The Vancouver Canucks didn’t make the splashiest trades at the NHL trade deadline, but they added two solid young players that could surprise some pundits with their effectiveness. Both Sven Baertschi and Cory Conacher have spent the majority of the 2014-15 season in the AHL, but posses an intriguing amount of offensive upside.
Baertschi got lost in the Calgary Flames system. He was drafted in the first round in 2011 to eventually become a top-six goal scoring forward in the NHL. The direction of the organization changed when Jay Feaster was fired in December of 2013, and that left Baertschi on the outside looking in.
The Flames began to move towards a more North-South game and drafted players like Sean Monahan and Sam Bennett to fit that mold. Baertschi was never able to find his groove in Calgary, but he could be a sneaky add for the Canucks if they want a bit of scoring depth this year.
The 22-year-old has 25 points in 36 games in the AHL this year, and could provide a skill boost to Vancouver’s third or fourth lines. Maybe the Canucks finally give him a chance as a top-six forward to see how he performs.
This is a low-risk, high-reward move for the Canucks. Trading s second-round pick for a former first-round selection with upside is the kind of move that can do an organization a lot of good. The addition of Conacher is a bit murkier, as he’s 25 and hasn’t been able to stick with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Ottawa Senators, Buffalo Sabres or New York Islanders yet.
Dustin Jeffrey has been an effective scorer at the AHL level, but his game might not ever translate to the NHL. He had several opportunities to stick with the Pittsburgh Penguins before being claimed off waivers by the Dallas Stars in 2013. Jeffrey signed with the Canucks as a free agent, and he’s been the top scorer for the Utica Comets this year.
An interesting move for both the Canucks and Islanders.