There is so much happening this time a year in the National Hockey League, and fans should not be surprised to see players change addresses, coaches getting fired and general managers racking their brains to find a solution to their disastrous seasons. The focus is mainly on the postseason and which teams will make it to the second round, that we can forget that some moves are still being made by the other half of the league - the one who didn't get to compete in the postseason...
On Sunday afternoon, the Vancouver Canucks quickly reminded us that some changes do take place during the offseason, especially if they can help the team make better decisions heading into the draft lottery, the draft itself in June and headed of the free-agent market this summer. The Canucks have placed young centre Reid Boucher on the waiver wire on Sunday.
The 24-year-old was drafted in the fourth round of the 2011 NHL Draft by the New Jersey Devils and joined Vancouver as a waiver claim last season. He was called by Vancouver at the beginning on March after the Canucks found themselves short-handed up front after losing rookie Brock Boeser for the rest of 2017-18 due to a fracture in his lower back.
He however missed the last three games of the season after he broke his hand blocking a shot during Vancouver's 5-4 overtime victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets at the start of April. He was slated to return to the Comets once the NHL regular season came to a close, but those hopes were quickly dashed.
Boucher is set to become a restricted free agent this off-season. He managed to tally 25 goals and 46 points in 45 games with the Utica's Comets this season in the American Hockey League. In 20 contests with the Canucks, he scored three goals and recorded a total of just five points.
At the end of the year press conference, general manager Jim Benning had mentioned that he would like to have all of his restricted free agents back next year. This does not only include Boucher, but also Sven Baertschi, Markus Granlund, Jake Virtanen, Nikolay Goldobin, Troy Stecher, and Derrick Pouliot.