I’m going to go with Josh Leivo, assuming he get some time in the top-six. He’s in his prime and and 14 goals last year split between Toronto and Vancouver. If he can find a comfortable spot in the lineup with a capable centre and get a bit of time on the man advantage I could see him getting to 20.

That’s a good question. To be honest, I’m not really sure how much of the skill set of a Director of Amateur Scouting is transferable to working as a GM. Since he would theoretically have to aggregate the findings and observations of the other scouts in the department and use that information to make decisions at the draft table. I’d imagine that experience would come in handy as a general manager, but making the jump from director of scouting seems like a big ask. It would probably be more prudent for him to take a step up to AGM first. I actually think there’s a half-decent chance that could happen if Jim Benning’s contract isn’t extended next season and the organization wants to retain Brackett.

At this point, I’d hesitate to part with anything more than a mid-round pick or another prospect in need of a change of scenery. I was a big fan of Puljujarvi at the time he was drafted. I got the chance to see Puljujarvi up close as an 18-year old at the now-defunct Young Stars Classic in Penticton, and I thought he looked poised to be a dominant force in the NHL for years to come. Unfortunately, pretty much everything has gone wrong since then and I’m no longer sure he can put it together. He’s worth taking a gamble on, but I wouldn’t want to give up a prime asset if he’s the only piece coming back.

Here you go, kind stranger:

The cop-out answer is it depends on who else is on the blue line. Can a team with 5 replacement-level defenders win a cup with Quinn Hughes/Ryan Ellis as their number one defenseman? No, but I think a well-crafted defense led by one of those players has a chance. For what it’s worth, I also think Hughes has the potential to be better than Ryan Ellis. Just because they’re similar in size doesn’t necessarily mean they have similar talent levels. Ellis isn’t nearly as dynamic.

At this point I think any progression is good news. I truly feel bad for Olli Juolevi. I had issues with the pick at the time, but he’s had some unbelievably bad luck since he was drafted. It was always unlikely Juolevi would give the Canucks the kind of value they would have gotten from someone like Matthew Tkachuk, Clayton Keller, or even Mikhail Sergachev, but his injury troubles have really derailed his development and that’s completely beyond his or the organization’s control. I think if he gets any NHL action at all next season that’s a huge win, even if it’s just a game or two. Asking for anything else is probably expecting too much. He’s lost nearly a year of development at this point and it may take him a while to rebound.

To be completely honest, I think that’s a bit extreme. Eriksson has been a complete flop in Vancouver, but he’s still an above-replacement-level forward, who would likely be an elite contributor at the AHL level without even really having to try that hard. If the goal is to force his hand, I think threatening to demote him to Utica is a strong enough motivation. At that point, I’d imagine he’d have to start accepting the possibility of playing elsewhere in the NHL, which he’s more than capable of doing, especially with some salary retained.

Eriksson’s no-move clause expired in 2018, so I believe it’s technically possible to demote him to the ECHL, but I really don’t think we’re there yet. There’s still time to find a landing spot for him that will work for all parties involved.

They have to move someone out to make space. They don’t have a lot of other options unless he’s willing to accept a one-year bridge deal. The problem for the Canucks is that now that they have such a limited amount of cap space, they no leverage in trade negotiations. Any potential trade partner is going to know the Canucks are desperate, which isn’t really a great position for the front office to be in, considering their track record. Things could get ugly.

Podkolzin is a pretty unique player, so I don’t feel all that comfortable making any direct one-to-one comparisons. Among the ones I’ve heard, I think Todd Bertuzzi is the most reasonable. Podkolzin is a little smaller but he plays a power game and has the same level of offensive creativity. Bertuzzi had a bit more playmaking ability, whereas Podkolzin is more of a shooter. Obviously, there’s plenty of time for Podkolzin to develop and these comparisons all may look silly in a couple of years, but for now I’m comfortable with that comparison.

I find it hard to believe there wasn’t a single deal the team couldn’t have made for Ben Hutton at the deadline this year. There’s always a market for defenders at that time of year and if the Canucks had been willing to get creative I’d imagine they could have recouped a pick for him rather than letting him walk this summer. There’s a possibility that they might be interested in circling back now that they haven’t qualified him and he hasn’t been able to find a landing spot, so I’m assuming that was probably the line of thinking at the time.

In Granlund’s case, I’m not sure how much of a market there would have been. Frankly, I’m surprised the Oilers took a flyer on him. At any rate, I don’t know how fair it is to hold the team’s inability to get deals done for these players against them in a vacuum. Overall, their ability to get assets in return for players on expiring deals has been atrocious, but I wouldn’t make either of Hutton or Granlund my hill to die on.