Monday Mailbag: Höglander as a trade option, who to draft at 15, and the Kuzmenko sweepstakes

Photo credit:Matthew Henderson
By Faber
1 year ago
The weather has finally turned around in Vancouver and that means that the May-long weekend is here. May-long means we are getting close to summer and that means we are that much closer to the NHL draft!
There’s still some business for the Canucks to take care of and we saw some of that handled this week with the coaching staff seeing some changes. Now, we wait to see what additions could be made.
One name I’ll just throw out there as a really excellent option is Scott Niedermayer. The Hall of Famer has coached with Bruce Boudreau in the past and has been retired in Penticton for the last few years while doing part-time work as a consultant with the Anaheim Ducks.
Adding Niedermayer to the staff would sure be cool. I haven’t heard anything about the actual chance of it happening, but just wanted to bring up a cool name that may be a fit if there’s interest from him.
Now, let’s get in the mailbag! I want to roll through a bunch of questions this week so I’ll try to keep my answers short and sweet.
Let’s rip open the bag and see what the wonderful people of Twitter had to ask this week.
Luke Schenn did enough last season to earn an everyday spot in the lineup next season. The hope would be that the Canucks can address their right side of the defence and bring in a better puck-mover with high-defensive ability to play with Quinn Hughes, but that’s a tall task to ask for.
The Canucks may be able to find a prospect who could play with Hughes in a year or two but I would not be shocked to see Schenn and Hughes back together next season.
I’d like to see Schenn on a third pairing next season with Jack Rathbone or Travis Dermott — it’s just going to be very hard to find a partner for Hughes. Moving high-value players like J.T. Miller, Brock Boeser, or Conor Garland could help speed up the problem of finding Hughes’ new partner and we will see if the Canucks want to go in that direction or not. If they are able to trade for a top-pairing defenceman, I’d still expect to see Schenn as an everyday defenceman next season. He provides good leadership and physicality that this team needs.
I’d like to trade down but the question is about making the selection.
My top three, in order, are (LD) Pavel Mintyukov, (W/C) Marco Kasper, (LD) Denton Mateychuk.
Yes, they would select Kasper over a defenceman if Kasper is the best player available.
Kasper already looks like he is so close to being an NHL player. Whichever team drafts Kasper could see him in their lineup as soon as the 2023-24 season. He is a very interesting prospect to keep an eye on at this year’s draft. The Canucks are definitely in a good spot to take a swing at Kasper.
It’s wild how much can change in one year.
If the Canucks are looking to make a sideways move with a team who is looking for depth scoring, Nils Höglander fits the bill. I’d love to continue to see Höglander matchup and dominate offensively against bottom-six competition but I’m also aware that he has enough value on the trade market to be a major piece in acquiring a young defenceman from another team.
Höglander didn’t have the best impression on Bruce Boudreau or the new management but is young enough and showed enough in his rookie season to have value here in Vancouver or on the trade market.
It just won’t be surprising to see his name come up if the management group is looking to shake things up with the roster.
I’m pretty sure that Quads thinks a raccoon is not a real animal.
He believes they are cats wearing masks.
The Leafs won’t throw in enough assets to get this done.
Mustard on watermelon is much better than goalie talk.
Don’t knock it until you try it.
Seriously, don’t knock it until you try it!
The latest we’ve heard is that a final decision on Andrei Kuzmenko will be made in the next 7-15 days. The Vancouver Canucks are definitely a team of interest but we have heard that the Edmonton Oilers and Vegas Golden Knights are seriously in the mix as well.
Kuzmenko getting a chance to play with Leon Draisaitl or Connor McDavid may be the nail in the coffin for Canucks fans hoping to see Kuzmenko in the blue and green. A big part of Kuzmenko’s decision will be how he sets up his next contract in the NHL. This year is going to see him sign a one-year deal with the goal of landing a much bigger, longer-term contract next offseason.
There’s a good chance Kuzmenko would fit in the Canucks’ top-nine and see power play time to start the season. This may be enough to get him to Vancouver on a one-year deal. Right now, I give the Oilers the best chance of landing Kuzmenko but have the Canucks behind them in the second spot. We will reach out to Kuzmenko’s camp later this week and see if we can get an update on the final decision.
That wraps up another Monday Mailbag here at CanucksArmy, thanks to everyone who sent in a question and interacts with this series every week.
Honestly, we were a bit light on Twitter questions this week — if you have a question, throw it in the comments with a “#MM” and I’ll try to get to it on next week’s article!
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