Scout’s Analysis: An off-season blueprint for Canucks to consider

Mike Halford and Jason Brough address GM Patrik Allvin's comments of wanting to add more speed to the team and discuss if fans should expect the Canucks to go all-in on roster changes to try and take the next step in their Stanley Cup window.

When the Vancouver Canucks broke training camp last fall, the group was in the beginning stages of building a team identity. Rick Tocchet and his coaching staff clearly wanted the team to compete harder, stick to a process, trust each other, and most importantly pull in the same direction as a unit every night.

The result was that the Canucks had a fantastic season. But raise your hand if you correctly predicted Vancouver would win the Pacific Division and then come within one game of advancing to the Western Conference Final, back when the season began. Their regular season record (50-23-9) was very close to the Canucks’ best regular season ever!

It’s safe to say a new culture has been born in Vancouver and Tocchet, for his efforts leading it, won the Jack Adams Award last week.

Now comes the reality that next year’s team won’t return the exact same.

Like all teams, the Canucks have some huge decisions to make in the off-season. Vancouver has nine pending unrestricted free agents and two restricted free agents on its roster. The team is also dealing in a position of relative weakness from a draft pick perspective, with only two picks in the first five rounds this year, one of which comes in the third round and the other in the fourth.

Vancouver GM Patrik Allvin and his staff are facing some challenges this off-season, but as we’ve learned, the Canucks shouldn’t be underestimated as an organization. They are surely up for the challenge.

Here’s my end-of-year breakdown, and potential strategies moving forward, for the Vancouver Canucks:


As I mentioned, the Canucks’ draft board is pretty bare in rounds one through five for this draft cycle. They traded their first-round pick to Calgary when they acquired Elias Lindholm, and their second-round pick was traded away the previous season in a deal that also sent Jason Dickinson to the Chicago Blackhawks for defenceman Riley Stillman.

The Canucks might be able to move up into the early fifth round of this draft by packaging their two sixth-round picks in a trade, especially considering one of the sixth-rounders they have is San Jose’s. The other option is to just make the picks with the slots they own. After all, the more swings at the plate, the better the odds of hitting on a prospect.

Canucks draft board, per CapFriendly


Jonathan Lekkerimaki, Forward

Lekkerimaki took a huge step forward this season, producing 19G-12A playing for Orebro in the SHL, Sweden’s top pro league. Lekkerimaki was named the most valuable player at the world juniors for Sweden, where he contributed 7G-3A at the tournament. Finally, Lekkerimaki made his way over to North America to gain some valuable experience playing in the AHL for Abbotsford at the end of the season. There was even a moment in the Stanley Cup Playoffs when his name came up as a potential addition to the Canucks’ playoff lineup.

Lekkerimaki is trending up and he will have a chance to make the Canucks next fall, but it’s more likely he’ll spend some more time at the AHL level getting acclimated to the North American pro game.

NHL Projection: Top six forward/shooter on the power play

Elias Pettersson, Defenceman

I have a lot of time for Pettersson and the way he plays the game. He pushes back physically and contributes some secondary offence. I don’t envision Pettersson being slotted on to a power play unit at the NHL level, but the two-way defenceman has the ability to match-up against top six opponents and kill penalties.

Similar to Lekkerimaki, Pettersson came from Sweden to the AHL late in the season and will need some time to adjust to the way the game is played on the smaller ice in North America. But his high end compete and willingness to play on the edge physically is very attractive.

NHL Projection: No. 4 or No. 5 match-up defenceman

Tom Willander, Defenceman

Willander had a solid year with Boston University at the NCAA level. In his draft year (2022-23) Willander’s game grew as the season went along and the same can be said for his game at the college level. Willander is a fantastic skater who has understated offensive upside, producing 4G-21A for the Terriers. His defending is solid, but he has another level to get to before turning pro. He will benefit from another year at BU.

NHL Projection: Top Pairing/two-way defenceman

Aatu Raty, Forward

Raty is another Canucks prospect who took significant steps forward with his overall game this season. Raty isn’t a pure burner in open ice, but he is pushing the pace more in transition compared to the past. He’s always had great puck touch. Raty is a player who “cradles” the puck before snapping shots on goal with his quick and accurate release. His three-zone detail is generally responsible and he’s more involved in the middle of the ice offensively. Raty produced 18G-34A playing in Abbotsford this past season.

NHL Projection: Middle-six forward/secondary offence

[brightcove videoID=6353539094112 playerID=JCdte3tMv height=360 width=640]


Vancouver went on a nice playoff run and were close to defeating the Edmonton Oilers, but one of the things that stood out for me in both playoff rounds was the Canucks’ inability to consistently drive the play on offence. They lacked “insulators” in their lineup, players who contribute more often in secondary scoring roles. Missing Brock Boeser in Game 7 versus the Oilers certainly didn’t help their cause.

Canucks’ forward cap outlook, per CapFriendly

Here’s my breakdown of the Canucks’ forward group, in descending order, based on regular season scoring stats:

JT Miller
Regular Season: 81GP-37G-66A 
Playoffs: 13GP-3G-9A

Miller was a workhorse for Vancouver this season. He averaged 19:29 ice time per game and was used in all situations. Miller led the group in the regular season and playoff scoring. He produced 10G-30A on the power play, won 56 per cent of his face-offs and was credited with 217 hits. He was also a plus-32 in the regular season, and plus-5 in the playoffs.

Miller is an uber-competitive athlete. He isn’t easy to coach, but he’s hard on himself and expects his teammates to execute at a high level. I’m not sure any coach in the league is better suited for JT than Tocchet. The two of them clearly have mutual respect and understanding of how the Canucks want to play as a team. Miller was the Canucks’ most valuable forward, in my opinion.

Miller’s contract doesn’t expire until the end of the 2029-30 season. It comes with a full no-movement clause until 2027, then changes to a 15-team no-trade list.

Elias Pettersson
Regular Season: 82GP-34G-55A
Playoffs: 13GP-1G-5A

Pettersson was apparently dealing with a knee injury in the back end of the season and into the playoffs. His scoring certainly fell off at a time Vancouver needed him most. Having said that, his body of work over the course of the regular season was solid. He played to his identity offensively, especially on the power play ripping pucks from the weak side. Pettersson scored 13 of his goals on the power play.

I try to be kind, and understanding, when I hear about players dealing with injury in the playoffs and playing through their bumps and bruises. My expectation is Pettersson will be a better version of himself next spring when the playoffs come around again. The group definitely needs more from Pettersson at the hardest time of the year.

There was some noise around Pettersson and what his future might look like in a Canucks uniform before he and the organization came to terms on a contract extension that kicks in next season. Pettersson is set to become the Canucks’ highest paid player with an $11.6 million AAV starting in the fall.

Brock Boeser
Regular Season: 81GP-40G-33A
Playoffs: 12GP-7G-5A

Boeser was one of the feel good stories in Vancouver this season. He contributed career highs in goals, points, power play goals (16) and plus/minus (plus-23). Boeser isn’t a burner in open ice, he’s an average skater at the NHL level, but it’s fair to say he got everything he could out of his game this season.

A new bar has been set by Boeser after his performance this season and it will be interesting to see how sustainable his contribution is moving forward. The Canucks certainly missed his presence in Game 7 versus the Oilers, especially on the power play.

Boeser will be entering the final year of his contract with a $6.65 million cap hit next season. After that, he will be set for unrestricted free agency in 2025.

[brightcove videoID=6353542656112 playerID=JCdte3tMv height=360 width=640]

Conor Garland
Regular Season: 82GP-20G-27A
Playoffs: 13GP-3G-2A

At the start of the season, Garland was granted permission by the Canucks to seek out a trade. By the end of the it, I felt like he was one of the most visible competitors on the Canucks roster in playoffs.

Garland provided a secondary layer of offence for the Canucks. I had to do a double take looking at his playoff scoring because it felt like he was always around the play and stirring the drink in the post-season.

Overall, Garland was the best version of himself this season. I’m pleased with his role in the lineup and the approach and compete he provided. Garland needs to provide a repeat of this past season to justify his $4.95 million cap hit, which runs through the 2025-26 season.

Nils Hoglander
Regular Season: 80GP-24G-12A
Playoffs: 11GP-1G-1A

I’d be hard pressed to find another player in the NHL who scored all of his goals at even strength (24) while averaging only 12 minutes of ice time per game.

Hoglander was a bulldog in regular season, but he did come back down to earth in the playoffs. He will be better for the experience, but his three-zone detail and push through has to go to another level next time the puck drops in the playoffs. He’s at his best when he’s extending plays around the crease and below the goal line.

Hoglander will be a restricted free agent after next season. Scoring 24 goals this past season provided the Canucks great value from his $1.1 million cap hit.

Dakota Joshua
Regular Season: 63GP-18G-14A
Playoffs: 13GP-4G-4A

Joshua is a pending UFA who averaged 14:23 of ice time this past season and scored 17 goals at even strength. He’s a power forward who’s hard to play against and plays heavy in the trenches. He contributed 244 hits, but if he had played an entire 82-game schedule he could have surpassed 300 hits.

Joshua was paid $825,000 in 2023-24 and is no doubt due for a raise as a pending UFA. I’m not sure what the market will pay for his services, but it would be unwise for Vancouver to move off of Joshua if his next deal lands around $3-$3.5 million per year. He’s especially valuable when the games get more physically demanding.

Illya Mikheyev
Regular Season: 78GP-11G-20A
Playoffs 11GP-0 points

To say Mikheyev struggled to score from December until the end of the playoffs is a gross understatement. He scored on December 17 against Chicago and not again until March 13 versus Colorado. He had some Grade A chances in the playoffs, but it felt like he couldn’t put the puck in the Pacific Ocean if required.

I appreciate Mikheyev’s approach to the game. He plays with pace and with generally reliable detail defensively. He looks capable of doing more than he actually provides.

The reality is Mikheyev is making far too much money for what he brings to the group. His $4.75 million cap hit and 12-team no-trade clause will be very difficult to move to another team. The deal doesn’t expire until the end of the 2025-26 season, but if someone’s interested in acquiring Mikheyev I’m definitely listening if I’m the Canucks.

Pius Suter
Regular Season: 67GP-14G-15A
Playoffs: 13GP-2G-1A

On balance, the Canucks received great value from Suter this past season in relation to his salary ($1.6M). Suter plays with pace and is a consistent competitor who sneaks up on opponents offensively at times. Make no mistake, however, Suter is at best a middle-six forward who is suited for a third-line role. He wins 50 per cent of his draws, scores at even strength, and can contribute on the power play occasionally. He was a plus-17 in the regular season and a plus-2 in the playoffs. He’s signed for one more season.

Teddy Blueger
Regular Season: 68GP-6G-22A
Playoffs: 13GP-0G-2A

Blueger is a bottom-six forward who chipped in some secondary offence in the regular season. His primary ice time comes at even strength and the penalty kill. He averaged 14:56 of ice time, won 53 per cent of his face-offs, and got involved in the hard areas of the ice. He doesn’t back down from contact.

Blueger is a pending UFA who was paid $1.9 million this past season. I don’t see a path forward with the team if he expects a raise, but the Canucks could certainly do worse on the open market trying to replace Blueger. If his ask makes sense budget-wise it’s worth a conversation to keep him.

Sam Lafferty
Regular Season: 79GP-13G-11A
Playoffs: 11GP-0 points

Lafferty got off to a nice start in Vancouver, but tailed off considerably in the back half of the season. Over his final 43 regular season games he contributed 4G-4A, was a minus-10, and his average ice time ranged from seven to 15 minutes. He looked out of sorts in the playoffs. He wasn’t arriving on time to create turnovers consistently, and his execution with the puck was erratic.

Lafferty is a pending UFA who had an affordable $1.15 million cap hit this past season. His 13 goals are worth that kind of investment, but the back half of the year makes me pause. I would take stock of my other options before circling back with Lafferty.

Phil Di Giuseppe
Regular Season: 51GP-5G-5A
Playoffs: 11GP-1G-1A

Di Giuseppe was an effective player for the Canucks when his number was called. In the playoffs he provided noticeable energy and relentless compete. He pursued opponents to create turnovers and scored his first playoff goal in Game 5 against Edmonton. Di Giuseppe plays with the pace the Canucks are looking for in their bottom six forward group. He’s a valuable role player who’s signed for one more year with a $775,000 cap hit. I appreciate what he provides the group.

Nils Aman
Regular Season: 43GP-4G-3A
Playoffs: 5GP-0 points

Aman is signed for two more seasons with an $825,000 cap hit. I recognize he’s only 24 years old, but I don’t see a player who has much scoring trajectory. Additionally, I would prefer to have someone who is more engaged physically in Aman’s role. He was only credited with 28 shots on goal, 31 hits and 22 shot blocks in 43 games. He’s not a player who moves the needle towards playoff success, in my opinion.

[brightcove videoID=6353541279112 playerID=JCdte3tMv height=360 width=640]

Vasili Podkolzin
Regular Season: 19GP-0G-2A
Playoffs: 2GP-0 points

Sooner or later Podkolzin will have to sink or swim at the NHL level. It’s curious that he scored 14 goals as a 20-year-old, but has not been able to come close to those numbers since, and spent most of this season at the AHL level, where he scored 15 goals in 44 games. Podkolzin is heavy set and displays a willingness to engage physically in the trenches, credited with 71 hits in the 19 NHL games he played. Perhaps Podkolzin needs a change of scenery, or maybe he’s a bottom six replacement for someone like Lafferty. He’s signed through 2025-26 with a cap hit of $1.0 million. Something has to give with his development next season.

Meantime, Arshdeep Bains and Linus Karlsson are proven scorers at the AHL level and were 1-2 in Abbotsford scoring, but their impact in the NHL has yet to materialize. The jury is still out on both of those young forwards.


The final forward I need to address is Elias Lindholm. Lindholm was underwhelming in the regular season after first coming to the Canucks in a trade. Vancouver was hoping he would add more scoring depth to the top of their lineup, but Lindholm only produced 6G-6A in 26 regular season games. He was surprisingly average defensively as well, posting a minus-6 rating. The one area Lindholm continued to excel was in the face-off circle where he won 58 per cent of his draws.

But as underwhelming as Lindholm’s regular season was, his playoffs provided a better version of his value. Lindholm produced 5G-5A in 13 playoff games and was deployed in all situations, averaging over 19 minutes of ice time. Two of his goals were game-winners. He was involved physically and won over 50 per cent of his draws.

If the Canucks are comfortable with Lindholm slotting into a middle six role, and the salary makes sense, he would be a player I’d bring back.

Here are some salary comparisons to consider, though also keep in mind the salary cap is rising by $4.175 million, which will re-shape the market:

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (EDM): $5.125M AAV              
Jared McCann (SEA): $5.0M AAV                     
Vincent Trocheck (NYR): $5.625M AAV

I’m assuming that if Lindholm hits the market he’ll have many interested teams and would attract someone willing to invest $6-$6.5 million, hoping he contributes in the neighbourhood of 65 points as a return on their investment.

[brightcove videoID=6353534375112 playerID=JCdte3tMv height=360 width=640]


The Canucks have a huge challenge on their hands when it comes to re-organizing their defence corps before next season. None of their prospects, in my opinion, are ready to move to the NHL in an impactful role and the team only has three blueliners signed to contracts for next season.

Canucks’ blue line cap outlook, per CapFriendly

Here’s my breakdown of the Canucks’ defencemen:

Quinn Hughes
Regular Season: 82GP-17G-75A
Playoffs: 13GP-0G-10A

Hughes averaged nearly 25 minutes of ice time in the regular season. There were some nights he was deployed only 21 minutes but, overall, he was a workhorse whose primary minutes came at even strength and on the power play. In Game 7 versus the Oilers, Hughes was on the ice for 28:33.

Hughes is flat out one of the most dynamic defencemen in the entire NHL and almost a hybrid player. A rover who is part forward, part defenceman. In addition to his elite offence, Hughes finished the regular season with a plus-38 rating and was a plus-1 in the playoffs.

With the Canucks awarding Pettersson a new contract, expect Hughes’ next deal to surpass Pettersson’s when the time arrives in 2027. He’s currently making $7.85 million against the cap, which will get more valuable over the next three years against a rising cap.

Filip Hronek
Regular Season: 81GP-5G-43A
Playoffs: 13GP-1G-1A

It was a bit of a surprise move when Vancouver traded for Hronek on March 1, 2023. Here’s what the deal looked like between the Canucks and the Detroit Red Wings:

Hronek has played some of his best hockey since arriving in Vancouver. He’s produced offensively and skated many nights on the top pairing alongside Hughes.

Unfortunately, the back half of his season fell off pretty dramatically compared to the first. In his first 36 games Hronek produced 2G-27A, but in his final 45 games he was held to 3G-16A. More concerning was his drop off defensively. Hronek was a combined plus-32 in his first 42 games, then only a plus-1 in his final 39.

When I factor in Hronek’s lack of offensive production in the playoffs, combined with his minus-3 rating, it makes me think long and hard about how I want to approach his next contract. He’s a pending RFA who has arbitration rights and a qualifying offer set at $5.3 million.

How much is too much for Hronek moving forward? He’s only 26 years old, logs over 23 minutes per game in all situations, is a valued right shot, and the Canucks traded out significant draft capital to acquire him from the Wings.

I don’t feel like Hronek brings any more value than Mackenzie Weegar in Calgary. Weegar is signed to a long-term contract that carries and AAV of $6.25 million. I also don’t see how the Canucks can afford to pay Hronek more than his qualifying offer next season, before addressing his contract again next year. The cap gymnastics are very delicate here and every dollar matters.

Tyler Myers
Regular Season: 77GP-5G-24A
Playoffs: 12GP-0G-1A

Myers had his best season in a Canucks uniform since arriving in 2019-20. He averaged nearly 19 minutes per game in ice time, deployed mostly at even strength and the penalty kill. His regular season produced secondary offence and an improved plus/minus rating of plus-16 compared to last season’s minus-16.

Myers is now 34 years old and entering the twilight of his career. The unrestricted free agent was paid $6 million this past season. Based on what I viewed, especially his improved detail defensively, I feel like Myers can contribute in a middle/bottom pairing role for a couple more years. If he’s interested in a two-year contract paying $3 million per, I would consider extending him. If he and the team are more content taking it year by year, I might consider a one-year deal at $4 million.

Nikita Zadorov
Regular Season (combined Vancouver/Calgary): 75GP-6G-14A
Playoffs: 13GP-4G-4A

Zadorov elevated his game the way Vancouver hoped he would in the playoffs. He averaged 17 minutes of ice time in the regular season, and that spiked to over 20 minutes in the playoffs. Almost all of his ice time came at even strength and the penalty kill.

Zadorov’s a giant of a man (6-foot-6, 235 pounds) who plays with a physical presence. The offence he contributed in the playoffs is a bonus. The Canucks, as a team, benefited from his steadiness after he arrived from Calgary. He’s a pending UFA who made $3.75 million this past season. There is some risk in overpaying Zadorov and he’s had some bouts of inconsistent play throughout his career, but his fit in Vancouver feels right to me. If he’s interested in a three-year contract at $4.75 million per year, I would extend him. Past that, it gets trickier.

Carson Soucy
Regular Season: 40GP-2G-4A
Playoffs: 12GP-1G-4A

Soucy dealt with injuries in his first year playing for the Canucks, limiting his regular season to only 40 games. He did provide Vancouver responsible minutes in the playoffs, however, including his bonus contribution offensively.

Soucy averages 17 minutes of ice time per game. He’s a rangy, long, mostly defensive defenceman and was a part of the reason why the Canucks’ penalty-kill was much improved this season. He’s signed for two more years with an AAV of $3.25 million, which is good value for the role he provides.

Ian Cole
Regular Season: 78GP-2G-9A
Playoffs: 13GP-0G-2A

Cole emptied the tank for the Canucks this past season. He seemed to run out of gas in the playoffs when the games got quicker and faster, but his body of work throughout the year was stabilizing for the team. Cole is a 35-year-old pending UFA who might have another year left in his skates, but I wouldn’t recommend extending him in a Canucks uniform. His $3 million cap hit will need to be invested in other players on the roster.

Noah Juulsen
Regular Season: 54GP-1G-6A
Playoffs: 2GP-0 points

Juulsen skated in a career-high 54 NHL regular season games this year. I had to remind myself he’s still only 26 years young. It feels like he’s been around for much longer than he actually has, mostly due to the fact Vancouver is already the third NHL organization he’s suited up for (Montreal and Florida are the others).

Juulsen was a valuable player for Vancouver this year. He filled in nicely when the group was dealing with injury or illness. Juulsen is a bottom pairing defenceman who averaged 15 minutes of ice time at even strength and the penalty kill. He was credited with 163 hits and 86 shot blocks. Juulsen is signed through next season. with a modest cap hit of $775,000. Vancouver now knows what to expect from Juulsen as a sixth, or seventh, defenceman. He has a role on this team.


The Canucks appear to be set in goal for next season, and beyond, with the emergence of Arturs Silovs over the past year. Thatcher Demko is the undisputed No. 1 goalie in Vancouver, but the way Silovs performed on the big stage in the playoffs should make the organization feel comfortable with where they are between the pipes.

Thatcher Demko
Regular Season: 51GP-2.45 GAA-.917 SV%
Playoffs: 1GP-2.00 GAA-.917 SV%

Demko has battled injuries in his career, but when healthy he’s one of the top starters in the NHL. Big and athletic, Demko not only takes up a ton of net with his stature (6-foot-4, 192 pounds), but he has great feet and quick pads. There were several nights the Canucks didn’t start on time where Demko gave the group a chance to get its legs with timely saves early in games. He’s capable of stealing games when the team is off in front of him.

Casey DeSmith
Regular Season: 29GP-2.89 GAA-.895 SV%
Playoffs: 2GP-2.02 GAA-.911 SV%

The Canucks acquired DeSmith during training camp in a trade with Montreal that sent Tanner Pearson to the Habs. DeSmith filled in when asked and provided the Canucks with some reliable minutes. He’s a pending UFA who counted for $1.8 million against the cap. The Canucks are set in goal moving forward without him, however, and DeSmith will be looking for a net to tend elsewhere in the league this off-season.

Arturs Silovs
Regular Season: 4GP-2.47GAA-.881 SV%
Playoffs: 10GP-2.91GAA-.898 SV%

Silovs’ numbers don’t jump off the page as elite, but it’s impossible to argue he didn’t give the Canucks a chance to win in the playoffs. Last year around this time, he was named MVP of the World Championships when he led Team Latvia to a bronze medal. He’s clearly programmed for big moments. It won’t be a straight line every night with Silovs and we have to remember that he’s still a developing goalie at the NHL level, but he’s earned the opportunity to be a full-time NHL netminder next fall.

Silovs is a restricted free agent with a qualifying offer set at $813,750. It will be interesting to see if Vancouver elects to sign Silovs to a bridge deal to provide cost certainty moving forward. Given the current state of the Canucks’ salary cap I would qualify Silovs for next season and deal with his raise in 2025.

[brightcove videoID=6353540789112 playerID=JCdte3tMv height=360 width=640]


There are a few of the Canucks’ own players I’d be looking at keeping, with Zadorov, Joshua and Lindholm topping the list if, as described above, the contracts are right.

But past keeping all of them, the Canucks have over $23 million in cap space that could be partly spent in the open market. Here are other names I’d be looking into:

Chandler Stephenson, Forward (VGK)

Jake Guentzel, Forward (CAR)

Matt Duchene, Forward (DAL)

Jake DeBrusk, Forward (BOS)

Brandon Montour, Defenceman (FLA)

Anthony DuClair, Forward (TB)

Brett Pesce, Defenceman (CAR)

Alexandre Carrier, Defenceman (NSH)

Yakov Trenin, Forward (COL)

Daniel Sprong, Forward (DET)


Something to be aware of is the dead cap space the Canucks have against their available funds heading into the off-season. The salary cap is rising by $4.175 million this summer, but Vancouver will be spending a chunk of that on their Oliver Ekman-Larsson buyout, which peaks the two seasons after next. It will hold them back from being more aggressive in free agency.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson buyout penalty, per CapFriendly.

With all that I have described taken into consideration, here’s what the Canucks lineup could potentially look like next season. Keep in mind an entire scouting staff, and upper management would have a say in how to build out the roster. These are simply my thoughts in which I take on the process myself:




DeBrusk ($4M/3)

Miller ($8M)

Boeser ($6.65M)

Duclair ($3M/2)

Pettersson ($11.6M)

Garland ($4.95M)

Joshua ($2.75M/3)

Stephenson ($4M/3)

Hoglander ($1.1M)

DiDiuseppe ($775K)

Suter ($1.6M)

Podkolzin ($775K)



Hughes ($7.85M)

Hronek ($5.5M/QO)

Zadorov ($4.75M)

Carrier ($3.25M/3)

Soucy ($3.25M)

Myers ($2.5/1)

Juulsen ($775K)


Demko ($5M)

Silovs ($814K)

Ekman-Larsson Dead Cap Space: $2,346,667
Mikheyev Dead Cap Space: $1,150,000
Total Cap Hits: $86,385,667
Remaining Cap: $1,289,333

I decided the Mikheyev contract is too much to absorb for the Canucks moving forward. He’s too expensive for what he provides, so I would explore a buy out, which would look like this:

• I have left enough cap space for the Canucks to start the season with an extra forward, or an extra defenceman.

• The left over funds allow for competition at training camp for a final roster spot. One of Raty, Bains or Aman could fit under the salary cap if they earned a job out of camp.

• Alternatively, the left over cap space also allows the Canucks to shop for a waiver wire defenceman, or find a trade similar to the one that landed them Lafferty from the Toronto Maple Leafs.

• The line combinations and defence pairings outlined above are not etched in stone. These are only examples of what the roster could look like.

• I tried to provide roster options based on what Canucks GM Patrik Allvin said he was looking for in players this off-season. The primary goal was to try and add more speed, and hopefully balance out the scoring.


There have been recent rumours that the Canucks might have interest in Carolina Hurricanes forward Martin Necas. The darting forward would certainly fit the strategy the organization is trying to accomplish, by adding more skill and speed.

My concern with adding Necas is the potential cost of acquiring him. Keep in mind the Canucks would likely have to move Hronek in a Necas deal. Carolina has Brett Pesce, Brady Skjei, and Anthony DeAngelo entering free agency. They would likely want to fill one of those voids with Hronek.

The Canucks gave up quite a bit to acquire Hronek in the first place and he’s only played one full season in Vancouver. I’m having a tough time wrapping my mind around the organization wanting to move a right shot defenceman who’s only 26 years young and logs over 23 minutes per game in all situations. They’d immediately be after a replacement.


With Pettersson’s new contract hitting the books and the spike in Ekman-Larsson’s dead cap penalty, I found it very difficult to fill out the kind of roster that Allvin is hoping to ice next season. On balance, however, I do feel the roster I constructed provides more scoring depth and speed.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.