The Vancouver Canucks made their second waiver-wire acquisition of the week as they picked up forward Travis Boyd. The move comes just a few days after the Canucks picked-up another forward from the Maple Leafs in Jimmy Vesey.
So far this season, the 27-year-old Boyd has played 20 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs in which he has recorded three goals and five assists. He’s a versatile player who can play both in the middle as well as along the wing and carries a measly cap hit of $700k.
“From what I’ve seen, I’ve liked him, our scouts have liked him, and obviously Jim [Benning] did too,” said head coach Travis Green on Monday morning.
While Boyd won’t be in the lineup for Monday’s game against Winnipeg, he is expected to join the team quickly and could be suiting up as soon as Wednesday.
What Travis Boyd Brings to the Table
While Boyd’s counting stats don’t jump off the page, he hasn’t had much of an opportunity this season to get healthy minutes. Instead, in Toronto he was forced to contribute in a smaller role, receiving only 8:44 minutes of 5v5 ice-time a game.
He was quite effective during those limited minutes, scoring at a career-best pace of 2.4 points/60 min of 5v5 time, a better number than any Canuck not named Elias Pettersson, although Boyd’s small sample size must be acknowledged.
Former Toronto linemate Jason Spezza had nice things to say when asked about Boyd earlier this season as he commented: “He forechecks hard, he’s strong on pucks, but I think what separates himself is his hockey sense.”
Besides his play on the ice, Boyd’s cap hit was definitely an attractive characteristic for Canucks’ management. With an overpaid bottom-six that has limited the Canucks flexibility, finding an NHL-caliber player for $700k must be considered a win.
Potential Rosters Implications
With the additions of Boyd and Vesey, the Canucks look to be setting themselves up to sell off a few pieces at the trade deadline. Tanner Pearson is a pending-UFA and a name that is constantly in trade rumours at the moment.
The Canucks have now set themselves up to be able to ice a better lineup in case Pearson, or any other forward that management is able to swing for assets, is traded before the deadline.
And in the case that the Canucks stand pat at the deadline, Boyd and Vesey could play significant roles as bottom-six contributors. This move allows the Canucks to become more flexible and opens up a few more options, something desperately needed for the cap-strapped club.