Can you lend a hand, man?
And in the case of the Vancouver Canucks, make it the right hand.
A few stories there on laterality, which illustrate how far the Canucks still have to go.
First, Daniel Wagner from Pass it to Buliswhich points out that all four NHL conference finalists drafted a right-handed defenseman.
Now Cal Foote, Evan Bouchard and Braden Schneider are yet to make a difference for their teams, but Cale Makar certainly is for the Colorado Avalanche. I still think the Canucks had Makar as their best available player in the 2017 draft. He went a pick ahead of Elias Pettersson.
Looks like #Canucks may have taken Makar over Pettersson if he was still available. “It would have been a very difficult decision.”
— Rob Williams (@RobTheHockeyGuy) June 24, 2017
As Wagner points out, the Canucks haven’t drafted a right-handed defenseman in the first round since Brad Ference in 1997. And with the 15th pick this year, they’ll likely miss out on the top two right-handers in the category this year (David Jiricek and Simon Nemec ), both of which should be in the top 10 picks.
So unless the Canucks dive into John Klingberg or Kris Letang draws, getting that pair of heads to play with Quinn Hughes will likely require some kind of trade.
Canucks Army wrote about Nick Jensen, Colin Miller and Connor Clifton as other UFA options, but they’re probably not long-term solutions.
When you look at availability both in the draft and in the free agent market, you can see why our Jeff Paterson says the Canucks need to solve the problem of hitting the right defense in a JT Miller trade.
Now let’s go to the center right, where Rob Simpson of Vancouver Hockey Now points out that Vincent Trocheck and Miller once played together on a gold medal-winning American junior team. He does it because Trocheck is a right-handed center ready to hit the free agent market, and there aren’t many like him for a Canucks team that doesn’t have a single right center.
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Trocheck was also one of seven right-hand shooting centers that Trevor Beggs described as potential Canucks targets for Daily Hive.
Miller, Pettersson, Horvat – even Lammikko and Dickinson… all lefties.
The good UFA crop is led by Patrice Bergeron, who is expected to retire, and Claude Giroux, who is outside the Canucks’ price and age range. Next, Ryan Strome of Rangers and Calle Jarnkrok of Flames.
The Canucks could get a right-handed center in the draft, but he’s unlikely to play next year.
All in all, this summer could well be a right-handed two-position trading exercise.