How I Would Fix the Vancouver Canucks: The Final Part

What have I learned through this long process of fixing the Vancouver Canucks? Well for one, this is going to take forever to complete. We are on the right track, and I could probably do this for 10 more parts and still not be in the playoffs.

In this final part, we go through the 2018 draft and the 2018 re-signing and free agency period and predict what the starting lineup may look like at the beginning of the 2018-2019 season.

The other Parts to this series can be found below…

PART ONE

PART TWO

PART THREE

PART FOUR

To recap, this is what the lineup looked like on Game 82 of the 2017-2018 season:

SVEN BAERTSCHI – BO HORVAT – NIKOLAY GOLDOBIN
JONATHAN DAHLEN – DRAKE CAGGIULA – BROCK BOESER
REID BOUCHER – MARKUS GRANLUND – LOUI ERIKSSON
LARS ELLER – BRENDAN GAUNCE – JAKE VIRTANEN

EX – DEREK DORSETT, JAYSON MEGNA

ALEXANDER EDLER – CHRIS TANEV
ERIK GUDBRANSON – BEN HUTTON
TROY STECHER – JORDAN SUBBAN

EX – BROOKS ORPIK

JACOB MARKSTROM
RICHARD BACHMAN

Bo Horvat – Captain
Alex Edler – Assistant
Chris Tanev – Assistant

We are getting there, but this team still isn’t scaring anybody.

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THE 2018 DRAFT:

With the trades that we made in Part Four, the Canucks would have 9 draft picks.

1st Round – VAN (Top 10 Pick), WSH (31st)*
2nd Round – VAN (Late 30’s), PIT (50’s)
4th Round – VAN (100th)
5th Round – VAN (130th), MTL (145th)
6th Round – VAN (160)
7th Round – VAN (190)

*Washington wins the Stanley Cup!

The Canucks will add to their ever growing prospect pool through this draft, but it’s too early to tell who exactly they could get at any of these picks.

THE 2018 RE-SIGNING PERIOD:

FORWARDS

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SVEN BAERTSCHI
He will (hopefully) be in line for a raise after a stellar 2017-2018 season. This could be somewhere in the 2.5 to 4 million dollar range.

MARKUS GRANLUND
He could sign the “Sven Baertschi” deal, something 2 years at around $2 million per year. Unless he puts up another 20+ goal season, then that number would rise.

JAKE VIRTANEN
Is he the next Zack Kassian? If he has a bounce back NHL season, he could see a large raise from the ELC he signed as a rookie. If not, it may be under $1,000,000.

DRAKE CAGGIULA
Being reunited with Brock Boeser and Troy Stecher could produce some special North Dakota magic of old. Could see a contract like Jannik Hansen, somewhere in the $2.5 million range.

REID BOUCHER
At this point, if Reid Boucher has a great season and there is obvious offensive prowess on his part, the Canucks would be stupid not to sign him. If he has a season where he is overshadowed on the team, he should be let go. Let’s hope for good things.

NOT SIGNED:

JAYSON MEGNA
LARS ELLER

DEFENSE

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TROY STECHER
Give him whatever he wants, as long as his sophomore season is a continuation of his tremendous rookie season. Okay, maybe not whatever he wants.

JORDAN SUBBAN
His rookie season in the NHL will likely make or break his time in the Vancouver Canucks system. If he shows that he belongs as an NHL defenseman, the Canucks will sign him and play him as an NHL defenseman.

GOALTENDERS

NOT RE-SIGNED

RICHARD BACHMAN
Hopefully he was a quality NHL backup, but it’s time for Thatcher Demko to enter the league and Bachman deserves to go somewhere else and play.

2018 FREE AGENCY PERIOD:

You’re not supposed to build a team through free agency, which is why I, as the GM of the Canucks, aren’t going after the high priced free agents. But…

sedins_408181

CANUCKS SIGN THE SEDIN TWINS

After winning the Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals, the Sedin twins return to Vancouver on a 1 year deal, worth $2 million each, mostly an incentive based contract. Daniel and Henrik want to end their career and continue to live with their families in Vancouver, and could be great leaders and effective 3rd line forwards. Much like when Trevor Linden returned to Vancouver (also coming over from Washington), the Sedins will be more valuable as leaders in the locker room than offensive contributors.

2018-2019 OPENING NIGHT LINEUP:

SVEN BAERTSCHI – BO HORVAT – NIKOLAY GOLDOBIN
JONATHAN DAHLEN – DRAKE CAGGIULA – BROCK BOESER
REID BOUCHER – MARKUS GRANLUND – JAKE VIRTANEN
DANIEL SEDIN – HENRIK SEDIN – LOUI ERIKSSON

EX. BRENDAN GAUNCE

Derek Dorsett isn’t an NHL player at this point, so he’ll be in the AHL and may be forced to retire from the league.

ALEXANDER EDLER – CHRIS TANEV
ERIK GUDBRANSON – BEN HUTTON
TROY STECHER – JORDAN SUBBAN

Brooks Orpik, who makes an insane amount in the last year of his deal, will also be sent to the AHL if he doesn’t retire as a 37-year-old

JACOB MARKSTROM
THATCHER DEMKO

WHAT ARE THE PROSPECTS DOING?

CASEY MIDDLESTADT – Will be in his 2nd year at the University of Minnesota, but may pull a Brock Boeser and leave after this year to turn pro.
ADAM GAUDETTE – Has left Northeastern University and will start the season in Utica.
WILLIAM LOCKWOOD – Will be playing his 3rd year at the University of Michigan, but could leave and turn pro after his season is over.
OLLI JUOLEVI – Has left the London Knights, and as a 20-year-old, will be playing his first professional season in Utica.
GUILLAUME BRISEBOIS – In his 2nd professional season with the Utica Comets.

After both the 2017 and 2018 drafts, the Canucks would add 16 more prospects to their pool. Boeser, Dahlin, Goldobin and Virtanen would all be NHL ready forwards at this point, while Utica is starting to be stockpiled with more up and coming players, and if everything goes to plan, both their NHL and AHL teams will start to see success. 2018-2019 would see the Canucks return to the playoffs and begin their run as a team who is consistently in the playoffs and competing for the Stanley Cup.

There isn’t a lot of moves that need to be made in order for this team to be successful. Draft picks need to pan out, and some players need to be moved to get something for them. If you wanted to get drastic, moving players like Eriksson, Edler and Tanev could be an option, but they would prolong the rebuild.

After two seasons, the team is not completely fixed, but they are on the right track. Ownership realizes what a great job that I’ve done on GM and agree to sell me their shares of the team for a cheap price. I hold a contest on Reddit to pick a new General Manager (because as owner, I’ll need to spend more time vacationing and not running a billion dollar sports team) and the Vancouver Canucks will spend the next 50 years being successful, winning many Stanley Cups.

The team is fixed.

Thanks for reading.

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