6 Dan Milstein clients the Vancouver Canucks might target
Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
By Noah Strang2 months ago
The Vancouver Canucks and agent Dan Milstein have formed quite the relationship. The organization has recently signed numerous players that are represented by Milstein including Andrei Kuzmenko, Ilya Mikheyev, Vitali Kravtsov, the now departed Wyatt Kalynuk, Danila Klimovich, Max Sasson, and Kirill Kudrayavtsev.
Milstein has so many players inside the Canucks organization that he might as well join the staff. He’s becoming a larger presence in the Vancouver market, partly due to his role in bringing players to the team and partly because of his great Twitter account that celebrates every Kuzmenko goal.
Dan Milstein and Gold Star Sports have quite a few players around the league under management. This includes far more players than just the ones on the Canucks roster. If the team wants to continue to advance this relationship, there are some interesting names around the league that they could target.
While the Canucks are in the business of building the best hockey team, it’s a fun thought exercise to see what they could build by adding as many Milstein clients as possible. Here are six players they could go after, including a few that they have real interest in.
Vladislav Gavrikov, D, Los Angeles Kings, 27 years old
Gavrikov was one of the top trade targets at this year’s deadline and eventually moved from the Columbus Blue Jackets to the Los Angeles Kings. He’s now in the final season of a $2.8 million contract that will leave him an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Rick Dhaliwal reported that the Canucks have interest in Gavrikov during the same hit that he said to keep an eye on Max Sasson, the NCAA free agent the team signed a few days later. This is a good sign that there is interest from the Canucks to go after Gavrikov this offseason.
Gavrikov has 15 points in 63 games so far this season, though he’s managed five points in 11 games since joining the Kings. He plays the left side. The Canucks will surely approach Milstein about Gavrikov this offseason and it will be a matter of making the money work.
Alexander Barabanov, W, San Jose Sharks, 28 years old
The Milstein client has had a bit of a breakout season this year. He’s got 47 points in 68 games and has been one of the lone reasons for optimism in San Jose. He can put the puck in the back of the net and plays bigger than his 5’10” frame.
If the Sharks were looking to cash in on Barabanov’s big year, now would be the time. At 28 years old he doesn’t really fit the timeline of their rebuild. However, he could fill in great for Vancouver if they were going to return just one of Brock Boeser, Conor Garland, and Tanner Pearson next season.
After this season, Barbanov will have just one year left on his contract at $2.5 million. He would be a great get as a middle-six player that can put up points on either wing as the Sharks might be looking to cash in on this ageing asset. No matter what happens this summer, Barabanov will likely be a name to look out for at next year’s deadline. If the Canucks did manage to acquire him this summer, he could be a candidate to get flipped if the team was struggling next season.
Ivan Barbashev, C/W, Vegas Golden Knights, 27 years old
Ivan Barbashev is another name that has been linked to the Vancouver Canucks in recent weeks. The forward was traded from the St Louis Blues to the Vegas Golden Knights at the deadline. He has been playing a lot as a first line winger for the Golden Knights but does have extensive experience as a middle-six centre.
He has 39 points through 73 games so far this season. He’d be a good addition to the Canucks as he can play centre behind Elias Pettersson and J.T. Miller but can also flex to the wing if needed to deal with injuries.
As an unrestricted free agent this summer, Barbashev will be free to choose his next team. The Canucks will surely not be the only team interested so it will be interesting to see if they can get him at a number that makes sense.
Yegor Sharangovich, C/W, New Jersey Devils, 24 years old
Sharangovich would be a very interesting acquisition for the Vancouver Canucks. The 24 year old forward has 29 points in 64 games, solid numbers for a player his age. Perhaps more impressive is the 24 goals and 46 points he had last season in 76 games when he burst onto the scene. Sharangovich has never scored fewer than 30 points in an NHL season and will break that mark easily this year.
As New Jersey has ascended to the top of the league, Sharangovich has been passed by other wingers on the team’s depth chart. He’s not getting the same time on the power play as he used to and is generally getting fewer opportunities to play. He’s averaging a career low 14:18 minutes per game this year, two minutes fewer than any of his first two NHL seasons.
He’s also a penalty killer for New Jersey, a skill that would be useful for the Canucks as he could fill in. Overall, Sharangovich is a very well-rounded forward that is still just 24 years of age and has seemingly fallen a bit out of favour in New Jersey. He will be a restricted free agent this summer and if frustration starts to mount with his current situation, the Canucks could swoop in.
Daniil Miromanov, D, Vegas Golden Knights, 25 years old
Daniil Miromanov is a defenceman that has struggled to break into a full time role for the Vegas Golden Knights. He’s shown a lot of promise in certain areas but hasn’t been able to stick in the NHL due to the Golden Knights’ strong defence group. Miromanov actually played forward in junior hockey and that’s clear when you watch him play.
He’s a great offensive defenceman and has shown the ability to put up points at every level. He’s even scored six points across 14 games this season, a good production rate for a depth player bouncing between the NHL and AHL. However, he’s not small like the other offensive defencemen on the Canucks. Miromanov stands 6’4″ and weighs 200 pounds.
As a right-handed, big body player, Miromanov ticks some of the boxes of what the Canucks need. While he may never turn out to be a top-four defenceman, he’d be a solid third-pairing option on the right side that provides some offensive pop.
Vasily Ponomarev, C, Carolina Hurricanes, 21 years old
Ponomarev is a winger prospect in the Carolina Hurricanes organization. He’s got 19 goals and 18 assists in 57 AHL games this season for the Chicago Wolves. He also just turned 21 years old a little over two weeks ago. Ponomarev was the 53rd overall selection in the 2020 NHL Draft and made the transition to professional hockey in North America last season when he played in the AHL.
Scouts praise Ponomarev’s effort levels and defensive game. He’s seen as someone that can impact play at both ends of the ice and is having quite a solid season for a young pivot in the AHL. He would be a great get for the Canucks organization, though the Hurricanes will surely be demanding a hefty return.
This is a transaction that is unlikely to happen without some Milstein magic but if the Canucks keep signing Gold Star clients, then maybe they’ll get a favour done for them. Ponomarev would be the best centre prospect in the organization, as well as one of the most NHL-ready young players.
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