Reaction to the Ryan Kesler trade, the first-round draft picks of the the other Canadian clubs, and an update on Senators winger Milan Michalek.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Jason Botchford and Tony Gallagher weren’t impressed with the return the Vancouver Canucks received from the Anaheim Ducks for Ryan Kesler. Gallagher was also dismissive of the Jason Garrison trade. Ben Kuzma, however, believes new Canucks center Nick Bonino brings versatility and hockey smarts.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: My reaction to the Kesler trade can be found here. Considering the limited trade options available to Canucks GM Jim Benning, the return isn’t as bad as its short-sighted critics believe. The Canucks also shed nearly $10 million in salary by shipping out Kesler and Garrison. Even after the additions of Bonino, Luca Sbisa and Derek Dorsett ( in a separate deal with the NY Rangers), the Canucks now have over $17 million in cap space, and 18 players under contract for next season. That gives them room for another significant move or two via trade or free agency.
VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks selected local boy Jake Virtanen with the sixth overall pick in the opening round of the 2014 NHL Draft.
EDMONTON SUN/EDMONTON JOURNAL: Terry Jones and John MacKinnon believe the Oilers shouldn’t rush Leon Draisaitl, their 2014 first round pick (third overall) into the lineup next season if he’s not ready.
CALGARY HERALD: Flames GM Brad Treliving was pleased to select Sam Bennett last night with the fourth overall pick.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: And somewhere in southern Ontario, a certain plaid-loving hockey analyst’s head exploded over the Leafs bypassing another good Canadian boy in favor of a European, even though Nylander was born in Calgary.
WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets, with the ninth overall pick, selected Nikolaj Ehlers.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: With the 26th pick, the Canadiens took Nikita Scherbak.
OTTAWA SUN: The Senators (who had no pick in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft) could be in the market for a scoring winger if they’re unable to re-sign Milan Michalek, who is in talks with other clubs.