I saw this trade somewhere else and I wanted to gather opinions on it.
To CHI: 10th Overall Pick
To VAN: 3rd Overall Pick + Seabrook
Reasons for Chicago:
Chicago get's out of a significant contract. Clearing up almost 7 million in cap space increases their roster flexibility significantly as they continue to re-tool with their current core. Seabrook's play has dropped off considerably since signing the contract, making him more of an anchor than anything else. With their plethora of young defensemen coming up (including Boqvist and Jokiharju on the right side), Seabrook can be effectively replaced fairly quickly.
Moving a contract like this allows Chicago to make many other moves in the short and long term. Short term, they can take a run at reuniting Kane and Panarin without fear of causing cap problems next year when Strome, DeBrincat and Gustaffson have to be re-signed. It also allows them to explore alternative options in net with Crawford's unfortunate unreliability in net due to injuries. These can all have a significant impact on Chicago returning to form as one of the most dangerous teams in the conference. Long term, shedding Seabrook's cap hit puts them in a better position for when Boqvist, Jokiharju and all their other young players need new contracts. That's still a ways down the line, but putting it off to the last minute can lead to significant cap crunches such as what Winnipeg, Toronto and San Jose are experiencing right now.
Losing out on someone like Byram, Turcotte or Dach is never ideal, but they will still be able to land a good player at 10th overall. Given their quantity and quality of young defensemen, this puts them in a good spot to snatch a young forward to compliment their current group. It's easy to see someone like Zegras, Boldy, Krebs, or Newhook flourishing in Chicago.
Reasons for Vancouver:
Making a splash of this kind at the hometown draft to draft the hometown kid is exactly the kind of narrative Aqualini, and by extension Benning would want. Vancouver would now have the pieces in place to build an elite defense core with Q. Hughes and Byram being electrifying young players. Elite talent is what pulls you through rebuilds and get's you into contention status and the Canucks would be landing another one here.
As previously stated, the Canucks would have the foundation in place to build a high end defense core. Q. Hughes and Byram are talented players that can drive the play and log big minutes. They would simply need complimentary partners to be effective. Having both of them gives us two pairings with players who are difference makers as opposed to just one, which is much more difficult to defend and match up against. Additionally, we still have Juolevi who is a bit of a wild card right now but could still turn into something valuable as well. While adding a forward would be nice to address our lack of scoring, Benning himself has said that championship teams are built in goal, on defense and through the middle. This would all but solidify one of those three key areas.
Taking on Seabrook's contract is a gut punch, but it can be managed with some decisive and creative moves. The primary objective after acquiring Seabrook's contract should be to dump Eriksson's contract as it is similar in term in cap hit. Given the recent comments made by Eriksson, it seems as though a move of some sort is something that will at least be discussed before next season, so something should be able to get done if we take charge of the situation. Removing Eriksson's cap hit leaves us with net increase of under a million, which is more than manageable when you consider than Seabrook also addresses an organizational need, RD depth. Coming back to Seabrook now, his play certainly does not warrant his pay, but he is not completely worthless. As said, he fills an organizational need for us and brings a championship pedigree to his hometown team. Furthermore, his play will likely improve as he plays with better players, such as Q. Hughes or Byram. Seabrook also would not have to be protected in the Expansion Draft if he waives his NMC for this trade. Mentoring those two young defenseman could bring Seabrook's game somewhere close to where it was before signing that contract and make it much easier to swallow. Seabrook will still likely have an overall negative effect on our team, but likely not nearly as bad as Eriksson's. That can be stomached for an elite talent like Byram.