The Vancouver Canucks have added a new face to their roster for the upcoming season.
During the first intermission of Friday’s 4-0 preseason win against the Arizona Coyotes, the team took to Twitter, announcing that they had acquired defenceman Riley Stillman from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for forward Jason Dickinson and a 2024 second round pick.
At the end of the day, this transaction was merely just cap management for General Manager Patrik Allvin, who was able to get rid of Dickinson’s $2.65 million cap hit for the next two seasons, albeit at the loss of an early round sweetener in 2024.
A former 2013 first round pick for the Dallas Stars, Dickinson was initially acquired to fill a bottom-six, penalty kill centre role for the Canucks, a position he had done quite well with in his first five seasons in Texas.
As we all know, the 27-year-old unfortunately never quite found his footing in Vancouver, forcing Allvin to clean up the mess that former General Manager Jim Benning had made when he signed Dickinson to his current three-year, $7.95 million deal.
With Dickinson officially off the books, as well as Curtis Lazar and Nils Åman essentially locked in to fill the 3C and 4C roles, both fans and media can now focus on what they got in return from Chicago.
Originally drafted 114th overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft by the Florida Panthers, Stillman brings size and toughness to the blueline.
The Peterborough native spent two more seasons in the OHL following his draft year, registering 16 goals and 51 assists in 124 games between the Oshawa Generals and Hamilton Bulldogs, while donning the “A” with Oshawa for his final three seasons with the club.
Stillman was also quite helpful in the playoffs, posting near point-per-game numbers with Oshawa in 2016-17, followed by 14 points in 21 games with Hamilton the following year.
Stillman made his NHL debut with Florida on February 26th, 2019, registering one shot and two PIMs in just over 11 minutes of ice time.
The left-handed blueliner made more of an impact during the 2019-20 season, suiting up for 34 regular season games and three playoff games.
The following season wasn’t as successful for Stillman, who split time between Florida and Syracuse before being dealt to Chicago in April 2021. Stillman was joined by former teammates Brent Connolly and Henrik Borgström, while Florida received Lucas Carlsson and Lucas Wallmark.
Stillman showed improvements during his time in the Windy City, registering three goals and 10 assists in 65 games over two seasons.
The son of former NHLer Corey Stillman, Riley also averaged just over 15 minutes of ice time to go along with 36 PIM last season, two statistics that bode well for his expected third-pairing role with Vancouver.
Fortunately for the Canucks, Stillman is also expected to bring some grit and snarl to the team’s blueline, a role that has primarily fallen on the shoulders of big-bodied veteran Luke Schenn, while slotting in on the secondary penalty killing unit if needed as well.
Myers is expected to miss the next 2-4 weeks with a lower-body injury, while Dermott’s return timeline is still up in the air, leaving an opening for Stillman to play alongside a Jack Rathbone or Kyle Burroughs, granted one of them cracks the opening night roster.
What are your thoughts on the Stillman trade? Let us know in the comments!