We all knew Jim Rutherford liked to set the market when it comes to trades and this year is no different. The Canucks make a blockbuster trade For Elias Lindholm on Wednesday afternoon. After extending General Manager Patrik Allvin to a multi-year deal it was time to wheel and deal!
That was the news Wednesday at 8 am from the Vancouver Canucks. Allvin spoke to the media later in the morning, “The privilege of staying on to continue what we started here with the Canucks means so very much to me and my family. While our group has taken many positive steps forward, the job is not done. We will continue to push and put in the work necessary to build a championship-caliber team.”
The Canucks then went on and traded Andrei Kuzmenko, prospects Hunter Brzustewicz (3rd round pick, 75th overall in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft), and Joni Jurmo (3rd round pick, 82nd overall in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft). Also a 1st round pick in 2024 and a conditional 4th round pick in 2024. This pick becomes a 3rd round pick if the Canucks reach the Western Conference Finals.
What Can Elias Lindholm Bring To The Canucks?
I spoke to our Area 51 Sports Network writer Braden Istace who covers the Calgary Flames about what Elias Lindholm is going to bring to the Vancouver Canucks.
“Lindholm seems to be a perfect fit for the Canucks, a team finding itself at the top of the league standings, higher than anyone would have predicted in the preseason. He was a 40-goal scorer in 2021-22 and while he is having a down season offensively, he continues to be solid defensively. He played in all situations for the Flames, was an NHL All-Star this year and I think he will fit nicely next to Pettersson and Mikheyev on the Canucks top line.”
Lindholm scored 82 points in 82 games in the 2021-22 season, last year he had 22 goals and 42 assists in 80 games. A bit of a decrease but he was without Matthew Tkachuk. This year he has 9 goals and 23 assists in 49 games and was the Flames lone representative in the All-Star Game.
We shouldn’t be surprised that Allvin and Rutherford had Lindholm high on their list. Rutherford drafted him back in 2013, 5th overall for the Carolina Hurricanes.
Was The Return Worth It As The Canucks Make A Blockbuster Trade For Elias Lindholm?
Andrei Kuzmenko blazed onto the scene last season for the Vancouver Canucks after coming over from the KHL. He picked the Canucks and scored 39 goals last season and was signed to a 2-year 5.5 Million dollar contract extension. It looked like he would be a staple in the top 6 alongside Elias Pettersson who had tonnes of chemistry together.
I spoke with Kuzmenko’s agent Dan Milstein from Gold Star on December 20th about his client after he was a healthy scratch.
“There is absolutely no disconnect between the coaching staff, management, and our camp. We communicate daily we have a plan, and everything is going to be okay. Andrei is very happy to be in Vancouver. With a few minor adjustments, many victories and goals are ahead!”
Things got better briefly for Kuzmenko but he once again fell into the bad graces of head coach Rick Tocchett being benched for long portions of the 3rd period. He was also taken off of the 1st powerplay unit in favor of Pius Suter. Milstein went to Twitter (Or X) to speak about the trade for his client. When I reached out to him for comment he directed me to his statement.
The Prospects And Picks
Two former 3rd round picks Hunter Brzustewicz and Joni Jurmo also head back to the Calgary Flames in the trade. Brzutewicz is currently 3rd in the OHL in scoring with 69 points in 47 games as a defencemen! There was lots of upside to this prospect and it will be curious to see how he pans out for the Flames.
Joni Jurmo is a player I am very close with having done the first interview with him after he was drafted by the Canucks back in 2020. He was working closely with the Canucks and the plan was for him to come over to Abbotsford for the end of the year after his season in Finland ended.
Despite the pushback from other Canucks media pundits I am sad to see the team move on from Jurmo. I reached out to him but of course, it was a bit early this morning while I was writing this article so I will update Canucks and Flames fans when I chat with Joni about the move.
The Canucks also sent the Flames a 2024 1st round pick and a conditional 4th-round pick. the draft this season is supposed to drop off after pick 15 so losing a mid-20ish pick isn’t losing that much.
Canucks Look Locked In For A Deep Run
As the Canucks make a blockbuster trade for Elias Lindholm, people are now wondering if they could be a Stanley Cup favorite? They currently sit at the top of both the Western Conference and the NHL. With Lindholm, they now have 6 players and a coach going to the All-Star Game in Toronto.
Vancouver also has time until the trade deadline which means we might see another move before March 8th. Make sure to stay tuned to the Area 51 Sports Network for the latest Canucks news and updates as we get into the unofficial second half of the season.
It will be exciting to see what the Canucks can roll out in their top 6 now with Lindholm. Only time will tell!