The Canuck Way mailbag: Juolevi, Rathbone, playoffs, trading Boeser

VANCOUVER, BC - OCTOBER 29: Elias Pettersson #40 of the Vancouver Canucks scores on Devan Dubnyk #40 of the Minnesota Wild during their NHL game at Rogers Arena October 29, 2018 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Vancouver won 5-2. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - OCTOBER 29: Elias Pettersson #40 of the Vancouver Canucks scores on Devan Dubnyk #40 of the Minnesota Wild during their NHL game at Rogers Arena October 29, 2018 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Vancouver won 5-2. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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The Vancouver Canucks are back with a vengeance, and so is The Canuck Way mailbag. Here are the answers to this week’s best questions ahead of puck drop.

Last week, the return of The Canuck Way mailbag turned out to be nothing short of a smashing success. It’s a weekly chance for fans of the Vancouver Canucks to get involved, ask questions, and further discuss the latest, most up-to-date news in hockey.

All you have to do is follow @fsthecanuckway on Twitter, look for the mailbag tweet at the end of each week, ask a Canucks-related question, and then find your question and answer when the article drops! Okay? Okay! Let’s jump right into it. Here are the best questions this week!

Yes, hockey is officially on the horizon in the city of Vancouver, and The Canuck Way couldn’t be more excited. It felt like robbery having the Canucks’ regular-season cut short. The team was fending off feisty competition as they went, and they were on the verge of claiming a real 2020 NHL Playoff spot.

But of course, the NHL and NHLPA agreed to ratify the CBA on Friday, and the Canucks still get their equal shot at Lord Stanley’s Cup. It would have been nice to see the 50-year squad pull it off the old fashioned way, but nonetheless, Elias Pettersson and the entire team of Canucks are back on the west coast and ready to open Day 1 of Training Camp

Plenty can happen between now and puck drop on August 1st, but this is a terrific starting point. And a big plus for the young core of talent on the Canucks is the fact that they got, basically, an entire summer vacation before they’ll be jumping right back into the belly of the beast. My point is, this team should be coming out guns blazing.

Personally, I think the Canucks will have a very strong top-six forward group when hockey returns, but depending on the health of Micheal Ferland, Vancouver could potentially have the deepest top-nine across the board.

Acquired in the summer on a four-year deal, Ferland was brought into the mix as a legit playoff performer who can bang. Obviously his debut year with Vancouver didn’t go quite according to plan, concussions kept him sidelined for the majority of the season, but signs of hope and a return to normalcy for Ferland are beginning to show.

Do you remember what he was capable of doing to the 2015 Canucks? Single-handedly, he took on tough guys like Kevin Bieksa and Zack Kassian with ease, and the Calgary Flames advanced to the second round. If Ferland can be the player he was back then or even a shade of the man, he could really help round out the top-nine, especially next to two hungry players like Jake Virtanen and Adam Gaudette.

After what we saw in Tyler Toffoli‘s 10-game audition at the tail-end of the regular season, one might think it would be an absolute no-brainer to keep things that way, but I have to disagree for a couple of different reasons.

First off, Travis Green has almost three weeks to sort out his lineup. That’s more than enough time to see who is clicking and who has the best chemistry heading into the Play-In series versus the Minnesota Wild. Mix it up, roll the lines, flip them around again, and keep doing it until the Canucks have the perfect fit.

That being said, the Lotto Line was damn good all season long, and Brock Boeser on line one might be what’s best for everybody. Next to Pettersson is where he’ll find his scoring touch, and at this point, Vancouver is yet to see what the reunion Toffoli and Tanner Pearson can really do.

Being part of one of the best lines in hockey, the couple of two-way forwards won a championship for the LA Kings back in 2014. It’s mouthwatering to ponder the thought of what they could really accomplish while flanking the wings of Canucks’ captain Bo Horvat.

If Boeser is in fact trade bait in the offseason, expect Jim Benning to shop him for a legit top-four defender. Vancouver has a surplus of right-shot forwards and with Chris Tanev and Troy Stecher coming to the end of their current contracts in Van-city, it’s a great way to acquire an even better replacement.

Obviously, Matt Dumba is the first player on the minds of most hockey knowledgeable Canucks fans and honestly, it makes a lot of sense. Boeser is a native to the state of Minnesota, while Dumba brings that raw physicality along with a right side howitzer of a slapshot. He would be an amazing fit next to Quinn Hughes, and he’d instantly become our second-best blueliner.

Zach Werenski from the Columbus Blue Jackets would be an excellent fit in Vancouver, but it might take more than just BB6 to land his services. The 22-year-old already has over 300 NHL games under his belt and he led all CBJ defenders this year in points (20 goals, 21 assists). His 20-goal campaign is simply mindblowing, and I think he could rise to new heights in Vancouver.

Lastly, the Carolina Hurricanes would make for a good trading partner. The Hurricanes have a logjam of too many potential top-four defenders and they could use some extra goals on the right side. The ceiling of these potential trade targets isn’t quite as high as Werenski or Dumba, but maybe Benning could snag Haydn Fleury and a high draft pick.