The Vancouver Canucks kicked off their trade deadline push by making a move that will net them Dallas Stars center Derek Roy. In return Vancouver sent a second round draft pick and Kevin Connauton from the Chicago Wolves.
This move on the surface seems to be a good move and one that is somewhat surprising.
Roy has played 30 games with the Stars this year and has four goals and 18 assists. His best years came as a member of the Buffalo Sabres where he set a career high in 2007-2008 with 32 goals and 81 points. While not the biggest player, he checks in at 5’9”, he should slot right into the Canucks second line center position until Ryan Kesler’s return.
Roy is in the last year of his contract so this could be a rent-a-player situation for Vancouver but if Roy performs well could be a fit long term. The Canucks were desperate for more depth at center and it did not seem that getting someone with Roy’s resume was possible .
He should bring an instant improvement to the second line, which should allow Alex Burrows to return to his rightful spot playing on the top line with the Sedins. Burrows had been centering the second line, a position he is not used to playing.
It will be interesting to see how Alain Vigneault deploys Roy as the Canucks need help in several areas. Roy only has one power play goal on the year so far but he has some offensive and play making skills that could help the Canucks bottom of the barrel unit improve.
Losing a second round draft pick is tough but the Canucks are showing that they are not going to settle for the status-quo.
Kevin Connauton has looked promising at times in his development but has yet to be able to crack an NHL line up. He is big and strong and brings some offensive ability from the back end, but he has not been consistent in his own end.
In the end this move feels like it might have been the best case scenario for the Canucks. They get a proven center, who can play both ends of the ice, is decent on the face off circle and will add a great deal of depth when Kesler returns. Considering the market, and what players like Brendan Morrow went for earlier in the trade season, the Canucks may have come off pretty easy here. Kudos to Mike Gillis for making a quality move that did not cost the farm.
Andrew writes about the WHL and NHL Draft Prospects. He also covers the Seattle Thunderbirds for 710 ESPN Seattle and spent two years with Sportsnet. Follow him on Twitter @andyeide.