SPORTS

Canucks trade Eddie Lack on second day of NHL Draft to avoid free agency

06/27/2015 01:28 EDT | Updated 06/27/2016 05:59 EDT
SUNRISE, Fla. - Moving Eddie Lack was inevitable for the Vancouver Canucks, but that didn't make it any easier.

Lack was sent to the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday morning before the second day of the NHL Draft could formally begin. In return, Vancouver got a third round pick for later in the day and a seventh round pick in 2016.

Although Lack had been a solid backup goaltender for the Canucks, he will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season and Vancouver couldn't afford to keep him in the long run.

"Obviously we were going to have to make a big commitment or lose him to free agency," said Canucks president of hockey operations Trevor Linden on the draft floor. "If you're not prepared to do that, you need to replace that with a young asset and that was the 66th pick.

"Obviously, it's a third round pick but it's a very deep third and there was a player there we really liked. It worked out well for us."

That third round pick became Guillaume Brisebois, a six-foot-two defenceman with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

The 27-year-old Lack had a 34-30 record for the Canucks in 82 games over the past two seasons. He has a .917 save percentage in that time with a 2.45 goals-against average.

"I've been going around and waiting for this for a little while," said Lack in a conference call. "The first thought that went in to my head, I'd say, was more relieved that it was done. I know where I'm going to play next year.

"Obviously I had a great respect for Vancouver and I was really loved by the fans."

Jacob Markstrom becomes the Canucks presumptive backup goaltender behind Ryan Miller.

Markstrom is two years younger than Lack. He's played in 50 NHL games split over five seasons between the Florida Panthers and Vancouver. He has a career 13-28 record with a .896 save percentage and 3.08 GAA.

With Miller and Lack solid in net for the Canucks last season, Markstrom spent most of his time with the American Hockey League's Utica Comets where he earned a 22-7 record with a .934 save percentage and 1.88 GAA. He'll become a restricted free agent this off-season.

"These decisions are difficult," said Linden. "The circle of life is one that you have to give up things to get younger. I know Eddie was popular. He's a great person and well liked. It was a difficult decision."

Vancouver's depth in net doesn't end there, with 2014 second-round pick Thatcher Demko progressing nicely at Boston College.

The Canucks selected right-winger Brock Boeser in the first round, 23rd overall. Russian centre Dmitry Zhukenov was next in the fourth round, followed by defenceman Carl Neill and centre Adam Gaudette both in the fifth.

Vancouver took right-winger Lukas Jasek of the Czech Republic in the sixth and finished its draft with defenceman Tate Olson in the seventh.

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