3 Potential Trade Destinations For Canucks’ Brock Boeser

It was only a matter of time. First, it was Bo Horvat, then Tyler Myers, and now it’s Brock Boeser‘s turn to be in the spotlight when it comes to trade rumors. On Saturday’s (Dec. 3) Hockey Night in Canada 32 Thoughts segment, insider Elliotte Friedman dropped a bombshell reporting that the Vancouver Canucks had given Boeser’s agent permission to start poking around the trade market for his client.

Brock Boeser Vancouver Canucks
Brock Boeser, Vancouver Canucks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

And as much as this latest development might sound like Boeser has asked for a trade, that’s not the case as confirmed recently by Rick Dhaliwal and Thomas Drance. It’s more about finding the best situation for him going forward.

This is why Hankinson has become involved in trade talks, to help spread the word and see if there’s a fit somewhere. Boeser’s representative has been in regular communication with Allvin of late, trying to figure out where the team is going and where his client fits in, in an effort to help both sides.

(from ‘What we’re hearing about Brock Boeser on the trade block, Bo Horvat and more’, The Athletic, 12/4/22)

Regardless, it appears Boeser’s time in Vancouver might be coming to an end. So in the spirit of that, let’s take a look at three teams that could be interested in the 25-year-old sniper.

Minnesota Wild

Whenever a trade involving Boeser is discussed, the Minnesota Wild come up as a potential destination. Being from nearby Burnsville and general manager Bill Guerin’s affinity for acquiring homegrown players, it always seems like a perfect fit. This season it might be a match made in heaven considering the Wild are actively looking for another top-six winger to supplement their scoring.

Related: Canucks’ Pettersson Playing Like a Superstar This Season

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Boeser would definitely get top six and first power play unit ice time in Minnesota and might even get to play with a young up-and-coming star in Matt Boldy. In fact, considering the chemistry that has developed between Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello on the top line, that’s probably where he would start. The Wild have missed Kevin Fiala’s 85 points in the lineup, and while Boeser won’t replace all of that, his resume of four 20-goal and five 40-plus point seasons would definitely help a middling offence that is currently 19th in the league after finishing fifth in 2021-22.

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As mentioned by Dhaliwal and Drance, the Canucks understand that the return for Boeser could be “relatively pedestrian”. That means the likes of Calen Addison, Brock Faber, and Adam Beckman are probably off the table. So, could a pending unrestricted free agent (UFA) like Matt Dumba and his $6 million cap hit be the centerpiece of this deal? He might have to be, just so that the Canucks can shed Boeser’s $6.65 million average annual value (AAV) cap hit and not take future salary in return.

Matt Dumba Minnesota Wild
Matt Dumba, Minnesota Wild (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Who knows, the Canucks might even be able to re-sign the right-handed Dumba to a lower contract in the offseason seeing that he has regressed from the 50-point defenceman he was back in 2017-18. He isn’t on the wrong side of 30, so he might bounce back and become that rough-and-tumble two-way blueliner the team has been looking for since Kevin Bieksa was traded to the Anaheim Ducks. Still, I would hope he isn’t the only thing coming back in this deal. At least a second-rounder (maybe even a first) should be included too.

New York Islanders

The New York Islanders have been looking for an impact forward ever since the beginning of the 2022 offseason. After striking out on J.T. Miller, Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk, and Nazem Kadri, GM Lou Lamoriello decided (or was forced) to stand pat. While the team has done well with improved production from the blue line, playmaking prowess from Mat Barzal, and another great campaign from Brock Nelson, they only have one forward with more than 10 goals. As such, I’m sure they are looking for an upgrade – especially on right wing.

Related: Islanders Have 5 Good Options on the Right Wing

Enter Boeser. No, he’s not scoring goals at a massive clip at the moment, but he does have four 20-goal seasons under his belt and could possibly catch fire alongside a uber-assist man like Barzal. He might even help Barzal score more goals as he’s become quite the playmaker himself this season with 12 assists so far. Now, he might not be Gaudreau, Miller, or Kadri, but he would boost an Islanders’ top six that is a little long in the tooth and battling a lot of injuries right now.

Mat Barzal New York Islanders
Brock Boeser might return to form playing with a star playmaker like Mat Barzal
(Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

As for a return, the Canucks probably would like to get their hands on someone like Noah Dobson, but that’s very much a pipe dream – especially given Boeser’s apparent value right now. Instead, they will probably have to settle for a combination of draft picks and mid-tier prospects. If I was forced to name one, I would say Calle Odelius is a defenceman Allvin might be looking at. Not only is he Swedish, but he’s exactly the type of blueliner the Canucks should be asking for in any trade involving their blue-chip veteran forwards/defencemen. Peter Baracchini, who wrote his 2022 Draft prospect profile, describes his game perfectly:

Odelius is everything that you would want in a modern two-way, puck-moving defenseman as he displays excellent composure and situational awareness. His smarts allow him to think the game quickly and effectively, but it’s his skating that is always on display. He has great movement in all directions and he’s very deceptive with his motions and movements.

Now, doesn’t that sound like a defenceman the Canucks should have more of in their prospect pool?

Calgary Flames

The Calgary Flames were actually mentioned on the talk show Donnie and Dhali as a potential destination for Boeser. With former teammates Chris Tanev, Jacob Markstrom, and Tyler Toffoli on the team, GM Brad Treliving would have plenty of people to ask about his character and how he would fit into the locker room. Here is what Dhaliwal had to say about the Flames’ potential interest in the veteran winger:

“Now, this is one thing I do know. The Calgary Flames are looking for a goal-scorer. I heard last night Calgary may have interest in Boeser. Not confirmed, but teams poke around, Donnie, trying to find the price and see if there’s a fit. Lots of former Canucks in the Calgary dressing room who could vouch for Boeser.”

The Flames have struggled to score since the departures of Tkachuk and Gaudreau who threw up a combined 219 points last season. Kadri and Jonathan Huberdeau have not been adequate replacements so far and Andrew Mangiapane has also regressed from his career-high 35 goals with only six goals in 25 games. Needless to say, they need someone to start filling the net.

Jonathan Huberdeau Calgary Flames
Jonathan Huberdeau has not filled the net like the Calgary Flames hoped he would
(Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Boeser could be the answer, especially if head coach Darryl Sutter chooses to put him with Huberdeau. With 85 assists last season, he definitely knows how to pass the puck. Maybe he just needs someone to pass it to that will bury it? While I am not saying he will become Gaudreau and reignite (pun intended) an offence that could seemingly do no wrong last season, he would be another weapon in the arsenal of a team that has looked anything but the top-10 unit they were in 2021-22.

THW’s own Colton Pankiw mentioned Milan Lucic as a player the Canucks could go after. While I don’t agree with it, that might be the road management heads down to get cap flexibility in order to have a future with their captain. His $5.25 million would be off the books at the end of the season, giving them more money to re-sign Horvat to the $8.5 million average annual value (AAV) he and his agent will likely be asking for. However, I would still like Allvin to look at a package of picks (first or second-round) and mid-tier prospects (Luca Ciona, Jérémie Poirier, etc.) before settling for a cap dump like Lucic.

Canucks Might Not Get A lot of Value in Boeser Trade

As mentioned off the top, the Canucks are anticipating having to take a lesser package for Boeser. With their need to clear cap space for Horvat and the fact that it’s come out that his agent is looking around for a trade, his value is pretty low right now. Unfortunately, instead of a top prospect, first-round pick, or another impact winger, they might have to take on a rental like Dumba or Lucic, or a package of late-round picks like the Columbus Blue Jackets had to take in return for Oliver Bjorkstrand. Hopefully, that’s not the case and Allvin can massage a deal that not only gets good value but also clears enough space to get Horvat signed long-term.

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