Vancouver Canucks: Top 15 unrestricted free-agent targets

MONTREAL, QC - MARCH 14: Dwight King
MONTREAL, QC - MARCH 14: Dwight King /
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vancouver canucks
PHILADELPHIA, PA – APRIL 18: Karl Alzner /

No. 1: Karl Alzner

Topping off our list is defenseman Karl Alzner, the Burnaby native who is looking for a big raise after proving himself with the Washington Capitals. Alzner ticks off almost all the boxes for the Canucks.

Alzner is a top-four defenseman with the size to be effective physically in the defensive zone. He also has good mobility, an asset he uses to move the puck with ease skating it out as well as distributing.

Age: 28
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 219 lbs
2016-17 Stats: 82GP – 3G – 13PTS
2016-17 Salary: $2.8

There are only a few minor reasons Alzner would not be the right fit for the Canucks. He isn’t young enough to see this rebuild through and be part of the new core. He isn’t a point-getter like Del Zotto is.

In addition, Alzner is looking for a long-term contract, rumoured at 5-6 years at north of $5.5 per. Would he be willing to take on a “hometown discount” with the Canucks?

Otherwise, he is a perfect fit for this organisation.

He brings size to a blueline that lost Luca Sbisa and Nikita Tryamkin this offseason. He uses his size well to protect the puck and is mobile enough to skate it out.

Next: Top 5 low-profile UFAs to target

More than anything else, the addition of size as well as the ability to move the puck allows the Canucks to explore trades. Yes, that includes trading Chris Tanev and Erik Gudbranson.