The team that the Rangers defeated in the 1994 Stanley Cup could be the perfect trade match. The Vancouver Canucks have taken the long road towards rebuilding, and have accumulated a wealth of centers along the way.
Among the obvious mainstays in Vancouver is Henrik Sedin, the center half of the lethal twin duo. He is followed by the reliable, yet boring Brandon Sutter. Sutter and Sedin figure to play a large role in the Canucks’ opening night lineup.
Offsetting the otherwise stable top two, the Canucks’ final two center spots will be filled with more uncertainty. Sam Gagner was brought in after a resurgent season with the Blue Jackets but is no guarantee to repeat his production. Furthermore, Bo Horvat is a former first round pick that has gotten better in each of his three seasons at the NHL level.
However, as mentioned before, Vancouver has built a strong farm of centers over the last few seasons. Alexander Burmistrov, a former Atlanta Thrasher and Winnipeg Jet, and Brendan Gaunce both are young and carry the pedigree of former first-round picks.
Following their 2017 first round selection of Elias Petterson, their future at the pivot position is strong. This could pave the way for a potential move of one of their young, cost-controlled centers.