Canucks this year and what woyld reasonable expectations be for him?
— olddatsunfan (@olddatsunfan) March 4, 2019
I’d be very surprised if the Canucks let Lockwood get through his fourth year of college and risk losing him to free agency unless that’s what he wants. It’s important to remember that NCAA players have more leverage in these negotiations than their CHL counterparts, but I’ve been given no indication that Lockwood wishes to sign with any team other than the Canucks.
As far as what we should all expect, if Lockwood can play in a middle-six role and finish the season with somewhere in the realm of half-a-point-per-game, that should be considered a huge win. I’m considerably less high on Lockwood than the Canucks’ other selections of of the United States, and see his ceiling as a third-line utility winger. A decent rookie season with the Utica Comets with an eye on making the big club in 2020-21 is probably the realistic best-case scenario.
It feels as though the deepest position organizationally is centre. Should they keep them all or make some moves to address other positions? If they do move someone, EP40 and BH53 are not going anywhere. Who is most tradeable? And what might the return be?
— Mark Harrop (@mharrop71) March 4, 2019
My preference would be to see the team trade one of their centres for help elsewhere, but the issue is that after Elias Pettersson and Bo Horvat, they don’t have a lot of movable assets. Brandon Sutter is still their best trade chip at centre, but with his injury status you have to think that he’s not going to yield a great return. If anything, I would expect to see any trade involving Sutter to be similar to the Erik Gudbranson trade: a one-for-one swap of depreciating assets looking for a change of scenery.
It’s a shame. Teams were calling the Canucks about Brandon Sutter at last year’s deadline, but the Canucks refused to act. The front office’s lack of foresight has led to the diminished trade value of Sutter, Chris Tanev, and even Erik Gudbranson, for whom the Canucks were reportedly offered Miles Wood from the New Jersey Devils and a 2nd and 4th round pick from a mystery team at last year’s deadline. Sutter’s limited NTC kicks in on July 1, which will make him easier to trade, but I doubt the return will be what it could have been just a year ago.