In the dead of summer, there’s nothing better to do than sit back and enjoy all of the predictions and rumours that come when nothing else is going on in the world of the NHL.
The 2019-20 season should be an interesting one for this hopeful group of Canucks. Jim Benning and the rest of the front office spent some future assets to acquire J.T. Miller, a winger that should instantly make their top-six forwards much better, as well as signing a couple marquee free agents in Tyler Myers and Micheal Ferland.
Looking at this team just on paper, they should be an improved squad and have more points than the 81 that they finished the 2018-19 season with.
Just ask Craig Button of TSN, as he delves deep into the Canucks offseason and highlights their upgrades.
The #MidSummer7: @CraigJButton gives a progress report for each Canadian #NHL team's summer to-do list…
Today, Craig examines the Vancouver Canucks – https://t.co/jdT5IP2eak #TSNHockey pic.twitter.com/O80wSIxYvZ
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) August 6, 2019
He goes over mainly the group of defencemen they signed — Myers, Fantenberg — and re-signing Edler, as a major factor why he thinks the Canucks should be better and looking for a potential playoff spot.
Button also cites the acquisition of both Ferland and Miller as they continue to bolster their top-six forwards and move other players like Leivo and potentially Goldobin down the lineup and give the Canucks a better chance to win games by their depth.
The final aspect of the Canucks that Button mentions is the still-waiting restricted free agency of Brock Boeser, which was given a small update earlier this week.
LISTEN @benkuzma: Boeser's camp looking for $7 mill a season. Presented by Universal Supply.https://t.co/yG1uQYA2QM
— TSN Radio Vancouver (@TSN1040) August 3, 2019
According to Ben Kuzma, Boeser’s representation is looking for a contract extension that will come in at a cap hit of $7-million. Compared to the other comparables and projections, that number seems right in line with what a winger like him deserves and has gotten historically.
Written earlier this offseason, a 7-year, $49-million contract seems like the most probable when compared to other extensions that have been recently signed around the league.
Looking towards next season, one of the players that can really make a massive improvement and force his way on the blue line is hopeful rookie Olli Juolevi.
Agent Markus Lehto on Olli Juolevi's knee re-hab : "Olli is skating & training hard, he is able to do things 100% on ice but is still being cautious in certain drills. He will work out with NHL players in Finland before leaving for Vancouver at the end of the month." #Canucks
— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) August 6, 2019
The fifth-overall selection in 2017, Juolevi has dealt with his fair share of injuries in his recent career, playing only 18 games for the Utica Comets last season — scoring a single goal and 13 points through those games.
As he continues to progress through his knee injury, he looks to make a decent impact for his own and the Canucks’ future.
Currently, there is only Myers, Edler, Hughes, and Benn on the books past this upcoming season — paving the way for Juolevi to potentially make the 2020-21 blue line. If all goes well, he might even see some NHL ice-time this season.
There are still several weeks before the Canucks roster will take shape and take the ice in the 2019-20 season, but with how their offseason has gone so far, there are definitely some key areas to be excited about.
They still have some of the most exciting young players in the entire league and will have a full-season worth of Quinn Hughes — that alone should make a lot of Canucks games must-watch around the league for casual fans.