We are not getting younger
A key component of a rebuild is stockpile draft picks and incorporate more youth in the lineup. There is a fine line to this because if you ice a team of rookies, there will lose every night, much like the pre-Connor McDavid Oilers.
However, the Canucks have taken many steps that have made the team older. The Erik Gudbranson trade is a major example. Jim Benning soured on a rough rookie season by Jared McCann. The Canucks paid a king’s ransom, giving up a second and fourth round pick along with Jared McCann.
It’s funny how much it hurts Benning to trade second round picks. He is first and foremost a scout, so you think he would try to maximize the number of lottery tickets he has at the draft. Do you know who trades second round picks for immediate help? Playoff teams. It’s a bad joke that the Canucks have thought they were a playoff team every single year after that fortunate season in 2014-15.
I find it hard that Linden says the team is getting younger, especially with the moves made last summer during free agency. Sam Gagner, Thomas Vanek and Michael Del Zotto all make the team older, not younger. A player like Derrick Pouliot has got into the lineup because Alex Edler is injured.
Additionally, Travis Green doesn’t even use his young players to the fullest. Until the game against the Sabers, Virtanen rarely played in the third period. Boeser sat the first two games of the season and Horvat still does not get prime power play minutes, despite being dubbed the future of this franchise.