The Vancouver Canucks were certainly one of the busier teams on draft day. The organization traded defensemen Garrison and Costella to the Tampa Bay Lightning for a draft pick. There were many other deals and the biggest one to take note of is the departure of Ryan Kesler.
The Vancouver Canucks have dealt Kesler to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Nick Bonino, a first rounder and defencemen Luca Sbisa. Despite not making the playoffs the 30-year-old Kesler did manage to finish third in scoring for the team, accumulating 43 points last season. I’m sad to see Kesler leave the Canucks, but at the end of the day he wanted out.
I believe this was a deal that will benefit both teams going forward. The Anaheim Ducks get a very experienced, second line forward in Ryan Kesler. He will certainly help in replacing veteran centermen Saku Koivu. He’s got outstanding faceoff skills, a wicked shot and explosive speed. He'll certainly be a big help to the Ducks when it comes to killing penalties.
The Canucks receive two young players who had breakout seasons for the Ducks last year. Bonino accumulated an impressive total of 49 points. Bonino seemed to have some excellent chemistry with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry and as a result spent significant periods of time on the first line.
That being said, I’m actually quite surprised at this trade. Nevertheless, Bonino will bring size, speed and goals to the Canucks. I believe this guy will be in contention to take over Alex Burrows spot on the top line with the Sedin twins. He’s very good at crashing the net and providing beneficial screens. He always seems to be in the right spot, which is why he had such great success for the Ducks.
Luca Sbisa only tallied 10 points last season. But at 24, he still has plenty to offer the Canucks. He struggled with injuries last season and will be looking to prove his worth if the Canucks decide to keep him in the roster. And with great veteran defensive players like Kevin Bieska and Dan Hamhuis to help him improve his game, there is no telling how many points this kid will get.
Well one thing is certain, the Canucks new GM Jim Benning isn’t afraid of shaking things up. It makes me wonder if Kevin Bieska might be next. I can’t wait to see what kind of plans Benning has for when the free agency period opens up July first. It will also be interesting to see how big of impact Kesler and Bonino will have on their new teams going into next season.