Vancouver Canucks Trade Proposals: The Fifth Overall Pick

Oct 9, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Arizona Coyotes left wing Jordan Martinook (48) reacts against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 9, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Arizona Coyotes left wing Jordan Martinook (48) reacts against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jun 27, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning announces Jake Virtanen (not pictured) as the number six overall pick to the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

With the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Finals, the time has come for the Vancouver Canucks to shake up the league once more with big trades at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

The Vancouver Canucks watched in reserved bitterness as the Pittsburgh Penguins hoisted the Stanley Cup with ex-Canucks Nick Bonino and Mike Sullivan. Is Vancouver still kicking itself for trading for Brandon Sutter? I am still not making the final verdict yet.

That being said, if GM Jim Benning does not want to feel uneasy for the next decade to come, he must make the right choice with the fifth-overall pick at this year’s NHL Entry Draft. As of right now, the fate of the fifth-overall pick is somewhat indirectly in the hands of the Edmonton Oilers for they hold the fourth-overall pick.

Let’s get straight to the point here. The Canucks have two choices to make. The first is whether to trade the fifth-overall pick or not, and the second is the timing of the potential trade. If Trader Jim indeed decides to offer up the pick, the timing of this decision will be crucial.

Will he pull the trade before a single pick is made or after the first four selections are made? Of course, nothing will be so simple when June 24th rolls around and all the GMs, the scouts, the commissioners, the agents, and the players are gathered on the draft floor.

But this we know for sure, that trading up in this year’s draft will cost a fortune for the Canucks and solidify Jim Benning spot as one of the most daring GM’s in the league.

Already Near the Top: Nowhere Else to Go

Trading with the Edmonton Oilers and giving up assets to a division rival on the rise would be the least sensible thing to do, to move up a single spot for the sake of a potential Pierre-Luc Dubois over Matthew Tkachuk.

Trading with the Columbus Blue Jackets is also not the smartest move to make. Despite teams already calling the Blue Jackets about their pick at third overall (the Jesse Puljujarvi pick, supposedly), Columbus seems to have their eyes set on drafting the Finn in hopes of developing him into the franchise center that they have lacked for so long.

The Jackets are deep down the wings and their prospects are going strong on the blueline, making veterans like Fedor Tyutin expendable. Although we don’t know how much the Jackets want, seeing that they want a franchise center should be a reason enough for Benning not to consider trading with the Jackets this year.

Honestly, which centerman can Vancouver give up? Brendan Gaunce? Brendan Sutter? Bo Horvat? The first likely isn’t nearly enough while the latter two could work for Columbus. But that is insanity. Trading a Dubois and a young, proven top-six player for a Puljujarvi would be a great mistake.

The Canucks may have other pieces to offer, but Columbus needs nothing else, just centermen. The only way I see a Columbus-Vancouver trade happening is if the Canucks become the recipient of a massive contract like Tyutin’s while giving up extra assets, like this:

Please don’t consider that as a serious trade offer. I simply wish to point out the folly of trying to trade up from the fifth-overall slot. Don’t even mention the Winnipeg Jets or the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Instead, please consider the following trades that could become real by the end of the day on June 24th. Moving down gives the Canucks a lot of room to maneuver, asset-wise and salary-wise.