Before the Expansion Draft roster freeze went into effect at 2:00pm CT, it was confirmed that both the Vancouver Canucks and Dallas Stars had a trade waiting in the queue at NHL Central Registry. As it turns out, the deal was with each other. As first reported by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Canucks have acquired center Jason Dickinson from the Stars. The return is a third-round pick in this year’s NHL Draft. Dickinson had been on the fringe of expansion protection consideration for Dallas and the team determined that he was not worth protecting, but was not worth the risk of losing for free either. Vancouver is now of course expected to protect Dickinson from the Seattle Kraken.
Dickinson’s value lies in his versatility, both positionally and on special teams. While it is hard to argue against him not being one of Dallas’ top seven forward to be protected from expansion, he was undoubtedly a top-nine forward for the team. Dickinson has been nothing if not consistent in his scoring over the past three seasons as well; with the opportunity to finally play 82 games this season, one can safely predict at least ten goals and 25 points out of Dickinson this season. Vancouver is a club that cherishes two-way ability and players who can move up and down the lineup. They could use more dependability in their scoring as well. Dickinson unequivocally fits that description and should mesh well with the team. Given the history of GM Jim Benning, it would not be a surprise to see the restricted free agent center sign a multi-year extension this summer before ever suiting up for the team.
The minute that Ben Bishop waived his No-Movement Clause for the Expansion Draft, allowing Dallas to protect veteran goaltender Anton Khudobin instead, Dickinson immediately became the odds-on favorite to be selected by the Kraken if left exposed. The Stars will miss the useful forward moving forward, but at least were able to recoup a small return rather than lose him for nothing. Dallas will likely look to replace Dickinson with a similar versatile, high-floor, bottom-six forward this summer.