No. 2 Best: Vancouver acquires Tanner Pearson from Pittsburgh for Erik Gudbranson
Yes, Tanner Pearson’s offensive play has regressed this year and yes, Benning gave him a bad contract. But there was a point last year where Pearson led Vancouver in even strength goals since his acquisition.
Add in the fact that Benning shed Gudbranson and that Pearson has remained defensively responsible, and this trade has worked out well for Vancouver. His chemistry with Bo Horvat is just an added bonus.
No. 2 Worst: Vancouver acquires Linus Karlsson from San Jose for Jonathan Dahlen
As bad as the McCann trade was, Gudbranson at least gave the Canucks NHL games. Plus there was some reasoning behind it, as misguided as it may have been.
This trade was doomed from the start. The Canucks had soured on Jonathan Dahlen for whatever reason and just decided to dump him, because nothing says good asset management like giving up on a prospect at 21 years old.
Dahlen has broken into the NHL this year, and his 0.58 points per game would be third amongst Canuck forwards, behind only Conor Garland and J.T. Miller. Karlsson is now 22 and may not ever play North American hockey.
No. 1 Best: Vancouver acquires J.T. Miller for Marek Mazanec, first round pick and a third round pick
Are his temper tantrums and occasional defensive lapses frustrating? Yes. Has he also been the Canucks best forward the last three seasons? Yes. Miller has done nothing but produce since being acquired by the Canucks.
Timing of the deal aside, Vancouver got a bonafide top-line forward in this deal and one that has lived up to the expectations and the price of the deal. His name has been brought up in trade rumours, but Miller is the type of player you keep, not ship off.
No. 1 Worst: Vancouver acquires Adam Clendening from Chicago for Gustav Forsling
This trade is so infuriating because it was so utterly pointless. Adam Clendening was a 22-year old that had played 25 NHL games. Gustav Forsling was coming off a huge World Juniors performance in which he turned a lot of heads.
Clendening gave the Canucks 17 games. Forsling has played 189 games with the Blackhawks and Panthers and has emerged as one of the best puck moving defensemen in the league last year. He’s taken a slight step back but is still an analytical darling. Above all else, he’s a legitimate top four defenseman, something Vancouver barely has right now.
The Canucks would be a better team, plain and simple with Forsling. Instead, they got 17 uneventful games of Clendening, who hasn’t played in the NHL in almost three years.