There were a lot of questions surrounding Anthony Beauvillier and his ever apparent lack of production for the Canucks’ offense this season. Now, those questions are for someone else to answer, as Beauvillier is on his way to Chicago in a trade that sends a fifth round pick back to Vancouver. The move was confirmed by the team on X.
Beauvillier first arrived in Vancouver as part of the trade that saw Bo Horvat sent to the Islanders. The winger played in 33 games last season for the Canucks following the trade, registering nine goals and 11 assists. It was a fast start for Beauvillier, but the winger, and his $4.15M AAV contract, came into forward group already over capacity. With the fast start and the team in dire need of salary cap space, Beauvillier’s name came up in numerous trade discussions throughout the year.
Beauvillier remained, however, and his production this year has left the Canucks with a lot to be desired. In 22 games, Beauvillier has only registered eight points (2g, 6a). His most recent points came in the game against San Jose on Nov. 20th, and in Colorado on Nov. 22, when he picked up an assist in both games. His only two goals were scored in the 10-1 blowout of the struggling San Jose Sharks earlier in the month.
Though those two goals came at a point where it looked like the Canucks forward was beginning to wake up. Before the pair of goals in the win against the Sharks, Beauvillier picked up an assist in the overtime loss to the New York Rangers two games prior. In the 5-2 win over the Nashville Predators on Halloween, he contributed two assists. With a string of points, it seemed like Beauvillier still stood a chance to make it amongst the Canucks forward group.
At the very least, his small points streak brought his name back into trade discussions. Beauvillier’s inconsistency suggested he may be a better fit elsewhere, and the Canucks‘ cap space situation was still in dire straits. As it stands, the team still continues to need help on defense, especially with Carson Soucy now out long-term with a lower-body injury.
Beauvillier currently has one year left on the three-year contract he signed back with the New York Islanders in 2021. With most teams in the league being unable to endure the $4.1m cap hit, it was easy to think the Canucks were going to be left to eat the cap hit this season. That is, until the Chicago Blackhawks found themselves in need of some offensive help.
The Blackhawks recently placed Taylor Hall on the long-term injured reserved list, and after an internal investigation, parted ways with forward Corey Perry. Hall going on LTIR and the termination of Perry’s contract left them in search of reinforcements. With spare forward talent to unload, the Canucks capitalized and pulled off a pretty solid move.
Final Grade: B
Though arguably a Beauvillier trade should have come sooner, the move is the first of two wins the team picked up on Tuesday. The team doesn’t retain any of Anthony Beauvillier’s contract, which now gives the Canucks $5.7m in cap space to work with. It would be easy to expect that money to be used to sign more help on the Canucks blueline. The Canucks also received a conditional fifth-round draft in 2024’s NHL Draft in return. The conditions stipulate that Vancouver will get the best Blackhawks’ fifth-round pick available.
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So, all-in-all the Canucks move out a struggling forward that may find better luck with a change of scenery. They free up a good bit of cap space and receive a late-round pick as well. It could have come sooner, but it’s also a good move to make now.