Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, saw over 40 players placed on NHL waivers. This includes some bonified NHL players as well as players with high potential. Here are four waiver claims the Vancouver Canucks should consider submitting.
Alex Barré-Boulet — Tampa Bay Lightning
Alex Barré-Boulet is a 24-year-old forward who has the potential to be an everyday NHLer. The main reason he has only played 15 career NHL games is the Lightning’s lineup is so deep, he hasn’t gotten an opportunity with them. Although on the smaller size at 5-foot-10, he would be a great addition to the bottom six.
Barré-Boulet had a fantastic junior career, finished off by a 116 point season in 2017-18. That season, he was named Canadian Hockey League (CHL) player of the year and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) player of the year. He also helped his team make the QMJHL finals in back-to-back seasons.
Why Barré-Boulet should be considered is his play in the American Hockey League (AHL). He has put up 136 points in 144 games and was the AHL rookie of the year in 2018-19. Although he hasn’t had a ton of success in the NHL yet, this player projects to be an everyday NHLer. He skates well, has a great shot and has some experience playing on an NHL top line. A lot of teams will be interested in his services, and Vancouver should be one of them.
Jacob Larsson — Anaheim Ducks
Jacob Larsson is not going to blow people away, but the 24-year-old defenceman is a solid NHL option, especially as a depth piece. He can play both sides of the ice and was the third most used defenseman on the Ducks last season. The Canucks should consider submitting a claim for the former 27th overall pick to help solidify their defensive group.
Larsson’s biggest strength is his work on the penalty kill. Last season, he played 87:49 shorthanded with the Ducks. While on the ice, the opposition was limited to 36 high-danger chances and only 10 goals against. With Travis Hamonic out for an undisclosed amount of time, the Canucks will need a strong, defensive defenceman who can kill penalties. This may be their guy, and he comes relatively cheap, only carrying a $1.2 million cap hit.
Kyle Turris — Edmonton Oilers
The pride of New Westminster, BC, finds himself on waivers to start the season. With Brandon Sutter out for an unknown amount of time, the Canucks could use a strong fourth-line center that kills penalties and play a shutdown role. Although he isn’t the player he once was, this would be an intelligent claim for Vancouver.
Related: NHL Waiver Rules
The benefit of having Kyle Turris on your roster is that if there is an injury, the team has a player they know can play in the NHL — he has 753 career NHL games and 420 career points. He is a safe option, especially for a team that struggled defensively last season.
Kevin Stenlund — Columbus Blue Jackets
There is a lot to like when it comes to the 25-year-old Stenlund. He has excellent size, can play center and has strong puck handling skills. He has put up 20 points in 68 NHL games and could be a strong fourth-liner if claimed. Despite limited ice time in Columbus, he impressed, generating 19 individual high-danger chances last season.
The one issue with Stenlund is he has not killed penalties at the NHL level yet. This does not mean he won’t play there in the future, but it is a hole the Canucks need to fill. With that said, he did have some success shutting down some of the top players in the NHL last season at five-on-five. He was able to keep players like Filip Forsberg, Brayden Point, Alex Barkov and Joe Pavelski off the scoresheet while facing them. He has potential and could develop into a solid bottom-six center, so the Canucks should look at submitting a claim for him.
Canucks Have Plenty of Options
There are a lot of players available on the waiver wire, but these four stick out as players that could help the Canucks in the immediate future. Having said that, 31 other teams will have a shot at every single one of these players as well. Regardless, Vancouver should submit a few waiver claims as the players available could make a difference this season.
Adam is excited to be joining The Hockey Writers as part of the Seattle Kraken and Vancouver Canucks team. His work can also be found at area51sportsnet.com where he covers the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League.