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Canucks Daily: Development Camp Starts, Big Names About to Hit NHL Free Agency

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Vancouver Canucks, Lekkerimaki and Pettersson
Vancouver Canucks 2022 Draft picks Jonathan Lekkerimaki and Elias Pettersson.

Check in with us later this morning, VHN will be at Vancouver Canucks Development Camp on the UBC campus to try to put some new names to new faces, including a handful of 2022 NHL Draft picks.

Jonathan Lekkerimaki headlines this draft class, the Vancouver Canucks 1st-round, 15th-overall selection from Thursday night in Montreal.

The right-handed sniper will have to wait a wee bit however. It will be the D-men who take the ice first at 9:45 am, followed by some overlap time with the second group made up of the forwards who will finish out the sessions.

While we wait, let’s go for a skate …

Johnny Hockey Scoots?

As in … out of Calgary? It’s getting dangerously close to the deadline for the Flames and General Manager Brad Treliving to nail this down. If unrestricted free agent (UFA) left wing Johnny Gaudreau leaves Alberta it’ll upset the apple cart. Or better yet, say the core. Puns aside, this could be a whopper.

New Jersey’s name has been out there for awhile, it’s Gaudreau’s home state.

For Calgary Hockey Now, the skaters have the leverage. Matthew Tkachuk just happens to be a 24-year-old restricted free agent (RFA) also looking for a big raise.

Motown Madness

Not really, but a nicely updated prospective free agent list from veteran writer Kevin Allen, who lists which forwards the Red Wings may or should be interested in. Three or four of them overlap with our Vancouver Canucks list. See who’s still on the market with Detroit Hockey Now.

Ink Drying

In the NHL’s Pacific Division, the Los Angeles Kings re-signed Swedish forward Adrian Kempe, coming off a career year with 35 goals, to a four-year contract worth $5.5-million per season. There are similarities to the Vancouver Canucks and their signing of winger Brock Boeser in that both players are 25-years-old and both jumped to the NHL with partial seasons in 2016-’17.

They’re also both 1st-round draft picks, although Kempe was taken a year earlier, 2014, and spent time in the minors, where Boeser jumped to the big show from college hockey. Both men will have reached UFA status coming out of these deals. Boeser’s is for three-years at $6.650-million per season.

Meanwhile, the Colorado Avalanche’s recently acquired netminder Alexandar Georgiev signed on the dotted line Sunday on a three-year contract worth $3.4-million per season. Back-up Pavel Francouz already signed for two-years at $2-million per.

Pretty seamless effort. With 32-year-old Stanley Cup winning goalie Darcy Kuemper heading off into unrestricted free agency on Wednesday, where he’ll fetch a nice price, Avalanche General Manager “Burnaby” Joe Sakic just took care of his goaltending. He acquired Georgiev from the New York Rangers on Thursday for three draft picks.

The confidence of a champion.

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