Prior to the NHL’s trade deadline at noon eastern today, the Vancouver Canucks were expected to be relatively quiet. However, they were just the opposite making three different trades before the deadline. The Canucks sent 24-year-old Center Adam Gaudette to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for 25-year-old Center Matthew Highmore. There’s much speculation going on that Gaudette was patient zero with the recent COVID-19 outbreak. However, Canucks General Manager Jim Benning claiming they felt it was time for a change of scenery for him. However, he had high praise for the incoming Highmore.
“We really like him, we’ve seen him in the bubble, he’s a guy who plays with a lot of energy, lot of passion for the game,” Benning said. “We’re excited, we’ve kind of had our eye on him ever since he was a free agent, junior free agent, he signed with Chicago so we like the intangibles that he brings, he’s fast, he gives some speed.”
Gaudette leaves Vancouver after collecting 21 goals and 31 assists for a total of 52 points in 153 games played in just over three seasons with the Canucks. Coming the other way from Chicago, Highmore collected ten points with four goals and six assists In parts of three seasons and a total of 73 games played with Chicago. In his first season with the Blackhawks organization, Highmore skated in 64 games with their AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs picking up 24 goals and 19 assists for 43 points. During the 2018-19 season he spent 12 games with Rockford picking up three goals and six assists for nine points. Highmore started out the 2019-20 season with Rockford grabbing four goals and eight assists for 12 points in 21 games.
Acquisition of Madison Bowey
The Canucks also sent a 2021 fourth round pick to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for 25-year-old defenseman Madison Bowey and a 2021 fifth round pick. Bowey was originally drafted by the Washington Capitals in 2013 with the 23rd pick in the second round, 53rd overall. In his first season with the Capitals organization, he spent nine games with their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Hershey Bears before making his NHL debut. With Hershey in those nine games, Bowey picked up two goals and six assists for eight points. In parts of two seasons with the Capitals he picked up one goal and 17 assists for 18 points in 84 games.
During the 2018-19 season, Bowey was dealt to the Detroit Red Wings where he spent parts of two seasons. In 70 games played with Detroit, Bowey picked up four goals and 17 assists for 21 points. He also picked up an assist in one game with Detroit’s AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins in 2019-20. He was then sent to Chicago where he’s picked one assist in two games played so far this season.
“Bringing in Madison Bowey, he’s a big strong kid, he’s got all the physical tools to be a real good player, he’s a good skater so we just felt like he gives us some size and strength on the back end,” Benning said.
In a smaller move, Vancouver dealt 33-year-old defenseman Jordie Benn to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a 2021 sixth round pick. According to Benning, Vancouver had no intentions of bringing him back once the season ended. With Vancouver, Benn picked up two goals and 14 assists in 75 games in parts of two seasons.
“With Jordie, we weren’t going to re-sign him, so we’re giving him a chance to go play on a good team and they get a chance to make a run in the playoffs so he’s got an opportunity to keep moving his career forward,” Benning said.