June 24, 2024

3 Players the Canadiens Could Target from the Canucks in NHL Free Agency

With numerous pending unrestricted free agents, the Vancouver Canucks could be a key source of new talent for the Montreal Canadiens during NHL free agency. Here are three potential picks:

Dakota Joshua, Forward

Dakota Joshua is likely to attract significant attention this summer. Despite an injury that kept him sidelined for a substantial period, his projected stats—41-42 points and 23-24 goals—suggest he could thrive as a depth or second-line winger. Joshua’s current performance shows he might excel even more without the league’s top scorers around him, potentially increasing his overall points total.

Dakota Joshua out 'week to week'; expect Canucks to recall a forward from  Abbotsford - CanucksArmy
In Montreal, Joshua could complement solid but not yet elite scorers like Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield, and Juraj Slafkovsky. His defensive capabilities are notable, with a positive goals-for versus goals-against ratio at even strength and a high on-ice save percentage. His physical play, highlighted by 245 body checks last season, further underscores his potential value to the Canadiens.

Sam Lafferty, Forward

Sam Lafferty’s style mirrors that of Joshua, being disruptive on the ice and capable of scoring. While his career-high 13 goals this season might not seem impressive, his 16.7 shooting percentage indicates his scoring potential. Lafferty’s possession quality has improved, and he has been effective in helping his team move the puck and create chances, as evidenced by his career-high Corsi For percentage.

Sam Lafferty - Stats, Contract, Salary & More

Although Lafferty may not have the long-term potential of Joshua, he could still provide short-term value to the Canadiens. His recent performance suggests he could contribute more than expected when given the opportunity.

Ian Cole, Defenseman

Ian Cole, a veteran defenseman, has played for numerous teams but never for an Original Six team like the Canadiens. At 35, Cole wouldn’t be a long-term solution but could offer short-term benefits through his shot-blocking and physical play. His career stats show a solid Corsi For Percentage and a favorable goals-for to goals-against ratio, even when starting in the defensive zone more frequently.

Ian Cole - Stats, Contract, Salary & More

Cole’s defensive reliability and experience would be valuable to the Canadiens, providing stability and mentorship to younger players. Despite his primary defensive role, his contributions go beyond basic statistics, making him a worthwhile addition.

Summary

While none of these players are game-changers, they could each bring valuable skills and experience to the Canadiens. Dakota Joshua offers potential growth and defensive strength, Sam Lafferty provides disruptive play and scoring ability, and Ian Cole brings veteran defensive reliability. These additions could help Montreal build a more balanced and competitive team.

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