Canucks News & Rumors: 2022 NHL Draft, Miller, Rutherford & More

In this edition of the Vancouver Canucks News & Rumors, the Canucks selected six players in the 2022 NHL Draft, which included some rumblings of a potential trade with the New York Islanders involving J.T. Miller. Additionally, president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford commented on the organization’s approach to the offseason so far.

Recap of 2022 NHL Draft

The 2022 NHL Draft started with a little noise for the Canucks as Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported the organization had been in talks with the Islanders for the 13th overall pick. However, no deal occurred between the two teams. Instead, the Islanders traded the pick to the Montreal Canadiens for Alexander Romanov, who then traded it to the Chicago Blackhawks for Kirby Dach. Multiple reports stated the deal involved Miller, but the deal may have fallen through due to the leak. General manager Patrik Allvin denied any reports after day 1 of the draft.

Jonathan Lekkerimaki Vancouver Canucks 2022 Draft
Jonathan Lekkerimaki, Vancouver Canucks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Outside of the trade falling through, the Canucks drafted six players. Jonathan Lekkerimaki highlighted the club’s 2022 Draft class. Lekkerimaki is a 5-foot-11, 172-pound right-winger from Sweden. He is a sniper who was ranked in the top 10 of the draft class but fell to the Canucks at 15th overall. The club needed to build on their prospect pool after a few players graduated to the NHL and the skilled forward is a good start.

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The Canucks didn’t have a second-round pick but added another Elias Pettersson in the third round with the 80th overall pick. Pettersson is a left-shot defenceman with great skating ability. They then selected 6-foot-4, 200-pound centre Daimon Gardner. Gardner has great passing, good hockey sense and drives to the net, while the biggest knock on him is his edge work. In the fifth round, the club selected goalie Ty Young, who is 6-foot-3, 183 pounds, followed by left defencemen Jackson Dorrington in the sixth round and Kirill Kudryatsev in the seventh round. THW’s Matthew Zator did deeper dive on the entire draft class.

Related: Canucks 2022 Draft: Meet the New Prospects

The Canucks went into the 2022 NHL Draft lacking right-shot centres and right-shot defencemen. They left the draft without a player who would fill either position. Therefore, the club decided to go with the best pick available approach, which was evident with their first-round pick in Lekkerimaki.

Rutherford Being Patient With Miller and Others

The Canucks’ front office set out to do a few things this offseason which includes clear cap space. So far, the club hasn’t been able to do much. However, Rutherford discussed why the organization has been unable to do so.

The Canucks will very likely trade Miller at some point this offseason but are taking a patient approach. They have been patient when it comes to dealing the forward since the trade deadline. They’ll likely hold off on trading other players such as Tyler Myers to make sure their current situation doesn’t get worse. This approach could be risky as the club might end up losing Miller for nothing as the forward is set to be an unrestricted free agent next offseason. 

Development Camp

The Canucks 2022 Development Camp started on Monday at UBC’s Dough Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre. The Canucks listed 35 players at the camp, which includes 19 forwards, 13 defencemen and five goalies.

Notable names include 2022 first-round pick Lekkerimaki, Aidan McDonough, Linus Karlsson, Danila Klimovich, and Arshdeep Bains. The organization will get a good idea of where some of their players are at during camp. Henrik and Daniel Sedin are taking part in the camp, helping the prospects and evaluating their talents.

Canucks Qualify DiPietro, Ronning Interested in Van

The Canucks announced they’ve extended a qualifying offer to goalie Michael DiPietro on Monday. The organization added Justin Bailey, Matthew Highmore and Juho Lammikko were not sent qualifying offers.

Rick Dhaliwal noted DiPietro could be moved by the club a few weeks ago as he’s fallen behind Arturs Silovs in the club’s goaltending depth. He added the Montreal Canadiens may be interested in trading for him. The Canucks will likely still move him as he is an asset that could bring a decent return.

Additionally, Dhaliwal reports the Rangers did not qualify Ty Ronning, and the Canucks are high on his list of teams. Ronning, the son of former Canuck Cliff Ronning, played junior hockey in B.C. and was drafted by the Vancouver Giants. He was a seventh-round selection by the Rangers in the 2016 NHL Draft. He has not played an NHL game in his career but could be someone the Canucks add in Abbotsford to improve their American Hockey League roster. Ronning scored 18 goals and posted 39 points in 69 games with the Hartford Wolf Pack in the AHL.