Canucks Roundtable: Predicting next year’s opening night roster

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The Vancouver Canucks. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

With the Vancouver Canucks still battling it out for a 2021 playoff spot, it seems a bit early to be looking ahead to next season. Nonetheless, The Canuck Way has round-up the troops for another roundtable article!

This week, we take a glance at what the opening night roster could possibly look like for the start of the 2021-22 season. With a lot of moving parts at play this summer (Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes contract extensions and the Seattle Kraken expansion draft), there are a lot of different ways it could go. Let’s dive into our writers’ predictions!

Brayden Ursel – Site Expert

Next season’s opening night roster could look a lot like this year’s team, with a few adjustments being made to fit the roster under the 2021-22 NHL salary cap. First off, I believe there is enough room to sign both Pettersson and Hughes to long-term deals. $8 million apiece, with a matching six-year term. Don’t think that’s enough? Cap them out at $9 million each.

In terms of other forwards to fill gaps in the lineup, Jim Benning should be able to lock down all of Jimmy Vesey, Kole Lind and Jonah Gadjovich for $1 million or less. With Vasili Podkolzin being the final forward on the roster, officially signing his entry-level deal and becoming an impact player for the Canucks.

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Jake Virtanen is left unprotected in the Expansion Draft, ultimately being scooped up by the Seattle Kraken. Loui Eriksson retires or refuses to report to the AHL, and Antoine Roussel is either bought out or sent to the farm team to play out the final year of his four-year $12 million deal.

As for the blueline, Hughes becomes the highest-paid defender and locks up his defensive partner, Travis Hamonic, in a team-friendly two-year deal worth an average annual value of $3 million. Alex Edler takes a 50 percent pay cut to remain in Vancouver, Olli Juolevi re-ups for $1 million or less, and Nikita Tryamkin returns to the NHL for $2 million.

The Canucks’ crease remains the same, with Thatcher Demko seeing the majority of starts. Braden Holtby playing back-up, and Mikey DiPietro potentially seeing starts by the end of the season.

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