The Vancouver Canucks will see one of their forwards sit out the rest of the season as Markus Granlund will undergo wrist surgery to correct an ongoing issue. In their release, the Canucks say that it needs to happen now so that Granlund can have a full offseason of training to be ready for next season.
After losing to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night—a game in which Granlund skated over 21 minutes and recorded seven shots on goal—the Canucks fell 20 points behind them for third in the division and 16 out of the final wild card spot. While it’s been known for a while that Vancouver was out of the race, Saturday marked the sixth straight loss and really put a nail in their 2017 coffin.
Granlund had actually become one of Vancouver’s best players in just his third NHL season. The 23-year old has 19 goals and 32 points in 69 games and looks like an important building block going forward. Under contract for one more season at just $900K, he’ll be in line for a substantial raise in 2018-19 if he continues his current progression.
With Granlund out, it should actually strengthen the Canucks chances in the lottery for the top prospects in this year’s draft. Currently 27th in the league, they will likely have a chance to pick in the top five for the second year in a row, even with Vegas entering the league. Another top prospect would help the Canucks continue a rebuild that looks fairly successful after they sold assets at the deadline. They’ll now have to continue to work toward a long-term extension with Bo Horvat, and see what kind of an impact some of their young players can make down the stretch.