3 untouchable prospects the Canucks must not trade at the deadline

While the Vancouver Canucks should buy at or before the 2024 trade deadline, there are a few prospects they should strongly consider keeping around.

2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Round One
2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Round One / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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The Vancouver Canucks have 83 points, and they continue to lead the league in that ever-important category as of February 27th. Regardless of how many points they will ultimately end up with as the trade deadline draws nearer, it’s practically a consensus that the Canucks will look to add to their lineup, and that will likely involve giving up a prospect or two. 

And okay, yeah, that’s almost always the nature of the NHL trade deadline, especially when the league’s elite works toward a trade with an organization that figures to be a few years away from competing. However, it doesn’t mean they need to trade away either their top talent in the pool, or an intriguing up-and-comer who is starting to figure things out. 

The Canucks have a few prospects in the system they should refrain from trading

One reason the Canucks can’t afford to trade away so many prospects comes thanks to how much potential roster turnover there will be over the next two offseasons. While it’s expected to make a big trade and to try for a Stanley Cup in 2023-24, the Canucks must also think long-term, and look to hang onto prospects who they could ultimately insert into their lineup. 

Their current defensive rotation is a huge reason why they must hang onto their top talents in the pool, as they have four blueliners set to become unrestricted free agents following the 2023-24 season, and another in 2025. There are also six forwards who will be pending UFAs either in 2024 or 2025, so once again, general manager Patrik Allvin must look beyond this season to build a long-term winner in British Columbia. 

So, which players should be non-negotiable at the 2024 trade deadline when the phones start to ring? To foreshadow, there is one dynamic forward plus two blueliners who should all find themselves playing in Vancouver over the next few seasons, where they can help sustain the team’s success throughout the rest of the decade.