- Acquired D Madison Bowey and a 2021 fifth-round decide from the Chicago Blackhawks for a 2021 fourth-round decide.
- Acquired the Winnipeg Jets’ 2021 sixth-round decide in change for D Jordie Benn.
- Acquired C/W Matthew Highmore from the Chicago Blackhawks for C Adam Gaudette.
The trades weren’t groundbreaking by any means, however at the very least one was a little bit of a headscratcher. So with out additional ado, let’s dive in and provides Benning his 2021 Commerce Deadline report card.
Canucks Give Gaudette a Change of Surroundings
Of all of the gamers that needed a “change of scenery”, I don’t assume anybody would have pointed to Gaudette as the one that wanted one. By all accounts, it appeared that he favored it in Vancouver and needed to remain long-term. Sadly for him, Benning didn’t appear to agree and ended up delivery him off to Chicago for an underwhelming return.
To be fairly sincere, we anticipated him to take one other step this 12 months…He has performed alright for us, however we have been anticipating after the season he had final 12 months, we have been anticipating him to return in and take one other step (and) we didn’t actually really feel like he did that. Now, perhaps a change of surroundings, he can get that again.
Jim Benning on buying and selling Adam Gaudette
After hitting career-highs in objectives (12) and factors (33) final season, Gaudette’s manufacturing has slipped to solely 4 objectives and 7 factors in 33 video games this season. He additionally has not performed his pure place both, enjoying largely as a winger on a 3rd line centered by Brandon Sutter.
With Kole Lind excelling as a pivot within the American Hockey League (AHL) with the Utica Comets, Benning might be pondering of the longer term and the potential of him taking up the third line heart spot after Sutter strikes on. If Lind is definitely good at faceoffs within the NHL, he would have an enormous leg up on Gaudette, who has but to grasp that artwork.
Admittedly, Gaudette will not be the very best defensively and is considerably ill-suited for the underside six. With Vasily Podkolzin and Nils Hoglander trying like future wingers for captain Bo Horvat, his future with the crew was clearly not on the highest two strains. All in all, a change of surroundings would possibly really be good for his long-term growth as a top-six ahead.
The Return: Matthew Highmore
I wouldn’t have an enormous downside with this deal if the Canucks bought one thing extra substantial for Gaudette. Nothing in opposition to Highmore, who is alleged to be a strong two-way ahead with a powerful work ethic, however you’ll assume a 24-year-old established NHLer with offensive potential would garner a bit extra.
Highmore is already a 12 months older than Gaudette and has not confirmed to be an on a regular basis NHL participant but. Since becoming a member of the Blackhawks in 2018 after 5 seasons within the QMJHL with the Saint John Sea Canines, he has solely 4 objectives and ten factors in 73 video games. To place that in perspective, Gaudette has 21 objectives and 52 factors in 153 video games.
Highmore would possibly shock everybody and change into an amazing two-way participant within the NHL someday, however for now, he’s an unknown. I’m certain Benning is hoping he has caught lightning in a bottle twice, as his final acquisition from the Blackhawks labored out fairly effectively within the type of Tyler Motte, who he acquired at the deadline in 2018. If he can change into even half what Motte is, this commerce will find yourself trying manner higher than it does proper now.
Benn’s Bounce Again Season Results in a Modest Return for the Canucks
Heading as much as the commerce deadline, the Canucks had a number of veteran property that they might doubtlessly transfer. Jordie Benn ended up being the one one that really bought traded. Travis Hamonic, Alex Edler, Tanner Pearson (who was recently re-signed), Antoine Roussel, and Sutter all stayed put. Of all of them, Hamonic and Benn have been in all probability the one ones that have been real looking on this financial panorama, and as soon as Elliotte Friedman put the kibosh on any Hamonic trade, the writing was on the wall for Benn.
When Hamonic was injured for a few weeks in February, Benn did extra than simply fill in for him on the highest pairing with Quinn Hughes, he excelled. He was environment friendly defensively and offered nearly the identical calm presence Chris Tanev did final season when he was paired with the uber-sophomore. I’m certain that performed into the Jets’ curiosity after they have been searching for veteran defencemen to amass for a playoff run.
The Return: 2021 Sixth-Spherical Draft Decide
Contemplating Benn goes to be an unrestricted free agent (UFA) this offseason, a sixth-round decide is an sufficient return for the veteran defenceman. Additionally, with the Canucks’ recent success with late-round picks, this further choice would possibly internet them one more strong participant for his or her deep prospect pool.
Canucks Get Youthful On Defence With Bowey
After trading Benn to the Jets, the Canucks have been brief a defenceman. In order that they turned to the Blackhawks once more and located the 25-year-old Bowey. Initially drafted within the second spherical by the Washington Capitals in 2013, he has bounced round a number of groups in his comparatively brief NHL profession. Now becoming a member of his fourth crew after enjoying elements of 5 seasons with the Capitals, Detroit Crimson Wings, and Chicago Blackhawks, he’ll look to impress head coach Travis Green sufficient to earn an everyday spot within the lineup.
Bowey’s time this season has been largely spent on the Blackhawks’ Taxi Squad, which might be the place he’s going to start out with the Canucks. Not less than, that’s the place he ought to begin. With prime prospect Olli Juolevi sitting out since Feb 23, Benn’s departure seemed to have freed up a spot for the younger Finn, till the commerce for Bowey occurred. Now the state of affairs has change into murky once more. For the sake of his growth, he ought to both get into the lineup recurrently or go right down to the Comets, these needs to be the one two choices.
The fee was affordable for a defenceman of Bowey’s caliber, and the Canucks additionally bought a fifth-round decide within the deal too. As of proper now, they bought fairly good worth for simply the price of a fourth-round decide.
Canucks Have a Surprisingly Busy Deadline
After professing to the fan base that he can be quiet on the deadline, Benning was surprisingly busy. He didn’t make any enormous trades involving marquee gamers, however he did transfer one other younger ahead who seemingly was part of their speedy future. The Canucks spent six years creating Gaudette, solely to see him get traded for an undrafted free agent that has an unsure future. Granted, he had a considerably unsure one too, however he nonetheless has far more potential than Highmore does.
Alternatively, on a crew that may have a loaded top-six as quickly as subsequent season, Highmore’s sport would possibly match the way forward for the Canucks extra. So, I suppose time will inform on that one.
As for the opposite trades, with Rathbone and Juolevi projected to be full-time NHL defencemen as early as subsequent season, Benn was clearly not within the Canucks’ plans shifting ahead. As such, it was good to get one thing for him, even when it was solely a sixth-round decide. Bowey might change into one thing, or fade away after subsequent season. Both manner, they bought a fifth-round decide within the deal and solely gave up a fourth. All in all, not an excessive amount of threat there.
General Commerce Deadline Grade: B
Other than buying and selling Gaudette for a low return, Benning’s different offers have been very affordable. It’s going to be fascinating to see how Bowey and Highmore match into the lineup, however all I do know is, we higher not see Gaudette lighting it up within the playoffs with the Blackhawks subsequent month, or Canucks Nation might be launching vitriol at Benning as soon as once more.
My title is Matthew and I cowl the Vancouver Canucks, and Vancouver Giants right here on the Hockey Writers. I’m additionally the pinnacle of the prospects and NHL Draft protection. Along with writing, I host the Canucks & Pucks podcast as effectively. I’m passionate in regards to the Canucks, prospects, and all issues hockey.