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Harman, Quads, and JPat react to Vancouver’s 2024 free agency: Canucks Conversation

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Photo credit:© Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Clarke Corsan
12 days ago
On today’s episode of Canucks Conversation, David Quadrelli was joined by Harman Dayal and Jeff Paterson to get their thoughts on the free-agent frenzy that occurred earlier this morning and how the Canucks improved through their signings.
The biggest fish of the day for Vancouver was 27-year-old Jake DeBrusk, who signed a 7-year, $5.5 million AAV contract. DeBrusk had 19 goals and 40 points in 80 games with the Bruins in 23-24.
“He brings speed, and after you struck out on the top names like Guentzel, Marchessault, and Stamkos, it’s reasonable relative to the other options,” Harm asserted. “I’d much rather be the Canucks betting on Jake DeBrusk than the contract Seattle gave Chandler Stephenson, for example. DeBrusk is younger, a better play-driver, and is a perfect fit for the way the Canucks want to play—straight lines, north-south, defensively responsible. He developed into a penalty killer over the last couple of seasons and has the potential to be a consistent 25-goal scorer for you, especially if he’s playing in a regular top-6 role next to Elias Pettersson. The biggest X factor is if he can find chemistry with Pettersson. I think he will, but that’s really the only question mark I have.”
“Looking at DeBrusk, there’s every reason to believe his best hockey is still in front of him, and he can be productive over the bulk of the contract,” JPat said. “There’s some risk in going full term with 7 years, but goal scorers get paid in the NHL, and if this guy can be a 25-30 goal scorer at 5.5 mil, I have no issues with that kind of money in a world where the salary cap is going up. Can he beat 25-30? The opportunity is there. Patrik Allvin basically said this was a signing for Pettersson’s wing. It’s not just the goal scoring; he’s a well-rounded player with penalty kill utility. I think Rick Tocchet is going to be able to get to Jake DeBrusk and bring out the best in him. DeBrusk has worked under some really quality head coaches in a system that has continually produced success surrounded by good players, and don’t discount that.”
The next contract discussed was the 2-year, $2.25 million AAV deal signed by Langley native Danton Heinen, who netted 17 goals and 36 points through 74 games with Boston last season.
“When you see that Sam Lafferty got a 2×2 from Buffalo, this Danton Heinen contract feels like a bit of a steal for the Canucks,” said Quads.
“He’s miles better than Lafferty, and I could envision him playing a similar role as Pius Suter where he can play up and down your lineup,” Harm chimed in. “He’s not going to be a dynamic play driver, but he can be the third wheel on a line and hold his own defensively. This past year, he scored 17 goals and 36 points, so you’re getting some secondary offensive pop from him as well.”
Vancouver also signed former Nashville Predator Kiefer Sherwood to a 2-year, $1.5 million AAV deal. The 29-year-old winger had 10 goals and 27 points last year.
“I love it,” Harm said of the Sherwood contract. “This is an interesting upside bet on Sherwood. He’s a late bloomer who hasn’t had a ton of consistent reps in the NHL before this season. He had 10 goals and 27 points in about 68 games, which is modest, but you have to keep in mind that he didn’t get any power play time. If you’re getting that production from your fourth-line winger, that’s significant in terms of secondary contribution. He’s pesky, has some pace, is a pain in the ass to play against, and he really caught my eye in the Nashville series as a guy you can plug into your fourth line but maybe has the upside to be a little bit more. He’s 29, but sometimes these guys pop late.”
JPat: “Allvin talked about the need for speed when he held his exit meetings back in May, and he mentioned it again today; he thinks they upgraded in scoring and they’re a faster team. Not just Danton Heinen but Kiefer Sherwood as well.”
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