The Vancouver Canucks have collected the young core pieces they hope to build a successful team around, and now it's time to start paying them. The process begins with a new contract for sharpshooting winger Brock Boeser, the first of the club's building blocks to require a new deal.
Drafted 23rd overall by Vancouver in 2015, Boeser has already established himself as one of the league's premier shooters. Since his first full season, he sits 18th among all NHL skaters with 1.1 goals per 60 at five-on-five, ahead of some major names like Jamie Benn, Brad Marchand, Sean Monahan, and Mark Stone.
Boeser doesn't drive play for his linemates particularly well, but he's an elite finisher who's bound to earn a handsome payday even as a winger. The 22-year-old's resume already includes a runner-up finish in Calder Trophy voting and All-Star Game MVP honors, so he has lots to work with on his side of negotiations.
As mentioned above, Boeser is a key component of the Canucks' promising young core alongside Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes. His upcoming contract will be crucial for Vancouver's long-term salary cap picture as all three players track to make big money down the road. General manager Jim Benning can get a head start this offseason by working out a reasonable deal for Boeser.
The Canucks are projected to have over $30 million in cap space for the 2019-20 season, according to CapFriendly. Though Boeser headlines Vancouver's list of players due for new contracts, he's not alone. Tyler Motte, Josh Leivo, Nikolay Goldobin, and Markus Granlund are all RFA forwards as well, while Ben Hutton and Derrick Pouliot are up for new deals on the blue line. Of those six players, only Goldobin enters the offseason without arbitration rights. Vancouver also has decisions to make on veteran UFA defensemen Alex Edler and Luke Schenn. Schenn joined the club in January and it seems the Canucks want to bring him back.