The Calgary Flames and the Vancouver Canucks are both sitting outside of the post-season race in the Pacific Division – and while they could both potentially see the playoffs, it seems that Vancouver is the team between the two that’s pushing for it a little bit harder.
The Canucks dealt top-end prospect Hunter Shinkaruk to the Calgary Flames on Monday afternoon, seeing centre Markus Granlund returned to them from their divisional rivals. Here’s the first report, shortly confirmed by Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada:
The deal sends a 21 year old Shinkaruk, drafted 24th overall at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, to the Calgary Flames straight out of his second full season with the AHL’s Utica Comets. Through 45 AHL games played thus far, Shinkaruk – a former Medicine Hat Tigers forward – has already outproduced his rookie season in the pros and sits first in scoring on Vancouver’s prospect club.
Heading back the other way, the Canucks will get some much-needed short-term center depth in Granlund, who boasts four goals and seven points in 31 games for the Flames so far this year. The former 45th overall selection for Calgary from the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Gralund helps Vancouver out with perceived two-way depth up the middle while their summer acquisition, Brandon Sutter, remains on injured reserve with a broken jaw.
With the move, it seems more likely that the Flames are looking to be sellers at the trade deadline and the Canucks will be buyers.