While Vancouver GM Jim Benning is looking to make a move to improve his struggling Canucks team – they’ve lost nine straight games following tonight’s game against the Islanders – his options are limited due to an unwillingness to part with any top prospects or core players, writes Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province. Benning explained his rationale to not consider using what would be his best trade assets:
“We’re in a transition period and that’s why I’m looking at different things. If it makes sense, we’ll look at it, but I’m not moving our Grade-A prospects.”
Vancouver’s ‘Grade-A’ prospects include goaltender Thatcher Demko who is considered the goalie of the future and is just beginning his pro career and recent first round picks Olli Juolevi and Brock Boeser who are at the junior and collegiate levels respectively. Kuzma adds that top draft picks are also off the table as well.
One player who has received a lot of interest is defenseman Chris Tanev. However, Benning ruled out any ideas of trading him at this time:
“We’ve rebuilt our defence over the course of the last two years and we have some depth. Tanev is a big part of our group and we’re not looking to move him. Chris is still young (26) and one of our better defencemen and you saw the other night (Saturday) when Tanev and Edler didn’t play.”
Tanev, who is currently out of the lineup with a foot issue, has a desirable contract for a top four blueliner with a cap hit of $4.45MM through the 2019-20 season. He recently returned to Vancouver to be re-evaluated and there is no timetable for his return.
In the meantime, with seemingly limited trade options at the moment, the Canucks will continue to hope that players like Loui Eriksson (zero goals), Sven Baertschi (zero goals), Jake Virtanen (zero goals), and Brandon Sutter (one goal) can snap their respective scoring droughts and get Vancouver back into the win column.
[Related: Canucks Depth Chart]