So - where exactly do you see the Canucks in 2-3 years?
I know most of you will disagree with the following statement, but lets just say that the Canucks actually have been rebuilding/re-tooling/whateveryouwanttocallit since 2014, and that a proper re-whatever will take a good 5-7 years. So - if we subscribe to that theory, the Canucks should start to turn a corner in the 2019/2020 season. Here's how I see things:
Out of the current Canucks line-up, I see the following players being on our team:
Baertschi, Horvat, Boeser, Sutter, Eriksson, Virtanen, Tanev, Pouliot, Gudbranson.
My gut feeling is that Goldobin won't make it as a Top 6 forward here and will either get traded or will go to the KHL. I think his ceiling will be that of a slightly below average 2nd line winger that doesn't have the defensive acumen to be a bottom 6. I also don't think Stetcher will have a future in Vancouver as his lack of size and offensive skill would be too much of a red flag. As much as I love Gaunce, I think he'll be toast as well. I think Hutton's inability to excel in one particular area will also cause the Canucks to trade him.
I also think Benning will sign Gudbranson due to our lack of physicality on defense, and lack of depth on RHD. I also think Pouliot will see an improvement in his game.
Out of our prospects - I see the following making our squad:
Gaudette, Brisebois, Juolevi, Petterrsson, Dahlen, Demko plus ONE more prospect/draft pick from this year's draft or the following years' draft.
Now here is why I'm excited:
1) I think Petterrson will be a superstar for your Vancouver Canucks, and I believe that Dahlen will be a good 2nd line calibre forward (meeting expectations of what a 2nd line scoring winger should be like).
Overall, I think a Petterrsson/Dahlen line will be the equivalent of what we're seeing from Horvat/Boeser at current. So - in other words, the Canucks will have two very good (but not excellent) scoring lines.
2) Demko will be Corey Schneider. After a slow start in Utica last year, Demko actually had a very good 2nd half, despite playing behind a weak Utica team. This year, he has been quite good. While I don't think Demko will be a true superstar in this league (a la Price/Quick/Lundquist), I see his trajectory being similar to Corey Schneider's.
3) Olli Juolevi = Mattias Ohlund/Chris Tanev calibre. While I don't see Juolevi being the next Duncan Keith, I do think he'll be similar to Ohlund/Tanev level (i.e. a solid 1st pairing defenseman even if he's not a true superstar).
4) The rest of the ?????
???-Sutter-??? I think these gaps will be filled by either a prospect that surprises (Lockwood?), or a journeyman veteran that will sign here to provide some toughness (A Prust/Dorsett kind of guy).
Brisebois-??? I'm not sure who will slot in here, but I do know that the Canucks will need to upgrade their RHD. Stetcher isn't that guy, and Gudbranson should be a 3rd pairing defenseman that only gets 2nd pairing ice-time when there's injuries. My hope? We see the return of Nikita Tryamkin. I'll list Tryamkin here, but if he doesn't come back, I believe Benning will find and sign a solid 1st pairing defenseman (btw - I think Tryamkin is a first pairing guy).
4) Evander "EastVander" Kane. I think Kane signs with Vancouver in the off-season. Kane addresses our physicality issue, and provides us with some extra scoring. Kane is a proud Vancouverite and wants to be here. Benning and Linden have always coveted players/prospects that are from around here (i.e. Virtanen, that other collegiate player that signed with Colorado), and so I believe we'll have Kane this summer.
Edit - I'm adding in what I believe might be a more realistic projection: Refer to Post #11
[prospect or vet that can fight&play]-Sutter-[prospect or vet that can fight&play]
Juolevi-Tryamkin [or if not Tryamkin, some other top pairing RHD that Benning either signs, drafts, or trades a 1st round pick for]
Markstrom [or some other veteran back-up].