Canucks Dream Team of Current and Former Active Players

Current and former Vancouver Canucks can be found making a difference all over the league. Whether they were drafted by, signed or traded for, players who have worn the Orca continue to thrive even after leaving the organization. That being said, what would the team look like had they been able to retain all their best active players past and present? This article looks at what a dream team Canucks lineup could look like made up of current and past active players.

Related: Maple Leafs’ Dream Team of Current & Former Active Players

The rules for this challenge are simple. Using players that currently have contracts for the 2022-23 season as of Aug.8, 2022, and have been or are currently part of the Canucks organization, create the best lineup possible. Since this is a dream team, it will not be salary cap compliant as some former players have gone on to sign lucrative deals elsewhere in the NHL. Without further ado, here is what the roster would look like.

Forwards

The Canucks have built a strong forward group for next season, but it could have been aided by some former players. We start with the Lotto Line, where J.T. Miller, Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser will try to rekindle their magic from the 2019-20 season. On the second line, Bo Horvat is flanked by Conor Garland and new Canucks signing Ilya Mikehyev. This rounds out a top-six that could compete with anyone in the league.

Vancouver Canucks forwards Vasily Podkolzin, Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat
Vancouver Canucks forward Vasily Podkolzin, Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat celebrate a goal (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

On the third line, former Canucks draft pick and current Seattle Kraken Jared McCann returns to the team after a six-year absence. The former 2014 first-rounder has 187 points since leaving Vancouver and is coming off a career-best 27 goals and 50 points last season. Next returning is Tyler Toffoli, who makes his way back to the Canucks via the Calgary Flames. In his last two seasons away from the franchise, he has 48 goals and 93 points in 126 games. They are flanked by Mr. Reliable Tanner Pearson who has experience playing with Toffoli from their days in Los Angeles.

Related: Canucks: 5 Worst Jim Benning Trades

Lastly, the fourth line and extra forward are those gritty players every team needs. First, we have Nick Bonino, who had a good year for the San Jose Sharks in 2021-22 with 26 points in 80 games. He would also be a valuable asset on special teams as he plays on the power play and penalty kill. On right-wing, Travis Boyd makes his return to the Canucks after spending the past season in Arizona. He is coming off a career year with the Coyotes, where he put up 17 goals and 35 points in 74 games and should help out on the penalty kill. They are flanked by Vasily Podkolzin, who, after a strong rookie season, will be looking to continue his development in 2022-23. Lastly, we have Nic Dowd, who can come in and play solid minutes as a 13th forward if the injury bug hits. Last season with the Washington Capitals, he finished with 24 points in 64 games.

J.T. MIller- Elias Pettersson- Brock Boeser

Ilya Mikehyev- Bo Horvat- Conor Garland

Tanner Pearson- Jared McCann- Tyler Toffoli

Vasily Podkolzin- Nick Bonino- Travis Boyd

Nic Dowd

Defence

The Canucks struggled last season on defence, but the additions of some former players, especially on the right side, could help fix some of the problems they experienced. After a franchise record-setting season, Quinn Hughes is reunited with Chris Tanev. The current Calgary Flame is one of the most underrated defencemen in the league and even received some Norris Trophy votes after another strong season in 2021-22.

Chris Tanev Calgary Flames
Chris Tanev, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Canucks second pair consists of players that played for a short time, or not at all for the organization. Gustav Forsling has developed into a fantastic defenceman for the Florida Panthers, and one Vancouver wished they still had. Unfortunately, the team traded him for Adam Clendening just a few months after drafting him in 2014. On his right is Nate Schmidt, who never really found his footing in Vancouver but recaptured some of his form in Winnipeg last season. This pair may be painful to Canucks fans as, by all accounts, could have been something special.

Related: With Boudreau, the Canucks Are Seeing the Myers They Paid For

The third pairing and extra defenceman spots are taken up by some long-time NHL veterans in Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Tyler Myers and Alex Edler. The pairing of Ekman-Larsson and Myers did well in their first season together but may benefit from less responsibility. As for Edler, he is one of the best defencemen in franchise history and would be a great mentor to some of the younger players in the Canucks lineup.

Quinn Hughes- Chris Tanev

Gustav Forsling- Nate Schmidt

Oliver Ekman-Larsson- Tyler Myers

Alex Edler

Goaltenders

The goaltending battle is tight as both Thatcher Demko and Jacob Markström are elite netminders. Both also received Vezina Trophy votes last season. Despite Markström being a finalist, Demko takes the starters net the majority of the time in this scenario.

Thatcher Demko Vancouver Canucks
Thatcher Demko, Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Derek Cain/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The battle for the third-string goaltender is where things get tricky. The answer would most likely be Braden Holtby, but due to injury, he is not signed for next season and may be considering retirement. For that reason, Jaroslav Halák takes the final spot. Yes, he struggled as a Canuck, but there is no denying that he can still be a productive NHLer. However, if this is done again next season, it is very possible Spencer Martin could take his place on the list.

Thatcher Demko

Jacob Markström

Jaroslav Halák

Dream Team Is Definitely a Playoff Team

While there will be a debate if the 2022-23 team, as it stands, will make the playoffs, there should be no question about this dream team. They are strong from top to bottom and possess elite scoring, a strong defensive group and the best goalie tandem in the NHL.

We hope you enjoyed the article, and let us know in the comments what you think of this team and whether or not you believe certain former players were snubbed.


Sign up for our regular 'Canucks Newsletter' for all the latest.