Canucks trade Juolevi to Panthers in exchange for Juulsen and Lammikko

The Vancouver Canucks have traded defencemen Olli Juolevi to the Florida Panthers in exchange for defencemen Noah Juulsen and winger/centre  Juho Lammikko.

Pierre Lebrun of TSN and The Athletic first confirmed that Juolevi has been traded to Florida.

Less than an hour later, Thomas Drance of The Athletic reported that Juulsen and Lammikko were heading to Vancouver.

The Canucks officially announced the trade shortly after.

“We’re pleased to welcome Noah and Juho to Vancouver,” said general manager Jim Benning. “We would also like to thank Olli for his years of service with the Canucks organization and we wish him well in his future endeavours.”

Juolevi was drafted fifth overall by the Canucks in the 2016 NHL Draft. The pick was met with criticism at the time as they passed on Matthew Tkachuk who was taken with the next pick by the Calgary Flames.

It has been a rough road to the NHL for Juolevi as he has dealt with numerous injuries that ruined his development including an knee injury in the 2018-19 season that required surgery.

Juolevi made his NHL debut in the game 4 of the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers when the Canucks beat the Minnesota Wild 5-4 in overtime.

He scored his first NHL goal last season in a 7-1 win over the Ottawa Senators and played 23 games and managed three points. (Two goals and one assist.)

Juolevi has had issues in his own zone and has had a hard time pivoting. The 2016 draft pick continued to be criticized since numerous defencemen from that draft went on to become better NHL players such as Mikhail Sergachev, Jacob Chychurn and Charlie McAvoy.

Juolevi has a chance to get a fresh start in the Florida sunshine.

After a solid junior career with the Everett Silvertips, Juulsen was selected in the first round (25th overall) in the 2015 draft by the Montreal Canadiens. The Abbotsford native struggled to live up to expectations and split time between the Habs and the Laval Rocket of the AHL

Juulsen was claimed off waivers by the Panthers last January and played four games with them last season. He also played five games with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch where he managed one assist.

He comes to the Canucks as a depth option for the right side but he has already cleared waivers and it seems he will start in Abbotsford.

Lammikko was drafted by the Panthers in the third round in 2014. (65th overall.)  He made his NHL debut in the 2018-19 season after spending the last two seasons with the AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds. He played 40 games with the Panthers that season and managed six assists.

In the 2019-20 season, Lammikko returned to Finland to play for Oulun Kärpät of the top tier Finnish league. There he managed 22 goals and 29 assists in 51 games for the season ended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In June of 2020, Lammikko signed a one-year deal with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL. In November, he returned to the Panthers signing a one-year, two-way contract. After four goals and one assist in 44 games last season, he signed a one-year contract worth $750,000 in July.

Lammikko is an option for the Canucks fourth line.

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