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Blackhawks, Maple Leafs among teams interested in Canucks UFA Dakota Joshua: report

NHL Betting for April 23rd
Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Jagraj Lalli
28 days ago
On Thursday morning’s edition of Donnie and Dhali – The Team, Rick Dhaliwal provided an update on the status of upcoming Canucks free agent Dakota Joshua. Dhaliwal mentioned that the Toronto Maple Leafs and Chicago Blackhawks are among “a dozen” teams interested in the 28-year-old winger.
 
Joshua was originally selected 128th overall by the Maple Leafs in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft but never played a game for Toronto. He has the potential to bring a much-needed physical edge and scoring ability to the bottom six of the lineup, aligning perfectly with Toronto’s need for toughness.
Joshua had a breakout season with the Vancouver Canucks in 2023-24, scoring 18 goals and 32 points in 63 games. He led the Canucks in hits and played a significant role on the penalty kill, forming a dynamic partnership with Conor Garland on the third line, which elevated their play to a top-six level.
Following his breakout season, Joshua will be a hot commodity if he reaches free agency on July 1. Dhaliwal noted the strong interest from other teams, saying: “There will be no shortage of teams on Joshua if he hits July 1. I’m hearing double-digit teams… A couple of teams I heard going after Joshua are the Maple Leafs and the Blackhawks.”
Joshua spent parts of two seasons with the St. Louis Blues after his rights were traded by the Maple Leafs. During his time in St. Louis, Joshua recorded four goals, five assists, and a plus-minus of +3 in 42 games. 
In 2022, Joshua signed with the Canucks on a two-year deal worth an average annual value (AAV) of $825,000. His career stats with the Canucks include 29 goals, 26 assists, and a plus-minus of +3 in 142 games.
The Canucks are keen to re-sign Joshua, but cap space is a significant hurdle. Dhaliwal highlighted this issue, stating: “(Joshua) is still not signed. The Canucks are very well aware of Joshua’s number; they just can’t get there right now. Can they get there if they clear up cap space, like moving Mikheyev? That would help in re-signing Dakota Joshua. The Canucks want him, and the player wants to stay. It’s not a situation where no one wants to get it done.”
With the offseason approaching, Joshua’s future remains uncertain. However, it’s clear that he will be a sought-after player in free agency, with teams like the Maple Leafs and Blackhawks ready to make a move. As Dhaliwal indicated, “Don’t be surprised if the Chicago Blackhawks take a hard, long look at Dakota Joshua.”
Watch the full segment below:

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