Welcome to the pre-2022 NHL Draft edition of the Vancouver Canucks News & Rumors. The J.T. Miller trade watch is on as interest in the forward is high heading into the draft in Montreal. Also, Bo Horvat is likely to get a contract extension this summer, while Tyler Myers may also be a trade chip for the Canucks.
Miller Watch is On
TSN’s Darren Dreger reported the Miller trade watch is on in Montreal heading into the 2022 NHL Draft. He notes Vancouver’s ask remains high, but the interest in Miller is strong. Jeff Marek joined Sportsnet 650 and noted the New York Rangers continue to be the most interested party and believes it will be a big package in return. He adds Kaapo Kakko as a name in a potential deal for the Canucks forward. Dreger also noted the interest for Miller is mostly coming from Eastern Conference teams, and he’d be surprised if the forward wasn’t traded this week.
As for contract talks between the two sides, Miller’s agent Brian Bartlett told Rick Dhaliwal he doesn’t anticipate a resolution on extension parameters this week. David Pagnotta noted there is a six-year offer on the table for Miller, but it is more likely he is traded.
Horvat will also be an unrestricted free agent following the 2022-23 season. Elliotte Friedman told Dhaliwal that he is hearing a lot of positive things, and there is a path to a deal getting done for both sides. He adds he thinks things are headed in the right direction. Dhaliwal discussed Horvat’s contract noting the number will be way higher than the Brock Boeser deal, around $7 million if the deal gets done. President of hockey operations Jim Rutherford commented on Horvat in May.
“I really like Bo. I’ve always liked him back to his junior hockey days,” said Rutherford. “There’s been good discussions with him after the season. He had a good year this year… and he’s got a lot of good hockey left in him. He’s a character guy, he’s a centre iceman that’s hard to find, and we believe that he should be part of our team going forward.”
Horvat has been the club’s captain since the 2019-20 season. He posted 10 goals in 17 playoff games that season. Additionally, he is coming off a career-high 31-goal season in 70 games. Horvat’s last contract was for six years with an average annual value (AAV) of $5.5 million.
Myers Trade Talks
Myers is another player the Canucks could be moving in the next few weeks. Pagnotta expects his name to be mentioned in trade talks as his full no-trade clause turns into a 10-team no-trade list. He adds the Canucks are open to moving Myers for the right deal. The 6-foot-8 defenceman has two years left on his contract with an AAV of $6 million.
The Canucks will likely have to retain some of Myers’ salary or take on another contract in a deal for the defenceman. However, he is a right-shot defenceman, something a lot of teams in the NHL lack. Therefore, there should be a decent amount of interest in him this offseason.
Allvin on Trading for Draft Picks
The Canucks are without a second-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, and general manager Patrik Allvin discussed the chances of the club trading to acquire one. He noted other teams have multiple second-round picks, and if the organization’s staff believes there are good players early in the second round, they might have to take a look at potentially adding a pick. He also emphasized the importance of hitting on late picks.
”It’s important if we’re going to be a better club here moving forward. We need to hit outside the first round — that’s a difference-maker,” said Allvin. “Good teams are able to find players in the later parts of the draft. Because of the uncertainty with some of the players who haven’t been playing as much over the last couple of years, hopefully, we’ll be able to find something in the mid to late rounds. They’ll take some time and eventually become a Canucks player.”
He added the club has to address a bit of everything, and there isn’t a particular position they are looking to fill. The Canucks are approaching the draft with the best player mindset in hopes of building the club’s prospect pool.
Canucks Schedule Released
The NHL released its schedule for the 2022-23 season. The Canucks open their season with a five-game road trip, taking on the Edmonton Oilers in the season opener on October 12th. They play against the Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals, Columbus Blue Jackets and the Minnesota Wild as well. The home opener takes place on October 22nd against the Buffalo Sabres.
Sartaaj has been watching hockey for over 15 years and covers the Vancouver Canucks for The Hockey Writers.