Vancouver Canucks: Trading for David Pastrnak doesn’t make sense

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 23: David Pastrnak
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 23: David Pastrnak /

Despite the rumors that the Boston Bruins may look to trade young forward David Pastrnak, it doesn’t make sense for the Vancouver Canucks to do business with their rivals. Here’s why.

The Vancouver Canucks are a franchise that have never been afraid to make the big trade, though current general manager Jim Benning has shied away from blockbuster deals during his three-year tenure here.

Over their history, we saw the Canucks trade away power forward Cam Neely to the Boston Bruins. They robbed the Pittsburgh Penguins by acquiring Markus Naslund and of course traded for Roberto Luongo in 2006, before shipping him back to the Florida Panthers in 2014.

And now, feel free to get excited about more trade rumors, NHL Network analyst Brian Lawton dropped this thought, regarding Boston Bruins star David Pastrnak:

That prompted Matt Sekeres from TSN 1040 to share this interesting and intriguing thought about a blockbuster deal:

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And that led to J.D. Burke from Canucks Army to break down a possible swap of Bo Horvat for Pastrnak.

Burke believes that the Canucks should make the offer if the Bruins do indeed look to ship out their young star. Of course, it remains to be seen if the Bruins are actually looking at a Pastrnak trade.

But even if they make the bold call to move out Pastrnak because of his contract demands, a trade involving the Canucks is unlikely, nor should Benning really think about the deal.

There are too many factors working against the Canucks here. As good as Pastrnak is, Benning would be smart by playing it safe and not target him in a trade.

Cost would be enormous

It’s not very often where a 21-year-old coming off a 34-goal and 70-point season supposedly hits the trade market. Boston hasn’t been afraid to ship out young stars before, having sent Phil Kessel to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2009, Tyler Seguin to the Dallas Stars in 2013 and Dougie Hamilton to the Calgary Flames in 2015.

In all three of those trades, the Bruins secured at least three assets, including first round picks and talented prospects. The Canucks are rebuilding, so it makes zero sense for Benning to trade away draft selections here.

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Toronto got burned in the Kessel trade, as Boston used their two first rounders from the Maple Leafs to draft both Seguin and Hamilton, who ironically both got traded down the road.

Benning easily has to give up at least two first rounders and a second to make this deal work. Then what? Maybe you win the draft lottery in 2018 and pick in the top five the next year. All that for one winger? Not worth it.

Horvat is the future

So what if the Canucks weren’t to part with draft picks to land Pastrnak? Let’s just assume that the Bruins truly are so willing to make a Horvat-for-Pastrnak swap. Would you make that trade? Because if the Canucks are keeping their eyes on the future, then this deal doesn’t make sense.

As things stand now, Horvat is the future of the Canucks. He figures to be their No. 1 centre in 2018, 2019 and possibly beyond that. If 2017 first rounder Elias Pettersson doesn’t succeed in the NHL, who do the Canucks have as their centre of the future now?

Yes, Pastrnak is on the verge of superstardom. But the Canucks also have a golden prospect at right wing in Brock Boeser — who figures to be just as good as Pastrnak. Loui Eriksson and Sam Gagner occupy the other right wing spots.

The idea of landing a 21-year-old star in Pastrnak sounds exciting, but they have enough right wingers. The Canucks don’t have long-term answers at centre, so trading Horvat for Pastrnak only creates another problem.

Next: Looking back on the Luongo trade

We already know that Horvat is capable of being a No. 1 or 2 centre in the NHL, so the Vancouver Canucks have to play it safe and not even think about chasing David Pastrnak.