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Vancouver wants Wild forward and may use Seattle to get him; Kraken reportedly set to load on up goalies

Published July 19, 2021 at 6:58 PM
BY TJ TUCKER
Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning doesn't have a lot of cash to play with in the offseason, but that won't stop him from attempting to make some moves. According to one source, the GM is very high on a forward from the Minnesota Wild who was left unprotected in the expansion draft, which may work to Benning's favour.

"Minnesota did not protect forward Nick Bjugstad," said Canucks Insider Rick Dhaliwal. "I wonder if Vancouver asked Seattle to take him and flip him to Vancouver."

Dhaliwal added the main issue is he believes Seattle is strongly considering taking Kaapo Kähkönen. In fact, Dhaliwal believes Seattle may end up taking as many as five goaltenders in the draft on Wednesday as the market for netminders if really hot right now and two of them could be used as bait for picks and/or prospects. This is where Vancouver's Braden Holtby comes in.

"Holtby's name continues...to be associated with Seattle in a lot of ways," said Dhaliwal.

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"I had one source tell me he'd be shocked if he's still in Vancouver in a week."

As per the draft rules, Seattle must take 14 forwards, nine defenceman and three goaltenders. That means four other picks that could go either way. As mentioned by Dhaliwal, Vegas loaded up on defenceman during the 2017 draft, taking 13 of them in total as the market for blueliners was hot at the time. The team then flipped some of them to improve it's roster right away. It's believed Seattle GM Ron Francis is strongly considering a similar strategy with goaltenders in the draft on Wednesday.

For fans of the Canucks, Dhaliwal reiterated that GM Benning is still in the mix on pending unrestricted free agent Zach Hyman of the Toronto Maple Leafs. He stated Hyman wants a seven year deal and that might be a tough one for Benning, but he insisted the two camps remain in touch and he believes Benning will have no issue offering a four or five year deal when the market opens on July 28th.

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