The Canucks reportedly discussed a deal with the Chicago Blackhawks at the 2019 NHL Draft that would see them move up to the third overall selection and be able to take top offensive blueliner Bowen Byram of the Vancouver Giants. The Blackhawks would get Vancouver’s 10th overall pick in return.
The deal reportedly fell through due to Chicago wanting Vancouver to take on veteran blueliner Brent Seabrook’s expensive contract in the trade. The 34-year-old has five years remaining on his current deal that pays him an AAV of $6.875M.
Heard over the weekend that #Canucks & #Blackhawks had discussed swapping the 3rd and 10th overall picks so Vancouver could jump up to get Bowen Byram, but Chicago wanted Van to take D Brent Seabrook and the remaining 5 years/$6.875M AAV on his contract. Thus the deal died.
— James Cybulski (@JamesCybulski) June 24, 2019
Byram is an incredible talent and was perceived by almost all scouts as the best blueliner in the 2019 Draft Class. You have to respect the Canucks for looking at options to try and move up to select him. Byram is an elite skater from Cranbrook, BC who projects to be a top-four blueliner at the NHL level. Byram ended up going to the Avalanche at fourth overall, while the Blackhawks took Kirby Dach with the third overall pick.
It’s unclear what (or if) there were other pieces involved in this potential deal, but Seabrook’s contract is among the worst in the NHL. The veteran is on the decline after putting together some outstanding years in Chicago. He’s managed just 28 and 26 points respectively in the last two seasons and seen his defensive play dwindle.
If the Canucks elected to trade for the third overall pick, they would have landed a top blueliner in Byram, but they also would’ve missed out on getting Russian forward Vasili Podkolzin at 10th overall. Many scouts believe the Canucks stole the 6-foot-1, left-hand shot winger at 10th. You can read more about the pick here.
It’s interesting the Canucks tried to make a move to land a world-class defenseman, but that Seabrook contract would’ve been hard to stomach, especially when you consider the aging blueliner has a no-trade clause in his contract.