In his latest article for The Athletic, Vancouver Canucks reporter Mike Halford takes a deep dive on the team’s trade chips and attempts to forecast their roster moves in advance of the NHL’s February 26th trade deadline. A big trade chip that a lot of people are ignoring? The team’s suddenly stellar goaltending stable.
With Jacob Markstrom and Anders Nilsson both looking sharp in the early going and blue chip prospect Thatcher Demko continuing to tear up the AHL, the Canucks are suddenly very deep in goal. Halford theorizes that the Canucks could use this new found depth to their advantage on the trade market.
One quick look at the goalie market in the NHL this season and it’s clear that there are a lot of teams unhappy with their situation. Both Louis Domingue and Scott Wedgewood have been traded already, Antti Niemi has been picked off of waivers twice… then there’s the mess in goal for the Vegas Golden Knights. Between Wedgewood, Domingue, Niemi, Calvin Pickard and Malcolm Subban there has been more movement on the goalie market than at any other position this season. Would the Canucks be smart to zero in on that need and exploit it for a larger than expected return?
What might Markstrom or Nilsson fetch in a trade? Surely the rebuilding Canucks wouldn’t entertain the idea of trading Demko, but if they can get a first round pick or a top prospect for Nilsson, you have to imagine that they’d jump at the chance.
The Canucks will be an interesting team to watch as we near the February 26th NHL trade deadline. With goalies in play, as well as defensemen Erik Gudbranson and Chris Tanev, the Canucks could be the most active team on the trade front.