Canucks Roll Call is assessing every player who held a significant place in the fortunes of the 2021-22 Vancouver Canucks season. We’ll be looking at the highs and lows they experienced during the recent campaign, as well as what the future holds for them in Vancouver. Today we feature defenceman Travis Dermott.
2022 (Vancouver) totals (GP-G-A-P): 17-1-1-2, 0 PIM (He played 43 games this past season for the Maple Leafs with 1 G and 4 A)
Contract Status: One year remaining with a cap hit of $1.5-million.
Why include a guy who only played 17 games after coming over in a deal for a 3rd-round draft pick from the Toronto Maple Leafs organization?
Because Dermott, on whatever scale, signifies what Vancouver Canucks President of Hockey Operations Jim Rutherford and General Manager Patrik Allvin described as their preferred methodology.
The deal on March 20th, one day before the NHL trade deadline, came on the same day that the team rid themselves of Travis Hamonic to the Ottawa Senators for a different 3rd-round pick. The two selections weren’t at all far apart in the Draft day pecking order.
Meanwhile, the Canucks got six years younger on the blueline, saved $1.5-million on the cap, and although they gave up a right-hander, they picked up a lefty who can play both sides and he did.
Dermott seemed like a breath of fresh air. He’s more mobile than Hamonic, fit in nicely during the playoff push, and was also available and willing to speak to the public.
His lone goal with Vancouver came against the Ottawa Senators on April 19th in a home shoot-out loss that began the team’s little skid to the finish. But prior to that Dermott had found his legs with his new club and was a sound part of the six-game winning streak in April that at least allowed the final week of the season to be meaningful.
His shot and possession analytics were strong for the little run, but over the course of the season he tended to give away vulcanized rubber like he was the Kris Kringle of pucks.
He seemed to settle down in Vancouver and he was also a penalty killing option.
Maybe some D-zone giveaways, but given the short sample size and his apparent positive grasp of his new environment, it’s hard to shmoosh the guy in this category.
What the future holds
Dermott is age-25. Defencemen develop on different schedules and can thrive in certain environments. There’s always the possibility that the Canucks have themselves a steal with the former 2015 2nd-rounder. That would be an optimist’s view. Remember, the Maple Leafs aren’t for everyone and neither is their D-zone circus. He was playing for his hometown team.
Even for a cynic or a realist, you’ve got a player who’s versatile and inexpensive, who plugs in nicely on the third pair, and only has a year remaining on his contract.
If push comes to shove, he’s also a guy the Vancouver Canucks could slip into a larger outgoing transaction, although due to the aforementioned, I reckon he’s a player the braintrust would love to keep around.