Canucks mailbag: Roster spots, Chris Tanev’s future, more

BUFFALO, NY - FEBRUARY 12: Bo Horvat
BUFFALO, NY - FEBRUARY 12: Bo Horvat /
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The Vancouver Canucks mailbag is back. This week, we were asked questions about the future of Chris Tanev, how the blue line will do, if the Sedins can outscore Connor McDavid and much more.

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Vancouver Canucks mailbag.

As the Canucks play out their final preseason games, us fans are counting down the days until the real season begins in two weeks. The 2017-18 season promises to be an interesting one for Vancouver. There are a handful of veteran players that general manager Jim Benning could trade, so we have to keep an eye on that.

Furthermore, fans are wondering just how many rookies and young players will suit up this season. Unlike last year, there’s a lot of uncertainty on the Canucks roster, so expect the unexpected.

With that all aside, we now take a look at some of the questions you fans asked us this week. We’ll start with old friend, Jeff Godley:

More from The Canuck Way

I recently posted my projections for the Canucks’ top five scorers. I had Daniel Sedin finishing with 51, and Henrik with 53. That’s a solid 104 points combined for the twins. Last season, Connor McDavid ran away with the scoring title by posting 100 points.

The scary thing is that McDavid has a higher ceiling than that.

He’s going to be a 40-50 goal man, and 110-plus points isn’t out of the question. I’m giving McDavid 105 points this season, meaning he barely outscores the Sedins.

Despite missing 11 games last season, Troy Stecher led all Canucks blueliners in scoring with just 24 points. But we know the Richmond, B.C. native is capable of doing more. He has a full season of NHL experience under his belt and can only get better.

Stecher should be able to jump into that 30-40 point range. Given Alexander Edler‘s injury history and declining production, Stecher’s a safe bet to lead the Canucks in scoring.

Back in May, Benning confirmed that he wasn’t going to trade Chris Tanev, or Edler for that matter. Though the former is arguably Vancouver’s top trade chip, he’s also among the league’s best defensive defencemen. There’s a high chance Benning wouldn’t get equal value in a trade.

Tanev also has a great contract, with a $4.45 million over the next three seasons. He’s also just 27 years of age, so there isn’t an incentive to trade him. I’m expecting the Canucks to hold onto Tanev for the long run. There’s really no need to trade their best defenceman.

This is a tough one. Obviously, the Canucks have way too many forwards. Does it make sense to keep Reid Boucher, when there are plenty of veterans and young players vying for spots?

Not exactly, but I do think Boucher will remain a Canuck for at least the first several months of the season. He might even start 2017-18 in the minors, but I don’t think they’re prepared to put him on waivers. His future with the Canucks is unclear, but don’t expect him to be on the move any time soon.

Related Story: Roundtable: Boeser, rookies, call ups, more

Yes. 100 percent. Without a question.

Listen, I understand the front office’s desire to add more scoring. I like the Sam Gagner signing, because he’s only 28 years of age and can play anywhere down the lineup. But Alexander Burmistrov and Thomas Vanek (who’s 33 years of age and past his playing prime), don’t make a lot of sense.

If the Canucks are actually rebuilding, then why are more aging veterans on the roster? Does this mean Jake Virtanen and Brock Boeser get significantly less playing time now?

Yes, Benning may just look to deal some of these veterans at the trade deadline anyway. But judging by the decline in ticket sales and TV ratings, Canucks fans are fed up with watching veterans on the ice, especially when they’re not superstars.

Next: Top 5 Players Too Risky to Put on Waivers

They’ve made it clear they want to see the kids play. Judging by all the signings of veteran forwards, there’s a strong chance the fans don’t get their wish. Again.