July 31-in-31: Vancouver Canucks

Cam Robinson



The 31-in-31 Summer Series is an annual event here at DobberProspects! Every day in July we will be bringing you a complete breakdown of a team’s draft, notes from their development camp, and insights into their off-season movements thus far. Following this up, the August 31-in-31 Series will dive into every team’s prospect depth charts with fantasy insights and implications for the upcoming seasons. Check back often, because we plan on filling your hockey withdrawal needs all summer long!



As the hosts of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, there was a lot of external and internal pressure to have a successful weekend. Of course, the expectation that the club would provide a welcoming and positive environment for the visiting organizations and media members was present, but also far easier achieved than putting on a show for the fans.


In the weeks and months leading to the big weekend, rumours abounded that Jim Benning was one of the more active General Managers – checking in on ways to move up, move down and fill some immediate needs on the team’s roster. However, as the first round began rolling, the Canucks were quiet. They decided to hold onto their selection at 10 and select Russian forward, Vasily Podkolzin. When asked about the selection, Benning implied the club had a trade ready to slide back four or five spots and accrue an additional second-round selection, but they couldn’t pass up on the potential of Podkolzin. 


Day Two comes fast and furious and Vancouver was delighted to land another first-round talent at pick 40 when Nils Höglander fell into their laps. Around the time that pick was happening, word began to spread that the team had acquired winger, JT Miller from the Tampa Bay Lightning. It took some time to get the final details, but the club paid a sizable price for the 26-year-old. They moved their 72nd overall pick and a conditional 2020 first-round selection. The conditions being, if Vancouver misses the playoffs in 2019-20, they hold onto the pick and give an unprotected 2021 first to the Lightning.


Miller, who makes 5.25M for four more seasons, immediately steps in as the clubs second-best wing option behind RFA, Brock Boeser. There is a ready-made gig for him either flanking Boeser and Elias Pettersson on the top unit or next to Bo Horvat on the second line. The cost isn’t as low as one would have hoped when dealing with a team in cap troubles, but Benning is betting on his team to take sizeable steps forward.




Later in the day, The Canucks traded down in the draft, swapping their sixth-round pick for a seventh-round pick to bring in Francis Perron from San Jose. The 23-year-old recorded 47 points (18-29-47) in 63 games for the Sharks’ AHL affiliate last