NHL Trade Rumors: Canucks & Hurricanes Linked to Blockbuster Trade

There continues to be a ton of speculation over how exactly the Carolina Hurricanes are going to move ahead with their roster decisions for next season. It's going to be a very busy offseason for the 'Canes who have several pending free-agents to consider bringing back and a number of trade candidates who will be discussed within offseason conversations. These talks are expected to include forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi.

According to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, keep an eye on the Vancouver Canucks when it comes to interested teams in Kotkaniemi's services.

The 23-year-old former third-overall pick has had an up-and-down start to his career. From the bright lights in Montreal to a steady role in Carolina, this past season Kotkaniemi posted just 27 points in 79 regular season games and chipped in with only one assist in 11 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

The Canucks will be an interesting team to watch this summer as they have Elias Lindholm and Nikita Zadorov hitting the free-agent market. Both players are expected to land significant increases this summer and it's likely both extensions won't be coming in Vancouver. The Canucks may have no choice but to try and upgrade their roster via trade, as their management duo of Patrik Allvin and Jim Rutherford usually prefer the trade route anyways.

Kotkaniemi is signed through the 2029-30 season at $4.82 million per season and his 10-team no-trade clause doesn't kick in until July 1. A move to the Canucks to play a bigger role and try to rejuvenate his career is likely something the Finnish forward would welcome this summer. If this deal materializes, look for the Canucks to include Ilya Mikheyev heading the other way.

Live look into how Kotkaniemi's tenure is Carolina is going:

Photo credit:  Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports