The Canucks ‘lottery-luck’ has yet again crushed hopes of landing a top-ranked NHL prospect in 2019. Mix that with Bowen Byram’s meteoric rise and the hope of the Giant defensemen sliding to the Canucks has evaporated. However, trading up wouldn't just energize the Rogers Arena crowd on June 21st but give the Canucks another defensemen to build around.
While the Canucks haven't had lottery luck, they've certainly had draft luck. Having prospects like Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes slip to the team in consecutive years. They’re going to have to have that luck to continue because EVERYTHING will have to go right to make it happen.
First, rumours of the Blackhawks honing in on Alex Turcotte have to come true. And second, the Avalanche would need to target a forward in, say, Dylan Cozens or Kirby Dach. Then, Byram could slip just far enough where the Canucks could swing a deal.
We know that Byram won't slip any further than five. But the Kings could be the perfect trading partner. The Kings are entering a rebuild of their own and with their aging core, the Canucks could offer draft picks, prospects, and cap relief to jump into the fifth slot.
Hypothetically, the deal would have to involve the 10th overall pick, a future first-round pick, another pick/player (Juolevi or Virtanen), and taking back Jeff Carter’s contract. While this does seem like a lot to give up, Byram is a prospect that is worth it. Being able to watch him throughout the Giants season it's obvious that when he plays the game that his hockey IQ is far greater than his peers, and his skating is amongst the best I've ever seen in a prospect.
Not to mention the marketability of him coming up through the Vancouver Giants system and staying in our city could potentially boost ticket sales. Imagining a power-play of Pettersson, Hughes, Boeser, Horvat, AND Byram gives me goosebumps, and opponents game-plan anxiety.
With so few defensive free agents available and considering the cost of what remains I think it would be wise for the Canucks to continue to build the unit through the draft and what better way to do it than adding the biggest (and local) fish in this draft.
While I love to stay up late at night dreaming about this stuff, I feel like this would be a perfect move to kick off the 2019 offseason. He could step into the line-up immediately and give the team another young phenom.
What do you think? Should the Canucks move heaven and earth to land Bowen Byram? Tell us in the comments!