5 players the Canucks could trade for from Daily Faceoff’s NHL Trade Targets board

Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Tyson Cole
16 days ago
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Earlier this week, Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli came out with his top 20 trade targets heading into the NHL offseason. With 11 restricted and unrestricted free agents left to sign, most of whom are in line for a raise, we found five players on this list that the Vancouver Canucks could target to fill some voids left by their pending free agents.

Martin Necas

The Martin Necas kettle is the hottest of all the listed players in Canucks rumours after Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman speculated that Vancouver could have interest in the Carolina Hurricanes winger. Before Elias Pettersson’s contract extension in Vancouver, the Hurricanes called to inquire about the Canucks forward. The centrepiece of the alleged offer was Martin Necas, so there has been a longing buzz about Vancouver having an interest in the player.
In his exit interview, Patrik Allvin spoke about wanting to add a top-six winger with speed. And that’s Necas to a tee. He ranked in the 97th percentile in top speed in the regular season (23.68 MPH), and the 99th percentile in speed bursts over 20 MPH (363).
All speed stats are provided by NHL Edge.
The Hurricanes’ addition of Jake Guentzel at this year’s trade deadline pushed Necas down to the third line — his skill set is far better than that of a third-line winger. Necas had 24 goals and 53 points this season and is just one season removed from his career year of 28 goals and 71 points.
Acquiring a winger to play alongside Elias Pettersson should be priority number one this offseason, and Necas ticks a lot of the boxes Vancouver is looking for. Necas will need to sign an extension if he’s traded for, and he will definitely demand a raise on his $3M bridge deal.

Nikolaj Ehlers

Here is another winger who has fallen out of favour with his team. For a while now, it’s felt that while Ehlers is a piece of their core, he would always be the most likely one to be shipped out. And after an embarrassing first-round exit to the Colorado Avalanche, it looks like he may be the casualty from that.
Ehlers is another speedy winger who’s consistently put up points throughout his career. He’s mostly been a second-line player who’s trusted to drive a line offensively while Kyle Connor and Mark Schefiele do their work on the top line. Ehlers has never had a season with under a 0.5 point per game and is coming off his second-best season ever with 25 goals, 61 points and a +27 rating.
Ehlers has just one year remaining on his $6M deal and could be a cheaper option if Vancouver decides to go the trade route in their search for a top-six forward for Pettersson.

Arthur Kaliyev

Now, Arthur Kaliyev would be more of a lottery ticket. But, with Vancouver needing to fill spots with so many free agents likely out the door, cheaper options with potential may be the best route for the bottom six.
Kaliyev was a second-round pick back in 2019 who was recognized as having one of the best shots in the entire draft class. But he’s struggled to find his footing in the league since then. Kaliyev has 35 goals and 71 points over his 188 NHL games. He’s coming off his worst season to date, with just seven goals and 15 points in 51 games.
During the Kings’ playoff run, the team made him a healthy scratch for all five games. Kaliyev is a restricted free agent and would need a new contract for next season, but with his poor play, he’ll likely sign a “prove it” deal. This would give Vancouver a young, cheap lottery ticket for what hopes to be a helpful bottom-six goal scorer in need of a change of scenery.

Morgan Frost

Morgan Frost might be my favourite under-the-radar addition the Canucks could make this offseason. Vancouver’s third-line centre role is currently open and available, with Teddy Blueger not re-signed. Sure, Pius Suter could be an in-house replacement, but he’s proven to be a nice compliment on J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser’s line. Frost could be the perfect compliment to Garland’s game.
Frost’s NHL career started slowly, with just 23 points in 97 games over his first three seasons. But Frost has arrived over the last two seasons by showing flashes of high-level playmaking ability, great vision, and crisp passing. He’s managed 32 goals and 87 points over the previous two seasons.
Couldn’t you just see Frost making that stretch pass to spring Conor Garland on a breakaway?
Now Frost is another player who may have fallen out of favour with his respective team. We all know that John Tortorella isn’t the easiest coach to get along with, but it got so bad for Frost that he was made a healthy scratch for a stint this past season. And I’m not sure why?
Usually, it’s defensive issues, but when looking at the Philadelphia Flyers players’ analytics, Frost was one of the best on the team. He ranked third in scoring chances for percentage, meaning that with Frost on the ice, the Flyers produce more offensively than they allow.
Frost, who has one year remaining on his $2.1M contract, could be a cheaper option to help fill the third-line centre role. Vancouver would retain its rights if acquired at the end of this contract.

Trevor Zegras

This one is more wishful thinking, as Trevor Zegras is such a mesmerizing player to watch on the ice. For these reasons, he’s likely at a high price point, and trading within the division with players of this stature is always frightening for the trading team. But he was on this list, so let’s talk about it.
Zegras’ tape is filled with tons of highlight-reel offensive plays. He burst onto the seam in his first full season, finishing with 23 goals and 61 points and has now accrued 55 goals and 154 points in 211 games played. Last season, he dealt with injuries and only played 31 games.
While yes, Zegras is flashy and would bring lots of cheers to Rogers Arena, there’s a reason he’s on the trade block. Anaheim Ducks GM Pat Verbeek is a hard-nosed type of guy, and I don’t think these two can coexist. So, a trade may be on the horizon for a more established NHL player who can help guide the copious number of young forwards to years of success in Anaheim.
Zegras has two years remaining on his $5.75M bridge deal and, compared to some of the names linked to fill the top six options, would land on the cheaper end of Vancouver’s options. And while Zegras currently plays the centre position, he was drafted as a winger and I believe his highly skilled offensive game suits the wing better. Imagine how dynamic Pettersson’s shot would look off a crafty pass from Zegras.
What do you think Canucks fans? Who would you like to see Vancouver sign any of these three players on the Daily Faceoff’s top 20 trade targets list?

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