June 30th is a big day in franchise history for these Vancouver Canucks with two big trades that changed the look of the team.
First, in 2013, the Vancouver Canucks made a big draft-day trade flipping goaltender Cory Schneider to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for the ninth overall selection.
There, the Canucks drafted future captain Bo Horvat. While his come up to a top-flight player has taken some time, Horvat was a solid player early in his career. But like a fine wine, he’s aged well over time and the more minutes he’s played in his career, the better he’s gotten.
In his first four years, he scored at a .55 point-per-game pace playing 16:44 TOI per night while in the last two seasons, he’s scored at a .755 PPG pace at 20:20 per night. The increase in playtime has clearly paid off.
The other big trade that happened today in Canucks history happened in 2015 when the Vancouver Canucks traded Kevin Bieksa to the Anaheim Ducks for a 2016 second-round pick.
A 10-year-veteran of the Canucks after being drafted in the fifth round of the 2001 draft, Bieksa had been a staple for the club’s blueline for years as a top-four defenceman.
But in 2015 at 33 years old, it came time for the Canucks to move on from the vet and thus, the aforementioned trade was made. Now, that second-round pick found itself on the move about a month later.
That pick, along with Nick Bonino and Adam Clendening, was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for Brandon Sutter and Vancouver’s 3rd round pick in the 2016 draft previously acquired by the Penguins.
The third-round pick was used by the Canucks on recently signed draft pick Will Lockwood. So in hindsight, the Bieksa trade worked out fine for the Canucks.
Sutter has appeared in 232 games for the Canucks scoring 45 goals and 92 points in a middle-six role with the club, while Lockwood just finished his fourth season at the NCAA’s University of Michigan. There, over his 115 game career, he scored 37 goals and 85 points as he prepares to turn pro next season.
Bieksa, meanwhile, played three seasons with the Ducks before retiring in 2018.
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