Vancouver Canucks Free Agency: Top 5 Right Wingers to Target

Feb 25, 2016; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo (21) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 25, 2016; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo (21) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jan 25, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Loui Eriksson (21) during second period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center. The Burins defeated the Flyers, 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

No.2: Loui Eriksson

A name linked multiple times to the Vancouver Canucks in trade rumors, Loui Eriksson is set to hit free agency. Teams seem to be already making calls for Eriksson. Price will be high for the veteran Swede. What is right for the Canucks?

Height / Weight: 6-foot-2, 196 lbs
Age: 30
2015-16 Stats: 82 GP — 30 Goals — 33 Assists — 63 Points
2015-16 Salary: $4.5 million
Expected UFA Salary: $6.3 million

Loui Eriksson is the truest scorer in this year’s pool of free agent wingers. A breakout season with the Bruins was not enough to propel them to the playoffs and all seems set for him to hit free agency as the next top right winger for a team who is willing to pay the money.

Eriksson is a sniper and a playmaker. He is also a great defensive asset, too. GM Jim Benning was Eriksson’s Assistant GM for one season, the last one he spent on the Boston Bruins management. Let this HERO chart testify of Eriksson’s possessive prowess.

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Loui Eriksson, HERO /

He is a superb player who is suited for the Sedin game. The Sedins have played with Eriksson previously at the World Championships for Team Sweden. Wonder if the Sedins will be able to lure Eriksson to Van City.

The one concern with Eriksson is that he is sometimes lacking that drive to get to the dirty areas to get the puck. Comparing that to the success that Hansen has had this season, Eriksson may not be as efficient as Hansen when playing with the Sedins 5v5.

Although the Canucks do not need more 30-year-old veterans for the youth movement, if the money is right and if Eriksson is willing, the Canucks should make a push to sign the free agent. The term will be the biggest issue.

Proposed Line
D. Sedin – H. Sedin – L. Eriksson

That was a nation’s top line. The Canucks will gladly take that. If the Canucks are indeed able to sign Eriksson, that would also free Jannik Hansen up for use on the other lines. This ripple effect is sure to make the Canucks a great four-line team.

Or does it make Hansen a valuable trade asset? That will certainly be the case in a year’s time when (if) Brock Boeser hits the NHL. It should also be a great safety net for the Canucks, in case the Anton Rodin experiment falls apart.

Eriksson is a definite should-sign for the Canucks if they can manage the bidding war. But who stands above Eriksson?

Next: No.1: KYLE OKPOSO