Discussing Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Martin Necas as trade targets: Canucks Conversation

Photo credit:© Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Clarke Corsan
28 days ago
On today’s episode of Canucks Conversation, David Quadrelli and Harman Dayal discussed the possibility of Vancouver pursuing current Carolina Hurricanes players Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Martin Necas.
Both of these players have been linked to the Canucks in various media reports, suggesting Vancouver’s front office is, at the very least, going to do its due diligence on what it would take to acquire them.
Harm started with his thoughts on Kotkaniemi: “When [Carolina] signed [Kotkaniemi] to an offer sheet, I’m sure they anticipated him being this middle-six stalwart centre. He’s shown flashes of that ability but hasn’t been able to really take the next step. There’s going to be some market for him around the NHL, especially because he’s so young, has pedigree, and the type of large, physical frame and baseline defensive reliability. He put up 41 points last season; there’s something there, just not worth the money right now. From the Canucks’ perspective, I’m probably staying away. Sure, I’d be confident in Kotkaniemi being a perfectly serviceable third-line centre, just not at that cap hit. Especially when you’re already potentially leaning on Conor Garland, who makes around 5 million, so if you’re spending another 5 million on another third-line centre, that guy better be elite. Maybe Kotkaniemi gets there, but he’s not there right now. If the Canucks bet on him, I’m not going to come out criticizing management for it.”
Next up for discussion was Martin Necas, who sparks more excitement with the potential to be a Canuck.
“Carolina is facing a cap-crunch situation this offseason,” Harm said. “They’ve got around 27 million in cap space. They really want to re-sign Guentzel as he was a terrific fit for them. They have their second defensive pair of Skjei and Pesce due for contracts, and Seth Jarvis. Without having done a ton of research, getting some of these guys back would leave them with around 5-6 million in cap space left with only 11 forwards and 6 defencemen signed, plus goalies. That’s not enough to fill out their depth spots and then sign Necas on top of that. He also has arbitration rights. You have to keep in mind that because Carolina wants to keep Guentzel and has needs to address on the back end, they’re probably going to want to make the type of trade where they gain cap space unless the guy they’re getting back is a core piece.”
Necas would no doubt be a major addition to the top six, but what it would take to get him is where the big questions begin. Filip Hronek is a name floating around, but Nils Hoglander is one piece the guys think could net a bigger fish.
“This is where Nils Hoglander would be a really valuable trade chip,” said Harm. “It’s not just what he is as a player; he only makes 1.1 million against the cap. To have that type of middle-six player who’s that young, has the speed and tenacity; I could easily see Carolina having a lot of interest in a player like that. If you’re going to make a trade for a proven high-end top-six player like Necas who’s in the prime of his career, you’re going to have to give to get. This is where the Canucks would have to decide if they want to part ways with Hoglander and make him the centerpiece or one of your A-grade prospects like Lekkerimaki. It also comes down to what Carolina prefers. It’ll be an interesting discussion with Hoglander as a whole with him being an arbitration-eligible RFA at the end of next season and in line for a significant raise. If the Canucks have any doubts about wanting to give him a substantial contract extension next summer, now would be the time to cash in on him as a premium trade chip to get yourself a top-six player.”
You can watch the full replay of today’s show below:

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