Vancouver Canucks mailbag: Horvat, Jagr and prospects

VANCOUVER, BC - April 2: Bo Horvat
VANCOUVER, BC - April 2: Bo Horvat /

In this weeks edition of our Vancouver Canucks mailbag, we take a look at your questions regarding Bo Horvat, prospects, Jaromir Jagr and more.

Welcome to this week’s edition of our Vancouver Canucks mailbag, where we once again try our best to answer your questions.

Last week, we received a handful of questions regarding the projected lineup, choosing Jaromir Jagr over Loui Eriksson, and plenty about prospects of course. This week, we were asked about similar topics, but very different questions.

Enjoy this week’s edition of the mailbag, and please remember that you are welcome to tweet your inquiries to us at any time!

Draisaitl over Horvat?

We’ll kick things off with a very interesting question here from Ryan Hank:

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If you were to ask me, I would personally rather have Leon Draisaitl on my team over Horvat. That’s not a knock against Bo, it’s just that I believe Draisailt’s about to become a consistent top-10 scorer in the NHL.

In just his second full NHL season, Draisaitl scored 29 goals and 77 points.

I don’t believe Horvat has that 80-point ceiling. But let’s be honest, the Canucks won’t be signing Draisaitl to an offer sheet.

Only one player in NHL history has switched teams via and offer sheet: Dustin Penner when he went from the Anaheim Ducks to the Edmonton Oilers in 2007.

Teams are always cautious about signing players to offer sheets, because it causes rocky relationships between general managers.

The Oilers are sure to match any offer for Draisaitl, and the Canucks probably aren’t even thinking about Draisaitl. So at the end of the day, I think re-signing Horvat should be a bigger priority than chasing Draisaitl.

Defence or Offence?

Eknoor Singh came up with another intriguing question here:

The Canucks actually have quite a bit of young talent on both forward and defence, so this is a tough one to answer. They seem to be set at forward for the long run with Horvat, Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser, Sven Baertschi and Markus Granlund. Prospects Nikolay Goldobin and Jonathan Dahlen have plenty of upside, too.

But I’d say if the Canucks owned the top pick for 2018, they should choose defenceman Rasmus Dahlin. Why? Because I love the idea of him and Olli Juolevi possibly forming the next great blue line pairing in the NHL.

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We saw Erik Karlsson single-handedly take the Ottawa Senators to the Eastern Conference Final. There are very few elite defencemen who can change a game on their own. Imagine the Canucks having both Dahlin and Juolevi.

I’d say another elite defenceman should be on the Canucks’ priority list in the 2018 draft, regardless of where they’re picking.

Player tryouts

With preseason just weeks away, we received this:

Given the amount of quality free agents left available, I do believe the Canucks should look at giving some veterans a professional tryout, indeed.

Thomas Vanek, a perennial 20-goal scorer, could provide solid third-line depth and is worthy of a shot. I do believe B.C. boy Cody Franson could fit into the Canucks’ top-four, and at least deserves a chance to try out here.

Veteran Drew Stafford — a solid right-handed shooter with a history of 20-goal seasons, could also be a nice pickup for the bottom-six. These three would all come cheap, so I do believe the Canucks should look into giving either of them a PTO.

Jagr or Eriksson?

We were actually asked about this last week, but it’s too much fun. We thought we’d address it again:

Barry Luka was our friend who brought up this proposition last week. I said it last week, and I’ll say it again: Signing Jaromir Jagr over Loui Eriksson would have been the better move for general manager Jim Benning.

A one or two-year deal for Jagr would have left them with plenty of future salary cap flexibility. But they’re on the books with Eriksson for five more years. He’s 32 years of age, injury prone and takes a significant bite out of the Canucks’ cap space.

Next: Previewing Vancouver's October Schedule

One week later, and it remains true. The Canucks would have been better off resigning the ageless wonder over Eriksson. But hey, it’s not too late for the Canucks to sign Jagr and see if he can fit in with the Sedin twins.