5 Vancouver Canucks players who may not return next season feat. Nikita Zadorov

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Edmonton Oilers at Vancouver Canucks
5 Vancouver Canucks players who may not return next season feat. Nikita Zadorov

The Vancouver Canucks' playoff run ended with a 3-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers in Game 7 of their Western Conference second-round series on Monday. Now that the Canucks are out of the playoffs, they have entered the offseason and will need to make roster decisions for next season.

During the busy offseason, the Vancouver Canucks will be evaluating their roster and considering which players may not return for the next season. Let's explore five players they are likely to move on from.

Five Vancouver Canucks who may not be returning next season

#1 Nikita Zadorov

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Edmonton Oilers at Vancouver Canucks
NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Edmonton Oilers at Vancouver Canucks

Nikita Zadorov is a crucial piece for the Canucks on the blue line. He joined from the Flames in December and has impressed.

However, there haven't been any discussions between the Canucks and Zadorov. The 29-year-old defenseman is likely to ask for a pay raise from his current $3.75 million cap hit. If the Canucks are unable to reach an agreement, he may leave during the summer.

In that case, the Canucks might consider retaining Tyler Myers as their preferred option in this position. Zadorov had eight points in 13 post-season games.

#2 Dakota Joshua

Dakota Joshua (L)
Dakota Joshua (L)

Joshua is another notable UFA for the Canucks. He has been a crucial player for the Canucks since he was signed to a $1.65 million deal in July 2022.

Joshua is set to receive a salary increase from his current $825,000 cap hit during the offseason. However, if the Canucks are unable to secure a more affordable deal for around $2 million, and with a contract duration of two to three years, they may choose to part ways with him.

Joshua finished the postseason with eight points and four goals in 13 games.

#3 Elias Lindholm

Lindholm is another player who is unlikely to return next season. The 29-year-old center joined the club from the Calgary Flames in January. Elias Lindholm is seeking a pay raise from his $4.85 million cap hit, along with a long-term contract.

That could potentially make it difficult for the Vancouver Canucks to meet his salary demands and result in him finding a new team. He notched up 10 points in the playoffs.

#4 Ian Cole

Cole joined the Vancouver Canucks from the Tampa Bay Lightning last season on a one-year contract worth $3 million, and will become a UFA in July.

It appears that the Canucks will not choose to re-sign him for the upcoming season, as there are no talks between the player and club regarding a new contract. His contract will also depend on what the price of Nikita Zadorov is.

#5 Sam Lafferty

Laferty was brought in by the Canucks from the Maple Leafs in exchange for a fifth-rounder in the 2024 NHL draft. He made valuable contributions to the team, primarily playing on the fourth line.

However, it's unlikely that the Vancouver Canucks will choose to re-sign him, especially considering the number of other UFAs they have to consider. It appears that the club may prioritize re-signing players like Dokuta Joshua and Tedd Blueger over Lafferty.

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