Storyline No. 1: The Compensatory Pick
The Vancouver Canucks could have up to three of the first 30 picks of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
Heading into a strong 2016 draft, the talk is about the Vancouver Canucks tanking for Auston Matthews. But in a year headlined with the abundance of strong prospects that could spill over into the middle picks of the second round, the Canucks have got to be happy with where they are in the standings and now with Brandon Sutter and Alex Edler out for some two months.
But with the team and the moms refusing to tank, it will be tough to take advantage of the early picks.
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Guess what, if there is anything positive that John Tortorella has accomplished for the Canucks, it is fetching Vancouver a second-round pick from the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Now that pick looks better than ever with Columbus so close to the bottom of the league. They enter Saturday as the fourth-best team to win the Draft Lottery this year. That means that the Canucks could have one of the first picks of the second round, followed closely with their own second-round pick.
Actually, there is more to the story than just the one pick.
Last year the Calgary Flames entered the draft with three second-round picks. Calgary then flipped the first two of the three to the Boston Bruins as part of the Dougie Hamilton transaction. Could the Canucks pull a similar act? If Vancouver trades away a pending free agent for a second-round pick, the surplus of picks could serve to be a lethal weapon in Trader Jim’s hands.
Don’t forget about this pick!
The one condition to this, though, is that Columbus has the option of deferring the pick transfer to next year, or even 2018.
Next: Storyline No. 2: The Utica Comets Struggling