Vancouver Canucks roundtable: Debating a Noah Hanifin trade

RALEIGH, NC - MARCH 17: Noah Hanifin #5 of the Carolina Hurricanes shoots the puck during warm ups prior to an NHL game against the Philadelphia Flyers on March 17, 2018 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)
RALEIGH, NC - MARCH 17: Noah Hanifin #5 of the Carolina Hurricanes shoots the puck during warm ups prior to an NHL game against the Philadelphia Flyers on March 17, 2018 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The Vancouver Canucks have been linked to Carolina Hurricanes defenceman Noah Hanifin. Our staff here at The Canuck Way discusses whether or not they should make a play for him.

Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning has the perfect opportunity to find this team a future top-four defenceman with the seventh pick in the 2018 draft, but there’s always the option to trade for one as well.

Two weeks ago, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said the Canucks were “a stealth team” that could trade for Carolina Hurricanes blueliner Noah Hanifin. The 21-year-old is coming off a career year in which he scored 10 goals and 32 points. Given his offensive upside and young age, Hanifin could be a great add for the Canucks.

But would the hefty asking price be worth it? That’s why we’re here. Scott Rosenhek, Chris Faber and myself sit down to discuss whether or not the Canucks should make a move for Hanifin. Welcome to our latest edition of The Canuck Way roundtable, and feel free to share us your thoughts in the comments section.

Alex Hoegler

I’ll be the first person to tell you that Hanifin is a terrific player who could instantly provide a boost on the Canucks’ blue line. The stars don’t line up for a trade, however, unless new general manager Don Waddell has a surprisingly low asking price. Spoiler alert: He won’t.

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Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province noted that Carolina seeks the Canucks’ seventh pick and a “prime, young roster player” in a deal for Hanifin. That’s simply too much to ask for a player who may only wind up as a No. 3 or 4 defenceman.

If the Canucks were closer to being a playoff team, I would consider trading for Hanifin in a “win-now” sort of move. But they’re a while away from being competitive, and Benning can’t sacrifice future stars for one quick fix.

He’s going to get a good player with the No. 7 pick – likely a blueliner. Why give that and a young roster player away for Hanifin? You’re better off drafting a player who could very well have a better career than the 2015 first round pick.

Hanifin is the sort of player Vancouver could target in three-to-five years if they’re a playoff team stocked with scoring forwards, but lacking in quality blueliners. But right now, there’s no reason for them to think about making a play for him.

Scott Rosenhek

I know people don’t like fence-sitting, but it really depends for me. In a one-for-one trade, I would be comfortable with dealing the seventh overall selection, but that depends on who is available when the Canucks pick.

If Quinn Hughes or Oliver Wahlstrom are there, then I don’t make the trade, otherwise Hanifin is more valuable and fits the shortcut route the Canucks have followed for four years. However, it appears Carolina wants a young roster player as well.

Related Story: Canucks: Sign a blueliner, don't get Hanifin

I’m not too keen on dealing Thatcher Demko, even if Michael DiPietro provides some insurance in the prospect pool’s goalie depth. Let me ask you. Can the Canucks future top six forward group survive without one of Bo Horvat or Brock Boeser?

I doubt it. Given Hanifin’s defensive issues, I’m not sure the Canucks will get a top pairing defender out of the trade. If I have to pick a side, I’m leaning towards no.

Chris Faber

I’m trying to find a good trade for the Canucks to acquire Noah Hanifin, it’s tough though. The most likely trade would be Hanifin for the Canucks seventh overall pick and probably a sweetener, maybe a third or fourth round pick.

In my mind that’s not a good deal, Hanifin will be very sought-after trade option for a lot of teams, the fact that he is so young(21 years old) and already has played 239 NHL games is super intriguing.

But I like the way the Canucks drafted last year, with Elias Pettersson they took the highest ceiling instead of highest floor for potential. The Canucks have so many options with the seventh overall pick that they should stand pat with their first round pick and draft the player with the highest potential.

Adam Boqvist, Brady Tkachuk, Noah Dobson or Oliver Wahlstrom are all viable options and one of those four guys will be a future NHL all star, now if only the Canucks scouting team can find which one is and draft that guy.

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Hanifin is a great player and his Corsi For percentage shows that, if the Canucks were one or two more years into their rebuild I think they should go all out for Hanifin. But in their current state, it’s about adding the best player available for their rebuild and I think the Canucks will find that in the draft, not on the trade market.