Derek Dorsett gets to play for a familiar face next season.
The New York Rangers have traded Dorsett to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for the 85th pick in this year’s NHL Entry Draft, according to the Rangers’ Twitter account.
It’s Vancouver’s third trade of the day, having shipped Ryan Kesler to Anaheim in exchange for Nick Bonino, Luca Sbisa, and the 24th overall pick, along with sending Jason Garrison to Tampa Bay as part of a package for the 50th overall pick.
Suffice to say, Jim Benning has been a busy man today.
The move also means Dorsett is reunited with new Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins, the man who gave Dorsett a chance, and picked him up en route to Saskatoon while he coached the WHL’s Medicine Hat Tigers.
Originally meant to be a tough guy, Dorsett has become a good defensive player who can easily fit in on a team. Being back with Desjardins, who helped him develop in Medicine Hat, should only make Dorsett even more comfortable.
The 27-year-old carries a $1.6333 million cap hit, and is set to be an unrestricted free agent after next season.
Derek Dorsett really came into his own with the Rangers after Columbus traded him as part of the package for Marian Gaborik at the 2012-13 NHL trade deadline.
While he’s never been a player who will light up the score sheet, Derek Dorsett is the kind of player the Canucks need to bring a spark to the lineup. He can fill some of the energetic void left by Kesler’s departure, though obviously without as much offensive punch.
Dorsett will likely remain in a bottom-six role in Vancouver, though there may be openings on the left side with David Booth having been bought out. If the Canucks choose to put either Zack Kassian or Shawn Matthias in Booth’s spot, a third-line job could open for Dorsett, along with having a role as a penalty killer.
All in all, this could be a smart move for the Canucks, especially if Benning can get Derek Dorsett locked up for the future.