Canucks News & Rumors: Lucic, Silovs, Ferraro & More

In this edition of the Vancouver Canucks News & Rumors, the organization will likely target a defenceman with their first-round pick at the 2023 NHL Draft. Additionally, Milan Lucic discusses free agency and potentially signing with the Canucks. Also, Arturs Silovs is named MVP at the 2023 IIHF World Championships, while Ray Ferraro is a potential candidate to join the team as a colour commentator.

Canucks First-Round Draft Pick

The Province’s Ben Kuzma recently reported the Canucks covet Axel Sandin-Pellikka (from ‘Canucks: Should first-round pick be in trade play amid draft uncertainty?,’ The Province, May 29, 2023). The Canucks hold the 11th overall pick at the 2023 Draft, and there’s a chance the right-shot defenceman will be available when the organization makes its pick. 

Axel Sandin Pellikka Team Sweden
Axel Sandin Pellikka, Team Sweden (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

“The right-shot Swedish defenceman is considered the premier puck-mover in the 2023 class and a recent consensus by long-serving NHL insiders suggested he’ll still be on the board when the Canucks announce their 11th overall selection on June 28 in Nashville,” Kuzma said. 

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“Sandin-Pellikka was ranked from 11th to 15th on the big boards — and shockingly as high as fifth by TSN scouting director Craig Button — which speaks to how fast the winds of change can blow and blow up draft plans.”

The Canucks need a right-shot defenceman on their main roster and prospect pool. Sandin-Pellikka solves the prospect pool issue and would likely solve the problem for the main roster in a few years.

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The team has other options with their first-round pick as well. Many have suggested the Canucks could trade their first round and move down while adding a second-rounder and offloading a contract with a high cap hit. Players like Tyler Myers, who has one year remaining and a $6 million cap hit, can be moved. The Chicago Blackhawks are a likely trade partner as they hold the 19th overall pick and can afford to take on a short-term contract with a high cap hit.

Kuzma also adds that veteran NHL prospects scout Shane Malloy said the Canucks can still add a defenceman in the next tier with Sandin-Pellikka, David Reinbacher and Dmitiri Simashev off the board. Malloy says the organization may be able to draft one of Tom Willander, Oliver Bonk or Theo Lindstein at 19 overall.

Related: Red Wings & Canucks Should Consider Draft Day Deal

A likely scenario is either Sandin-Pellikka, Reinbacher, or Simashev are available at 11, and the Canucks select one of them. Otherwise, the club trades down to 19 and selects one of the other three defenders.

Lucic on Free Agency and Signing with Vancouver

Lucic joined Donnie and Dhali on Tuesday and discussed free agency and the chances of joining the Canucks. The 34-year-old forward said he will go through all his options and see what’s best for him. The Vancouver native added it is always a dream for a hometown kid to play for the hometown team, and he will listen to what the Canucks will have to say if the team reaches out.

Milan Lucic Calgary Flames
Milan Lucic, former Calgary Flames (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Lucic recently played at the IIHF World Championships and won gold with Canada. He said he wanted to play for a winning team and called Team Canada and asked if they had a spot for him. The Vancouver native noted that playing for a winning team will factor into his free agency decision.

Signing Lucic is an interetsing move. The forward is no longer the player he once was but could provide some help as a fourth-line player. If the Canucks do sign him, he will have to come at a cheap cap hit as they can’t afford to add another player passed their prime that eats up a good amount of their salary cap. Additionally, Lucic said he wants to play for a winning team, and based on how the Canucks have performed the past three seasons, they aren’t guaranteed to put together a winning season next year. Also, at 34 years old, he doesn’t fit the age range the Canucks are looking to add. Therefore, it is unlikely the team signs the power forward.

Silovs Named MVP at 2023 IIHF World Championships

The 2023 IIHF World Championships wrapped up as Canada beat Germany 5-2 in the gold medal game. Four Canucks participated in the tournament. Tyler Myers and Ethan Bear took home gold with Canada, while Conor Garland was the assistant captain for Team USA, posting two goals and eight points in 10 games, and lost in the bronze medal game.

However, Canucks goalie prospect Silovs was the highlight for the club as he led Latvia to the bronze medal and was named the tournament MVP. In 10 games, the 22-year-old posted a .921 save percentage and 2.20 goals-against average. He finished with a 7-3-0 record and ended the tournament with a 40-save performance against the United States in the bronze medal game.

Arturs Silovs Vancouver Canucks
Arturs Silovs, Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Derek Cain/Getty Images)

Silovs has shown promise as a future Canuck goaltender. He’ll battle for a roster spot at training camp this year but will likely start the season in the American Hockey League with Abbotsford.

Ray Ferraro as a Potential Colour Commentator

With John Garrett announcing the end of his run as the Canucks colour commentator for Sportsnet near the end of the regular season, there is now an opening for a replacement to join John Shorthouse and Dan Murphy. The DailyHive’s Tyler Green says numerous sources indicate that the Canucks have made a major play to bring Ferraro in as the new colour commentator.

However, Ferraro is still signed with ESPN, and Green adds he can only do close to 25 games next season if he joins the team. Therefore, the best chance for the Canucks to hire Ferraro is likely during the 2024-25 season after his contract with ESPN expires.

If Ferraro signs next season, the Canucks will need another colour commentator to take over for at least 40 games. Green says former Canucks goalie and former Sportsnet 650 colour commentator Corey Hirsch and current Sportsnet 650 commentator Randip Janda are two candidates for the job. Nonetheless, Green says fans of the organization will likely hear a variety of voices along with Shorthouse and Murphy next season.