Vancouver Canucks should not trade for Ryan Spooner

Mar 15, 2017; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Boston Bruins center Ryan Spooner (51) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 15, 2017; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Boston Bruins center Ryan Spooner (51) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Vancouver Canucks have been linked to Boston Bruins forward Ryan Spooner, but trading for him wouldn’t do much to improve the team.

An interesting offseason is about to take place for the Vancouver Canucks, who own the fifth-overall pick in this year’s draft and look ready to begin a full-scale rebuild.

This team desperately needs more scoring up front, so general manager Jim Benning could look towards the trade market to address that problem. Ryan Kennedy from The Hockey News mentioned the Canucks as a possible suitor for Boston Bruins forward Ryan Spooner:

The 5-foot-10, 175-pound centre hasn’t been able to live up to his full potential in Boston. After scoring 13 goals and 49 points in 2015-16, Spooner managed just 11 tallies and 39 points this season.

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Is that really a player who could make a difference on the Vancouver Canucks? With all due respect to Spooner, most definitely not.

Keep in mind that the Canucks don’t have any bonafide superstars on the wing, so it’s not like Spooner is going to have a great supporting cast around him.

Spooner is just 25 years of age, and centres with top-six potential don’t come cheap in the NHL these days. Benning made costly mistakes in giving away a 2014 second-rounder for Linden Vey and prospect Jared McCann and a 2016 second-rounder in the Erik Gudbranson trade.

You can expect Spooner to cost any team at least a second-round pick, plus maybe a third-rounder or a B-level prospect. The “rebuilding” Canucks have to hold on to all their draft picks and avoid gutting a farm system that is starting to shape up as one of the better ones in the NHL.

My colleague at The Canuck Way, Jeff Godley, also made a point in what Boston’s asking price could be:

"“The Bruins’ greatest needs are for a left-shot defenseman or a scoring winger. Vancouver does not have a surplus of wingers, but they do have left-handed defensemen. Perhaps Spooner could be part of a deal for Ben Hutton, who played his college hockey in nearby Maine.”"

Trading away a potential top-pairing defenceman for a guy who “may” be a second-line centre would be giving up far too much.

Yes, the Canucks need a lot of help on offence if they want to get better in 2016-17. Three different players on Vancouver topped Spooners’ 39 points, and six scored more goals than he did.

Do you really see Spooner being a difference maker?

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At the end of the day, Benning knows that offence is this team’s primary weakness. But with young players like Bo Horvat, Brock Boeser, Markus Grandlund and (hopefully) Jake Virtanen set for big roles in 2017-18, there is no need to trade for Ryan Spooner. The Vancouver Canucks should stick with the foundation of young players they have in place.