The Vancouver Canucks are in need of a top 6 forward. Preferably a player that plays right wing. Players out there that are UFA could be the answer. Or maybe Brian Burke will want to do something trade wise. Everyone knows how he likes to wheel and deal. I don’t think he should trade anyone on the team. The Canucks have a good nucleus that should not be traded away, I know Brian Burke knows this. They should keep the young nucleus of the team together. Let the core of young players grow into a powerhouse in the Western Conference for many years to come.
A route that the Canucks might go in the off season is to go out and get a free agent that can add veteran leadership and can score. This player must have a fair amount of NHL experience. This would be helpful for the young Canucks players to learn how to win in the regular season and the playoffs.
The only 2 players that have the natural position of right wing on the Canucks are Vadim Sharifjanov and Trent Klatt. Obviously Sharifjanov is not ready for the NHL and Trent Klatt has proven that he can play in the NHL. The Canucks might be looking for a player of Klatt’s caliber. A player that gives 110% every game, can hit, and can put the puck in the net.
Players mentioned that are interested in coming to Vancouver are Mike Keane of the Dallas Stars, Donald Audette of the Buffalo Sabres, and Steve Heinze also of the Buffalo Sabres. All of these players are UFA. So the Canucks would not have to give up anything to get them.
I have heard Mike Keane’s name mentioned in the paper lately. I don
GRADING THE LEAFS DRAFT
Round 1 (17)-Carlo Colaiacovo-D-Erie-OHL
While your columnist would have preferred to see the Toronto club grab a
sniper in the first round all of the forward prospects that would have
warranted the 17th pick overall went off the board one by one shortly
before Pat Quinn and Mike Penny went up to the podium. The Erie
blueliner is a solid value here and should develop into a top 4
rearguard in the mold of Bryan McCabe in a few years. That he shoots
right-handed is another bonus on a blueline that only has three of those
on the pro roster compared to eight lefties. Grade: A
Round 2 (39)-Karel Pilar-D-Litvinov-Czech Rep.
An overaged player at 23, Pilar played with recent Leaf acquisition
Robert Reichel last year in Litvinov. Another righty, he has good size (
6’3″, 210 pounds) but needs to learn how to use it a bit more. His
transition skills are not in question. The pick has the feel of panic
mode in it to some extent. Two other players the Buds had their eyes on
Mark Popovic and Kyle Wanwig went 35 and 36 respectively. Finnish power
forward Tuomas Pihlman was taken at 48 by the New Jersey Devils and
might prove to be the better value. Still, if Pilar can help the Leafs
fill the hole on the blueline created by the departure of Danny Markov,
the selection is salvageable. Grade: D
Round 3 (65)-Brendan Bell-D-Ottawa-OHL
A very solid pick here. Bell was the best talent on the board at this
point and many had him going in the second round. Again, like Pi Read more»