Red Wings Have the Pieces to Acquire Canucks’ Brock Boeser

On Saturday (Dec. 3), the Vancouver Canucks were set to scratch star winger Brock Boeser for their contest against the Arizona Coyotes. However, due to a last-minute injury to Dakota Joshua, he ended up playing and even scored a goal. Yet, the original plan to scratch him has now come with consequences. While on Saturday’s 32 Thoughts segment, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman reported that Vancouver has given Boeser’s representatives permission to speak with other clubs about the possibility of a trade. With this, general manager (GM) Steve Yzerman should take advantage of this grand opportunity to add another star winger to his roster.

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

Although Boeser has had some struggles this season when it comes to his defensive play (minus-13 rating), it’s clear that he is still making a notable impact offensively. In 19 games thus far, he has four goals to go along with 15 points. Adding that kind of production to the top six would be massive for the Red Wings, and they have the assets to acquire the Minnesota native. Let’s look at what it could take to land the 6-foot-1 winger.

Filip Zadina

The 2022-23 season has been a very rough one for Filip Zadina. The 2018 sixth-overall pick has been sidelined for a month with a lower-body injury and is expected to miss another few weeks. Yet, when healthy, the 6-foot winger also struggled noticeably, as he failed to record a point in his first nine games. The once-top prospect has had trouble cementing himself as the top-six forward Detroit thought they were receiving when they drafted him, so I wonder if Yzerman would be willing to part ways with him in a Boeser trade.

Related: Red Wings’ 2022-23 Trade Targets: Philadelphia Flyers

Perhaps a change of scenery is exactly what could help Zadina take that next step in his development. We have seen players turn things around after being dealt elsewhere, and he could do just that on the Canucks. When looking at their current lineup, the Czech forward could compete for a spot on their third line and second power-play unit. As a result, he has a real chance to receive more playing time, and this might be exactly what leads to him being more productive offensively.

At this juncture, the Canucks are in a position where they should consider the prospect of taking a chance on a young player like Zadina. At worst, he would be a serviceable bottom-six forward for them, but if he takes that next step, he could be a part of their top-six later down the road.

Gustav Lindstrom

The Canucks would certainly want an NHL-caliber defenseman in any move centering around Boeser. After all, this is an area that Vancouver needs to improve if they want to finally become a consistent playoff team. As a result, one player who could make a lot of sense for them is right-shot defenseman, Gustav Lindstrom. The 24-year-old has already emerged as a serviceable bottom-pairing defenseman, but I’d argue that he has the potential to become more than that as he continues to gain NHL experience.

Gustav Lindstrom Detroit Red Wings
Gustav Lindstrom, Detroit Red Wings (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The 2022-23 season has been a bit quiet for Lindstrom, as he has one assist and a minus-5 rating in 13 games. However, he also displayed last season that he can provide decent offense from the point, as his 13 points in 63 games show. With this, it’s fair to argue that Lindstrom would be able to cement himself a spot in Vancouver’s top six upon his arrival. Since he can play both sides, he could take a player like Riley Stillman out of the lineup. Furthermore, he also would have a legitimate shot to receive time on the Canucks’ penalty kill and power play.

At the end of the day, Lindstrom has the tools to be a very solid defenseman for Vancouver. At worst, he would be a nice part of their bottom pairing for a few years, but if he takes that next step, he absolutely could force himself into a top-four role. Keep in mind, the Canucks’ right side is also not particularly impressive at this time.

Donovan Sebrango

One prospect that could grab the attention of the Canucks in a potential Boeser trade is Donovan Sebrango. Although the 20-year-old will likely need at least another year in the minors, he could be a solid long-term part of Vancouver’s roster if he blossoms into his full potential. The youngster has already been praised for his reliable play, so perhaps he could become a key shutdown defenseman for the Canucks later down the road if acquired.

Donovan Sebrango Grand Rapids Griffins
Donovan Sebrango, Grand Rapids Griffins (Jenae Anderson / The Hockey Writers)

After recording seven points in 65 American Hockey League (AHL) games for the Grand Rapids Griffins last season, Sebrango has three goals and an assist in 15 games with them this season. Although he recently was demoted to the ECHL, he has shown clear signs of progression at the AHL level this campaign. If he continues to improve his offensive game while remaining reliable defensively, he could have a job at the NHL level by the 2024-25 season.

Sebrango possesses the tools to be a sturdy bottom-pairing defenseman at the NHL level at a minimum, so it does seem possible that Vancouver would be intrigued by him. When noting that the Canucks’ biggest issue is their defensive group right now, I’d argue that Sebrango is the kind of defensively responsible prospect that management should have their eyes on.

Along with these pieces, Detroit would also likely need to add their 2023 first-round pick in this move. Although the price would be hefty, the Red Wings would be landing a star forward with point-per-game potential. With that, Boeser carries a $6.65 million cap hit until the end of the 2024-25 season, so he would be far more than just a rental. Alas, we will have to wait and see if Yzerman ends up making a push for the sniper from here.