3 players the Canadiens can take from the Canucks in NHL free agency

Few teams have more pending unrestricted free agents than the Canucks, so one of them may land with the Montreal Canadiens come NHL free agency.
Montreal Canadiens v Vancouver Canucks
Montreal Canadiens v Vancouver Canucks / Derek Cain/GettyImages
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There are a few teams whose free agents could make for good fits on the Montreal Canadiens. And with quite a few pending unrestricted free agents on a strong Vancouver Canucks team, they could be one of a few franchises for general manager Kent Hughes to pick a few players from. 

None of the players listed are game-changers, but the Canadiens have a few youngsters who are more than working toward filling that void, so they’re not needed. Plus, they will be hard to come by because of such limited cap space - even if Carey Price on LTIR gives them more to work with - should Hughes pour some of it into a potential extension for Juraj Slafkovsky

But still, there is value here, and it starts with one of the more unprecedented players in British Columbia this year. There are also a pair of excellent supplementary pieces that would also fare well if they called Montreal home next season. 

Dakota Joshua, F

Dakota Joshua is one pending free agent who could get a lot of attention this summer, and if it wasn’t for an injury that kept him out for an extended time, who knows what his final points marker would have been. If we do the math and adjust - he likely would have finished with between 41 and 42 points and 23 and 24 goals, so he may thrive as a depth or second-line winger whether it’s in Vancouver or elsewhere. 

But what’s more interesting about Joshua is how well he would fare without so many of the league’s top points producers around him. There is a chance his overall points total, which was 32 in 63 games and 0.507 per contest, would have ended up even higher. 

This is something Joshua would likely do in a place like Montreal while complementing solid but not elite scorers. This doesn’t mean Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield, and Juraj Slafkovsky wouldn’t reach that level, but a young player like Joshua would have a chance to grow with them. 

He would also make a great defensive asset, as we saw him on the ice for 17 more goals for than allowed at even strength with a 93.3 on-ice save percentage. The 245 body checks he landed last year are also a sign he’s more than okay with moving around opponents to disrupt plays.