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In the days leading up to Wednesday’s NHL trade deadline the Canucks dealt left winger Alex Burrows to the Ottawa Senators for 19-year-old centre Jonathan Dahlen and right winger Jannik Hansen to the San Jose Sharks for winger Nikolay Goldobin, 21, and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2017.
“We’re in a transition period,” said general manager Jim Benning. “We want to get younger, get faster, get more skilled.
Last year the Canucks were criticized when they failed to move pending free agents Dan Hamhuis and Radim Vrbata at the deadline. Both signed with other teams over the summer.
The Canucks (26-29-7) were eight points behind St. Louis in the race for the final wild card playoff spot in the Western Conference heading into Wednesday night. Since losing Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup to Boston, Vancouver has won a total of three playoff games and missed the post-season twice, including last year.
Benning was hired as GM in May of 2014 and has tried to make the Canucks younger. He’s seen progress on that front with players likes Bo Horvat, 21, Sven Baertschi, 24, and Markus Granlund, 23, playing more of a role along side veterans like Daniel and Henrik Sedin.
“These guys are fast. They are exciting players and they are score. We’ve got some depth on defensive, we like our young goaltending. We are going to continue through the draft, through college free agency, in any way we can, to add to our good crop of young kids.”
Dahlen, who the Senators selected in the second round of the 2016 draft, has 24 goals and 18 assists in 44 games with Timra IK in Sweden.
The Sharks selected the six-foot, 185-pound Goldobin 27th overall in the 2014 draft. The 21-year-old from Moscow had 41 points (15 goals, 26 assists) in 46 games with the Sharks’ AHL team this season.
In a conference call Wednesday, Goldobin said he can play both the right and left wing.
“I know they have a lot of young players in Vancouver,” he said. “They are a desperate team.”
In 49 games for Anaheim this season the six-foot-one, 192-pound Cramarossa has four goals, six assists and 51 penalty minutes.
Burrows, 35, was a pending free agent. He signed a two-year contract extension for US$ 2.5 million annually with the Senators.