Canucks acquire rights to KHL blue-liner Philip Larsen from Oilers

 

 
 
 
 
Philip Larsen (right), then with the Dallas Stars, ties up Vancouver Canuck Jannik Hansen during a March 2012 NHL game at Rogers Arena.
 

Philip Larsen (right), then with the Dallas Stars, ties up Vancouver Canuck Jannik Hansen during a March 2012 NHL game at Rogers Arena.

Photograph by: Gerry Kahrmann, PNG files

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For all the speculation about the Vancouver Canucks’ trade deadline sell-off, the National Hockey League team did a little more buying Wednesday when it acquired the rights to Danish defenceman Philip Larsen.

Two days after trading Hunter Shinkaruk to the Calgary Flames for Markus Granlund in an exchange of comparable prospects nearly melted the Internet in Vancouver, general manager Jim Benning’s less contentious move for Larsen could have a greater impact. The Canucks gave the Edmonton Oilers a conditional 2017 fifth-round draft pick for the 26-year-old offensive defenceman who has been in the Kontinental Hockey League the last two seasons.

“He’s a right-shot guy who can run a power play,” Benning told The Vancouver Sun. “He’s a good skater and can transition the puck up ice. We’re going to sign him this summer and give him a chance to play on our team next season.”

Larsen’s skill and potential job description make him seem like Yannick Weber’s replacement on the roster.

Weber, who was supposed to help the Canuck power play this season and give the team offensive options in a depth role, cleared waivers earlier this month and was sent to the American Hockey League before being recalled when top defenceman Alex Edler broke his leg on Feb. 9.

Inconveniently, Larsen is under contract with Finnish club Jokerit through this season. He has 12 goals and 38 points in 54 games. Inconveniently, Weber remains with the Canucks, although he is one of seven Vancouver players advertised by Benning as available to others GMs ahead of Monday’s NHL trading deadline, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

The others are defenceman Matt Bartkowski and forwards Adam Cracknell, Linden Vey, Ronalds Kenins, Chris Higgins and Brandon Prust. With the exception perhaps of Bartkowski, none of these players is likely to get anything for the Canucks in a trade. None is expected back with Vancouver next season, so their availability is not surprising. Higgins, Prust and Kenins are already in the minors.

Before his one year with the Oilers, Larsen, 6-1 and 183 pounds, spent four seasons in the Dallas Stars organization, which selected him in the fifth round of the 2008 draft.

Benning said Canuck head coach Willie Desjardins and assistant Glen Gulutzan, who came to Vancouver from Dallas, endorsed the acquisition of Larsen, who was scouted heavily by Lars Lindgren. Benning said Larsen’s strength, an issue in the NHL where he was a defensive liability during 125 games for the Stars and Oilers, has improved.

If he plays for the Canucks next season, a fifth-round draft pick is a bargain price.

Granlund makes his Vancouver debut tonight against the Ottawa Senators.

 
 
 
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Philip Larsen (right), then with the Dallas Stars, ties up Vancouver Canuck Jannik Hansen during a March 2012 NHL game at Rogers Arena.
 

Philip Larsen (right), then with the Dallas Stars, ties up Vancouver Canuck Jannik Hansen during a March 2012 NHL game at Rogers Arena.

Photograph by: Gerry Kahrmann, PNG files

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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