The ugly part of this draft is what it cost the Canucks to acquire J.T. Miller. Notice I said it was ugly, not bad. This trade has the potential to work out exceptionally well for Vancouver. Miller is going to provide the team with some legitimate secondary scoring, because as I’ve been writing ever since I was given a platform to do so, Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser, and Bo Horvat can’t do it alone — not for a full 82 games.
Miller can play all three forward positions and has the potential to surpass 20 goals. His career high is 23, which he recorded with the Rangers and Lighting in 2017-18. He scored 22 goals in back-to-back seasons with the Rangers before getting traded to the Lightning. To get him, however, the Canucks gave up a third-round pick in this year’s draft and a conditional first-round pick in next year’s draft.
Now, at first, I was less than thrilled with this, seeing that the New Jersey Devils were able to acquire P.K. Subban from the Nashville Predators for what was essentially two second-round picks (the players included in the deal have minimal value). As someone who almost always sees the glass as half full, this one was taking a little longer than normal for me to come around to.
The folks who replied to this tweet made some great points. Most notably that Subban is older and on a much less favourable contract than Miller’s. While Miller is still just 26 years old and getting paid $5.25 million for the next four years, Subban is 30 years old and is owed $9 million per season for the next three years.
Not only that, but take a look at how much the Philadelphia Flyers overpaid for Kevin Hayes, who was an upcoming unrestricted free agent. He received a seven-year deal with an annual average salary of $7.142 million. That’s a whole lot less than Miller’s deal, which much less long term commitment. If we’re so worried about Benning’s moves in free agency, shouldn’t we be happy that the team acquired a legitimate top-six forward without overpaying and committing to too much term?
That’s my silver lining, the fact that we are getting a good player on a favourable contract. I know Tampa was in a bit of a cap crunch, but Miller is a player who holds value, so while I wish we didn’t have to part ways with our 2020 first round pick — which becomes a 2021 first rounder if the Canucks miss the playoffs next year — sometimes you have to give up something of value to get something valuable back. I for one, cannot wait to see Miller in a Canucks uniform; hopefully wearing number 30 so I can bust out the old Ryan Miller jersey from 2015.
All in all, it was a good draft for the Vancouver Canucks, and to me, the good that comes from the Miller trade and the whole new budding crop of forwards the Canucks just selected heavily outweigh the bad and the ugly. What do you think Canucks fans? Are you happy with this draft? Let me know in the comments section below!